Skip to comments.2012: The Reason for the Season
Posted on 12/24/2012 9:06:22 PM PST by jimjohn
Luke 2:1-21 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
Was reading Ann Barnhardt’s blog tonight. She recently returned from a short pilgrimmage to Rome and the Sistine Chapel. Here is her take on the translation of a key passage in Luke:
Most Bibles today read Luke 2:14 as:
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”
The last clause is totally wrong, and was mangled intentionally and with malice.
The Vulgate Latin, which is St. Jerome’s inspired synthesis of the original source texts triple cross-referenced against each other in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew in preparation for the eventual setting of the canon of scripture at the Council of Carthage in 397 AD, reads thusly:
“...gloria in altissimis Deo et in terra pax in hominibus bonae voluntatis”
In English, in the Douay-Rheims translation this reads:
Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.
These are two completely different ideas. Radically different. The bad, modern translation has peace and goodwill together as co-subjects, as unqualified universals: “peace, goodwill TOWARD men”. The accurate translation clearly has goodwill not as the COMPOUND SUBJECT along with peace, but as the QUALIFIER. To men OF GOOD WILL. Good will isn’t the subject, it is the OBJECT OF THE PREPOSITION.
The Peace of Our Lord is a massively qualified, and extremely rare and precious thing. When the priest says at Mass, “Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum” (The peace of the Lord be always with you), he isn’t just saying “nice things” as filler. This is a profound and precious prayer.
Why would God, in His Perfect Justice, wish good will towards those men who are at war with Him, and thus His Church? Is not the Second Person, God Incarnate in the Manger in Bethlehem, the Judge of mankind? Is not the Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes He who will sort the sheep from the goats? Is He not the One who is come to sift the wheat from the chaff? Did He not say:
“Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
Modern evangelical translations often render this passage as “upon whom His favor rests.” The classical KJV “good will towards men” is not necessarily an incorrect theological statement (otherwise why would there be a John 3:16) but it’s probably not a faithful rendition of the statement of the angels.
Is that what she said? She's wrong.
The peace that the heavenly host was singing about was not peace among mankind, but a peace between God and mankind. This can be clearly seen by looking at Jesus statement in Matthew 10:34, which says, Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Although the Gospel has changed peoples hearts and there are many instances where this change has caused peace between people, that was not what the angels were praising God for. They were rejoicing that the war between God and man was over.
As Isaiah prophesied, Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that HER WARFARE IS ACCOMPLISHED, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORDS hand double for all her sins (Isaiah 40:2, emphasis mine).
Jesus bore our punishment so that we could be reconciled to God. This peace came through the blood sacrifice Jesus made on the cross (Colossians 1:20).
YES! Thank You, Jesus, I do because of my salvation!
And this morning as many of us peruse gifts wrapped by humans sitting under a Christmas tree, we more or less carry out a metaphor for how God wrapped His Son in a human body and revealed it to the world under a star. The wrapping wouldn’t be torn, though, for about 30 years.
Christmas presents are not wrong. But Christmas presents aren’t the meaning of Christmas, and neither is some kind of fuzzy Hallmark sentiment of goodwill that gets sent packing with the first stressful encounter.
Interesting, thanks for the post.
Here’s the Latin translation:
Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of good will.
gloria in altissimis Deo et in terra pax in hominibus bonae voluntatis
Here’s the Gateway NIV translation:
Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.
Similar and different than what I grew up with.
The second is closest to the original Greek. KJV tried to compromise, and while coming up unwittingly with an insight that happened to be true in itself, it did not accurately report the angels’ announcement. And neither does “men of good will.” Jesus was not sent to the world to give attaboys! Nobody would qualify but He Himself, if he had been thus sent, and nobody would be saved.
The commercialization of Christmas, all the gift buying, etc. has really, really gotten to me this year. Put me in a bad mood actually, but I’ve since adjusted my attitude. After listening to my dad talk about how grateful he and his brothers and sisters were when they received an orange and a few hard candies on their plate on Christmas morning during the Great Depression, I was thinking how spoiled we all are today and how far afield we’ve gotten from the ‘reason for the season’. This year, we aren’t doing presents except for the smallest kids. I’m doing some baking and gifts given will be the work of my hands and the love from my heart .... something personal and meaningful.
Last night, during the Christmas Eve service, we sang a hymn that I don’t recall every singing - the melody was beautiful and I saved the bulletin with the words ... just a few of them:
See amid the winters snow,
Born for us on earth below,
See, the gentle Lamb appears,
Promised from eternal years.
Sacred Infant, all divine,
What a tender love was Thine,
Thus to come from highest bliss
Down to such a world as this!
Hail, O ever blessed morn!
Hail, redemptions happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem:
Christ is born in Bethlehem!
(Merry CHRISTmas everybody - MM)
Merry Christmas to you and your family. May HIS peace be with you always.
I’d keep at least one wrapped gift under a tree, or maybe under a star ornament, for its larger metaphorical value. If the gifts were handmade, fine — even if they could be only handmade Christmas cards — but I’d still go through the drill.
Handmade means a lot to children when it’s done well, and many will want to participate in the making.
But that’s just my personal point of view.
Merry CHRISTmas FReepers!, JESUS, the CHRIST, the reason for the season!
Not saying NO presents, period. We are doing gifts for the younger kids (youngest is 10). We’re stopping the going out and buying “stuff” just to give anybody and everybody a ‘present’. My niece and I are making our gifts (she’s crocheting, I’m baking) and the rest of the family is beginning to come around. My cousin is giving a small basket of jellies/preserves he made from his garden. For my elderly parents (79 & 90), my gift is making them a special breakfast (waiting for them to wake up now!) since mom is having issues cooking & dad still loves to eat. This evening, we’re all getting together for a family Christmas Dinner that will be what I cherish most from this holiday. That’s what I’m talking about, not spending hours running around a mall, fighting traffic, etc.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ONE OF THE GREATEST GROUPS OF PEOPLE ON EARTH.....FREEPERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not really, it's about the 3 wise men presenting gifts.
Not really, it's about the 3 wise men presenting gifts.
When God sets up metaphors, He is cleverer than history.
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