Taos, December 18

If you’re in Taos, I’ll be giving a talk on this discovery at SOMOS, 108-B Civic Plaza Drive, Sunday, December 18, at 3:00.p.m.

I hope you can make it!

Somos Anne

Plato The Apology

This is a rough draft of the first parable of The Apology written by Plato and translated by Benjamin Jowett. If you look at the prPR, the bgBG, the cpCP, the wtWT and the sfSF, identified in bold, you can see the storyline. (Currently I am putting many non biblical texts into their rough draft phase as a first step of showing the way the texts were written.)

Apology By Plato Parable 1

PR
How you have felt, O men of Athens, at hearing the speeches of my accusers, I cannot tell; but I know that their persuasive words almost made me forget who I was - such was the effect of them;
and yet they have hardly spoken a word of truth. But many as their falsehoods were, there was one of them which quite amazed me; - I mean when they told you to be upon your guard, and not to let yourselves be deceived by the force of my eloquence.
They ought to have been ashamed of saying this, because they were sure to be detected as soon as I opened my lips and displayed my deficiency;
they certainly did appear to be most shameless in saying this, unless by the force of eloquence they mean the force of truth; for then I do indeed admit that I am eloquent.
But in how different a way from theirs!

BG
Well, as I was saying, they have hardly uttered a word, or not more than a word, of truth; but you shall hear from me the whole truth: not, however, delivered after their manner, in a set oration duly ornamented with words and phrases.
No indeed! but I shall use the words and arguments which occur to me at the moment; for I am certain that this is right, and that at my time of life I ought not to be appearing before you, O men of Athens, in the character of a juvenile orator - let no one expect this of me. And I must beg of you to grant me one favor, which is this - If you hear me using the same words in my defense which I have been in the habit of using, and which most of you may have heard in the agora, and at the tables of the money-changers, or anywhere else, I would ask you not to be surprised at this, and not to interrupt me. For I am more than seventy years of age, and this is the first time that I have ever appeared in a court of law, and I am quite a stranger to the ways of the place;
and therefore I would have you regard me as if I were really a stranger, whom you would excuse if he spoke in his native tongue, and after the fashion of his country; - that I think is not an unfair request.
Never mind the manner, which may or may not be good; but think only of the justice of my cause, and give heed to that:
let the judge decide justly and the speaker speak truly.

CP
And first, I have to reply to the older charges and to my first accusers, and then I will go to the later ones.
For I have had many accusers, who accused me of old, and their false charges have continued during many years; and I am more afraid of them than of Anytus and his associates, who are dangerous, too, in their own way. But far more dangerous are these, who began when you were children, and took possession of your minds with their falsehoods, telling of one Socrates, a wise man, who speculated about the heaven above, and searched into the earth beneath, and made the worse appear the better cause.
These are the accusers whom I dread; for they are the circulators of this rumor,
and their hearers are too apt to fancy that speculators of this sort do not believe in the gods.
And they are many, and their charges against me are of ancient date, and they made them in days when you were impressible - in childhood, or perhaps in youth - and the cause when heard went by default, for there was none to answer.

WT
And, hardest of all, their names I do not know and cannot tell; unless in the chance of a comic poet.
But the main body of these slanderers who from envy and malice have wrought upon you - and there are some of them who are convinced themselves, and impart their convictions to others - all these, I say, are most difficult to deal with; for I cannot have them up here, and examine them, and therefore I must simply fight with shadows in my own defense, and examine when there is no one who answers.
I will ask you then to assume with me, as I was saying, that my opponents are of two kinds - one recent, the other ancient;
and I hope that you will see the propriety of my answering the latter first, for these accusations you heard long before the others, and much oftener.
Well, then, I will make my defense, and I will endeavor in the short time which is allowed to do away with this evil opinion of me which you have held for such a long time; and I hope I may succeed, if this be well for you and me, and that my words may find favor with you.

