Peace and Good Will

About ten years ago I found an interesting item in one of my  Grandma’s Scrapbooks. The scrapbook was from 1957. I first wrote about this item back when I found it, but thought I would share my thoughts again this year.

Peace on Earth - 1957 - Scrapbook - A Saviour has been born to you - Good Will to MenHere we find the scene from Luke chapter 2 where the angel appears to the shepherds.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.

And the angel said to them,

“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,

“Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Luke 2:8-20 ESV

When I read the words in the small banner in the picture, it made me think. In the picture the words are:

Peace on Earth to Men of Good Will

The wording here comes from the Douay Rheims Bible.

In newer translations like the ESV we find:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

When we listen to old Christmas Carols the wording is Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All, or Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All Mankind.

Why do the old carols add in Goodwill to All or All Mankind?

It all comes down to a missing letter in some later manuscripts like the Codex Sinaiticus (where the letter was later erased). The missing letter changes the English translation from ‘men of good will’ to ‘good will to men’.

The Douay Rheims uses an earlier source than the edited Codex Sinaiticus as do many modern translations.

This mad me think.

How can we have peace?

We need to make sure that we have good will and are pleasing God, then we will have peace.


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