Christ, our Light
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

In one language of East Africa, missionaries have been saying for more than fifty years, “The Lord be with thy spirit,” but they never realized until recently that, because of subtle grammatical distinctions, this important benediction actually implied, “Yes, the Lord be with your spirit, for we don’t want him.” When this fact was discovered, the missionaries protested to their native brethren and demanded [to know] why they would permit missionaries to go on making such a mistake for so many years. The only reply from the natives was that the missionaries were in the habit of saying a good many strange things, and since the missionaries all agreed in making the mistake, it must have been true, regardless of the strange implications. But this is scarcely [more] incongruous than the manner in which we have taken the Mizpah declaration, “The Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other” [Gen. 31:49], and have twisted it from its original context in which two jealous, cheating men called upon God for protection one from the other, and have appropriated it as a request for mutual blessings and benefits.
... Eugene A. Nida (1914-2011), God’s Word in Man’s Language, New York: Harper, 1952, p. 18 (see the book; see also Gen. 31:49; more at Bible, Blessing, God, Goodness, Knowledge, Missionary, Truth)

Compilation Copyright, 1996-2024, by Robert McAnally Adams,
        Curator, Christian Quotation of the Day,
        with Robert Douglas, principal contributor
Logo image Copyright 1996 by Shay Barsabe, of “Simple GIFs”, by kind permission.
Send comments to

Last updated: 06/07/16



Fun stuff

Tweet this      

     CQOD is now available to include on your personal home page, blog, or church web site—perfect for a sidebar.
     To display CQOD on your web site, updating daily, copy the line below and paste directly into the position that CQOD should appear:

     <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

     To display this particular quotation on your web site, copy the line below and paste directly into the position that CQOD should appear:

     <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

     For more information, see CQOD Web Home


Christ, our Light

    Welcome to the CQOD home page. This page changes daily, publishing a different quotation each day, so return here often. Many people use this page as their browser home page. Bookmark this page by pressing cntl-d.
     means text and bibliography have been verified.
    CQOD makes numerous features and links available. Here are some important links to help you get around:

    Previous day’s CQOD (John of the Cross)
    Following day’s CQOD (Lewis)
    This month’s CQODs

    CQOD for today
    CQOD on the go!
    Use our double opt-in listserve to receive CQOD by email
    CQOD daily index
    All monthly archives
    What’s New on CQOD
    Author index
    Title index
    Poetry index
    Scripture index
    Subject index
    Search CQOD (or see below)
    CQOD Blog
     Facebook CQOD Fan Page  
     Follow CQOD on Twitter  
     Follow CQOD on Instagram     About CQOD
    CQOD on the Web
    CQOD Liturgical Calendar
    Mere Christianity: a conversation
    Simple Songs for Psalms
    Quotations Bible Study
    Essays Archive
    Jonah: a miracle play
    Ruth: a play
    Also visit these organizations:
    Arab Vision
    More devotionals
    Search CQOD: Community Member