Judean Matthew II: the Jewish Messiah (A)

Intro: Judean Matthew part I the “Jewish Prophet” presents what is theoretically the oldest and most primitive, and perhaps the original form of Jesus’s preaching; which is preserved in Catholic Matthew chapters 10, 24 & 25. Here Jesus preaches a gospel about the “Son of man” but does not identify himself with that Son of man; and there is no mention of the crucifixion. This present project, part II, the “Jewish Messiah“, contains the larger Judean Gospel that is also preserved in Catholic Matthew, which identifies Jesus with the Messiah and Son of man, and introduces the doctrine of the crucifixion.

Part II is a theoretical reconstruction of the Jewish Gospel in the age of the Apostles viz. the first generation of Christians who believed that Jesus was miraculously resurrected and would bring the kingdom before the end of their generation (e.g. CM. 16:27-28, 24:34-35). In its over-all context Judean Matthew I shows the message of Jesus while he was present. Judean Matthew II shows the message after the crucifixion and in Jesus’s absence. An important detail here regarding the crucifixion is that this doctrine need not be construed to be about atonement, but may originally have meant a miracle from God to prove the messianic status of Jesus; and is symbolized by Jonah spending three days in the belly of a fish (CM. 12:38-40). The atonement concept was introduced by later theologians.

Due to length the Jewish Messiah must be sub-divided into two parts “A” and “B”. Part A covers chapters 1-19 of Catholic Matthew. These chapters have been edited and consolidated into 7 new chapters; with most or all of chapters 3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Catholic Matthew edited or omitted. Part B will resume with Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, his confrontations with the Sadducees, and the crucifixion.

I. THE JEWISH/ DAVIDIC GENEOLOGY OF THE CHRIST-MESSIAH [CM. 1:1-17]

The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;

And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;

And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;

And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;

And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

II. THE NATIVITY OF THE CHRIST-MESSIAH [CM. 1:18a, 20b, 21-24, 25b; 2:1-8, 13-23]

[Note: all passages in this account that refer to the Immaculate Conception or the Divinity of Jesus have been removed from the Nativity account. One important clue on this matter is that the claim that Jesus was begotten by the Holy Spirit is contrary to the extensive and detailed geneology that has been placed at the beginning of this Gospel in order to emphasize that Jesus was a descendant of David, of the line of Judah. In early Jewish Christian tradition Jesus is a man naturally born, from an earthly father and mother, and is chosen by God to be the Messiah (Eusebius, Church History, 3.27; Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.26.2). The notion that Jesus was literally descended from a god, or God, is a pagan theme that can attributed to a gentile Christian editor. Another clue is that nowhere in the main text of Matthew is any significance assigned to the mother of Jesus (e.g. CM. 12:47-50, 13:55-57). Thus we are left with the prospect that the Immaculate Conception is a Catholic Dogma that has been added to the text; which in turn is based on a Gnostic doctrine that was introduced originally in the Gospel of Luke [1]. Passages omitted: CM. 1:18b, 19-20a, 25a; 2:9-12]

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, Mary thy wife shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Behold, a virgin (parthenos) shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel”, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Isaiah 7:14; note: in this passage the word “virgin” refers to a young maiden and not the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. In the Hebrew Bible the word most often used for a virgin is “bethuwlah“/ בְתוּלָה֙, e.g. Dt. 22:28, whereas in the one passage, Is. 7:14, the word is “almah” / עַלְמָ֗ה  which means a young maiden. See Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance “virgin”, almah #5959, bethuwlah #1330. The source of the confusion is that the Greek translation uses the Greek word for virgin “parthenos” in place of both Hebrew words.)

