Hot answers tagged

18 votes
Accepted

Why is the passive participle in Matthew 10:1 rendered as active in English?

The translation is indeed syntactically inexact, but in a very common and justifiable way. The point is that Latin -- unlike e.g. Greek, from which this text is translated -- lacks a perfect active ...
  • 29.3k
18 votes

Why is an accusative mode needed?

Languages are full of redundancy. So I think the premise of this question—that the accusative case is "needed"—is problematic. For example, there isn't a need for English speakers to use the plural in ...
  • 22.8k
16 votes
Accepted

The Latin word “Have” rather than “Ave” as a translation of the Greek word Χαῖρε?

It's an alternate form of ave; the L&S entry gives a couple of examples. Presumably this form arose through hypercorrection: since h was generally not pronounced in popular speech, confusion ...
  • 29.3k
16 votes

Gen. 1:20 is reptile ablative?

Jerome probably prefers to stick to the original Hebrew that uses the singulars both for "reptile"(*) and volatile which are grammatically adjectives but used here as substantives. ...
  • 7,908
15 votes
Accepted

In Romans 3:22, why did Jerome prefer to use crēdunt rather than fīdunt?

All translation involves some form of (hopefully minimized) loss and (hopefully undistracting) gain. In this case, though, the choice is clear, for a very simple reason: fido is not a good ...
  • 37.3k
15 votes

"Deus tu conversus vivificabis nos..."

The other answers are good for explaining the grammar. However, I would add that an important part of translating any text is remembering the context in which the passage was written. (I realize that ...
  • 706
14 votes

"Deus tu conversus vivificabis nos..."

The Baronius press edition is going (rightly so, I think) for elegance of English rather than absolute correct correspondence to Latin grammar. Conversus is a little tricky here, because while it's ...
14 votes

The Latin word “Have” rather than “Ave” as a translation of the Greek word Χαῖρε?

There is a longstanding view that the interjection ave is not the imperative of the verb aveo “to long for”, but is a loan from Punic ḥawe (tentative vocalisation), the imperative of the Semitic verb ...
  • 16k
14 votes
Accepted

Why "dilatasti" instead of "dilatavisti" in Psalm 4:2?

This is a contracted perfect form, which is fairly common in poetry, particularly in the first conjugation. Basically, whenever you have a second person perfect active ending in -āvisti (like ...
  • 55k
14 votes
Accepted

In Vulgate Lk 22: 62, "Et egressus foras Petrus flevit amare.", it says. How to understand "flevit amare"?

Amāre indeed means to love, being the infinitive of the verb amo. Here, however, the word being used is amārē which is an adverb that is derived from the adjective amarus which means bitter. L&S ...
  • 7,908
13 votes
Accepted

Shouldn't "decursus" be accusative in Psalm 1:3?

The noun decursus belongs to the fourth declension, not the second. You know this because, if you look it up in a dictionary, the two forms that are given (the 'principal parts') will be dēcursus, -ūs,...
  • 18.3k
12 votes
Accepted

New testament Romans 2:8 - Why is nominative used instead of accusative like the previous verse?

Regarding why the Latin text uses the accusative and then the nominative, this is simply because the Vulgate is closely following the Greek original: 6 ὃς ἀποδώσει ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ· 7 τοῖς ...
  • 37.3k
12 votes
Accepted

Why did Hieronymus choose to use Latin tenses that don't exist in Hebrew when translating for the Vulgata?

I have two thoughts about this. First, the thing to keep in mind here is that different languages use different tenses differently. In English, for example, I'd use the present tense followed by the ...
12 votes

Did "benedicere" ever mean "to blaspheme"?

Benedixit is a perfectly literal translation of ηὐλόγησεν and of בֵּרַכְתָּ with the difference only that the Latin and the Greek use 3rd sing. where the Hebrew uses 2nd sing. in oratio obliqua. ...
  • 16k
12 votes
Accepted

Is this Latin statement idiomatic? (Can't quite link it to the English translation)

Rather that being idiomatic, it's just a question of style. The Vulgate's translation is simply a little more verbose than the English or even the original Greek. It can be translated from the ...
12 votes
Accepted

In Judith in Vulgate, why does Jerome transliterate the name "Arphaxad" with 'ph', but he transliterates "Holofernes" with an 'f'?

