February 12, 2013
Yesterday’s big news was the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Giovanna Chirri happened to be the Italian reporter privilged with breaking the news. The reason that she got this opportunity? One article explains, she ”managed to translate the pope’s Latin resignation speech and file while her rivals were still puzzling it out.” See, you never know when Latin will come in handy. Giovanna also stated, “Benedict XVI’s Latin is very easy to understand .” Below is a copy of the Pope’s resignation in Latin:
Non solum propter tres canonizationes ad hoc Consistorium vos convocavi, sed etiam ut vobis decisionem magni momenti pro Ecclesiae vita communicem. Conscientia mea iterum atque iterum coram Deo explorata ad cognitionem certam perveni vires meas ingravescente aetate non iam aptas esse ad munus Petrinum aeque administrandum.
Bene conscius sum hoc munus secundum suam essentiam spiritualem non solum agendo et loquendo exsequi debere, sed non minus patiendo et orando. Attamen in mundo nostri temporis rapidis mutationibus subiecto et quaestionibus magni ponderis pro vita fidei perturbato ad navem Sancti Petri gubernandam et ad annuntiandum Evangelium etiam vigor quidam corporis et animae necessarius est, qui ultimis mensibus in me modo tali minuitur, ut incapacitatem meam ad ministerium mihi commissum bene administrandum agnoscere debeam. Quapropter bene conscius ponderis huius actus plena libertate declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri, mihi per manus Cardinalium die 19 aprilis MMV commissum renuntiare ita ut a die 28 februarii MMXIII, hora 20, sedes Romae, sedes Sancti Petri vacet et Conclave ad eligendum novum Summum Pontificem ab his quibus competit convocandum esse.
Fratres carissimi, ex toto corde gratias ago vobis pro omni amore et labore, quo mecum pondus ministerii mei portastis et veniam peto pro omnibus defectibus meis. Nunc autem Sanctam Dei Ecclesiam curae Summi eius Pastoris, Domini nostri Iesu Christi confidimus sanctamque eius Matrem Mariam imploramus, ut patribus Cardinalibus in eligendo novo Summo Pontifice materna sua bonitate assistat. Quod ad me attinet etiam in futuro vita orationi dedicata Sanctae Ecclesiae Dei toto ex corde servire velim.
Not only on behalf of three canonizations have I called you to this meeting, but also so that I may communicate to you my decision, which is of great importance to the church. Having examined my conscience again and again, I have come to the certain recognition that my strength, due my frail age, is no longer fit for the proper administration of the Petrine Ministry.
I am conscious that this ministry, due to its spiritual essence, ought to be conducted not only by action and speech, but no less by suffering and prayer. Nevertheless, our world has been subjected to times of rapid change and upset by questions of weighty depth for the life of faith, so that the navigation of Saint Peter’s ship and the proclamation of the gospel necessitate a certain vigor of both body and soul, which in these last months has diminished in me in a great way, so that I must recognize my inability to rightly administer my charge. Therefore, conscious of this burden, I declare with full freedom this action, that I am stepping down from my ministry of the Roman Episcopate, as successor of Saint Peter, which was commissioned to me through the hands of the Cardinals on the 19th of April, 2005, so that from the 28th of February 2013, at the hour of 8 PM, the seat of Rome, the seat of Saint Peter, may be empty and a chamber for electing a new Pontificate ought to be formed by those who are competent.
Beloved Brothers, with my whole heart I thank you for all your love and labor, by which you bore with me the weight of the ministry, and I ask for pardon for all my failings. Now we entrust the holy church of God to the care of its Chief Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ, and we ask His holy mother Mary that her maternal goodness would assist the Cardinal Fathers as they choose the new Pontificate. As for what remains for me and my future: I want to serve with my whole heart by offering prayer on behalf of God’s holy church.
November 30, 2012
Jacob‘s Greek giveaway ends tomorrow. If you haven’t had a chance to translate his Greek sentences, you still have time. I thought I would have a little fun of my own with the biblical languages. As I’ve been practicing my Latin daily, I realized that I have trouble with the “Q” words in Latin. To help overcome these meddlesome lexemes, I composed the following sentence. Go ahead and see if you can translate it:
Quidam Quadrigenta, qui quietem quaesivit, questus est Quinto Quadrinoque, quare cui inquitur, “Quod?”
