Words Cause Dis-Ease *
Dr. Rory Fleming Richardson
Ever since Babylon, and perhaps before, words have caused problems in understanding and resulted in arguments, differences of interpretations, conflicts, and at times wars and deaths. With this in mind and accepting that there may be differences in some doctrines and dogmas, I would like to share some interesting similarities between some different beliefs and history. In ancient times dating to the time of Christ, Greek and Latin were the usual forms of writing for records. Other languages used at that time were various forms of Hebrew, Arabic, Celtic languages and others. The other element to consider is that each of the religions contain a multitude of subgroups with slightly different doctrines.
One of the common figures in the Abrahamic religions (i.e., Judaism, Muslim and Christianity) is a man known as Jesus. The name Jesus is derived from the Latin name Iesus, which is derived from the Greek Iesous, which is derived from the Aramaic Hebrew Yeshua, an abbreviation of Yehoshua. Aramaic Hebrew is the common language of Palestine in the first century AD which would have been the language of Jesus. The name of Jesus was widely adopted as the English name used in the New Testament of the Holy Bible. The Arabic name for Jesus is either Isa used by Arab Muslims or Yasu used by Arab Christians. In the Holy Qur´an, the name for Jesus is Isa, a great prophet and teacher. In Judaism, he is also seen as a great teacher and rabbi. For Messianic Jews, he is the Messiah meaning “anointed one" or High Priest or King. In traditional Islam, Jesus was the promised Prophet and Messiah who came and will come again, at the end of days to defeat the false Messiah.
There were also other cultures and groups who had been waiting for the promised Messiah. As was noted in the New Testament, three Magi from the East came to witness and honor the birth of Jesus. The Latin singular term for Magi is Magus which is the term that Julius Caesar, Tacitus and Pliny the Elder, used to refer to Druids. What is interesting is that although the term Magi may have different origins, it was used at the time for a wise man who was able to interpret signs and omens. The word “Druid” is derived from Dwy, which means God and a Druid is one who serves God. An interesting element of Druid teachings was that God has three parts: the Creator of the past, the Conservor of the present, and the Renovator of the future. The coming of a promised one of God was foretold in Druid teachings. The Renovator aspect of God was called Yesu. So, here we have another group expecting the Messiah.
How many people have heard of these different groups and not known the beliefs we share because we did not understand the words and were determined to see only differences. Perhaps, we need to keep in mind that the same Creator gave us all the breath of life.
Salaam . . . Shalom . . .Heddwch . . . Peace
* I would like to acknowledge that the title of this article is a quote by Bernard Gunther, a dear friend and teacher in his book, Love View. I use it here in his honor.