Sunday 5 January 2014

Sophia and Logos

Perhaps this is the first time I have ever celebrated the Second Sunday after Christmas. In India this is usually already the Feast of the Epiphany, and the last two years I have probably celebrated according to the Filipino calendar, which is the same. So this was quite new for me. And, as Vernet pointed out, an extraordinary set of readings, the most extraordinary of the whole of Advent and Christmastide combined, according to him. A first reading, about wisdom, from the Book of Ecclesiasticus (24:1-2, 8-12); a second from Eph (1:3-6, 15-18); and the gospel from the Prologue of John (1:1-18).

I am sure scholars have done all sorts of studies on Wisdom and the Word, SOPHIA and LOGOS. What struck this morning was the creator saying to Wisdom: pitch your tent in Jacob. "The Word was made flesh and pitched his tent among us." ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν: moved his tent in among us (see http://bibletranslation.ws/trans/johnwgrk.pdf). ESKENOSEN EN HEMIN. I understand, even though I am surprised to find this in the text here, the theological connection between pitching his tent and kenosis. But what, if at all, is the linguistic connection? Is "pitching one's tent" usually rendered by some variation of kenosis?

Note: I learnt today that ESKENOSEN has nothing directly to do with KENOSIS. The root of the word means 'tent'. But, it would appear, S-K-N amounts in Hebrew to SHEKINAH. Wonderful, the ways of the Word. 

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