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And she brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.” (Micah 5:2)

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.” (Hosea 11:1)

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” (Jeremiah 31:15)

But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene. (Judges 13:5)

[Catholic Matthew 3:1-17, the Ministry of John the Baptist and the Baptism of Jesus; omitted. Early Jewish Christian tradition indicates that Jesus was not connected with John the Baptist and was not part of John’s movement or was baptized by him. An example which cannot be ignored is where Jerome quotes a passage from what he identified as the original, Judean Matthew:

“In the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which is written in the Chaldee and Syrian language, but in Hebrew characters, and is used by the Nazarenes to this day (I mean the Gospel according to the Apostles, or, as is generally maintained, the Gospel according to Matthew, a copy of which is in the library at Cæsarea), we find, “Behold, the mother of our Lord and His brethren said to Him, John Baptist baptizes for the remission of sins; let us go and be baptized by him. But He said to them, what sin have I committed that I should go and be baptized by him? Unless, haply, the very words which I have said are only ignorance.” (Jerome, Against the Pelagians, 3:2)

The Clementine Homilies and Recognitions have no record of Jesus being baptized by or a follower of John the Baptist. In these sources John is acknowledged as being the greatest of the prophets and a fore-runner of Jesus. But regarding doctrine John is reckoned as the teacher of Simon Magus, and of John’s doctrine and sect it is said in Homily 2:23,

“There was one John, a day-baptist, who was also, according to the method of combination, the forerunner of our Lord Jesus; and as the Lord had twelve apostles, bearing the number of the twelve months of the sun, so also he, John, had thirty chief men, fulfilling the monthly reckoning of the moon, in which number was a certain woman called Helena, that not even this might be without a dispensational significance. … But of these thirty, the first and the most esteemed by John was Simon…” (Clementine Homilies, 2:23)

Both passages from Jerome and the Clementines may be evidence that John the Baptist was not originally part of the Gospel of Matthew; and that John was introduced into the text by a later proto-Gnostic writer. And this is followed by new material where Jesus speaks of the mysterious doctrine of Sophia, which could be an allusion to Helena (both symbolized by the number 30); and also a doctrine of another God and a baptism that is not sanctioned in scripture viz. the Law of Moses (cf. CM. 11:19, 27; 21:23-27).]

III. JESUS IS TEMPTED BY THE EVIL ONE. HIS MINISTRY BEGINS. PETER, ANDREW, JAMES AND JOHN ARE CALLED [CM. 4:1-25]

Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”. (Dt. 8:3b)

Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, “He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone”. (Psalms 91:11-12)

Jesus said unto him, It is written again, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”. (Dt. 6:16)

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Dt. 6:13). Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, And his fame went throughout all Syria: And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.

IV. THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT [CM. 5:1-6, 10-37, 7:21-29]

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

(Note: the sermon below has been amended at various points so that it reflects the failed end-time prophecy, viz. an imminent, approaching earthly kingdom rather than the mystic kingdom of heaven, which is a later revision of a more primitive message.)

Blessed are the poor: for theirs is the kingdom.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

[Catholic Matthew 5:7-9, blessed are the merciful, the pure in heart, the peace-makers; omitted. These virtues as stated are incompatible with the other Judeo-centric elements of the Judean Gospel/ kingdom theme. E.g. in CM. 10:13-15 Jesus condemns anyone who rejects the gospel message, condemning entire cities. In CM. 15:26 Jesus the Messiah was unwilling to heal a child because the child was not of Hebrew descent. The child is referred to as a “dog” in front of her desparate and begging mother. And again, in CM. 10:34f. Jesus states plainly that he has come to spread discord and violence, not peace. None of these passages can be regarded as coming from a person who is concerned with the mystic theme of a pure heart and the vision of God. And in the Hebrew Bible it is said that no man can see God and live (Exodus 33:20). This leads me to believe that CM. 5:7-9 originates from a proto-Gnostic writer who was trying to convert the Judean Gospel into a spiritual metaphor, by adding material.]

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom. (The word “righteousness” here referring to the Law of Moses.)

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (The “good works” here refer to the Law of Moses and charitable activities or alms.)

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For truly I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (This passage is evidently a polemic against St. Paul and the early Hellenist church which rejected the Law of Moses.)

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom. (The logic thus far indicates that the Judean Messiah is more zealous for the Law than even the Pharisees; hence “one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.”)

Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the fire of Hinnom. [1]

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Truly I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into the valley of Hinnom. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into the valley of Hinnom.

It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. (This is the one point where Jesus was at odds with the Pharisees, according this thesis. Cf. CM. 19:3-9.)

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

[Catholic Matthew 5:38-7:20, On retaliation, neighbors and enemies, alms, prayer, fasting, wealth, judging, asking, the two ways, the two trees; omitted. As I showed in Proto-Gnostic Matthew I, the teachings in these passages are incompatible with the Law of Moses and even other statements in CM that are attributed to Jesus. This passage contains key ideas that are closer to Gnostic thought and theology rather than Messianic Judaism. A brief example here is a comparison of the Similitudes to the teaching on Alms and Prayer. The Similitudes command that alms be performed openly; whereas the latter states that alms and prayers should be performed in secret, and that there is no reward in an open display of piety. Another example can be seen in the teachings on retaliation and neighbors vs. enemies. Both of these teachings overturn key passages in the Law of Moses, which in turn contradicts the words of “Jesus” in CM. 5:17-19.]

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Again this is aimed at St. Paul and the Hellenist church which rejected the Law of Moses.)

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

V. THE MESSIAH PERFORMS HEALING AND MIRACLES. PETER’S MOTHER-IN-LAW. THE MESSIAH CALMS THE SEA. DEVILS ARE CAST INTO SWINE. MATTHEW IS CALLED [CM. 8:1-4, 14-18, 23-9:1, 9]

When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

[Catholic Matthew 8:5-13, the Centurion’s servant; omitted. This passage runs counter to the theme that the Jewish Messiah ministers to Hebrews only (CM. 10:5-6, 15:24).]

And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.

When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses”. (Isaiah 53:4)

Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.

[Catholic Matthew 8:19-22, the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head, let the dead bury their dead; omitted. The narrative portrays Jesus as a popular guy who has the masses following him around. It is unlikely that he would have no place to sleep. The themes of the “Master” being homeless and instructing his followers to “let the dead bury their dead” are the words of an itinerant mystic and not a Messiah who claims the throne. This section belongs to the proto-Gnostic Gospel of Jesus the Mystic.]

And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.

And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.

[Catholic Matthew 9:2-8, 10-34, a man’s sins are forgiven, Jesus and his disciples are accused of impiety, a woman with an issue of blood is healed, a maid is healed, two blind men are healed, a devil is cast from a dumb man; omitted. According to my theory the Judean Gospel existed in a period where there was no conflict between Messianic Christians and Pharisees (cf. Acts 2:46-47). That the Messiah would claim the power to forgive sins in this context, or claim any doctrines or powers at odds with the Pharisees is implausible. For this reason the accusation of impiety from the Pharisees has also been omitted (CM. 9:2-8). If we factor in the statement from the Sermon on the Mount, from CM. 5:17-19, then there is no reason to believe that Jesus brought a new and liberal ethic that the Pharisees would condemn. The conflict with the Pharisees belongs to the later proto-Gnostic and Catholic elements in Matthew. The accusation of impiety from the disciples of John the Baptist reflect tensions between proto-Gnostic Christians and the followers of John the Baptist. CM. 9:15-17 has Jesus speaking in symbolism that resembles the Gnostic doctrine of the Bridal Chamber and the tension between the Old and New testaments, viz. a conflict between proto-Gnostic sects. The woman with the issue of blood and the maid appears to be proto-Gnostic symbolism pointing to Sophia and Achamoth (CM. 9:18-26). The two blind men and the command to keep silent (CM. 9:30) is inconsistent with a man who performs miracles to demonstrate to the public that he is the Messiah. And the casting out of the devil from the mute appears to be a vehicle to create conflict between the Messiah and the Pharisees (CM. 9:32-34).]