SF
But I know that to accomplish this is not easy - I quite see the nature of the task. Let the event be as God wills: in obedience to the law I make my defense.
I will begin at the beginning, and ask what the accusation is which has given rise to this slander of me, and which has encouraged Meletus to proceed against me.
What do the slanderers say?
They shall be my prosecutors, and I will sum up their words in an affidavit.
"Socrates is an evil-doer, and a curious person, who searches into things under the earth and in heaven, and he makes the worse appear the better cause;



Aristotle's Metaphysics

Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Here’s the rough layout for the first two parables, which at this point, happen to be Book One and Book Two of the work. It appears that all of the greats liked using the parable blueprint.

Metaphysics by Aristotle 350 BCE Parable 1

PR
ALL men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves; and above all others the sense of sight.
For not only with a view to action, but even when we are not going to do anything, we prefer seeing (one might say) to everything else. The reason is that this, most of all the senses, makes us know and brings to light many differences between things.
By nature animals are born with the faculty of sensation, and from sensation memory is produced in some of them, though not in others.
And therefore the former are more intelligent and apt at learning than those which cannot remember;
those which are incapable of hearing sounds are intelligent though they cannot be taught, e.g. the bee, and any other race of animals that may be like it;

BG
and those which besides memory have this sense of hearing can be taught.
The animals other than man live by appearances and memories, and have but little of connected experience; but the human race lives also by art and reasonings. Now from memory experience is produced in men; for the several memories of the same thing produce finally the capacity for a single experience. And experience seems pretty much like science and art, but really science and art come to men through experience; for 'experience made art', as Polus says, ‘but inexperience luck.'
Now art arises when from many notions gained by experience one universal judgement about a class of objects is produced. For to have a judgement that when Callias was ill of this disease this did him good, and similarly in the case of Socrates and in many individual cases, is a matter of experience;
but to judge that it has done good to all persons of a certain constitution, marked off in one class, when they were ill of this disease, e.g. to phlegmatic or bilious people when burning with fevers-this is a matter of art.

CP
With a view to action experience seems in no respect inferior to art, and men of experience succeed even better than those who have theory without experience.
(The reason is that experience is knowledge of individuals, art of universals, and actions and productions are all concerned with the individual; for the physician does not cure man, except in an incidental way, but Callias or Socrates or some other called by some such individual name, who happens to be a man. If, then, a man has the theory without the experience, and recognizes the universal but does not know the individual included in this, he will often fail to cure; for it is the individual that is to be cured.)
But yet we think that knowledge and understanding belong to art rather than to experience,
and we suppose artists to be wiser than men of experience (which implies that Wisdom depends in all cases rather on knowledge); and this because the former know the cause, but the latter do not.
For men of experience know that the thing is so, but do not know why, while the others know the 'why' and the cause.

WT
Hence we think also that the masterworkers in each craft are more honourable and know in a truer sense and are wiser than the manual workers, because they know the causes of the things that are done
(we think the manual workers are like certain lifeless things which act indeed, but act without knowing what they do, as fire burns,-but while the lifeless things perform each of their functions by a natural tendency, the labourers perform them through habit); thus we view them as being wiser not in virtue of being able to act, but of having the theory for themselves and knowing the causes.
And in general it is a sign of the man who knows and of the man who does not know, that the former can teach, and therefore we think art more truly knowledge than experience is; for artists can teach, and men of mere experience cannot.
Again, we do not regard any of the senses as Wisdom; yet surely these give the most authoritative knowledge of particulars.
But they do not tell us the 'why' of anything-e.g. why fire is hot; they only say that it is hot.

SF
At first he who invented any art whatever that went beyond the common perceptions of man was naturally admired by men, not only because there was something useful in the inventions, but because he was thought wise and superior to the rest.
But as more arts were invented, and some were directed to the necessities of life, others to recreation, the inventors of the latter were naturally always regarded as wiser than the inventors of the former, because their branches of knowledge did not aim at utility.
Hence when all such inventions were already established, the sciences which do not aim at giving pleasure or at the necessities of life were discovered, and first in the places where men first began to have leisure. This is why the mathematical arts were founded in Egypt; for there the priestly caste was allowed to be at leisure.
We have said in the Ethics what the difference is between art and science and the other kindred faculties; but the point of our present discussion is this, that all men suppose what is called Wisdom to deal with the first causes and the principles of things; so that, as has been said before, the man of experience is thought to be wiser than the possessors of any sense-perception whatever, the artist wiser than the men of experience, the masterworker than the mechanic, and the theoretical kinds of knowledge to be more of the nature of Wisdom than the productive.
Clearly then Wisdom is knowledge about certain principles and causes.

