What was Jesus' mother tongue

"We find the real Jesus in his mother tongue"

Dr. Franz Alt in the LEBE-LIEBE-LACHE interview with Annette Maria Böhm

Many Jesus words are wrongly translated. Jesus' mother tongue, Aramaic, is essential to truly understanding his unique, fundamental message. "Because 2,000 years ago Aramaic was as far removed from the Biblical language of Greek as Arabic is from German today," Jesus has come down to us in a very contradictory and incomprehensible manner. In exactly the same trace as the real Aramaic Jesus, the new book by Franz Alt is an appeal to everyone to bring Jesus' message back to life. Those who get to know the real Jesus will not be able to ignore him today either.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: Most of the Jesus words quoted in your book “What Jesus really said” have been translated back into the Aramaic mother tongue of Jesus by the theologian Günther Schwarz (1929 to 2009) over 50 years of translating the oldest ancient Syriac texts and then translated into German. In contrast to all other translations, Schwarz thus restores the faithfulness of the teaching of Jesus and his intellectual property. What does his work make clearer to us today?

DR. FRANZ ALT: According to Günther Schwarz, 80% of Jesus' words are incorrectly translated. The man from Nazareth spoke Aramaic, but four and a half billion Bibles have been translated from Greek.

So Jesus did not proclaim a strict Judge God, but a loving, even maternal, Father. His "Abba" was a daddy. His mother was of course not a “virgin”, but a young woman. The papacy is not wanted by Jesus, but a later forgery. The famous instruction "You are Peter, the rock and on this rock I want to build my church" is - easily verifiable in Aramaic - a heavenly word to Jesus and not a Jesus word to Peter. He was the first bishop of Rome and never saw himself as "Pope".

Jesus never referred to himself as God, but - like all human beings - as "child of God". He never spoke of the theological construct of a “trinity”. He was a radical pacifist and an exciting healer. In the spirit of Jesus, people can never forgive sins. God alone can do that.

Jesus could never have prayed the Christian "creed" because he did not know a "triune" God and an "omnipotent" Father. He survived the crucifixion and overcame death. He will never "judge" anyone, he is his friends' lawyer.

Jesus' mother tongue, Aramaic, is the crucial aid to a real understanding of the most unique human of all time. But 2,000 years ago Aramaic was as far removed from the Bible language as Greek as Arabic is from German today. That is why Jesus has been handed down to us in a very contradictory and incomprehensible manner. Jesus was convinced that all people will end up with God - even if only after many lives and many rebirths. With his fundamental message that the most divine thing about God is love, Jesus became the carrier and driver of the true world revolution.

My book is an appeal to all theologians to clarify the message of Jesus from the Aramaic instead of the Greek.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: Why are fewer and fewer people able to do anything with the church's message of Jesus and God, or even with the Christian creed?

DR. FRANZ ALT: If the words are wrong, then the whole message is wrong. The churches with wrong translations of the New Testament will not succeed in reaching the majority of Christians today in their hearts, not even in their heads.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: How do you think Jesus saw himself?

DR. FRANZ ALT: He never saw himself as God, but always referred to himself as the Son of God, just as our readers are daughters and sons of God. We are brothers and sisters of Jesus. He is our brother.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: What is the intention of the policy on which the Sermon on the Mount is based?

DR. FRANZ ALT: The Nazarene's Sermon on the Mount is the Magna Charta for a better world that he dreamed of and that he went to the cross to carry out.

Blessed are the peacemakers, not the violent people. Blessed are those who love the environment, not those who destroy the environment. Blessed are those who help refugees, not those who hates foreigners. Blessed are those who ensure more justice on this earth.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: In your book you say that the Nazareth master was a great realist, but not a utopian. His visions of a better world could still be very helpful today. Buddha and Jesus are visionaries of a world with more goodness, love, peace and justice. The Sermon on the Mount is not a “homeland novel”. Would you like to elaborate a little more on this?

DR. FRANZ ALT: Let's take current climate change as an example. We are currently burning one Day as much coal, gas and oil as nature has accumulated in one million days. This is a crime against today's and especially against future generations. The question of climate and energy is the question of human survival. We operate self-immolation with our current energy policy. We will burn up in a few decades what nature has worked on for about 300 million years. In the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus refers to the sun and its energy: "The sun of our heavenly Father shines for everyone". Every second of our being here, our central star sends us 15,000 times more energy than all people are currently consuming - in an environmentally friendly way, for all time, for all people and free of charge. The sun doesn't send us an invoice. That is the great economic advantage of the future ecological energy supply. Jesus is so concrete and practical when we finally manage to make him today and no longer understand his hints as edifying poetry.

The solution to the energy question, the greatest challenge in human history, is in the sky.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: How would the world be without Jesus?

DR. FRANZ ALT: Spiritually, but also intellectually poorer. Kant and Nietzsche, Hegel and Pascal would never have been so challenged without Jesus. Not to mention Luther. The centers of every European village would look different. But also the inner cities of Paris, Rome, Milan and Cologne.

No one has written so many books - over 20,000 - and so many poems as Jesus of Nazareth. Currently, three new books of Jesus appear globally every day - 1,000 per year.

Never have so many buildings been erected in one's memory.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: Pope Francis keeps telling us clearly: “A Christian who is not a revolutionary in these times is not a Christian.” Would you subscribe to that?

