We had an interesting study in church this weekend, studying the story in Acts of Paul’s Damascus Road experience. (He was called Saul at the time.) Saul was on the road to Damascus, hunting down Christians who had fled Judea in the wake of persecution from the Jewish leaders. He wanted desperately to keep the Jewish faith pure by weeding out these Christians, until…



Stopped in his tracks, Saul realized the very Jesus he was persecuting was the one talking to him, and that Jesus was not a threat to Judaism, but the completion of it, the promised Messiah, God himself. He gave his heart to Christ and took the name Paul and spent out his life serving Him.

That’s a simplified version of the story, but it’s time for the Word Nerd portion. Acts says that the men with him heard a sound. I ran to the lexicon in the back of my Bible, and "sound" in that verse is the Greek phonos, meaning "sound." The Lexicon explained that this was different from the Greek logos, meaning "word," or speaking, reasoning. Logos, of course, is the word choice for John 1: "In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

My guess from that bit of word play, is that the other men did not hear God the Son speaking from heaven, but merely a sound. That’s just a guess…the Bible doesn’t say it outright, but word choice means everything. (As when a writer chooses to use "Pro-life" vs. "Anti-abortion," but that’s a topic for another day.)

So, what English words do we get from these Greek roots?

Symphony  (Sym-, means "together"…doesn’t that make a beautiful explanation of what a symphony is? Musicians making sound together.)

Biology (study of life), Theology (study of God) and all the other -logy words, meaning "study of"

WORD NERD CHALLENGE: Find five words that come from phonos or logos

Betcha can do it!