Metaphysics by Aristotle 350 BCE Parable 2

PR
2 Since we are seeking this knowledge, we must inquire of what kind are the causes and the principles, the knowledge of which is Wisdom.
If one were to take the notions we have about the wise man, this might perhaps make the answer more evident. We suppose first, then, that the wise man knows all things, as far as possible, although he has not knowledge of each of them in detail; secondly, that he who can learn things that are difficult, and not easy for man to know, is wise (sense-perception is common to all, and therefore easy and no mark of Wisdom);
again, that he who is more exact and more capable of teaching the causes is wiser, in every branch of knowledge;
and that of the sciences, also, that which is desirable on its own account and for the sake of knowing it is more of the nature of Wisdom than that which is desirable on account of its results, and the superior science is more of the nature of Wisdom than the ancillary;
for the wise man must not be ordered but must order, and he must not obey another, but the less wise must obey him.

BG
Such and so many are the notions, then, which we have about Wisdom and the wise.
Now of these characteristics that of knowing all things must belong to him who has in the highest degree universal knowledge; for he knows in a sense all the instances that fall under the universal. And these things, the most universal, are on the whole the hardest for men to know; for they are farthest from the senses. And the most exact of the sciences are those which deal most with first principles; for those which involve fewer principles are more exact than those which involve additional principles, e.g. arithmetic than geometry. But the science which investigates causes is also instructive, in a higher degree, for the people who instruct us are those who tell the causes of each thing.
And understanding and knowledge pursued for their own sake are found most in the knowledge of that which is most knowable (for he who chooses to know for the sake of knowing will choose most readily that which is most truly knowledge, and such is the knowledge of that which is most knowable);
and the first principles and the causes are most knowable; for by reason of these, and from these, all other things come to be known, and not these by means of the things subordinate to them.
And the science which knows to what end each thing must be done is the most authoritative of the sciences, and more authoritative than any ancillary science; and this end is the good of that thing, and in general the supreme good in the whole of nature.

CP
Judged by all the tests we have mentioned, then, the name in question falls to the same science; this must be a science that investigates the first principles and causes; for the good, i.e. the end, is one of the causes.
That it is not a science of production is clear even from the history of the earliest philosophers. For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe.
And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant (whence even the lover of myth is in a sense a lover of Wisdom, for the myth is composed of wonders);
therefore since they philosophized order to escape from ignorance, evidently they were pursuing science in order to know, and not for any utilitarian end.
And this is confirmed by the facts; for it was when almost all the necessities of life and the things that make for comfort and recreation had been secured, that such knowledge began to be sought.

WT
Evidently then we do not seek it for the sake of any other advantage; but as the man is free, we say, who exists for his own sake and not for another's, so we pursue this as the only free science, for it alone exists for its own sake.
Hence also the possession of it might be justly regarded as beyond human power; for in many ways human nature is in bondage, so that according to Simonides 'God alone can have this privilege', and it is unfitting that man should not be content to seek the knowledge that is suited to him. If, then, there is something in what the poets say, and jealousy is natural to the divine power, it would probably occur in this case above all, and all who excelled in this knowledge would be unfortunate.
But the divine power cannot be jealous (nay, according to the proverb, 'bards tell a lie'), nor should any other science be thought more honourable than one of this sort.
For the most divine science is also most honourable; and this science alone must be, in two ways, most divine. For the science which it would be most meet for God to have is a divine science, and so is any science that deals with divine objects;
and this science alone has both these qualities; for (1) God is thought to be among the causes of all things and to be a first principle,

SF
and (2) such a science either God alone can have, or God above all others.
All the sciences, indeed, are more necessary than this, but none is better. Yet the acquisition of it must in a sense end in something which is the opposite of our original inquiries.
For all men begin, as we said, by wondering that things are as they are, as they do about self-moving marionettes, or about the solstices or the incommensurability of the diagonal of a square with the side; for it seems wonderful to all who have not yet seen the reason, that there is a thing which cannot be measured even by the smallest unit.
But we must end in the contrary and, according to the proverb, the better state, as is the case in these instances too when men learn the cause; for there is nothing which would surprise a geometer so much as if the diagonal turned out to be commensurable.
We have stated, then, what is the nature of the science we are searching for, and what is the mark which our search and our whole investigation must reach.

