Proposed Solution to the Sator Square Puzzle
Copyright 2011, John Manimas Medeiros
R ~~ O ~~ T ~~ A ~~ S
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A ~~ R ~~ E ~~ P ~~ O
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The SATOR square was found by archeologists in Syria and ancient Judea and in England. It was described by Simcha Jacobovici in Secrets of Christianity on the History Channel. It was described as occurring where there were Roman soldiers stationed in military training camps. One was found in Manchester, England, where it is believed a Roman soldier who was Christian sent a message across the Empire asking that a Christian woman be sent to him to become his wife. This "sator" square is believed to be a symbolic code or metaphorical saying that represents Christian religious teaching or a moral principle that would be important in the Christian faith. Translating or interpreting the "hidden" message requires adapting to the different structures of another language, and the different meanings that are attached to or used as "connotations" of words and linguistic concepts. My proposed translation is that this symbolic language in the square stands for a brief but profoundly important scientific message that is a core teaching of the New Testament Gospel. It means: "The fruits (outcomes) of today are (the results of) the work of the sower" or "(The outcome of) Today turns (turns out, is the result of) the work of the sower."
The words literally mean, according to Simcha Jacobovici (Secrets of Christianity):
ROTAS: wheel or wheels;
TENET: to hold or holds;
AREPO: unknown, not known as a Latin word;
SATOR: sower, one who sows or plants seeds.
Further definitions from the Internet and common knowledge are:
ROTAS: wheel or wheels, to rotate, revolve or turn;
OPERA: work, care, service, effort;
TENET: to hold or holds, keep, possess, comprehend;
AREPO: creep, move slowly or stealthily, possibly to trust or to grow;
SATOR: sower, planter, founder, originator.
Interpreted (by me) to form a sentence in ordinary spoken or written language:
ROTAS: wheels, or in common language, turn, turns, turning or the wheel of fortune or "as the world turns" or "what has turned out"
OPERA: work, … work or one's work or one's project or program or course of action.
TENET: holds, also contains, conveys, carries, brings forward, produces by bringing
AREPO: slowly develops, or further research may reveal that this word was borrowed from another language or dialect and means "grows" or "fruit" or "product" or "result" or "eventual outcome."
SATOR: sower, one who sows or plants seeds, or who starts a process.
I propose the Latin sentence would be: Tenet rotas opera arepo sator.
In English: Today turns the work of the sower. This is the observation of a centurion.
This is a major teaching of Jesus. As I argue in many of the works on my website and with my book, The Primacy of Stewardship, Jesus taught science. The concept that we will know true prophets -- or honest or competent persons -- by the fruits or by the results of their actions or teachings, or projects or programs, is a scientific concept deemed extremely important by scientists in all fields, including but not limited to political science, economics, and engineering. Virtually all corporations advocate this principle as the proper means to evaluate any project or program or course of action, namely, what are the results or the outcomes. Or, stated differently, if we proposed a program in order to achieve a particular goal, how will we know that we have succeeded? The answer to that question is the scientific basis for evaluation of the plan or process that was intended to achieve the goal. In the Gospel, this scientific principle is stated in two ways as: "By their fruits you will know them," and "Make the tree good and the fruit good." Which means: Do not identify as bad a person who gets good results; Do not identify as good a person who gets bad results. When Jesus was asked by the disciples of John the Baptist whether he was the Messiah they were looking for, Jesus responded by citing the results of his actions: "The lame walk; the blind see; the deaf hear; the lepers are cleansed and the Gospel is preached to the poor." Jesus therefore applied this scientific principle to himself: "(The outcome of) today is (the results of) the work of the sower."
This scientific concept would naturally be of great importance to professional soldiers, because they would examine a battle that they had experienced and see that the outcome of the battle was the effect of the plans and decisions of the commanders. Those soldiers who were scientific, or who were becoming scientific, would no longer be comfortable attributing the outcome of a battle to the gods or to the good fortune of a commander or to accident. Military science is as objective as any science, and professional soldiers are trained, either in a military school or on the battlefield, to know how and why specific actions will get intended results. Like engineers and physicians, military commanders are expected to know what they are doing, and the outcomes of their plans and decisions are deemed to be of the greatest importance, because military conflicts cause not only many deaths and great destruction, but they also determine who exercises the powers of governments, and world history. Therefore, this principle would be immediately recognized by experienced soldiers as a scientific principle with powerful moral and philosophical significance. What is happening in the world today is the outcome of the plans and decisions of warriors and kings, and the reflexive actions of officers and soldiers in battle. What has turned out today is the result of our own actions -- not the result of "fortune" or of moody gods who live in a safer, separate world but who enjoy playing with human beings. In a world influenced by Greek and Roman paganism, where ordinary people as well as warriors and kings attributed human destiny to capricious and willful anthropomorphic gods, the belief that "Today turns the work of the [human] sower" was a new and scientific outlook on life.
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