Archive for August, 2010

21
Aug
10

Gospel of Matthew 3

And here we go again. A whole chapter this time! Well, it’s a short chapter, but the Bible is inconsistent about these things.

This time we leave Jesus for a bit to meet John the Baptist, a holy man very like Jesus who lived a little earlier, and whom early Christians coopted as a prophet of the coming of Jesus in order to take his followers into the fold. He is most famous for dunking people in water (βαπτίζω: to baptize; from βάπτω: to dip) in the process of confessing of sins (ἐξομολογέομαι τάς ἁμαρτίας), quite possibly related to the Jewish tradition of throwing one’s sins into the water on Yom Kippur. As part of the (frankly, weird to anyone who knows anything about Judea in the early Roman Empire) New Testament theme of Pharisee and Sadducee bashing, some of the aforementioned show up and, rather than thinking that maybe they want to be better people, John calls them names and tells them that someone is coming who will baptize them in fire (ouch!) In order to be sure everyone knows Jesus is better than John, Jesus goes for a baptism, and John says he should be the one getting baptized (see, in those days, only messianic figures could baptize someone), and of course there’s that reference to baptism in fire. Coincidentally, very John (The Divine. That’s a Revelation reference. Of St. John the Divine.)

There’s some other interesting things here. For one, verse 16 has a very odd construction (I’d translate it literally as “Jesus being baptized immediately, he came up from the water,” which is fine as it goes, but very odd in context, especially temporally). Also, “ἡ τροφὴ ἦν αὐτοῦ ἀκρίδες καὶ μέλι ἄγριον” (emphasis mine): “his food was locusts and wild honey.” That the author felt the need to specify suggests that there may have been domestic honey, harvested not by foresters but beekeepers. I’m sure there’s literature on that somewhere, but not having quick access to it at the moment I’m just going to say that I think that’s pretty cool, beekeepers in the days before bee suits and epinephrine.

There’s also a quote from Isaiah. There’s a lot of Old Testament quotes in the New Testament to “prove” that Jesus is the messiah (a lot of them merely force his life into a timeline that cannot be possible, of course). This one is meant to show that John is a prophet who will pave the way (see what I did there?) for Jesus.

Translation followed by original text (still using A Reader’s Greek New Testament: 2nd Edition, footnotes excised and numerals changed to Greek by me) below the cut.

καὶ τὰ λειπόμενα

17
Aug
10

Matthew 2:13-23

Wow, I can’t believe I forgot about this! Yeah, I did actually finish translating Matthew 2 (and a little farther, actually, but not to a decent stopping point). I haven’t done much more, but I plan to keep working on it, since, as a college graduate, I don’t really ever work on any Greek that I don’t pick up myself. Here’s my translation of Matthew 2:13-23 (the rest of the chapter), followed by the Greek as copied from A Reader’s Greek New Testament (2nd Edition), but with the numerals changed to Greek because why not? My translation may sound a little awkward at times because I’m trying harder to maintain the impact of word choice and order than to translate colloquially.

καὶ τὰ λειπόμενα

02
Aug
10

The Simple Things

Although I love making fancy food, and Americans in general like to pile on the flavors, I was recently reminded that sometimes simple is best.

καὶ τὰ λειπὀμενα