1 Timothy 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels…
Paganism is misplaced incarnation. Some of these fancied incarnations are very revolting, and some of them are really sublime. The Egyptian's cat and crocodile are gross forms for God to take. The horrid fetiches of the Dark Continent are even worse. The Greek mythologies are classic and beautiful: There is something imposing in the fire-worship of the Parsecs, and the Indian's river-god moving in majesty. But when God did really come to dwell among us, He came as a human child, an infant in its mother's arms. This is at once the most mysterious, the most beautiful, and the most universal form God could take, as far as we can think. The most mysterious, because Darwin and Huxley acknowledge no more baffling mystery than that of mother and child. The most beautiful, because Raphael and Murillo attempted to paint nothing more beautiful than a child in its mother's arms. The most universal, because the traveller who encircles the earth hears no voice which declares the brotherhood of man like the voice of an infant. It is a universal language, always the same, whether the plaintive cry come from the Indian papoose hanging from the bending bow, or from the Italian bambino among the sunny hills of Tuscany. The same one touch of nature, whether coming from Laplander's furs, or Hottentot's booth, or Hindoo's bungalow, or Turk's kiosk, or Arab's tent, or the silken curtains of a palace, or the squalid poverty of a garret. Mysterious! Beautiful! Universal!
(R. S. Barrett.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
WEB: Without controversy, the mystery of godliness is great: God was revealed in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, and received up in glory.