A scribe is working on the letter to the Romans. The scribe is sitting at a table, muttering while looking over a scroll, pen in hand:
Riddles, riddles, riddles…
‘Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…’
What on earth did he mean, that fall – oops – Paul guy? Freudian!! Sorry!
I mean, what did he mean? That’s the problem with this Greek, no punctuation. I mean you have commas and full stops and what-not. We haven’t. So what did he mean? You don’t get it?
Well let me read it to you. ‘Therefore since we are justified by faith (exaggerated pause) we have peace with God’. Did he mean that, or did he mean, ‘‘Therefore since we are justified (exaggerated pause) by faith we have peace with God’. See what I mean?
No? Ok, let me spell it out to you. You all seem to think that Paul meant to say that we are justified, made right with God if you like, by faith. No problem with that. Consequence, ‘we have peace with God’.
But I just got to wondering. What if Paul reckoned that we are justified. Accept it! Just trust it is so and that’s the way to peace with God? See what I mean? No?
Riddles, riddles, riddles…that old scribe playing with words again? I know what you’re thinking. But words are my stock in trade. I do think about them, not just write parrot fashion – if you’ll pardon me mixing my metaphors?
But perhaps you’re right. I make too much of these details sometimes. I’m a right pedant!
Ok. I’ll get to the point, whatever Paul thinks.
At the end of the day, We have peace with God – don’t we? No beating about the burning bush then?
Wonder what’s next? Think I’ll just make a cuppa (gets up and strolls off).
© Andrew Pratt 14/2/2011