Julius Caesar's War Commentaries

What scribes thought of as wisdom was real important in ancient times. This is why the parable blueprint literary structure was used. It was even used in Julius Caesar’s War Commentaries. Take a look...the WT is the wisdom/truth/fact section. The main wisdom of this text is to establish peace and friendship with the neighboring states.

(Note: Currently I am working on a wide variety of texts, putting them in their rough draft state, like the text below. Please feel free to contact me for more information if you need to see other texts or if you want to see them in their final form.)

Julius Caesar's War Commentaries Book 1 - (58 B.C.) Parable 1

PR
[1.1]All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in our Gauls, the third.
All these differ from each other in language, customs and laws.
The river Garonne separates the Gauls from the Aquitani;
the Marne and the Seine separate them from the Belgae.
Of all these, the Belgae are the bravest, because they are furthest from the civilization and refinement of [our] Province, and merchants least frequently resort to them, and import those things which tend to effeminate the mind;

BG
and they are the nearest to the Germans, who dwell beyond the Rhine, with whom they are continually waging war;
for which reason the Helvetii also surpass the rest of the Gauls in valor, as they contend with the Germans in almost daily battles, when they either repel them from their own territories, or themselves wage war on their frontiers. One part of these, which it has been said that the Gauls occupy, takes its beginning at the river Rhone; it is bounded by the river Garonne, the ocean, and the territories of the Belgae;
it borders, too, on the side of the Sequani and the Helvetii, upon the river Rhine, and stretches toward the north.
The Belgae rises from the extreme frontier of Gaul, extend to the lower part of the river Rhine; and look toward the north and the rising sun.
Aquitania extends from the river Garonne to the Pyrenaean mountains and to that part of the ocean which is near Spain: it looks between the setting of the sun, and the north star.

CP
[1.2]Among the Helvetii, Orgetorix was by far the most distinguished and wealthy.
He, when Marcus Messala and Marcus Piso were consuls, incited by lust of sovereignty, formed a conspiracy among the nobility, and persuaded the people to go forth from their territories with all their possessions, [saying] that it would be very easy, since they excelled all in valor, to acquire the supremacy of the whole of Gaul.
To this he the more easily persuaded them, because the Helvetii, are confined on every side by the nature of their situation; on one side by the Rhine, a very broad and deep river, which separates the Helvetian territory from the Germans;
on a second side by the Jura, a very high mountain, which is [situated] between the Sequani and the Helvetii; on a third by the Lake of Geneva, and by the river Rhone, which separates our Province from the Helvetii.
From these circumstances it resulted, that they could range less widely, and could less easily make war upon their neighbors; for which reason men fond of war [as they were] were affected with great regret.

WT
They thought, that considering the extent of their population, and their renown for warfare and bravery, they had but narrow limits, although they extended in length 240, and in breadth 180 [Roman] miles.
[1.3]Induced by these considerations, and influenced by the authority of Orgetorix, they determined to provide such things as were necessary for their expedition
-to buy up as great a number as possible of beasts of burden and wagons - to make their sowings as large as possible, so that on their march plenty of corn might be in store
- and to establish peace and friendship with the neighboring states.
They reckoned that a term of two years would be sufficient for them to execute their designs; they fix by decree their departure for the third year.

