This is best illustrated by an excerpt from the German book "Heliand "*:
The words as contained in the New Testament today have been terribly mutilated and distorted, and yet they have conquered half humanity and all Western culture. This fact proves the eternal vitality of the Master's words, their supreme and imperishable value.
For this reason we have decided to publish the pure original words of Jesus, translated directly from the Aramaic language as Jesus and his beloved disciple John spoke them. John was the only disciple of Jesus who had recorded with perfect accuracy what his Master personally taught.
It is a heavy responsibility to proclaim that the New Testament in force today, on whose text all Christian churches rely, is distorted and falsified, but there is no higher religion than truth.
And the truth will bear witness to itself.
* "Heliand" was the name of the saviour - the great healer who brought salvation - of the ancient Saxons of the 9th century.
The truth is the sign and the pure heart will recognize it. The one who sticks to the letter will never grasp the being. How did the "Word of God" of the Bible come about? The traditional records of Jesus' speeches and the related historical events were only made decades after his death.
Gaps in memory, misunderstandings in opinion, later even mistakes in translation: all this human deficiency may have contributed to the result, as it is present today, for example, in the Luther Bible. How disastrous every belief in letters can be! It pushes itself as a foreign body into the soul of man, carries discord into it, buries the source of one's own feeling, one's own power and thus of God's power, which wants to live and work in every being. The reconnection (religio) is cut off, the I and the Father are no longer one, man has lost his spiritual homeland, his connection to God, is expelled from Midgard, from Tao.
We know the disastrous conflict that separated Luther and Zwingli and their movements of faith. Luther had translated in the history of the Lord's Supper: "And he took the bread, thanked and brach´s and gab´s them and said: This is my body which is given for you; do this in memory of me". (Luke 22:19).
Zwingli interpreted the passage: this means my body. But Luther, with the pointing finder on the little word, insisted on the "is" and the two men could no longer find each other.
But with the four Gospels that are generally accepted today another further one has happened. With the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. Christian doctrine was made the state religion. This council of leading Christian personalities chose from the many gospels and fragments handed down the four attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and described them as the true, the canonical, while the others were rejected as doubtful, as apocryphal. Not only was this selection of people concerned by church people, but Prof. Nestle says in his "Introduction to the Textual Critique of the Greek Testament" that then certain scholars were appointed by the church authorities as proofreaders and were actually empowered to correct the text of Scripture in the sense of what was considered strictly correct in faith. These corrections could easily lead to fatal forgeries in some cases. The [...] Aramaic Gospel (the Greek texts were partly translations from Aramaic) now clearly shows which areas of life might have been exposed in particular to such correction and mutilation. […]
The "correctors" painstakingly emphasized all those passages that they did not obey and did not want to have obeyed, namely those against eating meat and drinking alcohol, and also everything that could have served as proof against eating meat, so the reports about Jesus' love for animals and his rebellion against the mistreatment of animals. Who knows Italy and other Mediterranean countries and the position of the average human being there in relation to the animal, how heartlessly they murder and eat songbirds and consider and abuse the animal more only as soulless object of exploitation, can understand that well-groomed church princes wanted to dismiss the ways of life as "unessential", as "material", in order not to have to renounce loved pleasures and habits. It requires much less effort to speak of love than to really give love to all creatures in everyday life!
Can one not imagine a distribution of dried grapes [text passage about this can be found in chapter 5: "Extract from the Apocrypha", author's note] much better than a fragmentation of fish and does it not fit much better to the basic attitude of the teachings of Jesus? But how could these fish be brought into the text? Rudolf Müller reports on this in his Reform-Nachrichten-Blatt, Zurich of June 1935 in an informative essay on "Vegetarianism and Original Christianity":
The most confusion was caused by the Greek word "opsom", which means "food" but was later translated as "meat" or "fish". (Compare Bunsen in his Bible work.) The same error also occurs in Socrates, where "feed" was also translated as "meat", while reliable sources state that Socrates lived purely vegetably, that meat abstinence was almost a component of his teaching."
In the interior of the country, the food consisted mostly of dried fruit and only at the seaside or in lakes sometimes of fish. Further historical evidence is reported: "The Gospel says that Christ was an "eater". How did these people live? Flavius Josephus, a contemporary of Christ who was employed by the Romans as a historian, writes about it in his "History of the Jewish War":
"The Essenes lived this way like the Pythagoreans among the Greeks. Herodotus held them in high esteem and valued them higher than mortal men. They make no sacrifices; for their pure life does not need such atonement. They enter the dining room like a temple and eat nothing that had life."
The Essaeans had the principle of abstaining from meat, which is not uncommon; Buddhists had it for centuries, and Judea was littered with Buddhist missionaries. Earlier Jewish sects also had this commandment, such as the "Nazarites" (the Nazarites were a vegetarian religious community). Samson was one of them and many linguists believe that the word "Nazarene" was also a variation of the word Nazarene (in the Luther Bible there is a mutilated reference to it: Mt 2:23: "He shall be called Nazarene"). - For explanation reference is made to Genesis 33:16 ... grace ... come ... to the vertex of Nasir among his brethren.) Daniel is remembered for refusing to eat meat.
Why did the apostles, like the Original Christians and even the monastic orders, practice the law of absolute abstinence from flesh, if this had not been a demand of their master? Witnesses to this are the writings of the so-called "Church Fathers", the leaders of young Christianity, who lived 200 to 300 years after Christ. In their writings one finds the following remarkable passages:
In the "Homilies" of Clement of Alexandria (150 to 220 A.D.) b. XII, 6, Peter describes his way of life as follows: "I live on bread and olives, to which I rarely add vegetables."
