Wednesday, June 21, 2023

One Letter Too Many? (1 Thess. 2:7)

I have to apologize for yet another language-related blog post, but that's just the way I think. A group I used to listen to a lot in Hawaii while a kid were the Young Rascals. Inspired by the Beatles, they always aspired to write their own songs. Their first hit was a song called "Good Lovin'." Then came "Groovin." By May of 1967, it had achieved "gold record" status. 

I was 15 at the time. I loved that song, though one line always confused me:

"Life will be ecstasy, you and me and Lesly."

Who in the world is Lesly? 

The lyrics, of course, were, "Life will be ecstacy, you and me endlessly." Okaaaaaay. Reminds me of something else while growing up in Hawaii. During the Lord's Supper, our pastor would always say, when we took the cup, "Drink ye all of it." I can clearly recall being sure to stick my tongue all the way into that little cup lest I leave a drop of the grape juice. Of course, what Paul actually said was, "Drink of it, all of you." 

Language can be crazy at times. To wit:

  • creak/creek
  • hole/whole
  • site/sight
  • canon/cannon
  • it's/its
  • bearing/baring
  • bolder/boulder
  • rain/reign
  • waist/waste

In the New Testament (yes, there is ALWAYS a NT application), 1 Thess. 2:7 comes to mind. This verse contains one of the most significant textual variants in the word of God. 

And the only difference between "We became babies" and "We became gentle" is not the pronunciation but that little extra "n" (greek nu) the arrow is pointing to. 

Lord knows Greek is hard enough without throwing things like this into the mix. Just goes to show, again, how crazy languages can be. That's one reason I love my Bible. It's like a beautiful mountain peak, and has the power to capture and hold a person's imagination. When your mind is pondering the Scriptures, sooner or later it's going to land on a textual variant of significance. 

Just a thought for those of you who are wondering if you should dabble in the art and science of New Testament textual criticism. Of course you should!!!!!