Both of these names are older than the Book of Judith, and come from different places. Arphaxad is a transcription of Hebrew אַרְפַּכְשַׁד (ʔarpakšad), which appears in Genesis: a minor character who'...
  • 55k
12 votes
Accepted

What exactly do "ut" and "quid" mean in "Deus meus, ut quid dereliquisti me?" ("My God, why have you forsaken me?")?

Jerome is translating the Greek here: ἱνατί με ἐγκατέλιπες (Mt. 27.46) The phrase ut quid then is a translation specifically of ἱνατί (especially when spelled out separately as ἵνα τί). Both ἵνα and ...
  • 42.8k
11 votes
Accepted

Why is "repetunt" 3rd pl active in Luke 12:20 (Vulgate)?

I think it helps to look at two different commentaries on this verse. First we'll reproduce the Greek, and then the commentaries on the Greek. εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ θεός Ἄφρων, ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ τὴν ψυχήν σου ...
  • 11.2k
11 votes
Accepted

How do you parse "futurum est" in Matthew 2:13?

Futurum est is a future active periphrastic form. It is built from futurum, the future active participle of sum (here in the neuter), which by itself means "going to be, about to be". With the ...
  • 29.3k
11 votes

"Dies unus"—non primus?

It's a cardinal number, not an ordinal number, in the original Hebrew. Look at the other uses of the same Hebrew phrase: Genesis 1:9 (NIV): And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered ...
  • 1,395
11 votes
Accepted

Why is the accusative not used in Judges 5:23?

Since the word comes from male dico, it traditionally took the dative for the same reason that dico takes it. The dative expresses to whom something is spoken or for whom the speech is beneficial (or, ...
11 votes

On the literal meaning of "in saecula saeculorum"

It is a Semitic idiom, as in “king of kings” or “vanities of vanities”. “X-singular of X-plural” means “X to the highest possible degree”. This particular expression (“eternity of eternities”), is ...
  • 16k
11 votes

Gen. 1:20 is reptile ablative?

I understand the phrase producant aquae reptile animae viventis to mean something like "let the waters bring forth the creeping/crawling thing of living breath." In more idiomatic English, ...
  • 2,600
10 votes
Accepted

"Dies unus"—non primus?

This is a literal translation of the Hebrew original, which has yom ehad "one day", not yom rishon "first day".
  • 29.3k
10 votes
Accepted

What's the logic behind "eritque Israel in proverbium" (Vulgate bible)

In Hebrew, we often find the verb הָיָה (hāyâ) followed by the preposition ל prefixed to a noun used to indicate that something was made into something (i.q. Latin est factum quiddam in quiddam). On ...
10 votes
Accepted

Why "idolatria" instead of "idololatria"?

The uncontracted "idololatria" is used by Tertullian, and by Jerome in his commentary on Isaiah (if we can trust the copyists and editors). http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%...
  • 16k
10 votes

Which grammatical format is the double-perfect system as found in the Vulgate?

This is found even in classical Latin. The perfect passive can be formed by using either the present tense of esse or, when one wants to stress the completedness of the action, the perfect tense. ...
  • 18.3k
10 votes
Accepted

Why is the proper name Apollos not declined in the Vulgate

Looking at the Greek NT, it turns out the name in Greek is Ἀπολλῶς. This belongs to an odd subclass of Greek nouns called the Attic declension, which are basically second-declension nouns whose stem ...
  • 29.3k
10 votes
Accepted

In Vulgate, Matthaeus 4:23, it says "et prædicans Evangelium regni". Shouldn't it be "regno" (dative) rather than "regni" (genitive)?

The Latin is a pretty literal translation of the Greek: καὶ κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας "τῆς βασιλείας" (tēs basileias) is genitive, not dative. He is preaching the Gospel of the ...
  • 37.3k
10 votes

regem Balæ, ipsa est Segor

Draconis and TKR are correct and explain how the Latin works, but just to add further context, it's the same in the Greek Septuagint: καὶ βασιλέως Βαλακ αὕτη ἐστὶν Σηγωρ Both the Latin and the Greek ...
  • 42.8k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible