Saturday, December 1, 2007

Study Guide: Group 4

Here is a Study Guide for Group 4 of the verses! 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 second declension nouns and adjectives:

33. The verb is implied: Beati (sunt) pacifici. The Latin pacificus is, literally, peace-maker (paci-fic, from the noun pax and the verb facere, "to make, do").

34. See my note to Verse #24. Grammatically, this statement can be interpreted in two ways: filii can be genitive singular ("We belong to the son of God") or nominative plural ("We are sons of God"). If you look at the context of the verse, it is clear that it is the latter, filii as "sons," nominative plural: Quicumque enim Spiritu Dei aguntur hii filii sunt Dei, "Whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

35. The plural verb sunt is your clue that caeli should be interpreted as nominative plural rather than genitive singular.

36. The Latin word mundus is a tricky one. As a noun, it means "the world" (parallel to the Greek word "cosmos"), but there is also an adjective mundus, munda, mundum which means "clean, neat" (compare the Greek word "cosmetics" which likewise is related to "cosmos"). In this verse, de mundo means "of the world, belonging to the world."

37. The word longe is an adverb (a large number of Latin adverbs are based on an adjectival stem to which a final "e" is added).

38. This verse is from the apocryphal book of II Maccabees.

39. This verse is from the apocryphal book sometimes called "The Wisdom of Jesus, son of Sirach," which is often simply abbreviated as "Sirach." It is also sometimes know as the book of Ecclesiasticus (not to be confused with the book of Ecclesiastes). The use of the plural verb sunt is your clue that bona and mala are neuter plural adjectives, used substantively ("good (thing)" and "bad (things)").

40. Notice the way that the noun phrase, stultorum ... numerus wraps around the verb and predicate, infinitus est. This artful word order is characteristic both of Latin poetry and also of proverbial expression such as this one.

41. The adjective dignus takes a complement in the ablative case, cibo suo. In English, the adjective takes a prepositional complement, "worthy of."

42. The subject is implied but not expressed: est can be translated into English as "(he) is." Notice the parallel structure, where the repeated words do not need to be expressed in the second portion: Non est Deus mortuorum, sed (est Deus) vivorum.

43. The word ibi refers to that place where the dead and the unborn dwell. This is a beautiful chapter of the Book of Job, which you can read online in Latin-English parallel text at the New Advent Bible site.