Hi everyone! The term “ABC” can have many meanings depending on the context it’s used in. A quick peek at its etymology goes back to the thirteenth century old French word ‘abece’ meaning “alphabet”. It subsequently changes by the fourteenth century to mean the “rudiments or fundamentals (of any subject)”. It’s an acronym for American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and many other things. (1) In medicine, it’s Airway, Breathing and Circulation; the primary focus upon arrival at a code blue situation (when heart and lungs suddenly stop working for a variety of reasons e.g., heart attack, pneumonia etc.). Because that person is no longer able to control their breathing, the first step is to secure their airway, remove blockages etc., put 100% oxygen on them and, do chest compressions to get some oxygenated blood circulating and jump start them again. The fundamentals of CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation is ABC.
These concepts are not new. The gospel of Luke was written by a Greek physician, Dr. Luke. In her article titled The History of the Hippocratic Oath, Laura McPherson states,
“The Hippocratic Oath was modern for its time; in fact, it might have been too modern, as there are few references to the document between its initial appearance around 400 BCE and the Middle Ages”. (2)~McPherson, Laura. The History of the Hippocratic Oath
It’s likely Luke, as a Greek physician, knew the Hippocratic Oath of his day. It has undergone several revisions since it’s discovery in the 1500’s by German scholars. One of those versions
“include the Declarations of Geneva, adopted by the World Medical Association in 1948…which incorporates Hippocrates’ general principles as well [as] pledges not to use medical knowledge to violate human rights or civil liberties and to practice medicine without discrimination or bias”. (3)~Ibid
The original Hippocratic Oath included swearing allegiance to “the Greek gods who were believed to oversee medicine”. (4) It is out of that belief that Dr. Luke came. He left the Greek principles of Hippocrates to follow the Apostle Paul, who was demonstrating the healing of the “spirit and soul and body” (5). Another disciple of Jesus, the Apostle John, said,
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers”. (6)3 John 1:2
The key to complete healing is the order. Healing soul first. Four years of medical school, three years of Internal Medicine specialty, and then twenty years of medical practice could not prepare me for the healing of the soul; starting with my own. It is a process. The Apostle James describes it this way,
“So, get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls”. (7)Amplified Version of the Bible
It is through this healed soul; which is how we think, our world view, what we are passionate about- all of which Christ wants to change to make us like Him through a deeper understanding of His word. Jesus said we would do greater works than He did. How? Jesus came to show us the way (Heb 10:20) and once we go through that process (Luke 14:26 & 27) then we will be prepared to do the greater works that He said we will do. But it starts with the ABCs. Jesus said I AM the A to Z, the Alpha and Omega, the living WORD that will save your soul.
So, till next time, remember your ABCs.
I’m Dr. Roni
- Etymonline.com, ABC (n.)
- McPherson, Laura. The History of the Hippocratic Oath. (absn.northeastern.edu)
- 1 Thessalonian 5:23
- 3 John 1:2
- Amplified Version of the Bible