Caesar Augustus: All Is Forgiven
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
Luke 2:1, King James Version, New Testament
That glow on the faces of so many of us Protestant ministers’ children this time of year is a reconnection. Like sticking our fingers into the science-project sockets of our childhoods, we sit around tempting mythology to fry us again, gazing at this verse and that phrase by the self-published (papyrus format) author Luke.
And, lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone ’round about them: and they were sore afraid.
We read Luke as we still hear him: in the heaving, ancient, world-splitting spectacle of the King James Version of the New Testament. Those wild, even preposterous images thunder again in our heads:
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Our good colleague, the publishing consultant-prophet Brian O’Leary has reminded me in the Tweeterie this week that, of course, we may well be hearing more from crafty translators than from that busy desert scribbler Luke, himself.
And what would the everlastingly quoted apostle say now if he could see how many times he has been published?
In how many translations?
In how many formats across the millennia?