Friday, November 30, 2007

Study Guide: Group 1

Here is a Study Guide for Group 1 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.

These verses contain only first declension nouns and adjectives.

1. Sapientia, "wisdom," is strongly personified as feminine in Latin, as you can see here. This verse comes from the apocryphal book of the Bible which is commonly known as the book of "Wisdom." The Latin adjective clarus can mean "clear, bright, shining," but it also has the wider, metaphorical connotations of "illustrious, glorious," etc. This is of course where we get the English names Clara, Claire, and so on. The original meaning of the Latin word was closer to something like "clear-sounding," related to the verb clamare, "to shout out."

2. The verb es already conveys the subject of the verb, "you," so no pronoun is needed in Latin. Compare Matthew 16:18, ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam.

3. Here the adjective tua is being used predicatively. To keep the same word order as in Latin, you could say: "Yours is the earth."

4. Notice that here the verb is implied, not stated: Magna (est) misericordia tua. The sentence structure is the same as in Verse #3, but with the verb omitted.

5. Here again the verb is implied: Viae tuae (sunt) rectae. Notice also the freedom of the Latin word order: the predicate can come at the end of the sentence, as here, or first in the sentence, as in the preceding two verses. This verse comes from the Prayer of Azariah, an apocryphal supplement to the Book of Daniel.

6. The verb is again implied: Non (sunt) viae vestrae viae meae. Try to get used to reading these Latin sentences out loud and letting them convey their meaning without a stated verb of being.

7. This verse has a parallel structure. In one portion, the verb is omitted, tuae (sunt) divitiae, while the verb is supplied in the second portion: tua est gloria.

8. This beautiful verse comes from the book of Revelation. The verb shows that the subject is ego, "I" - and the speaker's identity is revealed in the complete verse as Jesus: Ego Iesus misi angelum meum testificari vobis haec in ecclesiis; ego sum radix et genus David stella splendida et matutina, "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches; I am the root and tribe of David, the bright and morning star."

9. In this verse, Jesus is addressing Martha, the sister of Mary. The name Martha is here in the vocative case.

10. In this verse from the Song of Songs, the noun phrase amica mea is in the vocative case.

11. This verse shows how in Latin an adjective can agree with the nearest noun. You can understand that as a form of implied parallelism: Tua est magnificentia et (tua est) potentia.