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CHAT: Being both theologically correct and properly modern

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Friday, May 11, 2001, 6:31
At 4:18 pm -0400 10/5/01, John Cowan wrote:
>Raymond Brown wrote: >
> >> " Jesus Christ...........begotten of the Father...; >> >> by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary..." >> >> Interesting that the old Tudor 'of' stuck in there with the phrase >> "begotten of" - I'd have thought "begotten by" or "begotten from" would've >> been better. > >"Begotten" is archaic already, although I suppose "fathered by the Father" >would be a bit over the top!
Yes. But the Latin has _ex Patre natum_ - born from the Father. But I guess one should find the Greek form, as the translators of the liturgy were urged to consult original forms & not just the standard Latin text.
>And "incarnate from" still seems very strange; it seems to assign Source >to a verb that doesn't seem to need it.
But it does, _incarnatus_ = 'having been en-fleshed' - the flesh came from somewhere, i.e. from his mother. The doctrine is that the 2nd person of the Trinity who, the creed affirms, is "God from God, light from light, true God from true God" (Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero), entered the world of flesh and received flesh _from_ Mary, a virgin.
>Being both theologically correct and properly modern in language can be >an insuperable problem: consider JRRT's attempt to rewrite King Theoden's >declaration to Gandalf in ModE.
It can be very difficult - particularly in a secularized post-Christian milieu. But then, the early Christians had to forge new theological terms out of the pagan milieu in which it grew and they rose to challenge. Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================


John Cowan <cowan@...>
Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>