DR. FRANZ ALT: Yeah yeah “The name of God means mercy” is the title of the recently published book by Pope Francis. At a time when the four richest US men have more money than the one billion of the poorest, this is a revolutionary program - 2,000 years old, but dramatically current.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: John Lennon once said in 1966: “Christianity will pass away. It will go and go. We (the Beatles) are more popular today than Jesus - I don't know which will go first, rock'n'roll or Christianity. "

DR. FRANZ ALT: If the churches do not reflect on the real Jesus, they will become more and more obsolete. Jesus did not want a new religion at all, he is more the conqueror of all religions. But the vision of a better world in the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount will always exist. The Spirit of Jesus has already changed a lot and it will never go away. If the church institutions help, they can last, but only then. Jesus was never about institutions, but about a better world.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: What does your “inventory” look like in January 2016?

DR. FRANZ ALT: The world is better than we journalists describe it. Our reporting gives many people the impression that everything is getting worse and worse. But that's not true. Three examples: In the year 2000 we had four percent green electricity in Germany, today we are at 32%. During the Korean War of the 1950s, 20 of every 100,000 people worldwide died from war and violence, during the Vietnam War the figure was eight in 100,000, in the 1980s during the First Gulf War and Afghanistan War it was three and in 2015 during the Syrian War another person in 100,000. This war today is terrible, but it is not true that everything was better in the past. Third example: We have had twenty world climate conferences since 1992 without any result - but in December 2015 195 countries were able to agree on an agreement that deserves the name for the first time. A step forward if the world sees itself as a world family for the first time in order to save the climate.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: Did Jesus actually have brothers and sisters?

DR. FRANZ ALT: Four brothers of Jesus and several sisters are mentioned in the New Testament.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: Apparently every time has its Jesus. Which Jesus do we need today?

DR. FRANZ ALT: It is up to all times to keep up to date with this good news from Nazareth. This wonderful young man from Galilee has a great deal to say at all times. So every time needs its contemporary Jesus, because every time has different tasks to deal with. I wrote my first Jesus book "Peace is Possible - The Politics of the Sermon on the Mount" in 1983, against the madness of the nuclear arms race. Two years later, "Love is Possible - The Sermon on the Mount in the Atomic Age" followed. Then "Jesus - the first new man" - a book in the marriage of feminism. In the year 2000, I wrote "The Ecological Jesus - Faith in Creation," showing that the whole New Testament is full of great ecological imagery that can help establish an ecological ethic. And now “What Jesus Really Said” has appeared, where I ask why we have misunderstood Jesus so often so far. Is it because of Jesus or because of our wrong translations of His words? In autumn 2016, “The 100 most important words of Jesus” will appear, where I am again looking for the original Jesus, who spoke Aramaic and not Greek.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: Is the translation problem the greatest challenge in the New Testament?

DR. FRANZ ALT: Confucius already knew: “If the terms are incorrect, then what is said is not what is meant. If what is said is not what is meant, then the deeds are also wrong. When the deeds are wrong, the morals become corrupt. When morals spoil, the judiciary is overwhelmed. When the judiciary is overwhelmed, the people do not know where to turn. Therefore, make sure that the terms are correct. That is the most important thing of all. "

Please transfer this knowledge to the Bible. Then you will know why the state of our churches today is the way it is! In part, Jesus' words have been changed to the exact opposite of what he really said or meant.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: Probably the most famous prayer of mankind is the Lord's Prayer, which Jesus taught his disciples as a model prayer. In Matthew 6: 9-13, the Our Father in the official, common Evangelical-Catholic translation is as follows:

"Our Heavenly Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done in heaven,
so on earth.
Give us the bread we need today.
And forgive us our debts
just as we have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but save us
us from evil. "

In the Aramaic mother tongue of Jesus, for example, the word “evil” as we tend to interpret it today does not seem to exist at all. “Bad” was translated as “immature” at that time…. Just knowing this allows for a much more loving interpretation of the prayer.

DR. FRANZ ALT: For many years I have wondered how the Our Father's petition: “And do not lead us into temptation” could really be meant. The loving Father Jesus always spoke of is not a cynic who wants to tempt us. God is not a representative of black pedagogy. In the reverse translation from the Aramaic, this request is much more realistic and understandable: “Let us save us from our temptation”. Much of the “Greek” New Testament is simply “immature,” I agree with you. And that text is so wrong in about four billion Bibles - one catastrophe.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: In Christian mysticism, the Gospel of Thomas offers perhaps the most mysterious tradition from the environment of Jesus of Nazareth. Although not included in the official Bible canon, did it exert a profound influence?

DR. FRANZ ALT: The wonderful new novel "Miriam goes away" by Lena Naumann is based in part on the extra-biblical Gospel of Thomas. With this novel it became clear to me again which treasures we owe to Jesus, but which most Christians are not allowed to know because at some point in history they were not included in the official Bible by majority vote. The church ground staff constantly tried to correct Jesus, bad. From Jesus' friend Mary from Magdala we probably get a much more realistic picture of the Gospel of Thomas than in the four official Gospels put together.

LIVE LOVE LAUGH: Like all real spiritual masters, Jesus wanted to remind us of our inner light. In this context, how do you like the following statement by Anonymous: “Love can be grasped and held. But not from the intellect. "

DR. FRANZ ALT: C.G. Jung once said: "We do not come to our senses through reason alone."

The new book by


First publication in “LEBE-LIEBE-LACHE” | ONLINE MAGAZINE | Interviewer Annette Maria Böhm 2016