Phrase by Phrase

June 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

In my daily reading I came across this teaching:

It is on this account that the book of Revelation has heretofore not been understood. But lest there be any doubt that it contains such truths, its contents must be explained phrase by phrase and demonstrated by similar passages elsewhere in the Word. (Apocalypse Revealed 1.e; Rogers)

None of these translators used the exact definitions given above. Each translator, however, did convey the idea behind the Latin word.

Bruce Rogers translation appears to be further from the dictionary than the translation of the other two, but I think it is closer to what the Lord through Swedenborg was actually intending.

New Church people often say that the Arcana Celestia expounds the spiritual meaning of Genesis and Exodus word by word, and that Apocalypse Revealed and the Apocalypse Explained do the same for the book of Revelation. A careful examination of these works, however, shows that this is not case. In actuality, they expound the spiritual meaning as Mr. Rogers notes, “phrase by phrase.”

It is true that these works frequently give long explanations of individual words with many examples from other verses in the Word. This, I believe, is what gives impression that these works expound the spiritual meaning word by word. It is worth noting that when the Heavenly Doctrines given an extended explanation of the spiritual meaning of a word, that the word is usually a noun or an adjective. They seldom give spiritual meanings of verbs.

Congratulations to Bruce Rogers for not only finding a way to express the meaning of the Latin word, but for also describing what the Heavenly Doctrines are actually doing; which is exactly what they are trying to explain here.

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