Why do they call the Christ's crucifixion the "passion" instead of the "passing"?
It's Easter again. Why do they call the Christ's crucifixion the "passion" instead of the "passing"? Seems inappropriate. Is "passion" in this context a made-up name by the churches.
- thing 55001Lv 71 decade agoFavourite answer
Far from the churches having made the word 'passion' up, it is the modern world which has a different interpretation of the word than the original meaning.
The Latin word, "passionem" which means 'to endure' was tagged onto the word 'pie' (which means suffering) and later imbued with the sense of the greek word 'pathos' to create the meaning of 'passion', as the endurance of great suffering (as that of Jesus) for many centuries.
The modern meaning, which may have derived from some poetic wordplay on the 'sufferings of love' was not used until the early 1600s, but has gradually becaome more commonly used than the original meaning.
Nowadays, one can also have a passion for wealth, beauty, fast cars or success ~ in fact we are constantly told to have a 'passion' for our work, our recreation and all our pursuits, whcih seems to mean to feel emotionally connected to whatever it is we are doing.
This is a very good example of a word changing its meaning significantly in general usage, while still retaining the original usage (suffering endured) in formal use (that is, a church).
- Anonymous1 decade ago
The English word has its roots in the Latin passio, which means, simply, "suffering." Its first recorded use is in early Latin translations of the Bible that appeared in the 2nd century A.D. and that describe the death of Jesus. The Latin word was borrowed prolifically in Old English religious texts, where its meaning remained exclusively theological. But when the Normans invaded Britain in the middle of the 11th century, their conquest infused thousands of French words—including passion, which also referred solely to the sufferings of Jesus—into the spoken language. The record is sketchy, but it seems that once passion was in use in both languages, it began to develop broader meanings. The first new senses in English referred to martyrdom and physical suffering or affliction, and by the 13th century, passion was being used to refer to any strong emotion.
The process accelerated greatly as the English vocabulary exploded in the 16th century. Many words accrued new meanings during this period; literature and vernacular poetry flourished, and a renewed interest in classical learning may have given Latin a more direct influence on the language as well. Passion, for instance, may have been shaded by an obscure definition of the Latin passio as an "affection of the mind" or "emotion." (Etymologists believe that this more arcane meaning drew from the Greek word pathos.) Over the course of the century, the word came to signify a panoply of emotional afflictions, such as "extreme anger," "a literary work marked by deep emotion," and, finally, "strong sexual attraction or love."
The first sexual usage is attributed to William Shakespeare, who wrote, in Titus Andronicus, "My sword … shall … plead my passions for Lavinia's love." It wasn't a great leap from Shakespeare to the entirely modern senses of passion, which developed, with his and others' help, over the next few decades.
So as you see, the church did not nick the word from the world and used it inappropriately. Rather in the modern world many people have lost touch with their religious roots and have become ignorant of many of the words which their grandparents would have understood in the correct sense.
- OPMLv 71 decade ago
Passion in this case comes from the Latin and does not mean the modern meaning. Passion in this case means to suffer something to happen. It refers to the entire time from the agony in the garden (agon in Greek) to the death and descent into the abyss.