John 15:15

One of the reasons I’m reading, studying, listening to the Bible is to fill in the gaps in my knowledge of my own civilization, culture, history. I love reading or hearing a passage that makes me think, So THAT’s where that comes from. The starkest example so far is John 15:15, where Jesus tells his disciples

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

I heard that while driving to Philadelphia on Thursday night, and I thought So THAT’s why the Quakers call themselves “Friends”!

But while I felt confident that my guess was right, I wanted to confirm it. I figured I’d get online at the hotel that night and look up the chapter and verse on Google, combined with the word “Quaker” and see who said what. A little later in the drive, I reported this hypothesis and plan to my wife, who said she was at a computer and could look it up for me. I walked her through the steps I had planned — first find chapter and verse at, then Google the rest — and sure enough:

They thought of themselves as friends of Jesus and referred to themselves as “Friends of Truth” (from John 15:15). Later, they became known simply as “Friends”.


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