Tuesday 15 March 2016

John 1:14 grace

Here we come to Paul's favourite word: grace
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, * (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)
'Grace' is the Greek word "charis". In Greek mythology the graces are women who represent splendour (the grace called Aglaea), mirth (Euphrosyne), and good cheer (Thalia). "Charis" is whatever inspires the mind and makes us happy. That is the kind of person Jesus was, according to John.

What a verse! It could be translated "Here is the man they called "the logic", we saw his opinions and judgment, the intellectually ideal human specimen, full of good cheer and truth"

Jesus looked splendid and was full of mirth and good cheer. The learned Christians ("gnostic" means "learned") made much of this, and a later gnostic gospel referred to the laughing Jesus avoiding his crucifixion. But Paul's supernatural goggles have to change the mirth into his suffering for sins, and the simple pleasure into something mysterious and supernatural.

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