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quod pro nobis traditum est

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

house cleaning and ancient languages

We are back to the blog's original title, "on church and liturgy" and its subtitle, "de ecclesia et liturgia", which is the title in Latin.

Speaking of Latin, it is assumed by some that one cannot believe that God has saved us through His Son, Jesus Christ, if one knows or supports Latin. While I am not proficient in Latin, I took three years of the language in high school and appreciate its value. Learning Latin has helped me, among other things, learn English vocabulary and grammar. If knowing some Latin makes me a bad Lutheran, "C'est la vie."

At seminary, I learned some Greek and Hebrew. Sharing this may be controversial. Then again, there is a positive side. In the liturgy we find all three ancient languages and more. For example, the Introit (Latin) is from the Psalms (Hebrew) and one of the oldest, if not the oldest, parts of the liturgy is the Kyrie (Greek). The faith is never old.

As I am not a linguist, nor overly proficient in these languages, there is nothing more to add, except that learning ancient languages does not make one out-of-date. Rather, it may be surprising how learning such things may help one to live in the present. While the faith is never old, there is also nothing new under the sun.