Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Fruit Is Love

Sometime ago I read that the "fruit" in "Fruit of the Spirt" in Galatians was not plural in the Greek. It's actually singular. I'd been chewing on this ever since--the Fruit of the Spirit as a multifaceted, singular product of the Spirit's indwelling, rather than individual fruits we pick and choose to grow. (When I find the commentary I read this in, somewhere in our moving boxes, I'll give it's due credit.)

Last week I read in the notes of the New English Translation that Galatians 5:22-23 could also be rendered with a colon after the word love:  "Now the fruit of the Spirit is love:  joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."  In other words, love which comes from the Holy Spirit is recognized/defined by all the characteristics that follow in the list.

I've never heard this passage taught this way, but considering the singularity of the word "fruit" and the emphasis of love in Paul's other writings (as well as in Jesus's teachings), it makes sense. I don't know enough to delve further, but there is a beautiful simplicity in this.



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