Month: December 2015

Integrity, Certitude, and Jesus

Mk 22:5-18  (NAS) Then the Pharisees went and counseled together how they might trap Him in what He said. 16 And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. 17 “Tell us therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites?

They (the un-integral, duplicitous, trying to trap him in his integrity) came to Jesus and said they knew that he was a man of integrity: the word here is “truth” or “true” (ἀληθὴς alāthās). What was the reason Jesus said he came into the world? To “bear witness to the truth” (Jn 18:37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice”). This is the importance that Jesus places on this aspect of his person and mission. He also said he is “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6). There are many nuances to this aspect of his person and mission: he in himself is the TRUTH, he is holy true, and wholly true, there is no falsehood or inconsistency in him at all; everything that he is, says, and does has integrity. He can therefore be trusted at all times, in all circumstances, and in regards to all things seen and unseen. And since he is the one who created all that is, he knows all there is to know about all that is; and therefore what he made must have integrity (or soundness) since the foundation is true. The truth as defined in this way is intrinsically related to his holy and glorious Person and character; it is ontologically, epistemologically, metaphysically integral in absolutely every sense. Therefore, we deduce that the truth of Christ is entirely “true to what is”; the truth perfectly correlates with and corresponds to reality, both seen and unseen. This is why we can have confidence in the truth, since wherever we know the truth, we can have certitude.

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Beowulf on joy and sorrow

Metod eallum weold
gumena cynnes,            swa he nu git deð.
Forþan bið andgit          æghwær selest,
ferhðes foreþanc.          ela sceal gebidan
leofes ond laþes             se þe longe her
on ðyssum windagum  worolde bruceð.
Beowulf (1057-62)

Translation:
The Maker then ruled human kind, as here and now. Therefore is insight always best, and forethought of mind. How much awaits him of lief and of loath, who long time here, through days of warfare this world endures!

Comments on this from Rogers:
“Man can come to terms with the uncertainties of life by trying to keep both past and future in view.”

“So understanding is always the best thing, forethought of mind. A man who is to experience life for long here in these days of strife will encounter much joy and much sorrow.” From Beowulf 1059-62 in Pat Rogers, ed., The Oxford Illustrated History of English Literature, pp. 11-12

First page of Beowulf in Cotton Vitellius A. xvCotton Vitellius A. XV, f.132