Discussion Forum

Please consider registering
guest

Log In Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —

  

— Match —

   

— Forum Options —

   

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Topic RSS
beloved of God
Exact meaning of 'adjective of noun' phrase
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
2013/06/19
12:56am
Robert
Member
Forum Posts: 397
Member Since:
2011/10/03
Offline
1
0
Joyce Carol Oates writes this:
Their hilarity was so threaded with profanities…It was clear to him that they were not beloved of God.
 
There seem to be several possibilities:
 
    They were not loved by God
    They were not loving God
    They were not the beloved’s who belong to God
    They were not beloved (not loved by anyone) where God is concerned
 
To consult a similar and common pattern, one might consider these:
 
    They are strong of backs (=their backs are strong)
    They are pure of hearts (=their hearts are pure)
    They are beloved of God (=?)
 
So, what exactly you think does Oates mean?

 

2013/06/19
3:41am
Glenn
Admin
Forum Posts: 1592
Member Since:
2009/03/03
Offline

I feel confident that the meaning is, in a word, Christian.

The phrase appears, unsurprisingly, in the Bible (KJV), notably in Paul’s epistle to the Romans, chapter 1 vs. 7: “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: … .”

Other close phrases also appear in the Bible with the same meaning. In that context it means “those whom God loves” and it refers to believers.

The phrase has also entered into the general church vernacular as an idiom for Christian. It is in the idiomatic sense that Oates’s character uses the phrase.

2013/06/19
7:29am
Robert
Member
Forum Posts: 397
Member Since:
2011/10/03
Offline
Thanks Glenn.
The character in the book is a Minister wandering among heathens.
I was kind of trying to identify a 300 foot redwood from the bark patterns.
2013/06/19
1:38pm
Glenn
Admin
Forum Posts: 1592
Member Since:
2009/03/03
Offline
4
0

You bring up some good questions. The phrase, when used idiomatically, can easily result in some confusing uses, as in your example from Oates. The fixed expression was established in its positive sense. When used in the negative sense as in your example, it appears to imply that God does not love unbelievers. But this idea doesn’t hold up. Context demands that we acknowledge God’s love for the world (Gospel of John 3:16), notably these very saints before they were believers. In its original positive form, the phrase affirms a special relationship between God and believers.

So I settle on considering it a fixed phrase meaning Christian, and then it works in both the positive sense and, as Oates’s character uses it, in the negative.

Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 1147

Currently Online: EmmettRedd
3 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Heimhenge: 776

Bob Bridges: 675

Ron Draney: 627

RobertB: 423

Robert: 397

tromboniator: 385

Dick: 374

samaphore: 312

dilettante: 287

deaconB: 239

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 608

Members: 2960

Moderators: 1

Admins: 5

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 1

Topics: 3141

Posts: 16542

Newest Members: CyberSleep, Sam Iam, SnoringSnotty, Webbie39, kathy_b, isolda_m, michaelyaziji, bug free, Rach5150, SnoringNotes

Administrators: Martha Barnette: 820, Grant Barrett: 1419, EmmettRedd: 633, Glenn: 1592, timfelten: 0