Friday, April 29, 2011

Order of Service for the Royal wedding

Here is the order of service for the Royal wedding. Today, in front of 2 billion people, the natural heir of the King James Bible was read aloud. James Middleton, brother of Kate Middleton, read from Romans 12 in the New Revised Standard Version. From today on the standard has been established that the scriptures addressed brothers and sisters equally. From today on, those who read the word of God, those who hear the word of God, will expect to hear "sisters" along with "brothers."

Perhaps the most beautiful thing about this wedding was the sense of equality and friendship between brothers, between brothers and sisters, between bride and groom. There is perhaps no other phrase which is so evocative of Christian love between members of the opposite sex, as the phrase "brothers and sisters."

But did the Greek scriptures contain that phrase? Yes, they did. The Greek word adelphoi, had already been used to refer to another couple, a couple not blessed with happiness, but a couple who were both brother and sister from birth, and husband and wife (although there is no evidence that this union was consumated.) Cleopatra and Ptolemy were called adelphoi, that is brother and sister.

When the apostle Paul used this word adelphoi, he was using a word that that had the accepted usage of "brothers and sisters." From Saint Paul to the Royal wedding, from adelphoi to "brethren" to "brothers and sisters", the tradition is unbroken.

The Liddell, Scott Lexicon is widely accepted by Bible scholars as the most authoritative lexicon of ancient Greek, including New Testament Greek, and it has recorded the meaning of adelphoi as "brothers and sisters" at least back to 1871. (Previous lexicons were from Greek into Latin.)


Charis said...

I'm not an expert in ancient languages like you. But I took French and Spanish in high school, and I learned Italian when I lived there for a year. I really don't get how anyone who spends a few minutes educating themselves on the use of grammatical gender can dispute that the plural for a mixed group takes a masculine ending?

Sad that there's even a need for posts like this!

But, taken to its logical end by those who take Bible translators' work at face value "women are not part of the church" and vast portions of the NT don't apply to us:

Deb Hurn said...

Yes, there were still some antiquated and misleading issues with the terminology of the wedding service... "honourable among all men", "increase of mankind", "if any man can show any just cause...let him... his peace", "let no man put asunder", "man and wife". And only one ring was given, only William 'endowed earthly goods' and 'honoured her with his body' ?! But at least the vows were identical in wording.

Kevin said...

Thanks your adding the link to the order of service for the Royal wedding. I was looking for this.

Mark said...

Interesting that Will was told to love Kate like Christ loves the Church.

Interesting that Kate was never told to submit to will like the Church does to Christ.

A little bit hypocitical i would think. A little bit selective, not wanting to offend the masses by dare telling a wife to submit to her husband.

Not to mention, i wonder how the Apostle would have felt having his words read out in such a grand, pompous ceremony. Or i wonder how Jesus feels when he sees the dean holding a large, golden cross above him as he walks down the isle (hardly the proper meaning of take up your cross and follow me)

The whole thing was rather disgusting.

Suzanne said...

From Charis's blog,

The Obamzas have no mosquito net, even though they have already lost two of their eight children to malaria. They say they just can’t afford the $6 cost of a net. Nor can they afford the $2.50-a-month tuition for each of their three school-age kids. . . Mr. Obamza goes drinking several times a week at a village bar, spending about $1 an evening on moonshine.

if the poorest families spent as much money educating their children as they do on wine, cigarettes and prostitutes, their children’s prospects would be transformed. Much suffering is caused not only by low incomes, but also by shortsighted private spending decisions by heads of households. . .

the world’s poor typically spend about 2 percent of their income educating their children, and often larger percentages on alcohol and tobacco: 4 percent in rural Papua New Guinea, 6 percent in Indonesia, 8 percent in Mexico. The indigent also spend significant sums on soft drinks, prostitution and extravagant festivals.. . .

Because there’s mounting evidence that mothers are more likely than fathers to spend money educating their kids, one solution is to give women more control over purse strings and more legal title to assets. Some aid groups and U.N. agencies are working on that. (source: NY Times)

Kate Johnson said...

I just had a discussion in a class the other night. One of the students there objected to my reference to the conflict over the TNIV. Her response was that she didn’t think the objection had so much to do with "brothers and sisters" being used as it did that if you "start using language like that it is to make it more acceptable and inclusive for those who are - you know - homosexuals." Really? The whole “slippery slope” argument. What people are being told is appalling. She was told that was the translator’s intent, to make it more inclusive for those who might otherwise not be. And your point is???

Theophrastus said...

And still no comment on the South Park documentary on the Royal Wedding of the Prince of Canada, "Aboot to be Princess"?

I believe watching just the first eight minutes will suffice.

Suzanne said...

Hi Theo,

That content is not available north of the border. Too bad.