Bible Fun

Lately I’m halfheartedly reading Genesis, as translated by St. Jerome. So wonderfully repetitive! It’s like a vocabulary drill, perfect stuff for a beginner like me. For instance, Chapter 12:

1. dixit autem Dominus ad Abram egredere de terra tua et de cognatione tua et de domo patris tui in terram quam monstrabo tibi
2. faciamque te in gentem magnam et benedicam tibi et magnificabo nomen tuum erisque benedictus
3. benedicam benedicentibus tibi et maledicam maledicentibus tibi atque in te benedicentur universae cognationes terrae

This could be translated into silly English as:

1. Now the Lord said unto Abram, Egress from thy land and from thy kin and from thy father’s house into that land which I shall show unto thee.
2. And I will make thee into a great race and bless thee and magnify thy name and thou wilt be blest.
3. I shall bless those who bless thee and curse those who curse thee and the races of the whole world will be blest in thee.

Or see the passage in the King James, the Revised Standard or (from the Vulgate instead of the Hebrew) the Douay. There is a lot of blessing going on in this passage, no matter what the translation. We get practice with “benedico” in the First Person Singular Active Future Indicative, the Masculine Nominative Singular of the Past Passive Participle, the Dative Plural of the Present Active Participle and the Third Person Plural Passive Future Indicative.

It’s fun to guess at what the “King’s English” would be for the various clichés, as for instance “vixit quoque Faleg triginta annis et genuit Reu / vixitque Faleg postquam genuit Reu ducentis novem annis et genuit filios et filias”.

12 Responses to “Bible Fun”

  1. Becky Says:

    This passage is one of the most well-know in Christian tradition — and it’s used repeatedly by Jews, Christians, and Muslims to justify their respective claims on Israel and Jerusalem. Nice choice.

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