Matthew 3:12, Asbestos

Just a funny fact. Our word “asbestos” comes from the Greek word, ’ασβεστὸς. In the Greek, when this word is used with fire or laughter, it is translated as “inextinguishable, unquenchable.” When used with the ocean, it describes the oceans “ceaseless flow.” Interestingly, asbestos was used in construction of buildings for years because it is completely fireproof. I can see why English took a word that means “unquenchable” to name an unburnable substance. But the connection between the Greek adjective and the building material isn’t perfect… I don’t think Jesus was talking about what we call asbestos, since asbestos can’t burn, and it’s deadly to people.


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