Sunday, December 16, 2007

Study Guide: Group 10

Here is the latest Study Guide! I have not provided English translations, since those are easy enough to find by consulting versions of the Bible in English. Instead, I have tried to call attention to the various grammatical features of the verses, along with interesting vocabulary items, the importance of a specific Biblical context, etc.

You will find more Study Guides at the Vulgate Verses wiki.

These verses contain first, second and third declension nouns:

108. Here is the complete statement: ego sum Alpha et Omega, initium et finis. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega is the last. You can read more about this symbolism in the wikipedia article.

109. Notice that while sermo ends in o-, it is not a dative or ablative singular of the second declension. Instead, sermo is a third declension noun, nominative singular, masculine (hence the predicate adjective, vivus). In order to be able to understand words in a Latin sentence, you need to recognize the endings but also to know the declensions and genders of the nouns.

110. This verse is from the apocryphal book of II Esdras. The word ut introduces a comparison: ut vapor (est), "it is like steam, an exhalation." In other words, it is something insubstantial, transient, fleeting.

111. See the note to Verse #109 above. The word munitio is a third declension noun, nominative singular, feminine, hence the feminine adjective mea.

112. In this parallel construction, the verb est is expressed in the first portion, and implied in the second portion: lex (est) lux. The play on words in the Latin here is absolutely lovely!

113. The metaphor at work here is that God is not interested in the superficial "face" one might put on, one's public "mask." Although the English word "person" does derive from the Latin persona, the Latin word itself meant a "mask." For more about the fascinating word persona, see this blog post.

114. The Latin words ubi and ibi are correlative adverbs, like the English words "where...there" (or "when...then"). The word et is being used adverbially here, meaning "also, too."

115. Notice that while the subject of the verb is plural,estis (vos), the predicates are singular: agricultura and aedificatio.

116. Be careful with the distinction between subject Pater meus and predicate agricola. Grammatically, the word meus could modify agricola (a masculine noun of the first declension), but context tells you that Pater meus is the subject of the verb, parallel to the implied subject of the first verb, (ego) sum.

117. The verb is implied: Dominus (est) petra mea et robur meum et salvator meus. The subject, Dominus is masculine, but the predicates cover all three genders: petra is feminine, robur is neuter, and salvator is masculine.