To dominate or not to dominate? That is the question

“You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you. You’re going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate,” the president told governors.

Not everybody studied Latin (or Greek, or Hebrew). With apologies to those for whom this is old hat, here’s a whirlwind lesson for those for whom it is not:

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Latin verb “dominare” = to dominate

Latin noun “dominus” = lord, master

Common attribute of the Roman emperor in Latin = “dominus”

Common attribute of the Roman emperor in Greek = ΚΥΡΙΟΣ

The divine name revealed to Moses from the burning bush (Exodus 4:14): אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶֽהְיֶ֑ה (I am that I am)

Common written form of the divine name throughout the Hebrew Bible: יהוה (sometimes written YHWH and pronounced Yahweh [a guess] or Jehovah [clearly a mistake])

What observant Jews said (and still say) instead of pronouncing the divine name: “Adonai” (English: Lord)

The usual representation of the Hebrew divine name in old Greek versions of the Old Testament: ΚΥΡΙΟΣ (English: Lord)

The usual representation of the Hebrew divine name in Latin versions of the Old Testament: “Dominus” (English: Lord)

What many English Bible translation write in place of the Hebrew divine name: LORD (with capital L and small-cap ORD)

Earliest Christian confession of faith: in Greek, ΚΥΡΙΟΣ ΙΗΣΟΥΣ or ΚΥΡΙΟΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ or ΚΥΡΙΟΣ ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ (Jesus is Lord or Christ is Lord or Jesus Christ is Lord)

Latin form of earliest Christian confession: “Dominus Iesus” or “Dominus Christus” or “Dominus Iesus Christos” (Jesus is Lord or Christ is Lord or Jesus Christ is Lord)

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What the Roman emperor did to express the meaning of “dominus”: commanded armies, executed opponents and critics, dominated people and nations with overwhelming force

What Jesus did to express the meaning of “dominus” as an attribute of God: emptied himself, took the form of a servant, washed his followers’ feet, showed compassion to sinners, cared for the poor, healed the sick, laid down his life for the world.

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Now, tell me again how vitally important it is for a leader to dominate?

Or if you’re the one who wants to dominate, tell me—who do you think you are?

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Tell me who you want to be like, and I will tell you what you are.

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I would like to learn to “dominate” (be lord) the way Jesus “dominated.” I would (in my better moments) rather imitate the Lord Jesus than lord it over others as Lord James.

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