Thursday, November 29, 2007

A lesson on Etymology

Welcome to the 21st century. I would like to congratulate you on your journey this far as a society. Yet, we need to address a few issues. Especially with this language they are calling ENGLISH.

To begin with, I would like to address what is known as Etymology. Etymology is the study of words, especially the origins and meanings of the words.

Let me give you an example. Now please keep in mind that I am not attending to offend any one, I am just going to use words that have recently altered their meanings. Recently, being a relative term, I referencing the past 50 years. Shall we begin?

Temper: According to Princeton, the relative definitions for the word Temper would be.
1. anneal: toughen (steel or glass) by a process of gradually heating and cooling; "temper glass"
2. pique: a sudden outburst of anger; "his temper sparked like damp firewood"
3. harden by reheating and cooling in oil; "temper steel"
4. a characteristic (habitual or relatively temporary) state of feeling; "whether he praised or cursed me depended on his temper at the time"; "he was in a bad humor"
5. adjust the pitch (of pianos)
6. a disposition to exhibit uncontrolled anger; "his temper was well known to all his employees"
7. make more temperate, acceptable, or suitable by adding something else; moderate; "she tempered her criticism"
8. the elasticity and hardness of a metal object; its ability to absorb considerable energy before cracking
9. chasten: restrain or temper

Look at definition number nine and definition number six. The appear to be at odds with each other. You have one definition speaking of chasten and restrain and another definition speaking of releasing anger.
So, what then does the word Temper mean? Well, it is actually a Latin word as is much of the English language. The origin is temperantia which means moderation, self-control and temperance and is the origin of the English word temperance as the abbreviated slang version temper.

Shall we try another word that has recently altered its definition? Let us examine the word gay.

Gay: According to Princeton, the relative definitions for the word Gay would be.

1. cheery: bright and pleasant; promoting a feeling of cheer; "a cheery hello"; "a gay sunny room"; "a sunny smile"
2. full of or showing high-spirited merriment; "when hearts were young and gay"; "a poet could not but be gay, in such a jocund company"- Wordsworth; "the jolly crowd at the reunion"; "jolly old Saint Nick"; "a jovial old gentleman"; "have a merry Christmas"; "peals of merry laughter"; "a mirthful ...
3. given to social pleasures often including dissipation; "led a gay Bohemian life"; "a gay old rogue with an eye for the ladies"
4. brave: brightly colored and showy; "girls decked out in brave new dresses"; "brave banners flying"; "`braw' is a Scottish word"; "a dress a bit too gay for her years"; "birds with gay plumage"
5. offering fun and gaiety; "a festive (or festal) occasion"; "gay and exciting night life"; "a merry evening"
6. homosexual: someone who practices homosexuality; having a sexual attraction to persons of the same sex
7. homosexual or arousing homosexual desires

Given the first five definitions, number six and seven seem to be at odds with the others. The reason is that the term of “GAY” was used in the context of definition number four to describe the way some homosexual males would dress, especially if they decided to dress in drag (another word that can be researched). So, as one word was used in its proper terminology to describe the actions of another, it was adopted by those individuals as a word to continue to describe themselves to the point where the meaning changed within society to give reference only to a life style choice and not the other five definitions that are available for the same word.

There are countless words whose definitions are lost because of changes with in society. Now, take those exact same words and attempt to translate them into a language that may or may not have a matching word. We run in to a language barrier.

Biblically, my favorite barrier is found in the book of John. John 21: 15 – 17 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep.

The word I would like you to examine is the word LOVE. Here, in these three verses, we have two problems. Problem number one is a translation problem of the word love and problem number two comes from the lost translation. The lost translation changes the impact of the dialog.

It should read as follows: When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly agapao me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I phileo you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly agapao me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I phileo you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you phileo me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I phileo you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep.

Agapao means: to love (in a social or moral sense) or as the Christians have adopted, to love with a God like love.
Phileo means: to be a friend to (fond of (an individual or an object), i.e. have affection for; specially, to kiss (as a mark of tenderness) -- kiss, love. Also it has come to mean a brotherly like love. Hence the reason Philadelphia is named the city of Brotherly love.

Those two words mean everything to the interchange going on. Because Jesus was trying to get Peter to meet him at his level, at the level of a great God like love. Peter could not reach that level and kept responding that he loves Jesus like a brother. Finally, after two attempts, Jesus gives in and asks Peter if he loves him like a brother, to which Peter responded that he did. The impact is, that shortly there after Jesus ascended into the heavens and the holy spirit was poured out on the earth giving man the ability to have that agapao love. This discussion was the last time that God met man at mans level of understand. Now all the tools are in place for man to met God at God’s level of understanding.

If words can so dynamically change and take with them the meanings of sentences. Then what has happened when you cross words over centuries and languages and dialects. Suffer through captivity by other nations and as a language and a nation, grow up? Are those 66 “infallible” books really then at that point infallible? Or is there current meaning lost by literalists and traditionalists who are not willing to do the research to find out what was exactly meant. Or can it be that many who are trying to show the light are being silenced because it is not in keeping with current theology. What happens to the order that was created if it is found out that they are/were wrong?

In Genesis 1:1 it says: In the beginning God created heaven and earth.

The word used here for heaven is Shamayim (pronounced: Shaw-mah’-yim). Which roughly means in todays terms, air, astrologer, heaven(-s), heights, elevations

The Sumerians used the word AN to mean Heaven or ANUNNAKI. The word ANUNNAKI has also been translated as meaning Heavenly beings or GODS. The “heavenly one” the head God was refered to as “ANU”.

Aether is the greek word meaning that which fills the upper regions. Or the element that heaven is composed of. It is also in some circles considered to be the fifth and most powerful element that is used in the creation of every thing. So, you would have Heaven, Earth, Fire, Water and Air as being the five elements that make up everything.

But, the Hebrews have more than one word for Heaven. As a matter of fact they have 3. Shamayim, Shahak and Marom. Shamayim as discussed means air or high places. Shahak means sky, clouds. Marom is interchangeable with Shamayim in meaning the same with one additional definition, wheel. Please take note at this time that the Hebrews do not have a word that translates into "The place where God resides".

The Hebrews with their multiple words used Shamayim for a particular reason. In the beginning, God created the high places and the earth. The greeks utilized the dual meaning of Aether also for a reason. They believed that an element fills the high places which they called Aether. So, in the beginning God created Aether and Earth.

When the book of Genesis described the creation process, the main building blocks were first assembled before everything which we know in the “matter” verse was created.

What were those building blocks?

Aether (that which fills the lofty places –or- Heaven).
Light (fire)

From these building blocks God created everything else.

One interesting point to bring up about words changing over time would be the following: A word like temperantia eventually drifts and slowly became temper. What happened to Shamayim? It drifted as words do and became Shamayin. Then it drifted a little more and became Shaman.

No comments: