Monday, August 20, 2007

Thee, thou, and thine

Some English translations of the Bible still use the older second-person pronouns when referring to God. You can sometimes hear them in public prayers, too, when Christians talk to God about “Thy will” and how “we love Thee.” In most people’s minds, it seems, addressing God as Thee or Thou is formal and dignified.

Isn’t it funny that when Jesus taught us to pray, he intended the very opposite? Back in the days when English speakers actually used thee, thou, and thine in everyday conversation, those words were saved for the very closest friends and family. You would say “thee” to your dad, but never to your boss. How ironic that language too informal and familiar for addressing the mailman is the very way Jesus expects us to talk with God.

(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley

4 comments:

Sista Cala said...

Well, some folks only speak to God during formal occasions- like Mother's day, Easter, and Christmas. On the other hand, "oh my God" seems to be a familar cry used by people that are the least familar w/Him.

Milton Stanley said...

Too true.

NaNcY said...

mr. stanley, this is really something that i did no know about these words, wonderful to know. it is such a blessing to be able to relate to God personally. More than i know, for sure.

Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for saying so. It certainly is amazing that we are allowed through God's grace to address God with such familiarity.