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Friday, August 12, 2005

Communal Translating Project

This is not connected to anything on this blog, but I was talking to someone on a bulletin board which in a roundabout way lead to me reading the Angelic and Communal Doctor on Mtt 20:25ish, and thought I would bash out a translation of sorts. Much more interesting than a badly-written digest of Russian retail news. Do add comments. I did it in an hour or so so am proud of my speed if less so of the quality of the work!
Happy original here. You need to poke about a bit to get to where I started, search for Et primo ponit in medium exemplum gentilium.
First he places the example of the nations, secondly he teaches that the example is not to be followed (you know that the princes of the Gentiles lord it over them), thirdly he sets out what is to be followed (it shall not be so among you). Therefore Jesus called them to him, giving an example of humility. (as above, 11:29: learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart) And he said, you know that the princes of the Gentiles lord it over them. Among the Jews the gentiles were abominable, as it is said in 18:17, let him be to you as the heathen and the publican. Thus the princes of the Gentiles lord it over them inspired horror, whence it is to be known that this example is not to be imitated. But it should be noted that pre-emininence (being in charge, in command, at the head of) is of two kinds, namely of dignity and of power: and He speaks of them both when he says the princes of the Gentiles etc. Those are princes who preside ex officio. What's this? Is it bad to rule? To rule is sometimes said for to be at the head of, to be in command: and it is not to be taken in this way here: sometimes it is as though correlating to have for oneself ad servum, whence it is the same as to serviliter subdue a servus to oneself, and it is thus taken here. For princes are instituted that they might procure the good of those under them; if on the other hand they want to reduce them to servitudo then they abuse [their position], because they use the free as slaves: quia liber est qui est causa sui, servus qui causa alterius [eh?]. And because the custom is such among the gentiles, and is still among some, so He says, the princes of the people lord it over them, that is they reduce their subjects to slavery. Ezechiel xxii:27 her princes in the midst of her like ravening wolves [Thomas has principes tui, I have just gone along with the DR]. Likewise some have eminence not in dignity but in power, as some nobles. And the custom is that he who has power does not use it for the good [ad beneficium], but exercise power among them, in other words for oppression and not for justice. But the Lord does not want this custom in His church, and so He says it shall not be so among you, that is that there should not be among you one as it were dominating [dominativus – not in my trusty Collins gem, dominans is tyrant, tyrannical, dominor is to rule or fig. to lord it. NB Sunday vespers psalm Dixit Dominus . . . dominare in medio inimicorum tuorum, so it can't be all bad!][why has the Gem got only dominor, and the old Vulgate and Pius XII pss and my Dominican breviary got dominare? Anyone?] I Peter v, 3: neither as lording it over the clergy.
Against these two are set another two, but whosoever will be the greater among you; and this refers to the second saying, and they that are greater exercise power over them; that is as if someone desires to have praesidium in the Church [praesidentiam in Ecclesia spiritus sancti: what goes with Holy Spirit? And I am slightly making this sentence up], that he be like a minister, I Peter iv 10: as every man hath received grace, [oh I suppose praesidium goes with HS] ministering the same on to another, as good stewards, that the more you will have, the more you will spend in utilitas. So then to the princes of the Gentiles lord it over them He says this much, and whosoever will be the greater among you, will be your servant: that is, if anyone should desire to have primacy in the Church, he ought to know that this is not to have dominion, but servitutem. For he is servi [?]who has given his whole self to the service of the master: so the prelates of the Church should subdue all that they have, all that they are: I Cor ix:19 whereas I was free as to all, I made myself he servant of all; II Cor iv, 5: we your servants through Jesus. And so according to Chrysostom miserum est. And so it is said, that it [primacy in the Church] is not to be done according to the custom of the Gentiles. And so they could ask, what [example] should we follow? He said, follow Me, and showed Himself a minister saying as the Son of Man came not to be ministered to but to minister [yes, serve, am being slavish] But on the other hand is it not said above that angels came and ministered to him? (iv, 11) And in John xii, 2 it is said that Martha ministered. I say that He could be ministered to, but He did not come for this. So for what? That He Himself might minister, that is tender the abundance of glory to others. The apostle to the Romans, xv, 8: for I say that Christ Jesus was a minister of the circumcision. And in Luke xxii, 27: I am in your midst as one who ministers. But you say, is He then a servant, if He is a prince? Yes. The servant is he who is accepted in a price/fee [servus enim dicitur qui accipitur in pretium] : and He made Himself a price, and gave Himself as redemption for many; whence He came to minister, and to give his soul, that is His bodily life, a redemption for many. He does not say for all, though as far as sufficiency goes, it was for all, but in regard to efficacy, it is for the many, that is the elect. And so John xv, 13 greater love hath no man than to give his life for his friends, Jeremiah xii, 7 I have given my dear soul into the hand of her enemies.