Monday, April 27, 2009

[ctrl]-z (John 3)

Nerd culture include a number of "keyboard shortcuts" that work nearly everywhere. For example, on Windows computer, the [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[Del] key combination pops up a program manager. Once upon a time, it rebooted your computer. [1] When you highlight text, you can use the [Ctrl]-c keystroke to copy it to a clipboard, the [Ctrl]-x keystroke to cut it, and the [Ctrl]-v keystroke to paste the text from the clipboard into the desired location. 

A widely used shortcut, the [Ctrl]-z, will "undo" the last action taken on an open file. Live in front of a computer terminal long enough, and this shortcut will become second nature. In real life, you say something better left unsaid, and the pinky and ring finger of your left hand will automatically twitch. Unfortunately, life doesn't seem to have an "undo" button. 

Or does it?

One of the cultural elite folks of Israel paid a nighttime visit to İsa. He may have worried about his friends and associates finding out that he was consulting an off-brand unauthorized source. After the initial exchange of pleasantries, the conversation got serious:

    Joh 3:1, 2 Yahudiler'in Nikodim adlı bir önderi vardı. Ferisiler'den olan bu adam bir gece İsa'ya gelerek, "Rabbî, senin Tanrı'dan gelmiş bir öğretmen olduğunu biliyoruz. Çünkü Tanrı kendisiyle olmadıkça kimse senin yaptığın bu mucizeleri yapamaz" dedi.

    Joh 3:3 İsa ona şu karşılığı verdi: "Sana doğrusunu söyleyeyim, bir kimse yeniden doğmadıkça Tanrı'nın Egemenliği'ni göremez."

    Joh 3:4 Nikodim, "Yaşlanmış bir adam nasıl doğabilir? Annesinin rahmine ikinci kez girip doğabilir mi?" diye sordu.

    Joh 3:5 İsa şöyle yanıt verdi: "Sana doğrusunu söyleyeyim, bir kimse sudan ve Ruh'tan doğmadıkça Tanrı'nın Egemenliği'ne giremez.

    Joh 3:6 Bedenden doğan bedendir, Ruh'tan doğan ruhtur.

Let's look at a few words and phrases:

    • Sana doğrusunu söyleyeyim -- to you / straight / I am saying. When I began reading Yuhanna in Türkçe,  I noticed how frequently this phrase turned up. 
  • yeniden -- Again. Anew. The Greek preposition ἄνωθεν sheds additional light onthis term, since it is more frequently translated from above.
    • Bedenden doğan bedendir, Ruh'tan doğan ruhtur 
  • Bedenden -- from the body
  • doğan -- is born
    • Ruh'tan -- from the Spirit
The "new birth," the ultimate [ctrl]-z, does more than restore us to a previously saved version of ourselves. It is not a human acheivement, but a divine intervention in our lives that permits a global reset, a fresh start.


[1] In fact, the IBM engineer who invented this shortcut retired in 2008.

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