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"Eos tantum intelligi posse ac debere statuimus, quibus gratia divina aut reipsa jam facta est, ut credere possent, & jam credentes in fide perseverare ad finem usque; aut quibus Deus paratus fuit gratiam illam, quae ad fidem concipienda(m) & conservanda(m) necessaria est, facere."

"We judge that only those can and should be understood, either, to whom divine grace has already been granted so that they might believe, and now believing and persevering in faith to the very end; or to whom God has been prepared to grant that grace which is necessary to be received and to be conserved to the end."

Two questions: 1. How should "paratus fuit" be translated? Shouldn't it be "paratus est?" 2. How can I make sense of the role of "concipiendam" and "conservandam" in the sentence?

Does my overall translation make sense?

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  • I made a mistake in my answer. I will correct it forthwith.
    – Figulus
    May 6 '20 at 22:50
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  1. Paratus fuit means the same thing as paratus erat, it's a pluperfect passive (God had been prepared). And yes, most first year textbooks I've seen prefer erat over fuit in this case, but fuit is far from uncommon.

  2. Concipendam and conservandam are gerundives which modify gratiam. But since they are gerundives, they are not just adjectives, they still have a very strong verbal force, so that ad fidem concipiendam et conservandam means, basically, "to conceive and conserve the faith". ("For the faith, which-is-to-be-conceived and which-is-to-be-conserved", to be hyper-analytical about it.)

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  • Paratus fuit is actually equivalent to paratus est (perfect passive), not paratus erat (pluperfect passive). There's a whole question devoted to this. Of course, it's also possible that paratus is being used here simply as an adjective, as happens. Either way, I'd say paratus fuit means 'has been/was prepared,' not 'had been prepared.'
    – cnread
    May 8 '20 at 1:38
  • Is it common for the perfect passive participle in particular to be used simply as an adjective? I've come across, for example, "destinatus est" being translated as "is destined" rather than "has been destined." I thought this was incorrect but I might be wrong. How can one tell when it is being used simply as an adjective rather than as a verb tense of the perfect passive system? May 8 '20 at 3:01
  • @MichaelJYoo: The perfect passive tense can double up as an aorist or "simple past". Thus, as well as meaning "it has been destined" destinatus est" also means "it was destined". When the supine is used on its own: "amatus-a-um" = "(having been) loved"; the "having been" is sometimes omitted giving "loved"; which may be rendered as "is loved".
    – tony
    May 8 '20 at 8:24
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With gerunds & gerundives "ad + accusative" = "for the purpose of":

the gerund: "paratus ad regendum" = "prepared for the purpose of ruling";

the gerundive: "nos ipsos paremus ad domum aedificandam." =

"let us prepare ourselves for the purpose of building the house."

Here: "quae ad fidem concipiendam et conservandam necessaria est, facere." =

"which is necessary to do for the purpose of conceiving and preserving the faith."

With the erat/ fuit: as Figulus says, these are (almost) interchangeable, consider:

"hoc faciendum fuit" = "this had to be done"; or, "this must have been done"; or, "this ought to have been done"; or, "this should have been done".

With imperfect passive "hoc faciendum erat" = all four interpretations used with "fuit" above, and "this was to be done".

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