It's been a while since there has been a Word of the Day that has really caught my attention and connected with Scripture in a meaningful way but September 24th was just such a day. The Merriam Webster word for that day was teleological.
: exhibiting or relating to design or purpose especially in nature
Along with this definition they provided the following explanation...
Teleological (which comes to us by way of New Latin from the Greek root tele-, telos, meaning "end or purpose") and its close relative teleology both entered English in the 18th century, followed by teleologist in the 19th century. Teleology has the basic meaning of "the study of ends or purposes." A teleologist attempts to understand the purpose of something by looking at its results. A teleological philosopher might argue that we should judge whether an act is good or bad by seeing if it produces a good or bad result, and a teleological explanation of evolutionary changes claims that all such changes occur for a definite purpose.
Did you notice the meaning of the Greek word telos? It means "end or purpose" as in a goal or objective... not an ending or ceasing.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1, 14)
Earlier this week, HarperOne (which is owned by HarperCollins, the parent company of Zondervan) published a 416-page book by Bart Ehrman entitled "How Jesus Became God- The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee". In his book, Ehrman expands upon many of the same arguments that critics have been exercising for the past century or more:
Some of you may have heard the exclamation "Jesus H. Christ!" at some point in your lives. A few more frequently than others, perhaps. I heard this recently and (curious guy that I am) I asked the question: "Where did the 'H' come from and what does it stand for?"
We have previously noted that Jesus is not the name of the Messiah and that the verbal sound "Jesus" was not used as a label for Him until some thousand years after His death, burial, and resurrection. His name was [and is!] Yeshua and that name has migrated (in one form or fashion) into various languages in different ways.
We have also previously mentioned that "Christ" is not the last name of the Messiah. When Messiah and his disciples would visit a restaurant (kosher, of course!) they would not wait for the hostess to call for "Christ, party of thirteen". The English word "Christ" comes from the Greek word Kristos which means "anointed one" or messiah. It is a title rather than a name: Jesus the Christ/Messiah/Anointed One.
So where did the "H" come from?