Word Study: Universe
By Gary Amirault
A couple of years ago, Carole Forde sent me an encouraging letter. In it was a little tidbit I would like to share with you, and perhaps add a little extra. She, like myself, likes to do word studies.
"I never fully realized my love of language until I came to know the Lord 20 years ago this November. I never saw the 'Word' in the fullness of the Christ-Light I do today. One tidbit from the Lord's table you might enjoy chewing over is one He shared with me several years ago. Scripture clearly teaches that "The Word is God" (John 1:1) and that 'absolutely NOTHING was made except by Him.' (John 1:3) Also that 'We are His Works, and were created in Christ Jesus' (Eph. 2:10) Who is 'The Word' that is God! And since all the known creation of God is encompassed in the word, UNIVERSE, it is more than interesting that the word UNIVERSE comes from two primitive roots: UNI, meaning 'one' and VERSA, meaning 'BODY OF WORDS'! Therefore, the Lord's entire creation is called: 'ONE BODY OF WORDS'! But with its Creator being named 'WORD,' this should not be surprising. P.S. 'Verse' also stems from another root, 'versus,' as in a court decision (i.e. Smith versus Smith) and means literally 'being turned toward'; thus making the word, UNIVERSE, also mean 'ONE BEING TURNED TOWARD."
When someone sends me something, before sharing it, I usually try to check it out myself to see if I come up with the same thing. I went to the Dictionary of Word Origins by John Ayto which said:
"Universe denotes etymologically 'turned into one,' hence 'whole, indivisible.' It goes back ultimately to Latin universus 'whole, entire,' a compound adjective formed from unus 'one' and versus, the past participle vertere 'turn.' Its neuter form, universum, was used as a noun meaning the 'whole world' (based on the model of Greek to holon 'the whole'), and this passed into English via Old French univers. The Latin derivative universalis gave English universal."
The early believers called themselves "Catholic." In the Apostle's Creed, we find the term "the holy Catholic Church."(the word for church would have been "ecclesia."). The word has taken a bad turn due to what Roman Catholicism has done in that name. There are other denominations besides the Roman Catholic church which uses the term "Catholic" to describe themselves. The Polish Catholic Church is an example.
The Word, of which all is created, said He would draw (drag in the Greek) all mankind (pantas in the Greek) unto Himself. All these words indicate that He will do just that "turn all toward being one." Many Christians believe as the Babylonians believed, that the universe would be divided into two, good and evil, each eternally separated. Eventually, Christians will be delivered from this double-minded, double vision, and see clearly that "Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross." (Col. 1:15-20) Eight times the word "all" appears in this passage--the number of a "new beginning," the number of Jesus Christ. Yet most of us in Christendom still have a hard time with "all." But one day we will all be one, whether we believe it or not, we cannot escape "The Word," the "Universe," Jesus Christ.