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Translation of Lk 1.28

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  • Jean VALENTIN
    In Lk 1.28 we find the Greek expression: CHAIRE KECHARITOMENH. I have looked at the way KECHARITOMENH is translated in the old versions, and there are a few
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31 4:00 PM
      In Lk 1.28 we find the Greek expression: CHAIRE KECHARITOMENH. I have
      looked at the way KECHARITOMENH is translated in the old versions, and
      there are a few questions I ask myself.

      Literally, it is a passive participle : "gratified one", "one to whom
      grace was done/given".

      It is a passage where the Syriac and Latin traditions concur in having
      the same translation, which is not literal. My question is: in such a
      case where the Greek text is difficult, and where apparently it seems
      necessary to translate in a non-literal way, what can explain the
      agreement of remote traditions?

      syp : shlom lekh, MALYAT TAYBUTHO "peace to you, full of grace"
      Both old syriac versions "desunt" for this verse.

      lat. vulgate + most old latin mss : have, GRATIA PLENA "Hail, full of
      grace".
      The only exceptions in the old latin tradition are:
      - d: have benedicta "hail, blessed one" (a different non-literal
      translation).
      - q e : ave gratificata "hail, gratified one" (literal transl. of the
      Greek).

      Several other witnesses translate in the same way.
      In Arabic, the Arabic Diatessaron, the Alexandrian vulgate of the XIIIth
      century and ms Sinai Arabic 122 have equivalent translations to that of
      syp.
      Lectionary Sinai Arabic 133 has the same translation: "as-salaam `alayki
      mumtaliyat an-na`mat" which means "the peace on you, the one filled with
      grace". This lectionary is apparented to ms Sin. Arb. 71, but this
      "ancester" has a translation derived from Greek: "IfraHi ya muqaddasat"
      which means "rejoice, o Holy one". "Rejoice" clearly comes from "chaire",
      and "holy one" is probably another embarrassed translation from the
      greek. The shift from the translation of ms 71 to the one of ms 133 can
      be a point in the demonstration that ms 133 comes from a revision using
      the Syriac peshitto.
      Other witnesses translating "full of grace" are citations by Ephrem, and
      several Gospel harmonies (persian, latin, dutch, middle english...

      Such a translation, not literal but clearly recognizable, probably points
      to a connection between the Latin and the Syriac traditions. I don't want
      to jump too quickly on Tatian, there are may be other possibilities such
      as common translation techniques, common exegetical traditions... I has
      even been suggested that the latin versions had their origins in Antioch:
      Metzger, EVNT, p. 288 mentions this but seems to prefer the explanation
      involving Tatian "bringing Western readings from Rome to the East", but
      readings are not tranlsations... and Metzger adds directly that the most
      probable origin for the Latin versions is North Africa. Is it possible
      that in this last place, there might have been Syriac influences?

      To complete the documentation, other versions that DON'T translate in
      that way are:
      - the syropalestinian version: shilam lekhi, Hasidtha (peace to you,
      favorized one)
      - as I mentioned, Sin. Arb 71 most probably comes directly from Greek.
      - in Arabic again, the malkite version of the XIth century (oldest ms:
      Sin. Arb. 69) has: "as-salaam laki, ayyuhaa al-man`am `alayhaa" which is
      to be translated: "the peace to you, o the one upon whom is the grace".
      - the sahidic version has "rejoice, the one who found grace". Another
      non-literal translation, showing that the expression is difficult in
      Greek, but a different one from the syro-latin tradition.
      - the gothic version: "rejoice, of grace favorized".



      _________________________________________________
      Jean Valentin - Bruxelles - Belgique
      e-mail: jgvalentin@... /// netmail: 2:291/780.103
      _________________________________________________
      "Ce qui est trop simple est faux, ce qui est trop complexe est
      inutilisable"
      "What's too simple is wrong, what's too complex is unusable"
      _________________________________________________
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