Wine or Vinegar? by Douglas Colston

Douglas Colston | April 7th, 2024 | poetry | No Comments


The earliest of the Gospel texts –
Mark –
states definitively that wine (οἶνον),
mixed with myrrh (ἐσμυρνισμένον),
was permitted or offered (ἐδίδουν) …
in ancient times,
by the way,
myrrh had many applications,
including in anointing kings and high priests.

Mark states that while this libation
was permitted or offered,
it was the person now known as ‘Jesus’ who –
it may be read –
gave sweet intoxication mixed with a healing balm (metaphorically).

Such manna (מָן)
should not be confused with חומץ (vinegar) –
it is properly recognized
as a reference to superlative rhetoric
or philosophy.

This is just one example
of different interpretations
that may be applied
to the earliest Gospel texts …
believe it or not,
don’t even include the name ‘Jesus’.

As for the moniker ‘Christ’,
it is of only recent invention –
from about 100CE to 1300CE,
a word for ‘Good’
was actually the epithet applied …
and it was used in parallel with derivatives of an earlier descriptor:
χρυσός (meaning ‘gold’, ‘precious’ or ‘treasured’).

All might not be as we have been told
by those influenced by religious dogma –
including that this ‘Jesus’ died on a cross,
or was a man
rather than a God,
she was an exceptional mortal woman).

what we can surely agree upon
is that the world needs more good works –
and for that,
all we need to act on
is our own ‘divine’ spark
(the best of intentions
produced in our own individual minds) …
Michelangelo left that message
on the roof of the Sistine Chapel
and I suspect
‘Jesus’ likely thought the same.

Poet Bio

Douglas Colston hails from Australia, has played in Ska bands and picked up university degrees,
supported his parents during terminal illnesses, married his love, fathered two great children,
had his inheritance embezzled, pursued a PhD he hoped would provide a positive contribution
to the zeitgeist and now – among other things – he is dying from frontotemporal dementia. In
addition to being published with Poetry Potion, his fiction, nonfiction and poetry has appeared
in various anthologies and magazines, including: Tenth Muse; Hive Avenue; Rue Scribe; Inlandia;
Impspired, POETiCA REViEW and Revue {R}évolution.

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