Monday, January 05, 2009

Creed: Why do we say Jesus "rose again"?

In the Nicene Creed, as well as the Apostles' Creed, we say that Jesus "rose again" on the third day. Why again? When did he rise the first time?

Well, the illustrious Father Z has answered that question. Here's the core of the matter:
In the Creed, Latin resurrexit is from re- and surgo. The prefix re- conveys “again”. In English "again" can mean more than repetition. Check a good dictionary of English and you will find a nuance of “again” as “anew” without the concept of repetition. “He rose again” means “He rose anew". So, resurrexit does not mean Jesus rose twice. He returned to life “anew”.
Now it makes sense!

3 comments:

Moonshadow said...

Gosh, I had this very understanding - implicitly - all along. Funny thing. Sometimes it pays to be a cradle Catholic. :-)

Now, a better question is why do we say "on the third day?" (kidding, just kidding, of course).

Jeff Pinyan (japhy) said...

The Greek of John 3:3 ("born again") can also mean "born anew" or "born from above". It's all making sense to me now!

Moonshadow said...

That's a good connection, yes.