SF
Orgetorix is chosen to complete these arrangements. He took upon himself the office of embassador to the states:
on this journey he persuades Casticus, the son of Catamantaledes (one of the Sequani, whose father had possessed the sovereignty among the people for many years, and had been styled "friend" by the senate of the Roman people), to seize upon the sovereignty in his own state, which his father had held before him,
and he likewise persuades Dumnorix, an Aeduan, the brother of Divitiacus, who at that time possessed the chief authority in the state, and was exceedingly beloved by the people, to attempt the same, and gives him his daughter in marriage.
He proves to them that to accomplish their attempts was a thing very easy to be done, because he himself would obtain the government of his own state; that there was no doubt that the Helvetii were the most powerful of the whole of Gaul; he assures them that he will, with his own forces and his own army, acquire the sovereignty for them.
Incited by this speech, they give a pledge and oath to one another, and hope that, when they have seized the sovereignty, they will, by means of the three most powerful and valiant nations, be enabled to obtain possession of the whole of Gaul.



Cicero Letter from 68 BCE

This is a letter that was written by Cicero in 68 BCE. I have color coded the literary structure, which is explained in my books in detail. This is a rough draft. The cpCP, the critical point of the Critical Point section, which would be the critical point of the entire letter, is Cicero pointing out that even though he was being faulted (by his friend Atticus) he had only received one letter from him. The wtWT which is the wisdom/truth/fact of the entire letter is Cicero pointing out a law to Atticus. The literary structure holds about 30 different comparisons.

PR
TO ATTICUS (AT ATHENS) ROME
We are such intimate friends that more than almost anyone else you can appreciate the grief as well as the actual public and private loss that the death of my cousin Lucius is to me.
There is absolutely no gratification which any human being can receive from the kindly character of another that I have not been accustomed to receive from him.
I am sure, therefore, that you will share my grief.
For, in the first place, whatever affects me affects you; and in the second place, you have yourself lost in him a friend and connexion of the highest character and most obliging disposition, who was attached to you from personal inclination, as well as from my conversation.

BG
As to what you say in your letter about your sister, she will herself bear me witness what pains I have taken that my brother Quintus should show her proper affection.
Thinking him somewhat inclined to be angry with her, I wrote to him in such a way as I thought would not hurt his feelings as a brother, while giving him some good advice as my junior, and remonstrating with him as being in the wrong. The result is that, from frequent letters since received from him, I feel confident that everything is as it ought and as we should wish it to be.
As to the frequency of my letters you have no ground for your complaint.
The fact is our good sister Pomponia never informed me of there being a courier ready to take a letter.
Farthermore, I never chanced to know of anyone going to Epirus, and I was not till recently informed of your being at Athens.

CP
Again, as to the business of Acutilius which you had left in my hands. I had settled it on my first visit to Rome after your departure.
But it turned out that, in the first place, there was no urgency in the matter, and, in the second place, as I felt confidence in your judgment, I preferred that Peducaeus rather than myself should advise you by letter on the subject. For having submitted my ears to Acutilius for several days (and I think you know his style), I should scarcely have regarded it as a hardship to write you a letter describing his grumblings after patiently enduring the bore (and it was rather a bore, I can tell you) of hearing them.
Moreover, though you find fault with me, allow me to observe that I have had only one letter from you,
though you had greater leisure for writing, and more opportunity of sending letters.
As to what you say in your letter, " Even if anyone is inclined to be offended with you, I ought to bring him to a better mind "—I understand to what you allude, and I have not neglected the matter.

WT
But the truth is that the extent of his displeasure is something surprising.
However, I have not omitted to say anything there was to say in your behalf: but on what points I am to hold out your wishes, I consider, ought to be my guide. If you will write me word distinctly what they are, you will find that I have had no desire to be more exacting, and in the future shall be no more yielding, than you wish. As to the business of Tadius.
He tells me that you have written him word that there was no need of farther trouble, since the property is secured by prescription.
I am surprised that you do not know that in the case of a statutory wardship of an unmarried girl prescription cannot be pleaded.
I am glad you like your purchase in Epirus. What I commissioned you to get for me, and anything you see suitable to my Tusculan villa, I should be glad if you will, as you say in your letter, procure for me,

SF
only don't put yourself to any inconvenience.
The truth is, there is no other place that gives me complete rest after all my worries and hard work.
I am expecting my brother Quintus every day. Terentia has a severe attack of rheumatism.
She is devoted to you, to your sister, and your mother, and adds her kindest regards in a postscript. So does my pet Tulliola.
Love me, and be assured that I love you as a brother.


