160Re: Q. aorist (vs. past)
- Jul 30, 2002Patrick Wynne wrote:
>Quenya had two types of pa.t.:Perhaps the phrase _i úcarer emmen_ *'those who did ill to us' contains the
>a "strong" pa.t. formed by lengthening of the stem vowel and addition
>of final vowel _-e_, and a "weak" pa.t. formed by addition of the suffix
>_-ne_. _ohtakáre_ contains _káre_, strong pa.t. of _kar-_ 'make, build'
past tense, not the aorist. The editorial notes point out that "_úcarer_
here seems to be an aorist plural of _úcar-_ 'trespass' though _úcarir_
might be expected instead" (VT43:21). Isn't it also possible that _úcárer_
might be expected instead? After all, we forgive those who have done ill to
us; we may not want to say that "there are people who do ill to us as a
periodically recurrent action, but we forgive them".
[I don't think _úcárer_ might be expected. For one thing, _úcarer_ occurs
twice, in both At. V and VI, making it unlikely to be a slip. Moreover, as
noted of this form in At. V in VT43:12: "Faint pencilled markings over the
_e_ suggest that Tolkien intended to emend _úcarer_ > _úcarir_ (though
the form remains _úcarer_ in At. VI)." Another point -- both the Greek
and Latin texts render this phrase with an agentive, Lat. _debitor_, Gk,
_opheilétes_, both meaning 'debtor' in the sense 'one who is guilty of
a misdeed'. The Q. text in At. V and VI, however, follows the traditional
English rendition by using a phrase rather than an agentive: 'those who
trespass against us', or rendering the Q. more literally, 'who do ill to us'.
Note the use of present _trespass_ in the traditional English rendition;
this is of course used in its gnomic sense, stating a general truth: in
Christian theology, Mankind is fallen and sinful; we 'do ill, sin, trespass'
from birth to death, past, present, and future. So yes, sin is indeed a
"periodically recurrent action" in fallen Mankind. In such circumstances,
forgiveness must also be viewed as a general, ongoing process.
-- Patrick Wynne]
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