Today’s Blog is a bit of an English lesson so apologies if you are already a grammar whizz! I worked in primary education for 18 years and later on, when I was supporting all the children in the school who had English as an additional language (EAL), I began to sit in Year 6 lessons (Fourth Year of Junior School for oldies like me!) and learned a lot more about grammar and punctuation than I ever had when I was a pupil. I have to say, it’s not all useful stuff (who needs to know what a fronted adverbial is?) and while I didn’t know the technical names for a lot of the grammatical constructs, I was already using them in my writing.
An example of one of these grammatical constructs is the definite and indefinite article. An ‘article’ is added to a noun to demonstrate whether the noun is specific or general. Sound complicated? It isn’t really. ‘The’, ‘a’ and ‘an’ are the only articles there are. ‘The’ is a definite (specific) article and ‘a’ and ‘an’ are indefinite (general) articles. So, if we use ‘table’ for our noun, we can either say ‘a table’ or ‘the table’. ‘A table’ is referencing any old table whereas ‘the table’ refers to a specific table.
Why am I telling you this? Well, I was listening to UCB Radio (no surprise there) and the speaker was talking about Jesus being The Good Shepherd. He commented that Jesus did not call himself ‘a good shepherd’ but ‘The Good Shepherd’! That go me thinking about all the other titles Jesus Gave himself:
The Way, the Truth and the Life,
The Resurrection and the Life
The Bread of Life
The Light of the World
All of these titles use the definite article. Jesus is not referring to himself in ‘general’ terms. He tells His listeners that He is the specific (only) way, truth, life, gate, shepherd etc. Of course, Aramaic grammar differs to ours, as does Greek. Jesus spoke Aramaic and the Gospels were first written in Greek, but using those transcripts, scholars have translated each noun Jesus used in these instances to have a definite article in English. I am definite that they should be definite! Jesus is definitely THE Way, THE Truth and THE Life and we can be assured that when we follow Him we are definitely going the right way!