[B-Greek] Greek-to-Latin translation of BOULOMAI with 2 subjects and 2 complementary infinitives

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Thu May 21 07:03:52 EDT 2009


On May 21, 2009, at 3:58 AM, Steven Cox wrote:

> butterfingers : "I would have expected ornare, not ornantes"
>
>
>
> --- On Thu, 21/5/09, Steven Cox <stevencox_backonbgreek at yahoo.co.uk>  
> wrote:
>
> From: Steven Cox <stevencox_backonbgreek at yahoo.co.uk>
> Subject: [B-Greek] Greek-to-Latin translation of BOULOMAI with 2  
> subjects and 2 complementary infinitives
> To: "B Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: Thursday, 21 May, 2009, 7:47 AM
>
>
> Sorry, I know this is stretching the limits of what B-Greek is for,  
> but this question relates to how BOULOMAI, and possibly other any  
> other verbs taking complementary infinitives also capable of dual  
> subjects (e.g. maybe QELW though I can't see a NT example?) are  
> translated into Latin.

Steven, there IS now a B-Latin discussion group which was established  
for the specific purpose of dealing with Latin issues, Vulgate, etc.  
in Biblical texts. Had you known about it, that's where this question  
should have gone. It is moderated by B-Greek list-member Barry  
Hofstetter, and you can find it at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/B-Latin/

> Can someone with a better command of the differences between Greek  
> and Latin syntax please explain to me why the second modal  
> infinitive CWRHSAI  in 2Pe3:9 remains a passive infinitive "reverti"  
> in Latin, however in 1Tim2:8-9 the second subject infinitive KOSMEIN  
> becomes a present participle "ornantes" in the Vulgate?

In fact, these are not so much matters of syntax but of idiomatic  
differences in the verbs used in the Greek text and in the Latin  
version.
>
> I have checked the textual apparatus in NA27 and Nova Vulgata (1979  
> Vatican) and the Greek and Latin texts appear consistent.
>
>
> 2 Pe 3:9 BOULOMENOS TINAS APOLESQAI ALLA PANTAS EIS METANOIAN CWRHSAI
> = nolens aliquos perire sed omnes ad paenitentiam reverti

The Latin verb "revertor," infinitive "reverti" (= turn back, come  
back, return) is traditionally called a "deponent verb" in  
conventional Latin grmmar, although I'd really prefer to call it a  
middle-voice verb; on the other hand the Greek verb CWREW  
fundamentally means something like "vacate space" or "make room" or  
"yield." I think the Vulgate formulation does carry the same sense  
basically as the Greek, but there is some difference between the verbs  
used in the two different formulations.
>
> BOULOMENOS  [subj1]+APOLESQAI, (but) [subj2]+CWRHSAI
> = nolens [subj1]+perire, (but) [subj2]+reverti
>
> modal - subject1 infinitive1, (but) subject2 infinitive2.
> (no problem there).
>
>
>
> 1Tim2:8-9 BOULOMAI OUN PROSEUCESQAI TOUS ANDRAS EN PANTI TOPWi
> EPAIRONTAS hOSIOUS CEIRAS CWRIS ORGHS KAI DIALOGISMOU.
> WSAUTWS KAI GUNAIKAS EN KATASTOLH KOSMIW META AIDOUS
> KAI SWFROSUNHS KOSMEIN EAUTAS MH EN PLEGMASIN
> KAI CRUSW H MARGARITAIS H IMATISMW POLUTELEI
>
> volo ergo viros orare in omni loco levantes puras manus sine ira et  
> disceptatione
> similiter et mulieres in habitu ornato cum verecundia
> et sobrietate ornantes
> se non in tortis crinibus aut auro aut
> margaritis vel veste pretiosa
>
> BOULOMAI [subject1] PROSEUCESQAI, (likewise and) [subject2] KOSMEIN
> = volo [subject1] orare, (likewise and) [subject2] ornantes
>
> I would have expected [orare] orarare, not ornantes. The only thing  
> I can think of is that the Latin is taking WSAUTWS as refering to  
> PROSEUCESQAI not BOULOMAI or EN PANTI TOPWi, hence:
> = 2:8. volo [subject1] orare levantes..
> = 2:9. [volo] [subject2] [orare] ornantes..

Here again, I think you are looking for an unrealistic "literal"  
correspondence of the Latin vulgate with the GNT formulations. In this  
insance the Greek verb PROSEUCESQAI is a "deponent" middle-voice verb  
(always PROSEUCOMAI, never PROSEUCW), while the Latin verb "orare" is  
a standard 'garden-variety' first-conjugation active infinitive. On  
the other hand I think that the infinitive "orare" carries forward  
implicitly into the second clause expressing what the writer wants  
women to do. In this instance, I rather think that the Latin  
translator improves on the Greek formulation -- the Greek text  
practically suggests that the writer wants the men to pray but wants  
the women to dress properly; the Latin translator inerprets the Greek  
writer as meaning that he wants both men and women to pray, but that  
the women should do so while dressed in a way that calls no attention  
to their femininity. So in this instance, if we may suggest some  
"reverse engineering" (of the sort involved in attempts to hypothesize  
what Aramaic expression of Jesus might lie behind the Greek text of a  
Jesus-saying), the Latin translator is hypothesizing that the Greek  
writer might better have written KOSMOUSAS hEAUTAS.

But this really is a very marginal issue for B-Greek, as you realized.  
We probably deal more frequently with questions about how the LXX text  
relates to the corresponding Hebrew text of the OT; those questions  
too are sometimes tricky, precisely because of differences in idiom  
between the languages involved.



Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)






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