SpeciMen Trilogy: The Meaning Behind the Name

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The Title: “SpeciMen Trilogy”
by Matthew Mossotti

spec·i·men
ˈspesəmən/
A specimen is a sample of something, like a specimen of blood or body tissue that is taken for medical testing.
The noun specimen comes from the Latin word specere, meaning “to look.” Biologists collect specimens so they can get a better look at something to study it. The idea is that, with a good specimen, you can learn about an entire group: it’s a good representation. That meaning is echoed in the slang use of specimen, a strong, healthy and attractive person.

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In consideration of a title which would adequately encapsulate the essential Final Cause for the war between good and evil which plays out in the cosmos upon each and every human soul on Planet Earth, for inspiration, I turned to the only three instances in Scripture with recorded dialogue between God and Satan.

In Genesis, God formally establishes the enmity between the ancient dragon-serpent and humankind, although here it would appear that the enmity between Satan and God was already well underway. The respective curses of fallen man and fallen angel are dealt and the rest is nothing less than the whole of human history.

In Job, when Satan appears before God with the angelic host, to God’s query to his whereabouts, the accusing vagabond replies that he has been out roaming the Earth, going back and forth through it. When God inquires if the wanderer came across Job, who He praises as being His faithful servant, Satan retorts that Job’s character as a man who fears God and shuns evil is a mere function of the blessings which God had bestowed upon and sustained for his servant Job. God then allows Satan to take everything away from Job, effectively allowing Satan to test the authenticity of his faithfulness. In the end, by the slightest margins, Job passes the test.

In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Satan appears to test Christ in the exhaustion of His fasting, not by taking away from Him as he did with Job, but this time by promising to give everything in the world to him. “Πειράζω (peirazó)” is the Greek word which is here and oftentimes elsewhere translated in the New Testament as “tempting.” However, rendered literally, πειράζω (peirazó) means, “to make proof of via testing.” It is written that Jesus overcame.

To my original inquiry to the essential Final Cause for the war between good and evil which plays out upon each and every human soul: according to the Scriptural narrative, it would seem as if God is allowing each soul the opportunity to be tested by evil forces in order that each of us may make proof of our character, that the authenticity of our inner-selves will become revealed and thereby, one way or the other, somehow more real and permanent. With respect to the direct translation of the Greek “Πειράζω (peirazó) as “testing“,” in the jargon of scientific examination, the subject which is under testing is referred to as the specimen. I thusly titled the three-part story the SpeciMen Trilogy, choosing to capitalized the “M” for emphasis on the fallen human condition.

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