Thursday, August 28, 2008

Senator Obama's speech, the penultimate line

The second to last line of Obama's really very good and substantial speech was from scripture, though looking through many Bible translations, it is difficult to tell just from where he got the quote. The nearest I can tell, the quote- "and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess"- is from Hebrews 10,23. If I am correct, here is the context from the English Standard Version (ESV):

"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Heb. 10, 19-25- emphasis mine).
While Spe Salvi expresses my hope better, the line is a good one and not horribly ripped out of context, as is often the case when scripture is used in a political speech. I particularly like "let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works".

St. Augustine, author of Civitate Dei, on this, your feast day, pray for the United States of America.

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