Infusion Bible eStudies are downloadable small group studies that can be read online, printed, or emailed. Each study includes a leader guide and a study guide and is suitable for a one-hour group Bible study.
Listen...to the words of the Scripture, and in them discover God's message for you today.
Look...at a brief verbal snapshot from the scrapbook of contemporary life and discover its connection both to you and to the Scripture passage.
Live...inside the Scripture to discover its context and message; then allow the Scripture to come alive in you and cause you to live out your faith in new and more-effective ways.
Read an excerpt from this study below.
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” Today of all days, that carol is most appropriate; but what sort of syntax is “the Lord is come”? Should not that be either “the Lord has come” or “the Lord is here”? Isaac Watts composed the words of the hymn in 1719, and the rules of word order were not the same then as they are today; so maybe that is why this phrase seems not quite right to our ear. Also, we are dealing with poetry; and in that form of expression, the rules of grammar are sometimes bent to serve the sound of the line.
Either of those explanations is possible, but maybe Watts wrote exactly what he meant. The biblical prophets often included the terminology “will come” in pronouncements about God’s salvation and the promise of a messiah (for example, Isaiah 59:20: “He will come to Zion as Redeemer.”). “Will come” presupposes a sense of expectation; but for the people of the Old Testament during the long years between the two testaments, expectation lost its energy. It is exhausting to remain standing on the tiptoes of expectancy. Nonetheless, “will come” remained the verbal expression of their hope.
Then, God sent Jesus, born in Bethlehem. For Watts to describe that arrival as “the Lord is here” would lose the flavor of the vocabulary of expectancy. So Watts retained “come” and changed “will” (future tense) to “is” (present tense). The Lord is come! Right now! The waiting is over. That is the reason for joy to the world.