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One of my spiritual practices lately has been reading a book  (very slowly) each morning that explores and explains key Bible verses in Aramaic—the ancient Semitic language that Jesus spoke. It’s entitled, Revelations of the Aramaic Jesus by Neil Douglas Klotz.

One such verse is John 8:32: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (KJV)

It isn’t a word for word translation, as many of the words we take as nouns, are action verbs in Aramaic. The word for truth (shara) means a light from the heart that leads one in the right direction. And the word “free” (ncharr) points to burning or leaving things behind that one no longer needs. So a possible translation might be,

“If you find a light emanating from the heart, it will lead you in the right direction. You’ll know what to hang onto and what to release.”  What a different way of understanding that verse!


So here’s a spiritual practice that may seem strange, but…. can you imagine a light emanating from your heart? A light that leads you in the right direction? (It reminds me of the Magi!) This may be harder for some of you than others, but many have shared with me about sensing that light within their heart.

Just take a moment, let go of doubt, and see if you have an inkling of that light. Let Jesus’ words in Aramaic perhaps guide you.


Pastor Marcia Wakeland is a retired ELCA pastor, a spiritual director and a listening advocate. She is interested in the actual experience of having faith and how that is lived out. She can be reached at for comments or more questions Her ongoing blog of living out spiritual practices is