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23 January 2009

Cool Word: Edify

I'm studying the scriptures this afternoon, and I come upon this verse:

"... Knoweldge puffeth up, but charity edifieth." -1 Corinthians 8:1

And as I'm pondering what this is saying I realize that I have no idea what edify means. I'd thought it meant to learn, but that doesn't seem to work at all in this context. Plus, the footnote on edifieth reads: "builds up, strengthens, establishes, repairs." None of that sounds like what I thought it means.

So I head to dictionary.com:

*to build, construct, establish.
*to build or strengthen a person, uplift.
*to inform or enlighten intellectually or spiritually.
*to instruct or benefit.

I wasn't all wrong, but I was missing a whole bunch of layers of meaning that really add to my understanding of the scriptures. Edify. Like edifice. An edifice isn't just a building, it's a grand and beautiful place. Edify. It makes a difference in how I understand other verses too. For instance:

Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let not all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege. -Doctrine & Covenants 88:120.

I'd always sort of substituted the word "learn" for edify: understanding this to mean something along the lines of "all may learn from all." But edify, while it does mean learn, is more that that. So we're all supposed to be building each other and growing together, and our teaching and learning and comments in classes and such need to be mindful of that end.


Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Very insightful study! I think you'd really enjoy Donna Nielsen's blog Connections. She's the author of Beloved Bridegroom. She LOVES studying Isaiah and Hebrew. The insights she shares on the meaning and origins of words found in the scriptures is a wonderful resource.

Ritsumei said...

Mmmm... sounds delicious! Thanks! I'll have to get over there & check her out. But I'm going to have to wait for the Monkey to go back to sleep. He took a super-long nap this afternoon, which I put to good use! But Hebrew & Isaiah... they need some concentration...

Glad you enjoyed my post!

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Her posts are very easy to read. Written a lot like this one actually. She explains the meaning and gives a few examples. The rest is up to you to go and look for more in the scriptures and gain what you can from them.


Tianna said...

Very interesting. I guess I always thought of Edify in the 'learning' capacity also. Thanks for your insight!


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