Aloha Friday Message – April 26, 2019 – THIS is important.

1917AFC042619 – THIS is important

    John 20:20b-23 – Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

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Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! Grace and Peace to each of you from God our Father and our Lord, Jesus the Christ, in the Power of the Holy Spirit. Today I want to follow the occurrence of something called a “demonstrative pronoun.” Sometimes these words are also called “demonstrative adjectives.” The most common words with this designation are this, that, these, and those. There are some other words that are sometimes used as demonstrative pronouns – such, none, and neither. When using demonstrative pronouns, the pronoun takes the place of the noun (the name of a person, place, thing, or idea) referenced. Here are some examples.

  • The perfume you are wearing is intoxicating → That is an intoxicating fragrance.
  • My new shoes are too tight. → These don’t fit me.
  • I want you to do exactly what I tell you → Do this like I said.
  • The roses in your garden are beautiful → Those are so beautiful in your garden.
  • Life can be difficult → Such is life.
  • The are no substitutes allowed → We will allow none.
  • Both of the choices are unacceptable → Neither will do.

In addition, some of the demonstrative pronouns also act as demonstrative adjectives. A demonstrative adjective modifies a noun or pronoun in a sentence while emphasizing its importance. This is for things close by or current things – This is the day the Lord has made so this song is about that. That is for things farther away or not current – That tree was so beautiful before that happened.

In this post, I want to share with you some of the reasons I show you passages in Greek or Hebrew. The New Testament was originally in Greek, not Aramaic or Hebrew. Greek was the lingua franca – the common language used by a wide variety of persons who used it as a common language between persons whose native languages are different. It was the language of business and travel throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region in the time of Christ. It is surprisingly complex with many rules that define how words are used – voice, case, attributes, mood, tense, and a slew of definitions for various clauses. Because of that it is also a very precise language. The way a word is used defines how the root-word is changed to give a specific meaning. For today I want to look at the demonstrative pronouns we have previously highlighted in specific Scripture passages.

One passage that comes up perhaps a couple of times a year is the account of Jesus’ ascension as described in Acts 1:6-12. I have commented previously in 1512AFC051515 – Look him up about the word οὗτος (oútos) {hoo-tohs or oo-tohs} as it appears in verse 11“Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way you saw him go into heaven.” This Greek word is very specific and means this one, the one visibly present here, the one just named and none other than this one. There’s not another one, there’s no way it could be someone else. It will be precisely, exactly, permanently that same guy you just saw take off into the clouds. It is HE who will return to you. Another occurrence we looked at recently was Luke 22:19 – 19 Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” The Greek words used here are τοῦτό and τοῦτο which are two of the many forms of the root word οὗτος we just looked at. As with the passage in Acts, the meaning is very clear. Here is what we can learn from their usage.

When Jesus says, “this is my body,” his declaration is that what he is about to share – pieces from the broken loaf of bread – IS HIS body. He is not saying, “this represents my body,” “this is like my body,” “this is a symbol of my body,” or “pretend my body is bread.” He means what he says: “this is my body.” In the next sentence, there is another declaration in the form of a command: “Do this in remembrance of me.” He is telling the Apostles they are to do and say exactly what he has done and said. During the Eucharistic Prayer, the presiding Priest does NOT say, “This is his body,” or “This represents his body.” The Priest, in his ministry as the alter christus, repeats what Jesus told the Apostles to repeat: “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Here again, the meaning, intent, and purpose is perfectly clear. It is the same with the communion Chalice – as in Matthew 26:27-28 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the [new] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Here is the Real Presence of the Body of Christ, here is the Real Presence of the Precious Blood of Christ, and here is the exact expression of what Jesus commanded should be said and done. Wherever we find one of the demonstrative pronouns in these passages, there we will also find the meaning this one, meaning the item actually present here, the one just named and none other than this one; and also this action, meaning the action actually performed here, the one just shown and none other than this one. The first time we come across τοῦτο is in Genesis 2:1919 So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The Hebrew word there is ה֥וּא (hu or hi) {hoo} which is an emphatic form for the pronoun it replaces, in this passage it would be the name Adam gave.

Now, let’s go back to why it is useful to understand the purpose of the tiny, seemingly insignificant words like this, that, these, and those. Such words improve our understanding of content when take in context. The whole purpose of the Aloha Friday Messages is to shed light on Scripture and make it more readily understood. The ability to examine the antecedent – the linguistic foundation – of Scripture is a great way to maximize its impact on our lives. Now that you know what “this” can mean, when you hear it in a passage of Scripture, you will be more aware of what the Scripture is telling us. God speaks to us through Scripture, and Scripture is his Living Word (the Logos). Remember when we talked about being “engaged” in Mercy, in Mass, and in Life? We can be engaged in Scripture as well if we have our ears, hearts, and minds open. When you are in Church this weekend, listen for those demonstrative pronouns this, that, these, and those. Then recall how precisely they point toward a particular noun, action, or event. I believe our understanding of “this same Jesus” will be just as clear as this is my body or this is the day or as in John 16:4 4 But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them.

Whaddya think about that, eh? This is a much more useful way to hear The Word.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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