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November 1, 2015

Charity, love and a prenup cover a multitude of sins...


THE FAMOUS BIBLICAL QUOTE:

“And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”  
      
Saint Peter (c. 1 BC-c. 67 AD)
       Galilean-born Apostle of Jesus and early Christian leader
       His famous words in
I Peter 4:8, as translated in the King James Bible. Most later version of the Bible use the word love in place of charity.
       Chapter 4, Verse 8 of the
“First Epistle of Peter” (usually referred to as I Peter 4:8) is the origin of the sayings “charity covers a multitude of sins” and “love covers a multitude of sins.” These reflect two different translations of a word originally written in Greek by Peter. Although most familiar Bible quotes are from the King James version, “love covers a multitude of sins” has become the more commonly heard version.
       Peter actually used the Greek word agape for the thing that covers a multitude of sins. In the early Catholic Church’s Vulgate Bible and in the King James Version, agape was translated as charity. In later versions, it was translated as love. But in early Christian theology it didn’t quite mean what we now think of when we use either of those words. Agape refers to a more profound concept that can’t easily be translated into a single English word. It means a feeling of charitable compassion, empathy and non-romantic love toward other people, like the love God and Jesus Christ are said to have for mankind; a higher love that can look past and forgive — and thus “cover” and accept — other people’s faults and transgressions. 
       The famed Bible quote was not intended to mean that if someone gives enough alms to the poor or donates enough money to charities it will atone for or “cover up” their sins and let them get past St. Peter into the Pearly Gates of Heaven. Nonetheless, in common use, variations of the saying “charity covers a multitude of sins” are often used to suggest that doing or having a certain thing will hide or excuse something else.


THE #TRUMPBIBLE VERSION:

“Love covers a multitude of sins. Sure. But you’d be nuts not to get a prenup. I mean, c’mon. #TrumpBible.” 
       Eric Metaxas
       Pastor, author and radio show host
       One of Metaxas's suggested additions to the funny faux Donald Trump quotes featured on the #TrumpBible Twitter page, which mocks Trump’s claim to be a Christian (and Trump in general). Illustration by Jordan Awan.


MOTHER TERESA’S POIGNANT VERSION:

“The conditions under which the leper families live are terrible...Sometimes the pain is so great that I feel as if everything will break. The smile is a big cloak which covers a multitude of pains.”
      
Mother Teresa (1910-1997)
       Albanian-born Catholic nun known for her humanitarian efforts in India
      
In a letter quoted in the book Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: the Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta (2007), edited by Brian Kolodiejchuk


OSCAR WILDE’S SOCIALIST VARIATION:

“The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible... Charity creates a multitude of sins. There is also this to be said. It is immoral to use private property in order to alleviate the horrible evils that result from the institution of private property. It is both immoral and unfair.”
      
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
       Irish playwright, poet, social critic and wit
       In his essay
“The Soul of Man Under Socialism” (1891)


CARL SAGAN’S OBSERVATION:

“The word ‘god’ is used to cover a vast multitude of mutually exclusive ideas. And the distinctions are, I believe in some cases, intentionally fuzzed so that no one will be offended that people are not talking about their god.”
      
Carl Sagan (1934-1996)
       American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist and author 
       Remark in a lecture included in the book
The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God (2007)


CAPTAIN KIRK’S QUIP:

“That helmet covers a multitude of sins.”
      
Captain James T. Kirk (actor William Shatner) 
       Kirk makes this joking remark
to Spock (Leonard Nimoy) in the Star Trek episode “Patterns of Force” (Season 2, Episode 21). He’s referring to the helmet Spock puts on during their visit to a planet run by a Nazi-inspired government. The helmet covers Spock’s pointed Vulcan ears, thus helping to hide the fact that he is an alien.

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