The Barbarian

According to the Oxford English dictionary, the origin of the word barbarian is from “Late Middle English (in barbarous (sense 2)): via Latin from Greek barbarous ‘foreign’ + -ous.” Since I am technically a foreigner in America, that makes me a barbarian. I also am a barbarian by ancient heritage. I am descended from one of the Germanic tribes and one of the Slavic tribes, both of which are not Roman or Greek in origin. That certainly qualifies me as a barbarian, something I am very proud of.

 

The word barbarian has the same root as the word barber. Mostly, from the Latin word for beard. If you are a student of Roman history, you know the Roman men were pretty much always clean-shaven. It was only the “savage and primitive” tribes that the Romans warred against and usually conquered who had beards. Well, I have a beard. I guess I qualify as a barbarian on that count as well. 🙂

 

In every depiction of an ancient barbarian, whether that depiction is a modern or an ancient one, the man has long hair. In ancient times, at least in Europe, it was only the Greek and Romans, the civilized peoples, who got haircuts. Apparently, the uncivilized barbarian tribes did not have barbers. 🙂 Again, since my hair currently reaches to my collarbone and is still growing, I guess I qualify as a barbarian on those grounds as well. I am quite proud of my long hair and my beard, such as the beard is. I have always had a hard time growing a lot of facial hair. The only part that grows in really well is my mustache and my goatee. But, I believe that is enough to qualify me as a barbarian! 🙂

 

There is another reason for my hairiness. In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, a man who dedicated his life to the service of God was called a Nazarene. Sampson and Jesus both were Nazarenes. The distinguishing feature of a Nazarene was his long hair and his facial hair. I am sure you all are familiar with the story of Sampson and Delilah, how Delilah took away Sampson strength. She cut his hair! That allowed him to be captured by the Philistines. According to Christian tradition, the Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus nailed a small piece of wood to the top of the cross. On that piece of wood was an inscription in Latin, Hebrew and I believe Greek, that translates as “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” I believe that is a mistranslation. I believe it should be translated as “Jesus the Nazarene” not “Jesus of Nazareth.” I am working on a post for my Christian Heresy blog about this possible mistranslation.

 

This post, actually this whole blog, is not the place to argue who or what God is. Nor is it the place to discuss my own personal religious beliefs. My Christian Heresy blog is more appropriate for that subject matter. I have always been a very spiritual/religious person, in the broadest sense of that expression. I am not a fundamentalist, not by any stretch of the imagination. However, my life and the path, winding as it has been, that I have taken from birth to now has been one of seeking spiritual enlightenment, for the lack of a better word. So, I guess you could say I am a Nazarene of sorts. Since the Greeks and the Romans pretty much considered the people of the Roman province of Palestine as barbarians, that makes me again a barbarian, something I am quite proud of.

 

Peace and love, especially to all you barbarians out there! 🙂

John

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