Friday, October 27, 2006

Jesus' sayings from the same source?

I thought you might find this of interest.

Of Desires for Other Things, and the Pleasures of Life
Benjamin shaw

In modern New Testament studies, it is commonly assumed that the Gospel of Mark was written first. Matthew and Luke, according to this view, depended largely on Mark for the general order of events, and used much of Mark's material in their own writing. There are events recorded in Matthew and Luke however that are not found in Mark. The places in which Matthew and Luke agree are primarily in sayings of Jesus. It is assumed in those cases that Matthew and Luke both depended on a separate source of material that is no longer extant. This source is commonly called Q, from the German word Quellen, meaning "source." The reader can find more extensive treatments of this view in Donald Guthrie's New Testament Introduction (InterVarsity Press, 1970), pp. 143-157, as well as in An Introduction to the New Testament by D. A. Carson, Douglas Moo, and Leon Morris (Zondervan, 1992), especially pp. 34-36.

The differences among the gospels, particularly when they are recording the same events, can be a fruitful place to look for possible Aramaic background information or sources. One example of this is in the case of the parable of the sower (also known as the parable of the soils), as it is recorded in all three of the Synoptic gospels. The material regarding the seed that fell among the thorns offers some interesting differences. Mark 4:19, presumed to the earliest, says, "but the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word." Matthew 13:22 says, "but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word." Luke 8:14 says, "they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life."

All three gospels mention cares and riches, though Matthew and Mark are wordier than Luke. Mark and Luke have three terms, rather than the two that Matthew has, but they differ somewhat in the details of the third term. Mark has "the desires for other things" while Luke has "pleasures of life." There are a number of possibilities to explain these differences. First, the reader must recognize that in any case the gospel writers are presenting only a summary of Jesus' teaching on that occasion. It is clear from the gospel accounts that Jesus spent hours speaking to the crowds and instructing them. Thus, the gospel writers have preserved for us the meat of those messages. This fact in itself could explain the differences in wording among the gospel writers, as each sought to express the essence of Jesus' statements. In light of the common view the Matthew and Luke depended upon Mark, it is curious that neither Matthew nor Luke exactly replicates the words of Mark.

Carmignac, whose work we recently reviewed, suggests (p. 36) that the differences represent an original Hebrew text (an Aramaic text on this point would be identical). The original, in Carmignac's view read sheer (flesh), which the translator of Mark has read as shear (rest, or remainder). Thus, the original would have read (in Mark) "the desires of the flesh." While interesting, this does not explain either the Matthew text, which omits the phrase entirely, or the Luke text which says "the pleasures of life." Furthermore, bios (life) which Luke uses, is never used in the Septuagint to translate any word for "flesh." While it remains an intriguing proposal, just a bit of study shows it to be unlikely in the extreme. It does not explain how the translator of Mark managed to get it wrong, nor does it explain why neither Matthew nor Luke offer anything close.

Author's Bio:
Dr. Shaw was born and raised in New Mexico. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of New Mexico in 1977, the M. Div. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1980, and the Th.M. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1981, with an emphasis in biblical languages (Greek, Hebrew, Old Testament and Targumic Aramaic, as well as Ugaritic). He did two year of doctoral-level course work in Semitic languages (Akkadian, Arabic, Ethiopic, Middle Egyptian, and Syriac) at Duke University. He received the Ph.D. in Old Testament Interpretation at Bob Jones University in 2005. Since 1991, he has taught Hebrew and Old Testament at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, a school which serves primarily the Presbyterian Church in America and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, where he holds the rank of Associate Professor.
'Aramaic Thoughts'
Copyright 2002-2006 © Benjamin Shaw

Monday, September 04, 2006

Quote for Teachers

“If we teach someone, we affect eternity; we can never tell where our influence will stop.”
—Henry Brooks Adams [adapted]

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Podcast for a Friend

Hi :
My good friend Regina who is also a founding member of our new ministry Unity of Long Island was on Channel 4 news as she has been living with Stage 4 cancer.

I though you might find the show of interest as I appreciate your holding Regina in your prayers and you can hear how well she is doing.
The sound levels are a little off as I am just learning how to work the program.

