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21 November 2011


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I have a similar tendency to feel lost with the propositions. After all the preposition is one of the most difficult words to translate from one language to another. You can't translate it directly, you have to consider the idiom of both the source language destination language.

Anyway, my husband who has done all the coursework for a MA in theology says that the three prepositions in the doxology refer to Christ as victim, priest, and deity. So, if I'm getting this right, you could paraphrase it as: "through Christ the victim, with Christ the priest and in Christ the divine." I'm not sure I haven't got it mixed up and that I've matched the right preposition with the proper role. And I'm really not sure that makes it any more clear to me why those prepositions signal those relationships. I'm going to have to ponder it some more.


I like that description, except that I am a little hung up on the "forever and ever" going with the "priest" and "victim" roles. Those aren't eternal roles; the Second Person of the Trinity has always been Deity, but could not become priest or victim until the Incarnation. So I am not sure I buy it (though I will gladly retract if Dom can show me an imprimatur!). I thought the priest and victim roles made a proper triplet with "king" -- all three roles have a beginning in time, unlike Deity, which is eternal.

The fact that it is also "in" the unity of the Holy Spirit does supply some evidence that "in" refers to Christ's divinity.


Regarding your comment on the Bohr model, it's worth noting that the Bohr model makes exact predictions for the spectral lines of Hydrogen. It has its failings, but also its successes. It is by no means a complete model, but it is far more intuitive than the full solutions to schroedinger's (or heisenberg's) equation for the population density of an electron.


I mean the picture, with the electrons going around the nucleus like planets around the moon, of atoms in general. Not the hydrogen model in specific.


Over and over reading Paul's epistles I feel like he's drowning us with prepositional phrases that don't seem to add any meaning to the sentence. Examples:
Eph. 1:3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us IN Christ, WITH every spiritual blessing IN the heavenly places ..."
Eph. 5:26 "that he might sanctify her [the Church], having cleansed her BY the washing OF water WITH the word ..." As opposed to what? Of course one washes with water!
And of course the Doxology under discussion is in Paul, at Romans 11:36.
But I guess with time I'm getting more used to his style.

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