"He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Peace! Be still!' Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm."
-The Gospel according to Saint Mark, Chapter Four, Verse 39
New Revised Standard Version
This is one of those widely-quoted parts of the Bible; many people are familiar with it, regardless of religious devotion.
I was interested to know not only the various translations but the original terms in Greek, specifically the "Peace! Be still!" aspect.
Σιώπα, πεφίμωσο. (siopa, pefimoso)
This site gives a little information about the words being both uncommon and possibly a statement as opposed to a command, saying the words only appear elsewhere when Jesus is issuing a command to demons. Both words refer to keeping silence or keeping something secret or muzzling.
This is extremely intriguing, and I'm still more inclined to think of it as a command, rather than a statement. This could be a bias showing on my end simply because that's how I've always heard the phrase and understood the meaning.
If we see it as a command, the command is rather harsh; this isn't Jesus asking the sea nicely to return to a state of harmony, but saying something more like, "Be quiet already!" This translation may seem unflattering to the high-minded images of Jesus, but I think it brings out the feeling into modern language well enough.
There's also a possible connection to the Old Testament here and the "Leviathan" tradition; more about this topic can be found here. The idea of a Divinity fighting and slaying a sea monster is a common in Middle Eastern mythology, and this idea was applied to the Hebrew Idea of Deity as well.
Jesus then doing something similar in the Gospels possibly is a reference to this; the power of Christ is shown by his simply uttering words and not engaging necessarily in a battle.
This is a kind of deeper theme that exists within the Jewish and Christian traditions, a theme of relying on intellect, culture, and integrity as opposed to brute force and violence.
This is enough to consider for today.