Translation:What I Believe/Chapter 1
Regarding why I didn’t understand the teaching of Christ and how and why I came to understand it I have written two long compositions: A Criticism on Dogmatic Theology and A New Translation and Comparison of the Four Gospels. In these compositions I endeavor, step by step, to unhide everything that hides the truth; I translate from scratch, verse by verse, I compare, I collate the four Gospels.
This work has gone on now for five years. Every year, every month I find ever newer revelations and affirmations to the common theme; I correct the mistakes that crept into my effort from too much haste and absorption – correct them and add to what I have already done. My life, which is near its end, will probably end before this work. But I am convinced that we need this work, and so I do what I can while I am alive.
That is my tedious work concerning theology and the Gospels. But the work that has gone on inside me, the one which I want to explain here, was different. It wasn’t a methodical investigation of theology and the texts of the Gospels. It was an instant disgorging of whatever hides the meaning of the teaching [of Christ] and an instant illumination by the light of truth. It was like what happens to a man who, helped by the wrong description, searches in vain for the form of a statue broken into a million pieces of marble, and then suddenly understands that he has an altogether different statue, begins to restore it, and the pieces, mind-numbingly incongruous before, all of a sudden start to fit in every nook and indentation, and to make a whole – until his suspicion is confirmed. This is how it happened to me, and this is what I will talk about.
I want to talk about the way by which I found the key to understanding the teaching of Christ, who revealed the truth to me with a clarity and conviction that exclude doubt.
This is how I made the discovery. From almost the first moments of my childhood, as soon as I could read the Gospels on my own, nothing touched or humbled me as much as Christ’s teaching about love, patience, humility, self-denial and the repayment of evil with good.