Sunday, December 16, 2018
Peace on Earth?
We see it on Christmas cards. It’s even still acceptable to say or display the phrase without offending too many people:
“Peace on earth. Good will toward men.”
Of course, the critics note that these words are preceded by the exclamation of Glory to God in the highest and in our secular culture that is a big no-no for sure. But I have good news for those who want no part of the Bible or Christianity to diminish the Holiday Season for those of other faiths or those of no faith at all. The King James Bible translation may read “Peace on earth. Good will toward men”. But that’s not really how the earliest Bible manuscripts read. It’s an issue between the Greek word eudokia and eudokias. That one letter,’ s’, makes all the difference.
What the oldest Greek manuscripts really say is something more like:
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!”
And most of the newer translations, do not say “Peace on earth. Good will toward men.” But for the Christmas season we like to stay with our traditions and the King James Bible is tradition with a capital T.
This translation issue is a pretty significant difference though. It certainly clears up some of the confusion regarding Jesus saying he didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword. That sword, of course, is The Word or The Logos…Divine Reason.
You see this time of year we like to get all warm and fuzzy with Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men. Some of us even say or sing such things as “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” or “God bless us one and all.” Time to come together and “We’ll drink a cup of kindness yet…”
And then we’ll go back to tearing each other apart. Even if the Bible did actually say and mean "Good will toward men", perhaps even all men; a lot of it would be left up to us and we know how well that's worked out over the centuries. Perhaps for those with whom God is pleased, there will be some small measure of peace for their souls. But there will be no lasting Peace On Earth and no universal Good Will toward all men. At least not until The Logos returns.