Holiness Revisited

The usual word for "holiness" in the New Testament is hAGIOS ('HAH-gee-ohs"), and the usual explanation of it is 'set apart'. That is true enough, but there's a dimension to hAGIOS I'd like to explore. From the very beginnings of Christianity there has been a tension surrounding 'asceticism' — physically denying oneself by abstaining from…

“Repentance” Revisited in a Time of Trial

Lately I've been writing about the Greek word METANOIA ("meh-TAH-nee-ah"), translated 'repentance' (as in "Be repenting, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!"), and how in the original language this is describing a fundamental change in mind-set, a change in outlook. Sometimes dramatic shifts can happen — for example, the alcoholic who wakes up…

METANOIAs great and small

"Be repenting, for the kingdom of God/heaven is at hand." (Matt 4:17, Mk 1:15) This verse is surely a perennial theme of Lent. Previously I’ve written about how there just isn’t a good English translation for the Greek word METANOIA (meh-TAH-nee-ah), generally translated ’repentence’. METANOIA means more along the lines of ’change of mind-set’, and I…

More on METANOIA (“Repentence”)

"Be repenting, for the kingdom of God/heaven is at hand." (Matt 4:17, Mk 1:15) This verse is surely a perennial theme of Lent. Previously I’ve written about how there just isn’t a good English translation for the Greek word METANOIA (meh-TAH-nee-ah), generally translated ’repentence’. METANOIA means more along the lines of ’change of mind-set’, and I…

John 3

The story of Nicodemus visiting Jesus in John 3 is loaded with 'Greek goodies', including plays on words that don't translate into English, and words that are ambiguous in interesting ways. Here are a few… The first is the Greek word GENNAŌ, translated 'born'. In Greek this word refers to the entire reproductive process, and…

Limitations

Toccata in Dm ("Dorian")    J.S. Bach (1685-1750) Fugue (goes with the Toccata)     J.S.Bach Lent is a complex mix of themes, and a major one for me personally is ‘limitations’ — how limited and finite we really are. I’d like to begin by considering its opposite: ‘infinite’. We say that Space is infinite in…