Thanks & blessings:

Here is the link:

Friday, May 05, 2006

Licensed Teachers Needed For CLMRT

To: Licensed Unity Teachers
From: Rev Margee Grounds

I am writing on behalf of the CLMRT (Certified Leader/Ministry Review Team - formerly called the MMRT) to invite you to consider, as Licensed Teacher, serving on this Team. The CLMRT now reviews Ministers, Ministries, MEPs, and Licensed Unity Teachers -- anyone certified by Unity to serve in a Unity Ministry and is actively seeking Licensed Teachers to be a part of review teams which look into alleged ethics violations of Licensed Teachers.

The name MMRT (Minister/Ministry Review Team) was changed to reflect the new domain of responsibility (which also now encompasses MEPs): CLMRT -- Certified Leader/Ministry Review Team.

The invitation is extended in an attempt to give Licensed Unity Teachers influence over decisions reached about other Licensed Unity Teachers. To serve on the Team helps Unity restore healthy relationships within Unity churches and to make a positive difference in our beloved Unity Movement. Such service is not really pleasurable (it is hard work!) but it is deeply satisfying to see the difference it makes. Those attending the training walk away understanding the degree of integrity and commitment with which the process is conducted.

Please e-mail me at or phone 928-453-2081 for further information.

The training sessions take place only in January, so if you have any interest whatsoever in serving on the CLMRT or take training with the team to learn more about the process, you must sign up in advance. The January 2007 meeting is scheduled for Jan. 24-26 (Wed. through Fri.) the week prior to Association midyear meetings.

Please let your friends who are Licensed Unity Teacher candidates know about this opportunity also, as they qualify under the lay participants’ designation. Those who have been active and are currently active in your church leadership are also eligible. We would like to have as many Unity people as possible knowledgeable about the process, whether or not they ever serve on the team.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Licensed Unity Teachers' Workshops Agenda
for our Peoples' Conference,

Monday, June 12, 4:00-5:30pm,

"Exploring the Depths of Your Perception- Future Roles of the Licensed Unity Teacher", presenter Linda Lowery,
Navigator ClubTuesday, June 13, 12:00-2pm,

Licensed Teachers' Lunch
Tuesday, June 13, 2:00-4Pm,

"Transforming Your Classes to Interactive Learning",
presenter Anna Andes,
Pavillon Night Club

Since we are sharing the ship with non-Unity people, this will be our Agenda, unless last minute changes need to be made. I am so looking forward to seeing you all again.

YOU are such a blessing in my life, and in the lives of so many!
Boundless blessings in all that YOU do!


Dorothy J. Genske
Licensed Unity Teacher Coordinator

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

June 26, 2006 Sub Regional Meeting

Save the date.!

On June 26, 2006 a get together for Ministers, Spiritual Leaders and Licensed Teachers will be held at Unity Center Of New York.

Further details to follow!!

I hope to see you there.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Gospel of Judas Video Preview

Here is link for National Geographic Video Preview

Gospel of Judas

On April 9th National Geographic is broadcasting a show on the Gospel of Judas.
They are hyping it as a challenge to Traditional Christianity.

Here are some links so you can keep up and be prepared if any of your students ask you about it.

Wikipedia entry on Gospel of Judas

Interview with Rev. Thomas Williams of Regina Apostolorum University in Rome

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Contact Magazine Survey

The Association is doing a survey to improve Contact magazine.

Please check out the Link to the survey here. You may wish to suggest that the magazine include more information relating to Licensed Teachers and their roles in ministry.



Monday, March 27, 2006

Quote of the Week

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you --Jesus, The Gospel According to Thomas

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Licensed Teacher Ministry Team Report

The Ministry Team report submitted to the Association Board of Directors as a result of our January meeting is available for review on the Association website.

The Licensed teacher page is located here, and the report is located here.

I hope you find it of interest.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Unity Principles and Intelligent Design

What do Unity Principles have to do with "Intelligent Design"?

* The theology of intelligent design

Forget about the science for a minute. An interesting editorial by James H. Dee in the Austin American-Statesman newspaper in Texas makes the argument that intelligent design faces two serious theological challenges:

"… more serious objections can be raised against ID. There are two black holes at its core — the issues of purpose and causality, which do not generally turn up in discussions on either side of the controversy."

