ellesieg (ellesieg) wrote in 1word1day,

Tuesday Word: Laodicean

Laodicean means "of or related to Laodicea," an ancient city of Anatolia (or Asia Minor), or "lukewarm," in the sense of being indifferent or unenthusiastic, especially when it comes to religious or political matters. This second meaning appears to have come from Chapter 3 of the Book of Revelation, which is addressed directly to the Laodicean Christian community:

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. [source]

I suppose these verses are saying that the Christians of Laodicea were indifferent to religion and unaware of their spiritual poverty due to their being content with physical comfort and material wealth..but I think I forfeited my right to even attempt to analyze scripture when I began my research by asking for confirmation that Revelation is in the back of the Bible.

The metaphor of cold, hot and lukewarm water may come from the existence of a Laodicean aqueduct which could have supplied the city with water from a nearby hot spring. By the time it reached the city, the water would have been lukewarm -- not cold enough to make for pleasant drinking water, not hot enough to be useful for anything else. [source]

Laodicean was the winning word of 13-year-old Olathe, Kansas resident Kavya Shivashankar, the champion of the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Only 21 days, 3 hours and 11 minutes left until the start of the next national bee!
Tags: adjective, biblical, l, wordsmith: ellesieg

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