The Lost Codex
Thanks for visiting. I hope that through my working out of the Christian Faith I can spur your thinking and relationship with God.
What is the Lost Codex?
The Lost Codex is my attempt to understand and articulate what the Gospel of Jesus was to the people in the first century. As I have studied the bible, and in particular the non-synoptic NT cannon, I have thought that “the gospel” had to be a simple, easily accessible story that the writers could tell people and then have them understand and remember what it was saying. The four gospels themselves lay this out in long form, but when Paul would go and set up a new church, he had to tell them about the gospel. I believe that he must have told them something simple enough that people would get it and remember it and that is why he and the other writers do not dwell on it in their written word.
So here is my attempt at concisely saying what the Gospel (the good news) discussed in the first century looked like.
Version 4 – The Lost Codex – N.T. Wright Edition – February 26, 2011
I have N.T. Wright’s Paul In Fresh Perspective, audio version, and I have been through it more than 5 times. Tom Wright is my favorite theologian and he has done so much to expand and explain the Christian faith.
One of the most revolutionary things about Bishop Wright’s discussion of Jesus is how he frames up the gospel. So here it is, the short gospel per N.T. Wright, I love it.
The good news is that the covenant had been fulfilled and that new creation had begun. The great apocalypse had occurred revealing Jesus as Israel’s Messiah. Jesus was, therefore, Lord of the world and Caesar was not.
N.T. Wright, Paul In Fresh Perspective
Version 3 – The Lost Codex – Corinthians Edition – December 12, 2010
As it turns out Paul wrote his own version of the Gospel in only one letter, the letter to the Corinthians. This then is the Gospel as best as I can tell, here is what he says:
15:1 Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, 15:2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you – unless you believed in vain. 15:3 For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received – that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 15:4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 15:8 Last of all, as though to one born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also. 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been in vain. In fact, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 15:11 Whether then it was I or they, this is the way we preach and this is the way you believed.
15:12 Now if Christ is being preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is futile and your faith is empty. 15:15 Also, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified against God that he raised Christ from the dead, when in reality he did not raise him, if indeed the dead are not raised. 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised. 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless; you are still in your sins. 15:18 Furthermore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. 15:19 For if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we should be pitied more than anyone.
15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 15:21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also came through a man. 15:22 For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; then when Christ comes, those who belong to him. 15:24 Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when he has brought to an end all rule and all authority and power. 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 15:26 The last enemy to be eliminated is death. 15:27 For he has put everything in subjection under his feet. But when it says “everything” has been put in subjection, it is clear that this does not include the one who put everything in subjection to him. 15:28 And when all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.
Version 2 – The Lost Codex – June 30, 2010
Jesus may have said: Everyone! As your fathers and prophets have promised, God has overcome everything that holds you back in your holiness and fulfillment in life. He has shown that the religions of man, the empires of man and death itself are no match for him. He has resurrected me after the religion condemned me, the government sentenced me and death was with me for three days.
In doing this, God has shown that my love for all of you is the true way of God. I am the first person to now be fully in this new Kingdom of God and you too can participate in it before the end of time. All you have to do is Love God and Love Each Other. That’s it! It is simple! Believe that it truly is THE WAY! If you believe that this really is The Way, you will have the opportunity to live a life of the ages. A life that is the way that Yahweh always wanted you and all people to live.
Version 1 – The Lost Codex – Obsolete
Everyone! As your fathers and the prophets have promised, I have come make everything right between you and God. I have come to tell you of a new way of life that was promised by God. I am here to be the leader of the world. Rejoice, for I am ushering in the Kingdom of God which is available to you here and now. This Kingdom of God has two commands. First, love God with all you have and second, love your neighbor as yourself. That’s it! It is simple! Believe that it truly is THE WAY! If you believe that this really is The Way, you will have the opportunity to live a life of the ages. A life that is the way that Yahweh always wanted you and all people to live.
Paraphrase of Jesus by Lost Codex