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All over, red rover

I liked Andrew Cameron’s article, “All over red rover,” on the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, just posted on the CPX website: http://publicchristianity.org/tombofchristdocpage1.html

The crucial question for me, though, is not the meaning of the resurrection but the origin of “red rover.” As Cameron says, “No one quite knows why the red dog gets a mention.”

Well, not quite no one. I believe it’s an Australian colloquialism describing what happens at the end of the children’s game called “British bulldog.” On possible origins of the term see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Rover (not as authoritative as Scripture, but a good place to go for verification of some truth claims).

What Wikipedia doesn’t reveal is that the antipodean mystique of the term “all over red rover” is deepened by the publication of the short novel Red Dog, by Louis de Bernières (2002), about the hapless fate of a “red cloud kelpie” in a remote part of Western Australia.

Of course, “all over red kelpie” murders both the rhyme and alliteration. And I don’t think “all over crimson kelpie” will stick. But you didn’t need to know that.

Back to the main point of Cameron’s article: to claim that it’s “all over Christos Kurios” is just not historically accurate.  As we confess in the classic Easter hymn, “Christ the Lord has risen today!”

No bones about it.

Categories: resurrection

Rod Benson

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