In the 1611 King James Version of Matthew Chapters 5-7 Jesus presented to his disciples the Sermon on the Mount. He wanted these people who understood him to live their lives fully and abundantly and to ascend into a heavenly state. He gave a specific method for his followers to maintain their life, and once they had that to live it more abundantly. That method is known as the Golden Rule, and to make sure they knew exactly what he meant with his new and special Golden Rule he underlined his method four times; two times before he said the rule and two times after he said it. In the first emphasis he said, “all things” and then to emphasize that he said “whatsoever,” and that should tell you that what is coming he considers as being very important. After those emphases, he makes a simple statement that any normal adult can understand, and after that statement, he emphasizes it two times more by saying, “this is the law,” and underlines that statement with a second emphasis, “and the Prophets.” Thus we have, (KJV) Matt 7.12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so unto them: for this is the law and the prophets.” In simple modern English, it would be, “Everything others should do to you, do to them!” Is that clear enough?
Apparently not, because most of the modern translations of that simple statement have changed the sh in should to w in would, and because of that the majority of our modern world’s people are crippled developmentally by those translations. I challenge that single letter substitution because changing the word should to the word would totally degrades the meaning of the Golden Rule, it degrades the entire Sermon on the Mount, it degrades the whole meaning of Jesus’ ministry, and it degrades the original goal of Christianity and of Islam that are based upon His teaching. Changing that single letter degrades people’s goal and thus their life’s purpose. Half of all the people alive today believe they are following Jesus’ message but the translations that change the word should to would degrade the power of Jesus’ original teaching.
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount at Tabgha (lat/lon 32.8815 35.5557) was proposing a method for raising a person’s daily life and their spirit life also to a much higher level. The levels of his ladder of attainment are known as the Beatitudes: Those beatitudes aren’t just a random set of good wishes to different categories of people as is commonly suggested. They are a ladder for growing away from a miserable human condition through better conditions all the way up to the very best state human beings can achieve. People can learn to live in a spiritual heaven and here is that ladder to heaven.
Matthew 5, King James Version (KJV)
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
The highest states are seen in line 8 where the reward is to see God, and even better is line 9 to be called a child of God and even better is line 10 where the reward is to live in heaven. Some will quibble that line 3 is in heaven also, but that person is dead because they lack a spirit. The ultimate goal is to live in heaven while full of a living spirit as in line 10. There is no joy to be had without a living spirit when in heaven because when one is dead they don’t get the benefits of experiencing what heaven has to offer.
The importance of applying the Golden Rule as a should statement is because treating others as they should treat you means you are treating them at a higher level than you are presently achieving yourself. When you treat others slightly better than you would treat yourself, you cultivate the habits for treating yourself in that better way too. As you practice that and become skilled at your new level it becomes easier for you to practice the next higher step up. Thus, as you practice these teachings of doing to others as they should do to you, you yourself become a more fully realized person and you are on your way to heaven.
When the translators replace the word should with would they inadvertently condemned their readers to being stuck in the developmental stage where they were already residing. By giving to others what you value at your present condition, you create the habits for maintaining yourself in your current state of being. That might feel natural to you, but it prevents you from moving up the scale of the Beatitudes. If you cultivate (line 4) mourning for others you are simultaneously cultivating the state of mourning in yourself and the best you can expect for a reward is to be comforted. If you move up the ladder to being able to see and bless the pure of heart (line 8) it will grow in you a habit of being pure in heart and your reward for that level of habit is to see God. To replace the currently popular Golden Rule’s word would with the original word should and to practice those habits diligently will release you from your present condition and help you to grow to a much better one. Practice the Golden Rule as you should and your habits of treating others higher on the scale of the Beatitudes will pull you into heaven.
“Everything others should do to you, do to them!”