I’ll save you some taps diving off to Google for a quick Latin refresher. The term tertium quid: “Something that cannot be classified into either of two groups usually considered exhaustive”. Now AD 35 was probably a good year, so let’s go and eavesdrop on an “over the garden fence” conversation between Simeon, a follower of The Way (aka a Christian) and Quintus, the quintessential Roman.
Quintus: “So, Simeon, I gather you’re in with this Jesus fella – so which one is his sooper-dooper temple?”
Simeon: “Strangely enough we don’t really have one.”
Quintus: “Well that is a bit weird, no doubt your priests and priestesses really make up for that omission. I bet they sport some nifty gear with gold bling and the whole shebang?”
Simeon: “Funny you should say, but we really don’t go in for priests either.”
Quintus: “Simeon, you just crack me up with your joking – so next you’ll be selling me the idea that you operate a total sacrifice-free zone!”
Simeon: “Quintus, please stop this mind-reading thing! Yes, we truly have zero concept of requiring sacrifices …”
Rewinding to when Christianity was first launched, following directly on the heels of the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, it was not termed or considered as a religion. Given it was so utterly different from anything they had ever seen before, the Romans even called the people atheists! Today, we tend to separate people into either religious or secular camps, and yet, the first followers of Jesus understood that what they were aligning themselves with was totally “category busting”! And hence, I suggest, anything truly Christian will always have the seal and imprint of being a “tertium quid”, of being very distinctly a third way.