The second challenge, that of causality, is perhaps most important:

"The other black hole might be even worse, for it challenges the assumption, simply taken for granted in most ID theory, that the hypothetical designer is able to go from a mental concept to actual effects in the material world — i.e., that divine intervention is possible.

"…This is a serious problem not just for ID but for all forms of theism. The principal scientific challenge to religion comes not from the high-order concept of evolution, but from causality, which pervades the deepest nuts-and-bolts level of atomic reality.

"Pro-theists have argued, following Aristotle, that the only escape from an infinite recess of causes going backward in time is a First Cause (aka God). But anti-theists have countered that there is nothing logically impossible about such an infinity and that if everything must have a cause, then God also must have one. And it seems desperate to invoke the idea of a 'Quantum God,' explaining the obscure by the even-more-obscure.

"So, by an engaging paradox, the medieval theological principle called Occam's Razor — which is commonly translated to mean that the simplest answer is usually the correct answer — may be turned against the philosophy from which it arose. For if physical causality is both universal and sufficient, then God himself becomes superfluous and literally impotent — and ID theory loses its designer."

From a pragmatic perspective, at least, putting this question to supporters of intelligent design might pose something of a dilemma for ID opponents. The reason is that asking such questions might reinforce the suspicion of some ID supporters that the challenge to ID is, at root, metaphysical.

For much more on intelligent design, see the "Web exclusives" box at

This article was excerpted from The Daily Dose, (2/3/06) an email newsletter of the Templeton Foundation and its publication Science & Theology News.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Two New Licensed Teachers

Congratulations and blessings to Alice Barnette and Bessie Duncan who received their license on January 12, 2006.

Alice serves at Unity Roanoke Valley, Roanoke Va. and Bessie is the Spiritual Leader of Unity Church of Christ, Teaneck, New Jersey.

Monday, January 30, 2006

How big is your brain?

Meditation is found to increase brain size
People who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don't. Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that experienced meditators boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and processing sensory input. [...] Check out

Your Licensed Unity Teacher Ministry Team

Cheryl Sunday, Dorothy Genske, John Zenkewich, Luzette Rivera-Diez, Sandra Angotti, Linda Lowery, Judy Lucas, Rick Schumaker, Linda Martella-Whitsett
Not Present: Dona Gilsdorf, Sheila Gautreaux-Lee

Monday, January 23, 2006

LUT Ministry Team

The LUT Ministry Team meets this week.

I will keep you advised of any developments.


Movie Night Suggestion

Getting together to watch a movie can be a great fellowship activity.

This weekend we watched the movie Millions and everyone enjoyed it.

Given the focus on prosperity in our churches this movie could start a discussion regarding "what would you do if a million dollars fell in your lap?".

Millions:Acclaimed director Danny Boyle posits a tantalizing question in this engaging film: What happens when two boys stumble upon a cache of cash? Damian (Alex Etel) and his brother, Anthony (Lewis McGibbon), find a satchel filled with British pounds, but with the country just days away from switching to the Euro, they must quickly find a way to spend and share the wealth. Trouble is, Damian wants to give to the poor, while Anthony aims to live it up.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Eddie O'Dea LUT New Spiritual Leader

Congratulations to Eddie O'Dea who is now the new spiritual leader of Unity Center of Flushing. Eddie follows the fruitful service of Marion Gambardello LUT.

Our Prayers & Blessings are with you.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Subscribe to the Blog with Feedblitz


You can receive an email letting you know when something is posted on the blog by putting your email address in the box and clicking subscribe me. You will receive an email to confirm your subscription.

Once you are subscribed you will receive an email whenever the blog has a new post.

Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz

Licensed Unity Teacher Ministry Team Survey

The Licensed Teacher Ministry team has distributed a survey to collect information on your role as a Unity Teacher as well as your vision for your future role in the Unity Movement.

If you did not receive it from the Association I have been advised that they may not have your email address. Please send an email to and advise her of your email address so they can put you on their list.

You can read the Team's letter here, and the survey here.

The results of the survey will be reviewed at the Team meeting January 23-26 2006.

Thank you for your participation in the survey. I am looking forward to the January meeting. If I can I hope to post from the meeting so you can have up to the minute news.



Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
May 2006 be the year you step out in faith and fully express the love of Spirit in your life.
John Zenkewich LUT