Check your footnotes

I freely admit it… I am a nerd.

I am often more comfortable around books than I am around people. I love digging into academic things, even when I am not being graded. And, I’d rather write an article than have a conversation (for example, this blog).

I’m not anti-social, I’m just pro-alone. Fair enough?

Out of this nerdom will sometimes come a thought or comment that cracks me up and I wonder if anyone else would think the same. However, because I know I’m a nerd, I often keep it to myself for fear of getting a cyber-wedgie, or an e-wet-willie from one of you online cool kids.

But, this time, I’m going to take the risk… here goes.

This past Christmas season I preached on the wise men of Matthew chapter 2:

2:2“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

You know the story, these unknown wise guys see a star and somehow know the Child born under it is beyond significant and one of them yells, “ROADTRIP!”

They gas up the camels, shout out “Eat my dust,” and start the search. Cool story, but here’s where the nerd part kicks in…

In doing the original language study, to see if there was anything below the surface I should know or teach, I looked at the word “star.”Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 10.39.04 AM

No big surprises really, the Greek for star means star. It could mean planet or constellation, but star really does the trick. Good job English translators.

The actual Greek is prononced astera (insert nerd transition engine ignition here). Here’s my stream of consciousness…

“Hmmm… didn’t I learn the Kansas state motto in grade school? Wasn’t it ‘Ad astra per aspera’?

But, that’s Latin, not Greek.

‘Ad astra per aspera’ means ‘to the stars through difficulties.’

Wait, Latin ‘astra’ and Greek ‘astera’ both mean star. Cool! The Latin must have stole it directly from the Greek.

I wonder if ‘astera’ made it to English? I mean if you put an ending on it like ‘ed, ‘ing, or…wait, no way…

(quick check of

YES! Too cool, the modern English word asterisk is straight up Greek and/or Latin. It means little star, duh.

Yep, that little mark, symbol, or star that tells you to look at the bottom of the page for more information or check a footnote is the same root word from the Bible.

That’s when it hit me… (are you ready for it?)

I wonder if when the wise men saw the aster(isk), if they heard God saying, ” * See Jesus below “

I told you I was a nerd.

Still, the next time you see or use an asterisk, or for that matter, the next time you see a star… why don’t you look for Jesus?

Many blessings and thanks for letting me share some nerd humor.

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