November 21, 2012
My friend and fellow blogger Jacob recently wrote a post about setting higher standards for the biblical languages. Jacob discusses a growing trend where biblical languages are taught as if they were living languages. Jacob asks,
is the solution learning to hear, speak, and compose Greek? Is it our goal to revive a dead language. I understand that being able to think in a language is instrumental in understanding it. But the language is dead. There are no remaining speakers of koine Greek. The conversation has stopped. Anything that modern day “speakers” of koine compose will, by definition, be artificial.
The first question that comes to my mind is this: “Do those who advocate such a learning model have fluency in any living languages, besides their mother tongues?” Such a point seems highly important to me, for if the Greek teacher speaks only his mother tongue (e.g., English), but has never acquired fluency in another living language (e.g., German), then how will he effectively teach his students Koine Greek in such a manner? He will, in a sense, be attempting to take them somewhere he has never gone–fluency. He runs the risk of artificiality at two points, for he attempts, in a sense, to revive a dead language, and secondly,to teach fluency, although he himself is not fluent in another language, and therefore does not truly know the intricate complexities behind the concept.
An interesting study regarding the biblical languages would be to examine how they were taught and learned throughout church history. It would be very interesting then to compare how the current American model differs from the pedagogical methods of previous generations. Although not strictly a biblical language, Latin might serve as an example. As is often stated, Latin was the gentleman’s language for many centuries. It was expected that an educated person could not only read Latin, but could correspond in it. Latin thus served as a unifying language for scholars, allowing people from various cultures to share a common language. And such correspondence in Latin is often witnessed, even in not so distant history, as when C.S. Lewis communicated with an Italian priest in Latin (cf. The Latin Letters of C.S. Lewis).
I doubt that students were ever encouraged to learn Latin as if it were a modern language. Nevertheless, the level of proficiency in general was very high, so high that educated people often composed letters in Latin.
When it comes to Koine Greek, I think a better solution may be found. For those who really want to experience fluency in Koine Greek, I would suggest learning modern day Greek. Then one could take field trips to Greece and apply one’s knowledge–and truly test one’s level of fluency–while at the same time helping the Greek economy.
Fluency, I think, is a key component that is missing in the teaching of biblical languages. Most (American) students who learn the biblical languages can only speak their mother tongue (English). They have probably had four years of high school Spanish, which they studied because they had to, and have all but forgotten it. Personally, I’m finding that the process of learning to speak and communicate in German has greatly improved my Greek (I am currently living in Munich, Germany). Learning to speak this language has pointed out rough edges and sloppy areas in my biblical languages; it has created a greater precision in my approach to Greek. I wonder how the process of learning biblical languages would be different if students could draw from fluency in a second language.
Ultimately, I think Jacob hits the nail on the head in his post. Where is the solution for better acquisition of the biblical languages to be found? Teaching Koine Greek as if it were a modern language? I don’t think so; as I mentioned, Spanish is taught as if it is a modern language, and is also neglected. Instead, overcoming the biblical languages barrier has a lot to do with laziness. Once this is overcome, the student is well on his way to mastering biblical Greek.
October 24, 2012
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Latin text and translation–mostly because I have not been keeping up with my Latin. Now that things have settled down for me, I am beginning to review through some grammars and read a little every day, in order to brush up. Ultimately, however, my inspiration for this post comes from my friend Jacob, who often provides Latin texts on his blog, and who, through regular practice, has become very proficient with Latin.
In this text, which comes from Cicero’s De Amicitia, the value of friendship is praised above money:
Pauci viri veros amicos habent, et pauci sunt digni. Amicitia vera est praeclara, et omnia preclara sunt rara. Multi viri stulti de pecunia semper cogitant, pauci de amicis; sed errant: possumus valere sine multa pecunia, sed sine amicitia non valemus et vita est nihil.
