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 Eugene A. Nida Quotes
5 Famous Quotes by Eugene A. Nida
11/11/1914 - 8/25/2011
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About Eugene A. Nida

The Conob Indians of northern Guatemala... describe love as "my soul dies." Love is such that, without experiencing the joy of union with the object of our love, there is a real sense in which "the soul dies." A man who loves God according to the Conob idiom would say "my soul dies for God." This not only describes the powerful emotion felt by the one who loves, but it should imply a related truth -- namely, that in true love there is no room for self. The man who loves God must die to self. True love is, of all emotions, the most unselfish, for it does not look out for self but for others. False love seeks to possess; true love seeks to be possessed. False love leads to cancerous jealousy; true love leads to a life-giving ministry.

Christianity Quotes, by Eugene A. Nida

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For the ancient philosopher and priest of esoteric cults, steeped in the tradition of Classical Greek, the grammatical forms in the Lord's Prayer would seem almost rude. One does not find the optative forms of polite petition so characteristic of elaborate requests made to earthly and heavenly potentates. Rather than employing such august forms, the Christians made their requests to God in what seem to be blunt imperatives. This does not mean that Christians lacked respect for their heavenly father, but it does mean that they were consistent with a new understanding of Him. In the tens of thousands of papyri fragments which have been rescued from the rubbish heaps of the ancient Greek world, one finds the imperative forms used constantly between members of a family. When the Christians addressed God as "Father," it was perfectly natural therefore for them to talk to Him as intimately as they would to their own father. Unfortunately, the history of our own English language has almost reversed this process. Originally, men used "thou" and "thee" in prayer because it was the appropriate familiar form of address; but now these words have become relegated to prayer alone.

Christianity Quotes, by Eugene A. Nida

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Feast of Justin, Martyr at Rome, c.165 Commemoration of Angela de'Merici, Founder of the Institute of St. Ursula, 1540 It has been said that agapao refers to "the love of God" and phileo is only "the love of men." But this distinction is only a very small part of the difference, and as such is in itself incorrect. Both of these words may convey intense emotion or may be relatively weak in their meanings. These words do not indicate degree of love, but kinds of love. Agapao refers to love which arises from a keen sense of the value and worth in the object of our love, and phileo describes the emotional attachment which results from intimate and prolonged association. That is why in the Scriptures we are never commanded to "love" with the word phileo. Even when husbands and wives are instructed to love one another, the word agapao is used, for it is impossible to command that kind of love which can arise only from intimate association. On the other hand, the saints are admonished to appreciate profoundly the worth and value in others, and agapao is used to convey this meaning. All Christians are not necessarily to have sentimental attachments for one another (phileo). This would be impossible, for our circle of intimate friends is limited by the nature of our lives. But we can all be commanded to appreciate intensely the worth of others.

Christianity Quotes, by Eugene A. Nida

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Feast of Hildegard, Abbess of Bingen, Visionary, 1179 (Peter) Waldo, a business-man in Lyons, France, in about A.D. 1170 became intensely curious as to the content of the Scriptures. But he could not read Latin, and so the Scriptures were a closed book to him. However, he hired two money-minded priests, who, in violation of strict regulations, translated the Bible for him into Provençal, the language of southern France. The content of the Word of God made such an impression upon this earnest man that he gave up his business, took upon himself a vow of poverty, and dedicated himself to the simple preaching of the contents of God's Word. The Latin of the Church only mystified its hearers [but] Waldo's humble preaching edified the souls of men. His words were not spectacular but powerful, as he pleaded with them to repent. Much of his preaching and that of his followers consisted in reciting long passages of Scripture in the vernacular. Many of them could not afford an expensive handwritten copy of the Bible, and the ecclesiastical authorities could too easily rob them of such a book; but they could not erase the words which were treasured in the heart.

Christianity Quotes, by Eugene A. Nida

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It is quite true that the Greek word ekklesia comes from two roots which mean literally "called out." Many preachers have made use of this fact to point out helpful spiritual implications; and yet, by New Testament times, the word carried no such denotation as "called out." It was simply the word for "assembly" or "congregation." It so happened that in the Greek city-states an assembly of the citizenry resulted from the people being called out of their city and summoned from their farms to participate in such gatherings. Even though the etymology of the word remains, its real meaning is just "assembly," and a Greek-speaking person of New Testament times would be no more inclined to understand ekklesia in its original etymological value of "called out" than we today would recognize "God be with you" in "good-by," which, as we may learn from the dictionary, was derived from the longer phrase.

Christianity Quotes, by Eugene A. Nida

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