VI. JESUS INSTRUCTS AND SENDS FORTH HIS TWELVE APOSTLES. JESUS REFUSES TO HEAL THE DAUGHTER OF THE CANAANITE WOMAN. JESUS HEALS MANY; THE MULTITUDES GLORIFY THE GOD OF ISRAEL [CM. 9:35, 10:2-16a-34, 38-11:1, 15:21-31] 

[Catholic Matthew 9:36-10:1, Jesus has compassion for the sheep, the labourers for the harvest; omitted. This passage shows Jesus as head of a humanitarian ministry rather than a messianic ministry. Moreover there is a notable change in language between these verses and what follows in CM. 10:2f. In verse one the “twelve” are referred to as “disciples” who are given powers to heal. What follows in CM. 10:2 is that the “twelve” are all of a sudden referred to as “Apostles” and they are sent to preach the kingdom. And what follows further in these verses shows that this was not some humanitarian campaign. There is a political tension beneath this which is consistent with a Messianic campaign where Jesus claims the throne. CM. 9:36-10:1 belongs to a different writer who wanted to portray Jesus as mystical, humanitarian savior who recruits followers for a new religion, and not a messianic movement recruiting support from the people.]

Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. (CM. 10:5 “of heaven”; omitted.)

Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Truly I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. (Note the harsh retribution that is pronounced upon anyone who does not heed the messianic message of Jesus’s apostles.)

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. (CM. 10:16b, “be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves”; omitted.)

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (This passage reflects the strife in Judea that led to and coincided with the Jewish War with Rome, in which many Jewish factions fought each other as well as the Romans.)

But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for truly I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. (This passage reflects the original dogma that has been expanded upon and embellished by Jewish Christians; where Jesus has become identified with the Son of man.)

The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord(kurion). If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna: valley of Hinnom). (Note the mix of Jewish and Hellenistic thought in this passage.)

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (This refers to Jesus’s crucifixion, obviously after the event.)

[Catholic Matthew 10:35-37, Micah 7:6, Jesus comes to set a man at variance against his father; omitted. This theme of Jesus deliberately destroying families is ethically and theologically inconsistent with the Law of Moses. This passage and the dubious context of Micah 7:6 are consistent with a proto-Gnostic theme.]

He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, truly I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. (Note that there is no reference to healings or exorcisms in this passage.)

[Catholic Matthew 11:2-19, rejection by John the Baptist; omitted. This passage reflects a conflict between proto-Gnostic Christians and the followers of John the Baptist. CM. 11:10 and14 may be a gloss from a Catholic scribe, to place John the Baptist within a prophetic framework by connecting him with the prophet Elijah viz. Malachi 4:4-6. But there is an open question as to whether John’s doctrine and Baptism have any connection with the Law of Moses as mandated in the passage cited from Malachi, e.g. CM. 21:23-26, Clementine Homilies, 2:23.]

[Catholic Matthew 11:25-30, only the Son knows the Father, my burdern is light; omitted. This passage is a piece of proto-Gnostic theology that denies the authority of Moses, or the notion that Moses knew the Father. In opposition to the Law of Moses Jesus says “my burden is light”.]

[Catholic Matthew 12:1-45, Jesus’ conflicts with Pharisees, viz. plucking and eating corn on the Sabbath, Sabbath healing, the Pharisees conspire against Jesus, the Pharisees blaspheme the Holy Spirit, the Pharisees demand a sign; omitted. Jesus’s conflict with the Pharisees and their condemnation belong to sectarian tensions of a later period and reflect tension between Jewish Christians and proto-Gnostic Christians or Catholics.]

[Catholic Matthew 13:1-53, the Parables, viz. the Soils, the Wheat and Tares, the Mustard Seed, the Leaven, the Hidden Treasure, the Pearl, the Net, the Householder; omitted. These parables contain the mystic proto-Gnostic teaching and belong to a different Gospel.]

