heilig – holy
IPA: [ˈhaɪ̯lɪç], [ˈhaɪ̯lɪk]
Etymology: Middle High German heilec, Old High German heilag, either from a Germanic noun with the meaning “charm; favourable sign, luck” or from heil (meaning “whole”).
Meaning: im Unterschied zu allem Irdischen göttlich vollkommen und daher verehrungswürdig – In contrast to all earthly things divinely perfect and therefore venerable.
Jesaja 6,3 Und einer rief dem anderen zu und sprach: Heilig, heilig, heilig ist Jehova der Heerscharen, die ganze Erde ist voll seiner Herrlichkeit!
Isaiah 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
I will first admit that I don’t even come close to understand what God’s holiness is. I need to do more study in this area.
His standard is far above what man considers as good or acceptable, and it is with much trepidation that I am writing about this. At this point, I don’t even know what verses to refer to, except for one that came to my mind almost immediately:
1. Petrus 1,16 denn es steht geschrieben: “Seid heilig, denn ich bin heilig”.
1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
When Christians are commanded to be holy, it doesn’t mean to be perfect, since that is impossible while we still live in this world. But as His people, we are to follow his commandments.
I thought the etymology for the German word heilig was interesting, especially the last part, where it says the word might have come from heil, which can mean “whole”. When I think of holiness, I think of perfection. Isn’t wholeness also something that is akin to perfection?
Perhaps not, but something that isn’t whole definitely isn’t perfect.
The connections between these words are something to think about.
Leave a Reply