Dating a born again christian man
But ‘born again’ actually has meaning both a more specific and also deeper meaning than this when considered in its context.
In case you didn’t know, the phrase comes from John 3, where it is sometimes also translated as ‘from above’ instead of ‘again.’ Here is some of the important context: Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old be born again?
Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?
As we dig deeper into the meaning of these enigmatic words it actually helps to keep both versions in mind. Another clarification: the phrase ‘born again’—while popularized by evangelicals—actually has its origins in the Latin Vulgate version. Jerome himself who coined the phrase, which was simply transliterated from the Latin by the earliest English Bible translators. This is illustrated in the ancient epic poem the , which retells the founding of Rome.
As with the origins of the phrase itself, its actual meaning isn’t what many people think it is. The poem, which was written by Virgil some two to three decades before the birth of Christ, would have been intimately familiar to any Latin speaker of the time.
In the first place, He is talking about a new birth and hence being born again. Even today this has a startling ring to it: the idea that someone can receive a new destiny seems contrary to the very notion of destiny. Notably, citizenship is closely connected to this idea of destiny.
Not only do we have this puzzling language about being ‘born above’—which we have gone at lengths to explain here—but we have talk about seeing the kingdom of God.
It seems that Nicodemus and Jesus are talking right past each other. As Pope Benedict explains in his book, , we ultimately must understand the ‘kingdom of God’ in its most profound sense to refer to Jesus Himself: “Jesus himself is the Kingdom; the Kingdom is not a thing, it is not a geographical dominion like worldly kingdoms.
To be a ‘born again’ Christian, then, really is what being Christian is all about: seeing Jesus as God and accepting our calling to a new destiny through Him.
Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island.