[Catholic Matthew 14:1-36, Herod the Tetrarch and the beheading of John the Baptist, 5000 are fed, Jesus walks on water, the healing at Gennesaret; omitted. The theme regarding John the Baptist is relevant to the Gospel of a proto-Gnostic writer who represents a rival sect to the followers of John the Baptist. It is being suggested here that Jesus is the successor of John the Baptist. The mystic feeding of the 5000, walking on water, the healing miracles at Gennesaret all belong to the theme of a mystic teacher and not a Jewish Messiah.]

[Catholic Matthew 15:1-20, a confrontation with the Pharisees over cleanliness and honor of parents; omitted. This is a another fictional passage that places Jesus the Messiah at odds with the Pharisees. Here Jesus accuses the Pharisees of perverting the Mosaic Law in order to avoid caring for elders. But in other passages in Catholic Matthew Jesus is portrayed as rejecting the same commandment, e.g. CM. 10:35-37 and 12:46-50.]

Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.

Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. (Note: I believe it is highly probable that this passage ended with Matthew 15:24, with the words “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. But there is an addition to this story in the Clementine Homilies which maintains that both this gentile woman and her daughter converted to Judaism after being healed. This passage is quoted here as an addendum:

“There is amongst us one Justa, a Syro-Phœnician, by race a Canaanite, whose daughter was oppressed with a grievous disease. And she came to our Lord, crying out, and entreating that He would heal her daughter. But He, being asked also by us, said, ‘It is not lawful to heal the Gentiles, who are like to dogs on account of their using various meats and practices, while the table in the kingdom has been given to the sons of Israel.’ But she, hearing this, and begging to partake like a dog of the crumbs that fall from this table, having changed what she was, by living like the sons of the kingdom, she obtained healing for her daughter, as she asked. For she being a Gentile, and remaining in the same course of life, He would not have healed had she remained a Gentile, on account of its not being lawful to heal her as a Gentile.

“She, therefore, having taken up a manner of life according to the law, was, with the daughter who had been healed, driven out from her home by her husband, whose sentiments were opposed to ours. But she, being faithful to her engagements, and being in affluent circumstances, remained a widow herself, but gave her daughter in marriage to a certain man who was attached to the true faith, and who was poor.” — Homily, 2:19-20)

And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them: Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.

VII. THE SADDUCEES ASK FOR A SIGN; THE SIGN OF JONAH IS GIVEN. JESUS REVEALS TO HIS APOSTLES THAT HE IS THE MESSIAH. PETER “THE ROCK” IS APPOINTED HEAD OF THE CHURCH. JESUS REVEALS THE CRUCIFIXION. ON OFFENDERS AND THE OFFENDED BROTHER. INSTRUCTION ON MERCY. THE PHARISEES CONFRONT JESUS ON MARRIAGE. THE RICH YOUNG RULER. THE APOSTLES’ REWARD [CM.  16:1-2a, 4, 13-17a, 18a, 19, 21, 24-28, 17:22-23, 18:7-9, 15-17, 23-30, 19:1-9, 16-19, 23-29]

The Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed. (Note: A number of points need explaining here: CM. 16:2-3 is not present in the Codex Sinaiticus and is omitted here as redundant. The Pharisees have also been omitted as there is no reason to have them agreeing here with the Sadducees on the issue of Messianic prophecy. Historically the Sadducees were the party that had its center in Herod’s Temple and were aligned with the Romans. The Pharisees were not aligned with the Herodians or the Romans. The adding of the Pharisees belongs to a later proto-Gnostic source. In this passage Jesus gives the sign of Jonah to the Sadducess, viz. that his resurrection will be the sign, the miracle from God, proving that he is the Messiah.)

[Catholic Matthew 16:5-12, “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees”; omitted. This passage is from a proto-Gnostic source and is a comment on the passage viz. CM. 16:1-4, in which the Pharisees have been added along with the Sadducees.]

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that the Son of man is? And they said, Some say John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. (Note: CM. 16:13-14 has been revised to read in the third person speech rather than the incorrect first person context in the KJV, e.g. there is no “I am” or “ego eimi” in the Greek text. It is only in verse 15 onward that the dialogue shifts to first person speech.)

