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 participle. This means that there's no direct way of saying "Having called his disciples together...". (The exception to this is using a deponent verb, since ...
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 contexts like "three plates": the word "three" already tells the listener how many plates there are. But the use of the plural in this context is nevertheless ...
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 translation of πιστεύω, when it simply means "believe."
Greek πιστεύω has a range of meanings, including "trust," "believe," and "entrust": credo captures all of these ...
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 easily arose about which words did and did not contain it. Catullus makes fun of a certain Arrius who inserted h's where they weren't needed.
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 the other answerers probably subscribe to this platitude as well.)
So, let's look at the opening lines of the psalm (taken from Douay-Rheims):
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 technically, as you say, a perfect passive participle, there's also a sense in which it's neither passive nor active but middle, which is a voice from ancient ...
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 amāvisti "you loved"), it can be contracted to -āsti without changing the meaning (e.g. amāsti "you loved").
It's somewhat like how English uses "don't" instead of "...
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, not dēcursus, -ī. Therefore, in your passage, decursus is, in fact, accusative, but plural (= dēcursūs).
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 future tense followed by the present tense to say
If you arrive tomorrow, I'll see you.
In French, however, such a thing would make no sense. How can you ...
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 μὲν καθ’ ὑπομονὴν ἔργου ἀγαθοῦ δόξαν καὶ τιμὴν καὶ ἀφθαρσίαν ζητοῦσιν ζωὴν αἰώνιον·
8 τοῖς δὲ ἐξ ἐριθείας καὶ ἀπειθοῦσι τῇ ἀληθείᾳ πειθομένοις δὲ τῇ ἀδικίᾳ ὀργὴ ...
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 Vulgate word for word into English as:
For what is the foolishness of God is wiser than human [wisdom], and
what is the weakness of God is stronger than human [...
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 ḥ-w-h “to live”. The first attestations are in Plautus, who also uses the plural havo (=Punic ḥawū) three times in his Poenulus. If this is true, then have ...
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 αἰτοῦσιν ἀπὸ σοῦ· ἃ δὲ ἡτοίμασας, τίνι ἔσται;
Westcott and Hort 1881
The first commentator is A.T. Robertson.
Thou foolish one (aprwn). Fool, for lack of ...
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 addition of est, it means "It is going to be", or in the translation you quote, "It will come to pass".
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 to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.
Genesis 2:24 (NIV):
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and ...
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, in this case, harmful).
According to Lewis and Short, the dative was normally used in the classical period, but later the accusative came into usage:
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 Aramaic (ʻālam ʻālmayyā), not Hebrew, as here in Daniel 7:18:
But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess
the kingdom for ever, even ...
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. Apparently in Hebrew “bless” can be used as a euphemism for “curse”. In Greek and Latin this happens only in translations from Hebrew.
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 the verb הָיָה, Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius wrote,1
For example, in Gen. 2:7, it is written: וַיְהִי הָאָדָם לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה (wayhî hāʾādām lĕnepeš ...
The uncontracted "idololatria" is used by Tertullian, and by Jerome in his commentary on Isaiah (if we can trust the copyists and editors).
"Idolatria" is common in Christian Latin (though it does not have an entry in L/S) and is continued by English “idolatry” ...
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. Likewise, the pluperfect can use either the imperfect or pluperfect of esse, and the future perfect can use either the future or future perfect.
Here's a reference ...
You can't really get into the mind of a particular author, and I do not believe Jerome ever commented on this point, but a couple notes should suffice. First, Jerome is writing for the common person, and it doesn't seem as if fidere is all that common a word. You can see for yourself how common credere is compared to fidere
It's not just this passage, it's ...
There are a lot of Hebraisms in Latin and Greek translations of the Old Testament, and I'm guessing this is one of them.
The Hebrew reads (diacritics omitted) we-haya Yisrael le-mashal u-le-shnina be-khol ha-`amim, literally "and Israel will be to/for a proverb and to/for a story in all the nations". The Latin in seems to be an over-literal translation of ...
The second person plural form is elevatĭs, "you lift".
However, in the passage you quote it is elevatīs, which is a plural ablative of the perfect participle.
It is in the same form as oculis, which is a hint.
Oculis is not an accusative, so the translation "lift your eyes" doesn't quite make sense with "eyes" as the object.
What you have here ...
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 ends in -ω- instead of -ο-. The case forms are accordingly strange-looking, e.g. gen. Ἀπολλῶ, acc. Ἀπολλῶν. It looks like the Romans weren't quite sure how to ...
What you see is a symptom of English and Latin having grammatically different idiomatic expressions for things like that.
I cannot find a perfectly literal translation, but perhaps this series of attempts sheds some more light1:
Deus tu conversus vivificabis nos.
You God, having been turned, will quicken us.
You God, when turned, will quicken us.
The Douay-Rheims and its progeny are well known for being literal translations of the Vulgate, and certainly fit the bill.
Unfortunately, you seem to be adopting a very extreme notion of "literal" that includes identical sentence structure. In your first example, the "you" reflects the fact that Latin includes the pronoun tu instead of just having the ...
[This answer is incorrect; see the new answer below instead.]
This construction is found in particular in the New Testament, so while the answer to Vulgate questions is usually "because that's how the Hebrew of the Old Testament works", this one is slightly different: "because that's how the Greek of the New Testament works"!
In this case,...
The word his is a demonstrative pronoun in the dative plural form. It could be translated as to those. It corresponds to the word eis, which was translated as to them.
Therefore, the verse might be translated as:
But as many as received Him, to them he gave the power to become
children of God, to those who believe in His name.