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What Jesus Really Said: Fixing The Mistranslations That Have Shaped Christianity

Jesus spoke Aramaic, but the Bible has been translated from Greek. Many mistaken translations of the Gospels have skewed the development of Christianity — and the course of history. It's time to let the Bible be retranslated to let its true message be known.

BERLIN — Jesus spoke Aramaic. It was his mother tongue and 2,000 years ago it was the main language throughout the Middle East. The New Testament, however, is translated from Greek into all the languages of the world. Aramaic expert and theologian Günther Schwarz (who died in 2009) was dissatisfied with the classical translation and studied Aramaic every day for 50 years in order to better understand Jesus in his native language. In doing so, he came to the realization that about half of all Jesus' words in the gospels were mistranslated or even deliberately falsified.

His shocking conclusion: “What Christians believe, Jesus did not teach! And what Jesus taught — the Christians do not know.” The theologian has written 20 books and around 100 scientific articles about Jesus and Aramaic. He sent his findings to all German-speaking bishops. Response: zero.

So, as a journalist, I want to use my Jesus books to educate people about Günther Schwarz's findings.

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What A Psychiatrist Leaves To Faith

Stefano keeps Jesus in his wallet. Before getting his monthly shot, he pulls him out and kisses him.

Maria keeps him near her bed. Before turning off the lights, she asks him to make sure that her sleeping pills will work.

Antonietta wears him around her neck. She says that when she has bad thoughts, she holds him tight, and slowly the fear goes away.

Salvatore holds him in his heart and tells the cardiologist that thanks to him, he doesn't get heart attacks anymore.

Pasquale sees him all the time, sometimes even when he's talking to me, having kept him company since entering the psychiatric hospital.

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Jesus to Yoga, Sweden Finds Other Uses For Empty Churches

But in the end... is it enough?

So my fellow Swedes are turning churches into yoga studios. Live from the world's most atheist nation, the report from Swedish public broadcaster SVT adds to an ever-expanding list of houses of worship being turned into something else: sport centers, conference halls, art galleries, even camping sites.

Each time, critics lament the temporary or permanent, er, conversion as a troubling sign of the times, of the "undermining of the Christian faith." Some conservative lawmakers are now saying that repurposing churches might in fact violate laws on cultural heritage.

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Modern Politicians And The Christ Factor

The tendency of politicians in Latin America (and beyond) to cite Christ in their speeches may indicate both megalomania and contempt for institutional democracy.

BUENOS AIRES — You shall not take God's name in vain, says the Second Commandment. Nor, presumably that of His Son. And yet when it comes to politicians in Latin America, the name of Jesus Christ goes from mouth to mouth, speech to speech.

Julio de Vido, Argentina's former planning minister now convicted and jailed on corruption charges, suggested a Judas had betrayed him — and like Christ had been sacrificed to save a Barabbas, the "real criminal." From his prison cell in Curitiba, Brazil's former president Lula da Silva is also bearing Christ's cross, and the visits he receives are akin to pilgrimages of his devotees. When Ecuador's vice-president Jorge Glas went on trial accused of receiving money from the constructors Odebrecht, his ally, the former president Rafael Correa defended him, citing Christ's crucifixion.

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Sources

Watch: OneShot — Jesus Statue At American Megachurch

OneShot — Jesus statue at American megachurch, 2005 (©Nina Berman/NOOR)

OneShot is a new digital format to tell the story of a single photograph in an immersive one-minute video.

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Germany
Bastian Benrath

Holy Bones, Why We're Obsessed With Relics

The office of the bishop of Wurzburg recently received the rib of Saint Aquilinus. But why are the faithful obsessed with relics?

MUNICH — It's just a rib. But it's the rib of a man born in the German city of Würzburg who was offered the esteemed position to become the bishop of Cologne. But he refused that post to become a wandering preacher, and was subsequently fatally stabbed in the neck on the streets of Milan. This, the story of Saint Aquilinus, all happened more than 1,000 years ago.

It's said that Aquilinus' blood-drenched corpse lay on the street, unnoticed, all day long until it was discovered by a group of porters at dusk and was brought to Milan's Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore, where to this day the barely decomposed, mummified corpse was kept in a reliquary made of silver and crystal.

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China

Rocky, Pope And Shakira: Odd English Names For Western-Loving China

In modern China, some go to great lengths to look or sound like they hail from the West. One of the quickest, and quirkiest, ways to do this is to give yourself an English name.

Scott Kronick, president of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, had some fun with this phenomenon in a piece for the The Beijinger, an English-language magazine in Beijing, describing the creative monikers his Chinese colleagues have chosen for themselves.

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LA STAMPA
Giacomo Galeazzi

Women Of The Church And The New Papacy: Make Our Voices Heard

They are neither anti-religious rebels nor feminist iconoclasts, but three nuns and a Catholic theologian. Here's how they think Pope Francis should face the female question.

ROME - The conclave is a mechanism entirely reserved for men, even though the pope elected will also be the spiritual guide for more than a half-billion Catholic females.

The only women involved in the process were those in the Casa Santa Marta – where the voting cardinals at and slept – and they all took the oath of secrecy. The Pari o Dispare organization, which strives for equal rights between the genders, pointed out this singularity with irony.

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Switzerland
Joëlle Kuntz

He Respected Women And Made The Bread - On The "Jesus' Wife" Uproar

-Analysis–

Karen L. King, the first woman to occupy the Hollis Chair of Divinity at Harvard, recently caused a sensation in Rome. At the International Congress for Coptic Studies, she revealed a fragment of papyrus measuring 4 cm by 8 cm (1.6 inches by 3.15 inches), dating back to the fourth century and covered with Coptic writing.

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Spain

Ecce Homo 'Restorer' May Try To Copyright Her Botched Jesus Creation

LA VANGUARDIA (Spain), CLARIN (Argentina)

Worldcrunch

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Spain

History's Worst Restoration: 80-Year-Old Woman Defends Work On Century-Old Jesus Mural

LE MONDE, FRANCE TV INFO (France), EL PAIS (Spain)

Worldcrunch

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