Clemens assures elsewhere (Paedagogus II, 1) that the apostle Matthew lived from plant food and touched no flesh. The church historian Hegesippus (Eusebius, Church History II, 1,3) writes of St. John that he had never enjoyed meat. Saint Augustine (ad Faust XXII, 3):
"James, the brother of the Lord, lived on seeds and plants and touched neither meat nor wine."
The first Christians consistently abstained from eating meat, as we find confirmed in a letter from Pliny to Emperor Trajan. Moreover, when they were accused by the Gentiles of shedding human blood at their sacrificial feasts, they defended themselves several times with words:
"You who know that we despise the blood of animals, how can you believe that you are eager for human blood?
Saint Blaise the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea, Patriarch of Oriental Monks, born 329:
"The body that is burdened with meat dishes is afflicted with diseases, while a moderate way of life makes it healthy and cuts off the root of the evil. The vapours of the meat dishes darken the light of the spirit. Whatever kind of meat dishes are used to fill the stomach, impure movements are always produced, the soul is suffocated, as it were, under the burden of the food, loses its dominion and the ability to think."
St. John Chrysostomus, born in Antioch in 344, was called Augustine of the Greeks because of his scholarship and Chrysostomus, the gold-mouth, because of his eloquence. His works include 242 epistles and 700 treatises. He describes the life he and his monks led as follows: "No streams of blood flow here, no meat is slaughtered and chopped up, tasty food and heavy heads are unknown to these monks. One does not smell here the terrible haze of the meat meal and the unpleasant smells of the kitchen and hears no noise and no desert noise. Only bread made with one's own labour and water from a pure spring are enjoyed. If, exceptionally, a sumptuous meal is desired, it consists of fruit and is eaten with greater pleasure than royal meals. But you follow the way of the wolves and the habits of the tigers, but nature has instructed us to eat meat, while God has provided us with reasonable speech and a sense of justice And yet we have become worse than the wild beasts!
According to tradition, St. Augustine, St. Anthony and St. Francis also had a purely vegetarian diet and gave their orders the appropriate rules. Later, when the Orders became rich and powerful, these rules were no longer applied so precisely, and soon the monasteries began to disintegrate.
Is the way of life, the practical realization of fundamental concepts of love and goodness in everyday life really so important? ...] "The little mysteries hold" [see chapter 5 on the Apocrypha, to understand Jesus' doctrine about this, author's note] means: to keep the laws of life of everyday life, of inner and outer cleanliness, of natural human nutrition. From this blossom health and cheerfulness, strength and courage and needlessness. If body, soul and spirit are pure and fresh, they also become receptive to higher experience and knowledge. Insights awaken which will remain closed forever to a person with dirty senses and a slagged body.
The vast majority of the "gospel of perfect life" is fairly consistent with the traditions as contained in the Bible. Often there are only brief additions, which, however, make the deeper meaning shine in a very substantial way. Here, we will mainly only pick out what seems to us to be missing in the Bible that disturbs the meaning, or what may be incorrectly reproduced or translated.
The Easter meal
Christians who don't want to miss their roast are fond of pointing out that Jesus couldn't possibly have been a vegetarian because he ate the "Easter lamb". Well, there is nothing about that in the gospels of the Bible. Matthew, Mark and Luke (there is nothing about the Lord's Supper in John's book) uniformly mention the "Easter lamb" in a form that is unmistakably to be understood as a "sacrificial meal". This is how we sometimes speak of the "Sunday roast" and by this we mean the "Sunday meal". When the three evangelists then report what Jesus ate with his disciples, there is no longer a word about a lamb that had been slaughtered and eaten, but only about bread and wine.
With regard to the question of wine, it must be said that our Gospel makes a strict distinction between wine (as sweet, thickened and diluted grape juice) and "strong", i.e. fermented drink containing alcohol. We say "wine" to the grapes even more often. From the nature of Jesus it goes without saying that he drank fermented beverages so little as he slaughtered animals and ate meat. For this the corresponding text passage about the Lord's Supper can also be found in chapter 5 of the Apocrypha, author's note.
"Behold the Lamb of God, the good shepherd!" - what about the sacrificial lamb with Jesus?
A sacrifice is only meaningful and helpful if someone voluntarily sacrifices himself to a recognized truth, if he is so committed to its realization that the truth means more to him than his own life. What have the people who have lost their homeland and God, who have forgotten their inwardness over their outward appearances, done with it? They have betrayed the being and cling all the more firmly to appearances, to names and letters. Instead of sacrificing themselves and their own weaknesses and vanities in the service of creative life - they slaughter, consume, "sacrifice" an innocent lamb! And Christ is supposed to have done the same? Think it over, you Christians! See what you have made of your Master!
The Swiss scholar Endres sums it up in his book by addressing how people cling to letters more than to things they experience through God within them and thus dismiss experiences ("mysticism") as void and consider printed words higher than the voice of God within themselves:
"Mysticism reveals the deepest truth, the most wonderful thoughts, when it remains in the area it belongs to. It is a means of experiencing that which cannot be known. And if experience is assumed to be the highest level of cognition, mysticism is the means of such a supreme supra-intellectual cognition. A humanity, however, which has sunk into materialism and can no longer view the universe in any other way than by the means of ratio [ratio: "reason; reasoning, logical reason", author's note], one would like to say, whose organs of experience are dead or at least blunted, such a humanity comes to the wrong conclusion that experience is something inferior to intellectual experiences. But this is not the case. Experiential experience lies on a different level and it is much closer to truth, although, like everything in human beings, it is also subject to subjective deception. [...] The man who strives for the good, who hears the voice of conscience, the voice of God in his soul, is a much greater sorcerer than all the magicians and Kabbalists of the world put together. For such a man is able to walk the dark path of life, which, through insecurity and ignorance, strives toward distant goals without stumbling, rejoicing with his head held high and with the light within".