Friday, December 3, 2010

Romans 15 -- A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man

As any fan of The Simpsons recognizes, this is the town motto of Springfield, and embiggens is a perfectly cromulent adjective. And it seems to be one of the motivations Paul recommends to his quarrelsome Roman friends:
Rom 15:1 İmanı güçlü olan bizler, kendimizi hoşnut etmeye değil, güçsüzlerin zayıflıklarını yüklenmeye borçluyuz.
Rom 15:2 Her birimiz komşusunu ruhça geliştirmek için komşusunun iyiliğini gözeterek onu hoşnut etsin.
Rom 15:3 Çünkü Mesih bile kendini hoşnut etmeye çalışmadı. Yazılmış olduğu gibi: "Sana edilen hakaretlere ben uğradım."
Let's look at a few key words:
  • güçlü -- filled with / characterized by strength. Visit the Turkish version of a computer repair manual, and you'll encounter the phrase güç kaynak -- power supply. Güç seems to be equivalent to the Greek word δυνατοὶ, which is used here as a plural substantive adjective .
  • güçsüzlerin -- those who are weak. güç - power. süz - lacking. ler - plural. in - are.
  • komşu -- neighbor.
  • hoşnut etmek -- to please.
There's an old Latin cliche, noblesse oblige. Nobility obligates. Truly great, truly noble, people do not, like Mel Brooks' Men in Tights "wander through the forest looking for fights."

Gentile saints, be kind to your Jewish fellow guests at God's feast. After all, they spread the table, bringing the Word and Messiah of God into the world. Jewish saints, wake up to the fact that you are not God's ultimate project, but a means to His ends.

And it would do us all good to be kind to each other, rather than looking for arguments to win.

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