Tufts Letters of Cicero; the whole extant correspondence in chronological order, in four volumes, Evelyn S. Shuckburgh. London. George Bell and Sons. 1908-1909.


Ovid, Virgil and Ciscero

Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Virgil’s Aeneid and Cicero’s letters are more examples of the parable blueprint literary structure. The structure dates back to the 21st century BCE. Texts include literature, royal correspondences, royal inscriptions, and letters by individuals.

The Odyssey

Biblical writers got inspiration from many previously written texts, such as The Odyssey, (which was also written using the identical underlying literary structure as the Bible), often to make a point, even if only for the scribe himself.

Compare Isaiah’s
Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool with Homer’s Athena and Helen (on separate occasions) being given comfortable chairs and footstools for their feet. (1:130 and 4:136)

Biblical scribes were trying to make their texts better than previously written texts.


The Black Obelisk

The text of the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III is also an example of ring composition. I've outlined it in its literary structure.

Ishtar Gate Inscription

The Ishtar, Gate constructed by Nebuchadnezzar II, has an inscription that starts, "Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, the faithful prince appointed by the will of Marduk, the highest of princely princes, beloved of Nabu, of prudent counsel, who has learned to embrace wisdom, who fathomed their divine being and reveres their majesty," is an example of one of the texts that I am working with. It's been written using the parable blueprint.



Ancient Cuneiform Texts

For the past couple weeks, I have been working on many other ancient texts, laying out their literary structure. (See updated homepage).

I look forward to collaborating with other scholars someday soon to complete the project.

The Code of Hammurabi

Parables attributed to Jesus and parables from the Old Testament (such as the one Nathan tells David after he kills Uriah for Bathsheba), are what we normally may think a parable should be like. But the art of writing parables was also a technique that was used to create “plain spoken” (non allegorical) ancient literature.

Other than the prologue and epilogue, the
Code of Hammurabi really does not even appear to be literature since it contains a long list of laws, however, just like Old Testament law, there is actually a storyline that runs throughout the entire text, as well as comparisons for deeper meaning. The Code of Hammurabi, written before biblical texts, was written just like the biblical texts. (This would mean that the Song of the Sea found in Exodus, was not the origin of the parable blueprint.) The literary structure, a type of ring composition, perhaps made it easier for scribes to create and commit their text to memory before committing the texts to stone, clay or parchment.

Parables attributed to Jesus, and the one from Nathan are, in my opinion, the epitome of a parable. They are full of wisdom teaching that pierce the heart. But what does the actual literary structure mean for readers of the Bible today? It means that the texts were crafted by men. So please take the truly wise teachings to heart, and feel the freedom to let go of anything else. It’s your life to live.

The New Testament & The Parable Blueprint

Coming Soon... The New Testament & The Parable Blueprint. The entire New Testament laid out and color-coded in its literary structure, with instructions. Paperback.

2016 Seoul SBL International Meeting

I just returned from the SBL International Meeting in Seoul. On Tuesday, I presented The Literary Structure of the Torah. This information in full is in my latest book called How The Bible Was Written The Parable Blueprint & The Hidden Books of the Torah which is available in Apple’s iBooks. Take a look!

Print books to come.

Song of Moses

Like The Song of the Sea in Exodus and The Blessing of Moses in Deuteronomy, The Song of Moses, also called The Ode of Moses, and also found in Deuteronomy is constructed using the parable blueprint. I just finished working it out.

All of these “stand alone” songs or poems have meaning if taken out of scripture and read alone, but they also are placed in the text to play a larger role in the context of the text. The hidden parables are all strung together and each one builds to next one. Knowing the structure lets the reader have a richer experience.

Song of the Sea

Like the Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke’s Gospel, The Song of the Sea in Exodus 15 and The Blessing of Moses in Deuteronomy 33 are “stand alone” narratives that were constructed using the parable blueprint. These narratives also play a deeper role in the overall storyline of the larger biblical stories.