Few men have true friends, and few are worthy of it. True friendship is a remarkable thing, and anything remarkable is always rare. Many ignorant men are always thinking about money; few about friendships. They are mistaken. We are able to get by quite nicely without money, but without friendship we do poorly and life is nothing.
January 23, 2012
Eric brought out several excellent points in his sermon yesterday. I especially enjoyed how he used Horace’s Carpe Diem as a sermon illustration (Eric’s message will be available HERE).
I found it quite ironic that today while studying Latin I came across Horace’s quote again. As I looked up the meaning of carpere I discovered that it can be translated as “harvest,” or “pluck.” In fact, one grammarian explains that Horace’s phrase was likely “an agricultural metaphor, since carpere really means to pluck or harvest from the vine or stalk” (Wheelock and LaFleur, 146). Kind of gives the phrase carpe diem an interesting nuance, doesn’t it? Seize the day? or harvest (the fields) today?
Interestingly, check out the translation of Horace’s quote at THIS SITE:
Ask not—we cannot know—what end the gods have set for you, for me; nor attempt the Babylonian reckonings Leuconoë. How much better to endure whatever comes, whether Jupiter grants us additional winters or whether this is our last, which now wears out the Tuscan Sea upon the barrier of the cliffs! Be wise, strain the wine; and since life is brief, prune back far-reaching hopes! Even while we speak, envious time has passed: pluck the day, putting as little trust as possible in tomorrow.
Notice the other harvesting-allusions in the quote, which I have italicized.
March 31, 2011
Every now and then it is interesting to see how certain Scripture verses were translated in the Vulgate. For example, Ephesians 3:18, where Paul prays that the church might grasp the “breadth and length and depth and heights of Christ’s love,” has numerous cognates with English: “sit latitudeo et longitudo et sublimitas et profundam . . . caritatem Christi.” So, if we wanted to have some fun we could render that “the latitude and longitude and sublimity and profundity of Christ’s love.”
December 5, 2010
“Let us pray to Him that, weakened as we are by age and the long habit of sinning, He may make new persons of us and lead us into His kingdom–that kingdom into which there is no entry except in the likeness of a child. I rejoice that the Lord, who took upon Him all our other miseries, willed not to take old age: in the One True Man, lives youth everlasting.”
-Lewis, The Latin Letters of C. S. Lewis, 63
November 10, 2010
Those, however, who have moral virtue are drawn to the exercise of virtuous works for the love of virtue, not on account of some external penalty or reward. And the New Law, consisting primarily in spiritual grace itself implanted in men’s hearts, is called the law of love; and it is said to contain spiritual and eternal promises, which are the objects of virtue, especially love. And so men are drawn to them intrinsically, not as to what is external to them but as to what befits their very being. That is why the Old Law is said to restrain the hand, not the soul . . . and the New Law, which is the law of love, restrains the soul.
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae XXX, Latin Text and English Translation, New York: McGraw, 1972, AB’s Trans, p 25.
September 29, 2010
There’s a very handy website to make use of. Not only does it have the entire Rahlf’s LXX with parsing help, but it has some good NT tools and some excellent Latin options as well. Make sure you check it out HERE. Oh, and while we’re on the topic, I’ve been making use of Tyndale House’s fonts. If you need a font, they probably have it. They also have the Old and New Testaments in unicode font so you can copy and past them directly into your Word document.
May 18, 2010
Yesterday I was looking at the original Latin of the Famous hymn “Jesus, the very thought of thee.” The translation most people are familiar with is good, but fails to capture some of the word play and ryhme found in the original. Here is my attempt at a translation:
Jesus, sweet memory
filling the heart with joyful glee
but better than anything, to be
in his sweet presence.
Nothing is sung, of such a kind
nothing is heard, so sublime
no sweeter thought will you find,
than Jesus, son of God.
Jesus, hope for the repentant,
How gracious to the persistent!
and to those who seek, consistent;
but what to those who find?
No tongue can say
no pen express;
but to him who’s experienced
what it is to love Jesus
he is able to believe this.
Be, Jesus, our present joy
who art our future prize,
May we glory in you now,
as we shall for the rest of eternity