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This selection from the Early New Testament contains fresh translations of all of Mark's Gospel, plus 29 early Christian hymns, 21 Sayings and Stories by and about Jesus, and extracts from "The Shepherd of Hermas", "The Epistle of Barnabas" and "The Didache" (or "The Teaching").If you click the Amazon icon, you can then click through to the Kindle edition which costs only 99 cents!
In this follow-up book to his "Bible Wisdom for Modern Times: Selections from the Orthodox Old Testament", the author has turned to the Early New Testament, which he defines as the book in use by most Christians until the beginning of the 5th century. This early New Testament is not the same as that printed in Bibles today. It was larger. After "Acts" was placed a book called "The Shepherd of Hermas" which in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries was second in both popularity and priestly esteem only to the Gospels themselves. Personally, I do not regard this book as divinely inspired, but it has much to offer. For this selection, I have translated his "12 Great Commandments" together with his Notes on the same, and his "Similitude" (that is, his Parable) on "The Question of Fasting". On the other hand, a book that is most definitely wholly inspired is Mark's Gospel. John Mark was Simon Peter's secretary and he constructed his account of the Life and Teaching of Jesus, the Christ, around Peter's own personal reminiscences. For some reason, Mark decided against using the method (later employed by Luke in "Acts") of mixing first and third person narratives. In my opinion this decision decreased the force, vibrancy and sense of immediacy inherent in Peter's first-hand accounts; so I have restored the first person narrative where appropriate. I have also rejected the attempts by copyists to change some of honest Peter's remarks to make them conform to similar passages in Luke and Matthew. Here then is the unvarnished Peter in all his forthright honesty and fervor.
From "The Shepherd of Hermas":
The Twelve Great Commandments
1. Believe in God and fear Him
2. Be sincere and single-minded
3. Love truth
4. Keep pure
5. Be patient and understanding
6. Practice self-control
7. Fear the Lord and not the devil
8. Restrain yourself from adultery and all kinds of evil activity
9. Petition the Lord without hesitation
10. Avoid sadness
11. Avoid false prophets
12. Cast off all evil desires