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Note: CM. 16:17b “flesh and blood has not revealed it” has been omitted as originating from a proto-Gnostic source and reflects a docetic theme. CM. 16:18b has been omitted as the reference to “Hades”, KJV: “hell”, is improbable coming from a Jewish writer. This phrase can be attributed to a later Catholic source.

[Catholic Matthew 16:20, Jesus commands his Apostles not to reveal that he is the Messiah; omitted. This is contrary to the purpose of Jesus’s ministry and authority, to prove to the Israelites that he is the prophesied messiah. This passage belongs to an esoteric proto-Gnostic theme.]

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. (Note: this theme here need not be construed to reflect a doctrine of atonement, which is surely a later interpretation. The original meaning here could be that Jesus’s messiah-ship would be proven in that Jesus would be resurrected after the crucifixion, by an act of God–demonstrating that even the Romans would not be able to kill God’s appointed Messiah. This in turn would be an idea that was developed after Jesus the prophet actually did turn up alive after being crucified, leading his followers to believe that some supernatural event actually did take place. It is my position that the words in the passage above were never spoken by Jesus, the crucifixion and the sign of Jonah were ideas developed later by his followers to explain his survival of being crucified. There are many rational, logical explanations that could account for what actually happened; but to his followers this was a supernatural event, meant to reveal and validate his status as Messiah–which was invented by his followers and not the man himself.)

[Catholic Matthew 16:22-23, Peter rebukes Jesus, Peter is called “Satan”; omitted. It is inconsistent that Peter should be declared to be “blessed” and as the “Rock” and the foundation of the church in one passage and then denounced as “Satan” in the next passage. This passage belongs to a proto-Gnostic writer who viewed Peter as the figure-head of the Jewish church and of a doctrine that this writer considered to be false, probably in favor of Paul.]

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Truly I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.

[Catholic Matthew 17:1-13, the transfiguration; omitted. This passage originates from a Catholic source and is an effort to reconcile the prophets and Jesus and John the Baptist under a Catholic theology; when other passages elsewhere show a different proto-Gnostic theme, e.g. CM. 5:38-48, 11:27, 21:23-27.]

[Catholic Matthew 17:14-21, Jesus rebukes a faithless generation; omitted. I remain uncertain as to the source of this passage. I feel that it may come from a proto-Gnostic or Catholic source, and less likely from a Jewish source, viz. the theme of Jesus as Messianic king. This passage shows Jesus as vexed, as a frustrated healer running out of patience with lowly humans. This is a mean-spirited passage with a poorly articulated message regarding faith; perhaps indicating that this passage is from a Catholic writer.]

[Catholic Matthew 17:24-27, the children pay tribute to kings to avoid offense, omitted. This is a difficult passage which may originate from either a proto-Gnostic or Catholic writer. Its message is that Jesus pays tribute to appease the Roman over-lords, i.e. to send the message to the Romans that Christians willingly pay their taxes.]

[Catholic Matthew 18:1-6, 10-14, the little children and the kingdom of heaven, the lost sheep; omitted. This passage is a metaphor for Gnostic redemption, in which God seeks to recover the lost sparks, which are allegorized as “little ones” and as the “lost sheep”.]

Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church (ecclesia): but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man (ethnikos) and a publican.

[Catholic Matthew 18:18-20, what shall be bound on earth is bound in heaven, where there are two or three gathered I am in the midst of them; omitted. This passage originates from a Catholic writer with a concept of Jesus as mediator between God and the Church. This is surely beyond the theme of Jesus as Jewish Messiah. This is Jesus in his function as the face of the Godhead.]

[Catholic Matthew 18:21-22, forgive seventy times seven; omitted. This passage is not direcly consistent with the parable that follows, where the lord of the kingdom was not inclined to show mercy as the first choice. The ethics between this passage and the parable, CM. 18:23-35, do not match. Verses 21-22 come from a proto-Gnostic writer whereas the following verses describe justice in the Messianic age to come.]

