Interpretation of the Sacred Texts
Pedro Leopoldo, September 2nd, 1948.
Emmanuel dictates, through the blessed hands of Francisco Cândido Xavier, the preface to the book The Way, the Truth and the Life, entitled: Interpretation of the Sacred Texts.
Recapping his experiences as Father Damiano, beside Alcyone; as slave Nestorius, in Ephesus, when he met John the Evangelist and Policarp of Smyrna; and as Publius Lentulus, when he was in contact with the Master Himself, Emmanuel starts an extraordinary project of commentary and study of the Gospel and the New Testament in the light of Spiritism.
Knowing that at that moment not everyone could understand the greatness and complexity of the work, the spiritual benefactor commits himself to thoroughly explaining the purpose, the methodology and the Gospel itself. And so he begins commenting on the second epistle of Peter, chapter 1, verse 20:
Above all, knowing this: that no prophecy in the Scriptures has one interpretation in particular.[I]
“Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. His imperishable light has shone down on earth’s millennia as the Word of the beginning, and has pervaded the world for nearly twenty centuries.
Bloody battles, wars of extermination and social calamities have not changed his words one little bit; rather, they have become more and more up-to-date with earth’s multiform evolution. Tribulations of blood and tears have done nothing but vivify their grandeur. However, always too late to take advantage of invaluable opportunities, we have scorned the Way too often in the course of our repeated existences, indifferent to the heritage of the Truth and the Life.
Even so, the Lord has never left us helpless.
Each and every day, he prolongs his tolerance regarding our debts.
It is in our own best interest, however, to raise the standard of our will, to establish disciplines for our personal use and to educate ourselves by getting in touch with the Divine Master.
He is our Benevolent Friend, but we have neglected his counsel so often that we are prone to reaching the dark regions of indefinitely postponing the inner illumination we need to acquire life eternal.
With the purpose of taking advantage of an opportunity to serve, we have put together this humble interpretive work with no intentions of making an exegetical analysis.
We have compiled only a modest number of pages meant for regular meditation.
Taking Bible verses out of context and conferring on them a color independent of the New Testament chapter to which they belong will probably seem strange to many of our friends.
In certain passages we have extracted only short phrases, giving them a special appearance, and sometimes our modest comments may appear to disagree with the precepts of the chapter to which they belong.
We have proceeded in this way nevertheless, considering that each pearl in a necklace has its own specific worth, and that, in the immense whole of the teachings of the Good News, each concept of Christ or of his direct collaborators may be adapted to a specific situation of the spirit on the roads of life.
Furthermore, the lesson of the Master is not only an imperative for the purposes of worship.
The Gospel cannot be reduced to a breviary for the kneeling-board.
It is an indispensable script for legislation and administration, for service and obedience.
Christ does not draw a line between church and workplace.
The whole earth is simultaneously his prayer altar and his work arena.
By praising him in the churches while denying him in the streets, we have become shipwrecked a thousand times due to our own fault.
However, any place can be consecrated to divine service.
Many disciples in the various Christian denominations have gotten involved in theological investigations, transforming the Lord’s teachings into a dead relic on altars of stone.
Nevertheless, Christ hopes that all of us may make his Gospel of Love and Wisdom a prayer companion, a textbook for our daily learning experience, an inspiring source for our humblest actions in our daily work, and a code of good manners for fraternal interaction.
Although we have clarified our humble aims, we can foresee plenty of bewilderment in this or that group of believers.
What can we do? We have an immense distance to overcome on the Way in order to acquire the Truth and the Life in their totality.
We can understand [II]the respect owed to Christ, but by the Lord’s own example we know that the labor of the faithful learner is composed of worship and work, prayer and self-effort.
As for the rest, we are happy to realize that the Sacred Texts are gifts from the Father to all his children, and that is why we refer to[III] those wise words by Simon Peter:
Above all, knowing this: that no prophecy in the Scriptures has one interpretation in particular.[IV]
Haroldo Dutra Dias comments:
In this beautiful text, which is a true declaration of principles as well as a methodological foundation, Emmanuel subtly explains that the New Testament and the Holy Texts in general are not the private property of any particular heart.
The Divine Revelation found in the Holy Texts is a patrimony of humanity, of all God’s sons who look for Him with a sincere heart and a generous soul.
However, the foundation and the guide to the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures — especially the New Testament — is the life of Jesus, because he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
It is in His conduct, His examples and His way of living that we find the key to understand not only what He said, but also what was said about Him by his direct collaborators.
For that reason, based on the teachings of Emmanuel, we have the certainty that each concept of the Gospel, each sentence and each statement represents a guide to a certain situation in which the spirit may find itself on the paths of life. —————————–
My friend, 7 Minutes with Emmanuel is on the air.
We hope you join us on this journey towards ourselves, in order to find in our hearts and souls, the generous hand of the Creator and the goodness of our heavenly teacher, Jesus.
Welcome to 7 minutes with Emmanuel.
[I] Translation adapted for better understanding of the recorded version. The original wording “First of all know this: no prophecy in the Scriptures is the prophet’s own.”
[II] Translation adapted for better understanding of the recorded version. The original wording was “we can grasp the respect owed to Christ”.
[III] Translation adapted for better understanding of the recorded version. The original wording was “that is why we have written those wise words by Simon Peter”
[IV] Translation adapted for better understanding of the recorded version. The original wording “First of all know this: no prophecy in the Scriptures is the prophet’s own.”
Project: 7 Minutes with Emmanuel – episode 1
Book: The Way, the Truth and the Life – dictated by the spirit Emmanuel, received by Francisco Cândido Xavier
Comments: Haroldo Dutra Dias
Translation: EDICEI – Darrel W. Kimble and Marcia M. Saiz (Emmanuel) / Christiane Cavalcanti (Haroldo Dutra Dias)
Proofreading: Jussara Korngold, Clarissa Emediato and Theresa Tavares
Background music: Gratidão a Deus
Composer: João Cabete
Guitar: João Paulo Lanini
Editing: Julio Corradi
Design: Julio Corradi
Still Photograph: Thiago Franklyn
Read by: Christiane Cavalcanti