Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bruce: who was worthy?

April 28, 2009
    Commemoration of Peter Chanel, Religious, Missionary in the South Pacific, Martyr, 1841

    Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds.
    Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.
    -- Psalm 72:18,19 (NIV)

    The [Roman] imperial coinage (which was regularly used as a propaganda medium)... is full of the characteristic motifs of Advent and Epiphany, celebrating the blessings which the manifestation of each successive divine emperor was to bring to a waiting world. Among the adulatory formulas with which the emperor was acclaimed, [Prof. Ethelbert Stauffer] mentions, as going back probably to the first century, “Hail, Victory, Lord of the earth, Invincible, Power, Glory, Honor, Peace, Security, Holy, Blessed, Great, Unequalled, Thou Alone, Worthy art Thou, Worthy is he to inherit the Kingdom, Come, come, do not delay, Come again” (p. 155). [in Christ and the Caesars, Ethelbert Stauffer (1955)]. Indeed, one has only to read Psalm 72, “in Latin, in the official language of the empire, to see that it is largely the same formal language which is used alike in the Forum for the advent of the emperor and in the catacombs for the celebration of the Epiphany of Christ” (p. 251). Here there could be no compromise. Who was worthy to ascend the throne of the universe and direct the course of history? Caesar, or Jesus?
    ... Frederick F. Bruce (1910-1991), The Defense of the Gospel in the New Tesatment [1959], p. 63-64 (see the book)

Quiet time reflection:
    Jesus, You alone are worthy!

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