In this sixteenth video on “Theological English”, Jonathan Dunne looks at the progression from the A of creation to the I of the Fall to the O of repentance/realization, which was the subject of the second video. Having already seen how this progression AIO can be found between words such as “what”, “why” and “who/how”, he examines to what extent this progression can be found inside words. When we draw a line through the selfish demands of the ego (I) and form a cross (†), which is also a plus-sign (+), A+O, we get the name of God in the Book of Revelation at the end of the Bible: Alpha and Omega. This in turn gives “and” (A ’N’ O) and its reverse “DNA”. When we use the Greek letter omega (“w”), we get “man” (A ’N’ W). So the idea expressed by Christ of denying the self, taking up our cross and following him is at the heart of language and in our very genes.
In this fifteenth video on “Theological English”, Jonathan Dunne looks at the importance of names. “Name” is “man” in reverse with a final “e”, and we read in Genesis chapter 2 that God brought the creatures to Adam so that he could “name” them – in effect, so that he could translate them and choose the right word. God didn’t ask Adam to make the creatures because he is not an author – he cannot create out of nothing. He, and the rest of humankind, are translators. So “name” is central to man’s role in this world. What can the names of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary tell us about their roles? And what meaning can we find in the names of people like Strauss and Grant Gustin, and countries like Ukraine?
In this fourteenth video on “Theological English”, Jonathan Dunne looks at the importance of the word “believe” in the Christian Gospel. The word “believe” crops up again and again in the Gospel – this is what God requires of us: to believe in him, to believe in his name, in order to receive – the power to become children of God, eternal life, salvation, healing. When we believe, all things become possible. The video focuses on John 7:38 and the verse from Scripture: “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” Once again, language is not only used to convey the message – it is the message.
In this thirteenth video on “Theological English”, Jonathan Dunne looks at paradox as an indicator of truth, as the path towards truth. Sometimes the most obvious statements can be misleading, while what on the surface appears to be contradictory, illogical, can turn out to contain the truth. Christianity is a religion of paradox – the Trinity is “three in one”, we must “lose our life in order to find it”, Christ dies and rises again… All of these are examples of seeming paradox. In this video, we look at Christ’s statement that “many who are first will be last, and the last first” (Matthew 19:30) and how the cycle of physical/spiritual thirst, referred to in the meeting between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar (John 4), can be broken.
In this twelfth video on “Theological English”, Jonathan Dunne continues looking at word connections made by the addition of letters, this time from “i” to “w”. It is curious that “die” contains “be” and “I” (we saw in the previous video that the “world” is a spiritual “womb”, which might explain this). What is even more curious is that “live” also contains “be”, but two “I”s in the first two letters. “Blood” gives “spirit”, as “seed” gives “sleep”. “Word” gives “sword” – our words can become physical, just as God’s words in the beginning created a physical environment. There is a previous video on this theme: “Addition of Letters (0)”.
For the connection between “blood” and “spirit”, see Marcus Plested’s instructive article “‘Give Blood and Receive the Spirit’: The Ascetical Dimension of Mystical Experience” (available online), which looks at the connection between ascetic endeavour and direct experience of God in early Christian literature and how it can be applied today.
In this eleventh video on “Theological English”, Jonathan Dunne starts to look at word connections between words that do not have the same number of letters, where it is necessary to add one or two letters. If we do not want to be like Narcissus and only to hear our own voice, we must open our spiritual eyes and ears. This will lead to a seed being planted in our heart. The two greatest commandments are to love God and to love our neighbour: love – other – theos. It is “love” that makes us “whole” (without the initial “w”, a letter that resembles the number “3” and can be taken to refer to the Holy Trinity, all we have is a “hole”). There is a second video on this theme: “Addition of Letters (1)”.
In this tenth video on “Theological English”, Jonathan Dunne looks at the shape of letters in the alphabet and how this can be used to make word connections. Just as the order of letters was borrowed in part from Egyptian hieroglyphs, so the shape of some of our capital letters was taken from here. This video focuses on the similarity between lower-case letters, which can be turned back to front, upside down, or continued. This enables us to make connections between birth and death, the Old and New Testaments, opposites such as “north” and “south” or “east” and “west”, and love and money. Language is full of information, words carry spiritual meaning, we only have to have “eyes” to “see” it.
In this ninth video on “Theological English”, Jonathan Dunne looks at the order of letters in the alphabet and how this can be used to make word connections. It was foreign workers in Egypt in the second millennium BC who came up with the idea of using not hieroglyphs for writing (hieroglyphs represented words or syllables), but letters that represented individual sounds, a much more cost-effective way of writing, since you only need 20-30 letters to write down the different words, but hundreds of hieroglyphs. This idea was taken on by the Phoenicians, the traders of the ancient world, from where it passed to Greece and Rome, becoming the Latin alphabet we use today.
In this eighth video on “Theological English”, Jonathan Dunne continues looking at the spiritual content of language – this time, word connections made by changing the consonants, the “flesh” of language (consonants are produced by obstructing the breath with the lips or tongue, that is with the flesh). The devil would make us differ, while the father would gather us together. Human law is to protect private property, while divine law is to love God and to love our neighbour. God is love (eros-zero).