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Fiat Lux

 

Fiat Lux

"Fiat Lux" redirects here. For other uses, see Fiat Lux (disambiguation).
This article is about the Biblical phrase. For the verse from the Bible, see Genesis 1:3. For other uses, see Let There Be Light.


"Let there be light" is an English translation of the Hebrew יְהִי אוֹר (yehi 'or). Other translations of the same phrase include the Latin phrase fiat lux, and the Greek phrase γενηθήτω φῶς (or genēthētō phōs). The phrase is often used for its metaphorical meaning of dispelling ignorance.

The phrase comes from the third verse of the Book of Genesis. In the King James Bible, it reads, in context:

1:1 - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
1:2 - And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
1:3 - And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
1:4 - And God saw the light, and it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

Origin and etymology

The Latin phrase fiat lux, from the Latin Vulgate Bible, is typically translated as "let there be light" when relating to Genesis 1:3 (Hebrew: "יְהִי אוֹר"). The full phrase is "dixitque Deus fiat lux et facta est lux" ("And said God let there be light, and there was light"), from the Greek "και είπεν ο Θεός γενηθήτω φως και εγένετο φως" (kai eipen ho Theos genēthētō phōs kai egeneto phōs), from the Hebrew "וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי אוֹר; וַיְהִי אוֹר" (vayo'mer 'Elohim, yehi 'or vayehi 'or).

Since fiat lux would be literally translated as "let light be made" (fiat is from fieri, the passive form of the verb facere, "to make" or "to do"), an alternative Latinization of the original Greek and Hebrew, lux sit ("light - let it exist" or "let light exist") has been used occasionally, although there is debate as to its accuracy.[1]

Use by educational institutions

Fiat lux is the motto of and also appears on the seals of the following educational institutions:

Fiat Lux also appears on the outside of Kerns Religious Life Center at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. The second half of the same verse, Et facta est lux appears on the seal of Morehouse College.


In literature

For works which use the phrase as their title, see Let there be light (disambiguation)#In literature and Fiat lux (disambiguation)
  • "Fiat Lux" is also a term that is used in the novel Die Insel des Zweiten Gesichts (1982) by German writer Albert Vigoleis Thelen.
  • The English phrase concludes Isaac Asimov's science fiction short story "The Last Question", symbolizing the godlike growth in power of an extremely advanced computer as it creates a new universe from the ashes of a dead one, drawing comparisons and suggesting an explanation for the biblical Book of Genesis.
  • Alexander Pope's couplet "Nature and nature's laws lay hid in Night./God said, 'Let Newton be!' and all was light" is a reference to "Let There Be Light".
  • In Les Misérables, Victor Hugo speaks about the importance of daring and writes "That cry, 'Audace,' is a Fiat Lux!"
  • One of the three main divisions of the Walter M. Miller, Jr. book A Canticle for Leibowitz is titled "Fiat Lux".
  • "Fiat Lux!" is the activating phrase in the setting of a Ward Major in the 'Chronicles of the Deryni' by Katherine Kurtz.
  • The Fiat Lux Agency is the name of Nestor Burma's private detective agency, in the novels written by Léo Malet.

References

External links

  • (film) website, debevec.org
  • Fiat Lux Assisi to Rome pilgrimage film website, fiatlux.org.uk
  • Fiat Lux - Let There Be Lights (SCA, Kingdom of Lochac), fiatlux.webcentre.co.nz
  • Let There Be Light (Rollins College Seal), rollins.edu
  • Let There Be Light -Howard Smith's website, lettherebelightbook.com
  • The Knightly Order of the Fiat Lux website, knightlyorderofthefiatlux.org
  • Annual outdoor art exhibit in Charlottesville, VA, lettherebelightpvcc.com
  • Lombard Masonic Lodge #1098 A.F. & A.M., Lombard, IL, lombard1098.com
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