Therefore is the kingdom likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants (doulon: slaves). (Note: the words following “kingdom”, viz. “of heaven” (ton oranon) have been omitted as a gloss from a Catholic editor. In line with the Messianic theme the “kingdom” refers to an earthly restored Israel whereas the “kingdom of heaven” is the mystic idea of a proto-Gnostic writer.)

And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. (Note that selling families into slavery is a suitable metaphor for the “kingdom”.)

The servant (doulos: slave) therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the Lord (Kurios) of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan.

[Catholic Matthew 19:2, the multitudes followed Jesus and he healed them; omitted. This passage comes from another, either proto-Gnostic or Catholic souce, and is meant to portray Jesus as a healer rather than emphasize his messianic status, which was connected with end-time prophecies that eventually became awkward and obsolete.]

The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

[Catholic Matthew 19:10-15, the disciples conclude it is not good to marry, Jesus speaks of eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven, the little children; omitted. This awkward passage originates from non-Jewish sources and its final arrangement is surely Catholic. As the flow of ideas is framed, the idea of celibacy is presented as an alternative to marriage and signifies the apostolic, celibate priesthood. This is followed by the teaching that children must not be kept away. I doubt that this was the original flow of the passage; and that verses 13 and 14 belong to the dialogue that starts in CM. 18. The statement regarding eunuchs is a proto-Gnostic teaching meant to emphasize Jesus’ transcendant nature, that he is not engaged in the biblical institutions of marriage and procreation, according to the Mosaic Law. This latter passage has been allocated to its place in the proto-Gnostic Matthew where it has a valid context.]

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

[Catholic Matthew, 19:20-22, the rich young ruler wants more, “if you will be perfect”; omitted. This passage was added to the original Judean Gospel by a proto-Gnostic writer, who introduced the concept of initiation. As the passage presently stands there are two conflicting statements. First Jesus tells the young man that he will have eternal life, in other words ‘enter the kingdom’, if he keeps the commandments. But at the end, Jesus imposes a second condition that the young man must sell everything in order to enter the kingdom; and that it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom. The real proto-Gnostic meaning is that it is difficult for a rich man to be initiated because he cannot let go of his worldy possessions and cares.]

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Truly I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

And Jesus said unto them, Truly I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

[Catholic Matthew 19:30-20:16, the parable of Labourers; omitted. The parable of Labourers contradicts the preceding statement in the Apostle’s Reward and also what follows in the Instruction on Ambition viz. CM 20:20-28. Here is a summary of the inconsistent flow of ideas: in CM. 19:27-29, Jesus tells Peter that all the Apostles will sit beside him on thrones in the “regeneration” (palingenesia). But immediately following in the parable of Labourers, CM. 19:30-20:16, Jesus tells his apostles that the “first shall be last and the last shall be first”. (I believe this is a proto-Gnostic theme meant to counter the status of the Jewish apostles.) Then, in the Instruction on Ambition, CM. 20:20-28, Jesus tells his apostles and the mother of John and James, that it is not his place to grant offices and rewards in the kingdom; thus he promises nothing to no one. And Jesus states idealistically that all are to be servants.]

[Catholic Matthew 20:20-28, the Instruction on Ambition; omitted. As stated in the preceding note: this passage contradicts the statement in the Apostles’ Reward. In the latter passage Jesus promises his apostles that they will reign and judge with him on thrones. But in this passage Jesus states that it is not his place to make promises regarding offices and rewards. Verses 22, 23 and 28 allude to the crucifixion and point to an early Catholic source for the passage.]

[Catholic Matthew 20:29-34, the blind men recognize the Messiah; omitted. In this passage the blind men are commanded to keep silent about the identity of Jesus, but this again runs counter to the notion that Jesus is supposed be revealed as the Jewish Messiah, who reveals himself through wisdom and miracles. This mystic parable belongs to the proto-Gnostic Gospel.]

End of part A; part B will resume with Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

By Jim West. Copyright © November 25, 2013; revised April 1, 2014.

All Rights Reserved.

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