I'm having difficulty parsing the following sentence from Alfonsi's Dialogi contra Iudaeos, particularly the clause in bold:
Dies Dominica, dies, viz. resurrectionis, quae suae salvationis causa exstitit, Christianorum Sabbatum est.
This is most likely due to my lack of diligence in Latin studies, so apologies for that. But here's what I have:
- quae: plural neuter pronoun (probably accusative?)
- suae: plural possessive pronoun
- salvationis: noun, 3rd declension, singular genitive
- causa: "on account of"
- My Latin dictionary gives "in abl. with gen. or posses. adj. (usu. put after the noun)"
- exstitit: verb (3rd), third-person singular
My rather wooden literal translation, then, would be:
The Lord's day – the day, that is, of the resurrection, on which account their [Christians'] salvation emerges – is the Christians' Sabbath.
I'm sure there are multiple issues here, but I'd like to focus on these:
- I'm not sure that my understanding of suae here is correct. I believe christianorum could be either the genitive of the noun christianus, or an adjective, and I wonder if suae or other context indicates which. That is, is christianorum sabbatum "the Christian Sabbath" or "the Christians' Sabbath," or both/either?
- Is there some point to combining suae and a genitive noun? Don't we know who possesses the salvation without suae?
- How does causa fit into this?
This line from Alfonsi's work is widely quoted online, but I haven't been able to find the complete text that would include the broader context. An English translation is available on Google Books, however; Page 257 seems to include the text in question, but it translates it much differently, which is part of the reason for my confusion:
It was no longer necessary for all those believing in him to observe the Sabbath but to observe Sunday instead, namely, the day of the Resurrection, which was the basis of their salvation.