Usually, when we say Marcus dignus amictiā we mean that Marcus is entitled to or worthy of friendship. Keeping the direction but increasing volume we can say "Marcus (On account of his character) should have a friendship".

The question here asks if we can also understand the direction can be opposite with dignus i.e., friendship is entitled to have Marcus. Better example to illustrate the distinction: Marcus dignus est Claudiā.

The context of this question was Matthew 3:8 translation by Sebastian Castellio that caught my attention:

Edite ergo fructus emendatā vitā dignos

To my understanding the usage of the passive participle emendata pretty much forces the direction (perhaps deliberately trying to do it) : "Bring forth fruits that the corrected life is entitled to have"; and not the usual(?) usage of dignus "fruits entitled to have ..."

In the Vulgare we read (not sure why singular fructus):

Facite ergo fructum dignum poenitentiae.

Can the Vulgate translation be understood in more than one way? Does Castellio's translation work in classical Latin?

The question is about the Latin of course. but it worth mentioning that per Wikipedia in the original Greek both readings are possible which was a source of dispute. So at least there is Greek formalization that enables both direction. Is the Jerome Latin also?

  • 2
    The Vulgate has a singular because the Greek has a singular (καρπὸν). I don't know why Castellio has a plural, but the KJV does as well.
    – Cairnarvon
    Feb 17 at 14:29


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