Quod Verum Tutum

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‘Quod verum tutum’

“What is true is right!”

The Rest of the Story!

This is the rest of the story about how the motto “Verum Tantum” was created…

About 1969, in a North High School English class, I was studying how Latin phrases have become common mottos in the English language…

E pluribus unum‘ [Latin for “Out of many, one”], is a phrase on the Seal of the United States, along with ‘Annuit cœptis‘ [Latin for “He (God) has favored our undertakings.” (brackets in original).] and ‘Novus ordo seclorum‘ [Latin for “New Order of the Ages”], and adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782.

Semper Fidelis‘ [Latin for “Always Faithful”], is well known in the United States as the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps (and often shortened to ‘Semper Fi’ in Marine contexts).

In that class we were challenged to write a motto for our life, family or a future venture…

Quod Verum Tutum

Speir's school 1891
Spier’s School in 1891

I was inspired by the motto of a school, Spier’s school, in my grandfather’s native Scotland. The school motto was ‘Quod verum tutum’ [Latin for “What is true is right”].

Quad verum tutum stone (What is true is right), Spier's, Beith
The Motto Stone From the Spier’s School

The Latin motto of the old Spier’s School translates as ‘What is true is right (or secure).’ This motto was chosen by the Spier family, being used on the official school Seal of the Board of Governors, on the school uniform, and in the “Spier’s School Magazine”.

Spier's School Magazine No 1
‘Quod Verum Tutum’, Spier’s Magazine No 1, 1888

‘Quod verum tutum’ could be translated “What is true is right”, “What is true is secure”, “What is true is safe”, or even “True things are safe.”

The school closed, 30 June 1972 (the same month I graduated from my High School). A sandstone slab or panel (photo above), carved with ‘Quod verum tutum’ was rescued from the school grounds, after having been shattered in the school’s demolition in 1984. The slab was preserved at the Old Stables Museum in Kilbirnie (Ed.Note: Now closed. Some years ago the Friends of Spiers (FoS) became guardians of the Spier’s motto panel.).

The ‘Quod verum tutum’ motto is actually anonymous in origin, however it is in use elsewhere. For example, ‘Quod verum tutum’ was used by the Courtney family, Earls of Devon.

A Coat of Arms bearing the motto appears on the sign of this hotel!

‘Quod Verum Tutum’ on a Coat of Arms!

Verum Tantum

With the motto ‘Quod Verum Tutum’ firmily in my mind, I wanted a motto that would represent the best path for me…

Only the Truth, Verum Tantum, which also renders, in a word for word translation, as “Truth Only!”

And now you know… The Rest of the Story!

8 Responses

  1. […] Quod Verum Tutum » Verum Tantum (Only the Truth!) My Personal Motto […]

  2. Paul Brown
    | Reply

    I went to Spier’s school between 1964 and it’s closure in 1972. Great place to learn, great motto for life!!

  3. Shawn Lyman
    | Reply

    Also part of the Lyman, Lambert family crest of our native Scotland.

    • Tait
      | Reply

      Well Shawn, the is good to know! I hope more people believe that What is true is right!

  4. Ted Nevill
    | Reply

    The “Quod Verum Tutum” stone from Spier’s School has been restored and returned ‘home’ to the school grounds in the Coronation Garden.

    • Tait
      | Reply

      Great News Ted, I hope we can get a photo of it!

  5. Phil Tice
    | Reply

    Dear Ted: I ran across the social website “Quod Verum” which led me to this site. At first I checked out the Vulgate version of Philippians chap. 4, v.8, which says. “Whatever is true, right lovely, etc.”, but the Latin is slightly different. Still I like the motto, especially as a Christian, since Jesus famously said, “I AM the Truth,,”. Certainly, your school motto must have included the idea that there is great security in His Name. He is a refuge for sinners.

    • White Brown
      | Reply

      Dear Phil,

      I agree with your comment in principle, and this reply may be a little off topic. (But I claim privilege!)

      I do not wish to argue about tradition here, not yours, nor your religion, nor mine. I do feel a responsibility to the readers of AlanTait.com.

      After nearly 50 years as a missionary and pastor, and more than 80,000 hours studying the scripture, I no longer call myself a Christian nor do I believe in “Jesus” anymore.

      Take a deep breath as I try to explain why.

      No scripture says we should call be called Christian. That alone should be enough. However, the Himself commands us to “make deciples,” not Christians.

      In translation work, words are translated, a “saging” is a “banana.” In modern translation rules say proper names should be transliterated from the original. We know the Son of God belonged to a Hebrew Priestly family. They spoke Hebrew and lived in Hebrew ways. There are many proofs in the scripture that the name of the Son of God was also in Hebrew, the same Hebrew name as the Prophet Joshua had. Transliterated to English this would be Yeshua.

      After the King James Version (KJV) WAS translated in 1611 using an English transliteration, of the Latin transliteration, of the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name.

      This would normally be unimportant, as the story is usually what is important. However, scripture itself records the importance of two names, Yeshua the Messiah and his father Yahweh. The Scriptures themselves give these names special significance and even power. Power in the name Yeshua that means Deliverer in Hebrew. No significance to the name Jesus, a gibberish word in any language, made up by Daniel Case cira 1629 with a secret hidden authorship for 100 year! Truth does not need the hidden.

      Religious tradition causes men to compromise and ignore the very Word of God we have been given to follow.

      Please note, I am NOT speaking about certain cults who think we should use Hebrew for every name in the English Bible (like James, John, and Jerusalem).

      Hundreds of thousands of Disciples of Yeshua (sometimes called Yeshuans) have switched their prayers to the name of Yeshua and found a greater, deeper power in their prayers.

      Phil, I offer this for your consideration, based on the scripture alone.

      I claim privilege to be off topic based on:

      1. I am the original creator of the motto in question.
      2. I am aLan Tait
      3. I am the owner of aLanTait.com
      4. I am the sole editor of this page.

      Sincerely, Lan, a Disciple of Yeshua, a student f the Holy Scriptures, who uses the Scriptures for my curriculum.

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