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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

I was recalling a "conversation" of sorts last night (it was a 'chat' over the interwebs) about the Scripture in more ancient tounges (Latin, Greek) and I was lavish in my exhortation that she should learn the biblical Greek, (OK, fine, the Hebrew as well, if possible) being in possession of more than a modicum of facility in acquiring language (or at least the discipline to do it). In any case, I noted, to the great warmth of my own heart, that God, in his goodness, made the most important parts of the Bible to be fairly easy syntactically. (John 1, 1 John, Colossians 1:15-20, for example) A Roman 5 year old could read 1 John, I'm almost certain. Well, I'm not hard-core enough to go to the Greek (today), but I went to the Vulgate, first to the Prologue of (St.) John's Gospel, (and a little past) then to Colossians 1, starting with the greeting, and then I skipped to the Christ-hymn. (St.) Jerome chose an interesting word after telling us that "he is the image of the invisible God": "primogenitus." Now, most English translations render this "firstborn," and that is perfectly acceptable. But it has the sense of "origin." If we had any doubt, just keep reading. "For by him all things were created...[then specifying categories of everything you could think of]." Don't miss this now, v. 17: "And He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together." You just wouldn't say that about simply a good man, even the best man. And if I may offer a humble defense of the papists, at the absolute zenith of Mariological veneration, I've never heard anyone say she is holding the universe together. Not even close. It gets better. But I won't quote it all. Yet God the Father was pleased that all His fullness in this Jesus. He's also the Head of the Church, the firstborn from the dead. And there's a reason: so that in everything, He might be preeminent. Frankly, this is the gospel. I already told you: I'm not dying for Faith Alone, or Election, or perpiscuity, or whatever. In fact, some of that (likely) isn't true. But I'd (like to think, anyway) do it to say that Christ is God in the flesh, and the Savior of the whole world.

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