You may have read these Latin words before, or at least seen them. They are used as filler text for graphic designers. Those Latin words have an interesting story and relation to the Bible.

The copy can be traced back to the first century Roman philosopher Cicero. The words “lorem ipsum” mean pain itself. In the manuscript from which it is taken Cicero is discussing the philosophies of Epicureanism and Stoicism.

These are the same philosophers and philosophies that the Apostle Paul interacts with in the first century in Athens (Acts 17). Paul was showing them that the proper way to understand reality was through the Creator God who had revealed himself in Christ. It is in him that we live and move and have our being. He is the divine source of pleasure and virtue, the good they were grasping for, though he isn’t far from any of us.

So, the next time you see some Latin filler text be reminded of the opportunity for the gospel. Pain itself, lorem ipsum, echoes a conversation Paul had at Mars Hill. Like him may we seize the opportunities to talk about a reality that is not intimidated in the face of any human philosophy for it is the very source of all human life.