Sunday, February 1, 2009

colossal alliteration

Paul's hymn about Jesus in Col 1.13-20 is dense and breathtaking. There's not a lot of room to question where Jesus stands in Paul's worldview after wading through it. From this passage, Paul moves on to let those in Colossae know why this stuff matters [1.21-22].

Because this Jesus is who He is and has done what He has done, Paul explains to the Colossians that they were once ALIENATED, but have now been RECONCILED so that they could be presented before Him HOLY, BLAMELESS, and ABOVE REPROACH.

I've capitalized these words to show a couple things.

First off, Paul's application of the majesty of Jesus' person and work interprets the past, reminds them of their present state, and details their future hope. With this hope, however, must come a continual faith that clings to the good news about Jesus [1.23]. 

Secondly, Paul says what he says in hopes that it will stick. He wants them to get it. Not everybody 2000 years ago was literate. His epistles were meant to be read to local congregations. So, what does he do? Paul uses alliteration as a literary device in order that the beauty of these things might more easily resonate in the mind of the Colossians.

[sorry if this is wrongly laid out]

When I take the time, I'm nearly always blessed by WHAT and HOW the biblical writers say what they say. There is gospel and artistry here. So good.

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