Tim Tams and wholemeal bread: more Spanish words that expand my faith

I’ve been reading the Psalms in Spanish. Scripture is my main connection to this language these days and I absolutely love how I can glean new insights from a text I’ve read countless times. A few years back, I wrote about the six Spanish words that changed my faith. Recently, I found two more to add to this set.

Both are words I discovered on exchange in Madrid but it’s in seeing them pop up time and again in the Bible that I’ve come to appreciate how they expand my concept of God and humanity.

One of those words reminds me of the series of ads in which a guy/gal wishes for a neverending pack of Tim Tams. The other I associate with wholemeal bread.

Inagotable (unending or inexhaustible)

Pues su amor inagotable por nosotros es poderoso;
    la fidelidad del Señor permanece para siempre.

Salmo 117:2 (Nueva Traducción Viviente)

For his unfailing love for us is powerful;
    the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.

Psalm 117:2 (New Living Translation)

The root word is the noun gota, meaning a drop of liquid, and the verb agotar(se) means to run out. The first time I really took notice of this word was when purchasing my ticket for a Real Madrid match. Las entradas se han agotado. The tickets have sold out.

The adjective inagotable follows the same structure and logic as words like inexhaustible, invincible and invaluable. Where agotar(se) is used in reference to something finite, something inagotable is infinite.

It’s cool to see this word used frequently in the Psalms to describe the love of God. Unfailing and steadfast are common English renderings of this word in the Psalms, and Google Translate gives you inexhaustible and never-failing. They’re accurate, of course, but something like “un-run-out-able” or “un-drained-able” would better capture the nuance.

There’s a real sense it which it is so big and so abundant that you could never drain it completely, never wring it dry. There is enough for everybody, all the time. In that sense, it’s like a neverending pack of Tim Tams.

I had no idea Cate Blanchett was in these ads – did you?

Íntegro (having integrity)

Pues el Señor es justo y ama la justicia;
    los íntegros verán su rostro.

Salmo 11:7 (Nueva Traducción Viviente)

For the righteous Lord loves justice.
    The virtuous will see his face.

Psalm 11:7 (New Living Translation)

This word has the same root as the English words integrity, integral, integer and integrate. It’s one of those concepts everyone intuitively understands yet most people would struggle to define it concisely. Obviously an integer is a whole number, integrating is unifying something harmoniously, something that’s integral is core to essence.

What I love about the word in Spanish is that it’s used both to describe the undivided heart of a man (corazón íntegro) and wholemeal bread (pan integral). They never taught us the word for wholemeal bread in Spanish class, so it’s something I noticed at the supermarket in Madrid and filed away in my mind’s archives.

Photo credit: Jude Infantini.

Where the New Living Translation renders Psalm 11:7 using the word virtuous, the Nueva Traducción Viviente uses íntegros.

I love the idea of people of integrity being like wholemeal bread. In a society that’s sick of fake nice, people of integrity are unprocessed, unbleached, unsugary. They’re natural and authentic. They’re good for you.

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In conclusion, God’s love is like a neverending pack of Tim Tams and we should all be more like wholemeal bread.

Have a great day!


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