Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Shortest Passage? It Depends.

Last week I posed the question:

What is the shortest passage in the New Testament?

Victor and Jade both took the time to answer (thank you!) and they were both right.

Kind of.

You see, there are different answers to this question depending on what Bible you are using.

In the King James Version of the Bible, John 11:35, Jesus wept, is indeed the shortest phrase.  

However, we all know the Bible was originally written in Greek.  And in Greek, John 11:35 is actually three words and 16 characters.  Luke 20:30, And the second, is actually the shortest passage in Greek, coming in at only 12 letters 

In fact, there is even a second phrase that is shorter than John 11:35 in Greek. First Thessalonians 5:16, Be joyful always, is only 14 characters in Greek. 

Ironic how that phrase plays off of the King James line of Jesus weeping, isn't it?

By the way, the image of Jesus weeping is, in my mind, one of the saddest in all the Bible.  We often imagine God loving, caring, kind ... even angry.  But weeping?  It breaks your heart doesn't it?

God Bless you, and thank you for playing along with me.


Jade said...

Ah, very interesting, Michael!

One of the first challenges I had with Christianity was hearing about Jesus in pain. It has broken my heart and had confused me for awhile. But now it motivates me to remain connected and loyal to Jesus, and to live contemplatively. :)

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Thanx Michael for this info. Didn't know that.

Did you know that nowhere in the Bible does Jesus smile or laugh. A priest told me that His Mission on earth was so important and serious that it is doubtful He was cheerful, especially since He knew what is to come.

God bless.

Colleen said...

Michael, I should have guessed it. Jesus wept.
It does break my heart that he wept. Twice. Over Jerusalem, too.
Actually I disagree with Victor's priest. Of course Jesus smiled. And laughed. Would he dance at Cana without smiling? God gave us the gift of laughter.
Joy is the infallible sign of God's presence.(Teilhard de Chardin)
Believe me, Jesus smiled and laughed. I can only imagine how many times Peter must have cracked him up. :)