I grew up in a rough-and-tumble area, with a lot of really salt-of-the-earth people surrounding me; however, I learned language that was also… salt-of-the-earth. For many years, I heard Jesus as the first name, and Christ as the last one. Don’t smirk, you know exactly what I mean.
I was reading in my bible the other night, and it suddenly my writer-brain kicked in:
There should be a comma between Jesus and Christ. Christ isn’t Jesus’ last name. It’s his TITLE.
Take a second and let that sink in. For Jesus is THE CHRIST. The King, Savior, Sovereign.
Now try this: From now on, every time you see the two words, Jesus Christ, together, insert a comma. Go back and read that again, inserting a comma in your mind. Doesn’t it read more correctly now?
Watch how it fits in this set of verses from Romans: (Romans 5:16-18 (New International Version))
Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus, Christ.
Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.
The comma inserted is mine.* Try it for yourself as you read in your bible. See if that doesn’t move you just a little bit.
(*Maintaining the truth, here; I’m making a temporary addition to God’s book. Of course, the original version does not have the comma.)