The Devil in the Details

details Anyone can make a mistake so I try not to be pedantic or act like the grammar police when people express themselves less than perfectly when speaking or writing. But sometimes a comma in the wrong place or a single misplaced article can make a big difference in the message. So please take with a grain of salt the following examples of little things that could make a difference in our perception of the Christmas story.

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come.” The well known Christmas hymn does not say the Lord has come. The inspiration for the song in general, and I would argue that line in particular, is the angel appearing to the shepherds in Luke 2. He brought good tidings of great joy, declaring that this day in the city of David a savior is born. Jesus identifies himself as I AM in John 8 just as God identified himself to Moses in Exodus 3.

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:13-14  The angels were saying, not singing. Angels are not beautiful women in choir robes nor chubby babies draped in loin clothes. The heavenly host is the army of God.

“For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6 is yet another well known passage of Advent scripture. The above quotation is from the ESV. The verse looks very similar in the NIV and HCSB. But the King James and New King James have a common between Wonderful and Counselor. Now the original text has no punctuation so it would be tough to determine or even make a strong case for either way being more correct. But it does make a difference. If there is no comma we cannot say his name is Wonderful. 


One thought on “The Devil in the Details

  1. “The devil is in the details” is an old saying I borrowed for the title of this piece. Maybe I should have done something with finding Christ in a few details but I never thought of that until just now.

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