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Author Topic: Comparing the Syriac and Greek versions of the Lord's Prayer  (Read 1868 times) Average Rating: 0
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SamB
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« on: November 06, 2007, 07:55:41 AM »

Many of you would be interested to know that the Syriac Our Father uses the future indicative in the three lines following the first:

Hallowed will be Thy Name
Thy Kingdom will come
The Will will be done...

To those who know the Lord's Prayer in Biblical Greek, is this likewise the case with it or does Greek make use of the jussive/subjunctive, bringing the meaning closer to that of the English version (and that of many other languages) with which we are more familiar?

I pose the same question also to those who know Church Latin.
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2007, 08:26:14 AM »

Πάτερ ημών ο εν τοις ουρανοίς·

αγιασθήτω το όνομά σου·

ελθέτω η βασιλεία σου·

γεννηθήτω το θέλημά σου,

ως εν ουρανώ και επί της γης·

τον άρτον ημών τον επιούσιον δος ημίν σήμερον·

και άφες ημίν τα οφειλήματα ημών,

ως και ημείς αφίεμεν τοις οφειλέταις ημών·

και μη εισενέγκης ημάς εις πειρασμόν,

αλλά ρύσαι ημάς από του πονηρού.

(ότι σου εστίν η βασιλεία καί η δύναμις καί η δόξα εις τούς αιώνας·)

αμήν.


Pater imon o en tis ouranis;

agiasthito to onoma sou;

eltheto i vasilia sou;

gennithito to thelima sou;

os en ourano ke epi tis gis;

ton arton imon ton epiousion dos imin simeron;

ke afes imin ta ofilimata imon;

os ke imis afiemen tis ofiletes imon;

ke mi isenengis imas is pirasmon,

alla ryse imas apo tou ponirou;

(oti sou estin i vasilia ke i dynamis ke i doxa is tous eonas;)

amin.

[Source: http://www.weblexikon.de/Vaterunser.html]


These three verbs are in 3rd person imperative form in Greek and, without being too sure at the moment, aorist imperative, according to the example found in:

http://www.laparola.net/greco/parola.php?p=%E1%BC%94%CF%81%CF%87%CE%BF%CE%BC%CE%B1%CE%B9

ἐλθέτω  verb: 3rd person aorist active imperative singular

« Last Edit: November 06, 2007, 08:31:18 AM by Sophie » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2007, 08:44:16 AM »

Thanks for posting it, Sophie.

SamB - the major verbs of the Lord's prayer in Greek all are commands/requests/directions, not statements of being or future being.
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2007, 09:19:29 AM »

Thanks to both of you; I thought as much.  (Sophie, I believe the aorist imperative in Greek is used when an event rather than a process is involved.)  Syriac appears to have its unique take on meaning--original meaning, in fact, as the Syriacs would claim that their language bears it all out--with many things the rest of us take for granted.

I just noticed that I forgot to share my request with Coptic listmembers, or anyone else in the Oriental Orthodox family of churches, who knows whether in his liturgical language the same mood and tense are employed in the Lord's Prayer as those in the Syriac version.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2007, 09:34:34 AM by SamB » Logged
ialmisry
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2007, 04:43:55 PM »

Thanks to both of you; I thought as much.  (Sophie, I believe the aorist imperative in Greek is used when an event rather than a process is involved.)  Syriac appears to have its unique take on meaning--original meaning, in fact, as the Syriacs would claim that their language bears it all out--with many things the rest of us take for granted.

I just noticed that I forgot to share my request with Coptic listmembers, or anyone else in the Oriental Orthodox family of churches, who knows whether in his liturgical language the same mood and tense are employed in the Lord's Prayer as those in the Syriac version.

The Coptic employs an optative, which the EO Arabic does too (the problem is that Arabic, like Syriac and other Semitic languages doesn't have the wealth of verb inflectinst that Greek and Coptic do.

The Syriac employs what you might call a future indicate, but it is also the only way to express an optative or an imperative.  Usually the Syriac is straight forward indicative and uses a present particple.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2007, 04:58:27 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2007, 08:25:07 AM »

Thanks.  (What, by the way does Coptic use to form the optative?  A prefix?  An inflexion?)  Right, Arabic in R.C., E.O., and O.O. usage employs the optative 'l' as a prefix attached to the present indicative.

As for Syriac, though there are similarities between the imperative and future indicative forms, there is an imperative mood in Syriac--foqoudo/faqouda--that stands on its own (though the prohibitive imperative is I believe always the future indicative form with lo/la).  I have not yet taken the equivalent of the hortatory subjunctive or 3rd person optative in Syriac to know whether these are identical to the future form.

At any rate, I asked my instructor whether perhaps a wish is being expressed in the relevant lines of the Lord's Prayer.  He insisted that the meaning is as the grammar would imply: that of a declarative statement in the indicative  ("سيتقدّس إسمك" وليس "ليتقدّس إسمك").

The Syriac employs what you might call a future indicate, but it is also the only way to express an optative or an imperative.  Usually the Syriac is straight forward indicative and uses a present particple.

I don't follow here concerning the present participle.  The equivalent to this in Arabic and Syriac would be the ism faa`il and ism maf`oul (as a gerund or adjectival participle, and without conveying time as the Semitic participle is classified as a noun or adjective and not as a verb possessing grammatical tense).  What purpose does this serve in Syriac, you say?
« Last Edit: November 16, 2007, 08:40:27 AM by SamB » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2007, 07:09:51 PM »

Thanks.  (What, by the way does Coptic use to form the optative?  A prefix?  An inflexion?)

Most Coptic verbs are inflected by prefix (In fact, these prefixes are fossilized phrases, combined/prefixed with the present participle).


Quote
Right, Arabic in R.C., E.O., and O.O. usage employs the optative 'l' as a prefix attached to the present indicative.

Actually the optative is not in the prefix (it would mean the same without it, but has become almost standard, to readily indicate in writing the correct ending ("jussive," or as I prefere, "majzuum"), the laam is prefixed.

Quote
As for Syriac, though there are similarities between the imperative and future indicative forms, there is an imperative mood in Syriac--foqoudo/faqouda--that stands on its own (though the prohibitive imperative is I believe always the future indicative form with lo/la).  I have not yet taken the equivalent of the hortatory subjunctive or 3rd person optative in Syriac to know whether these are identical to the future form.

At any rate, I asked my instructor whether perhaps a wish is being expressed in the relevant lines of the Lord's Prayer.  He insisted that the meaning is as the grammar would imply: that of a declarative statement in the indicative  ("سيتقدّس إسمك" وليس "ليتقدّس إسمك").

The Syriac employs what you might call a future indicate, but it is also the only way to express an optative or an imperative.  Usually the Syriac is straight forward indicative and uses a present particple.

I don't follow here concerning the present participle.  The equivalent to this in Arabic and Syriac would be the ism faa`il and ism maf`oul (as a gerund or adjectival participle, and without conveying time as the Semitic participle is classified as a noun or adjective and not as a verb possessing grammatical tense).  What purpose does this serve in Syriac, you say?

More or less the present, but subject to influence of aspect by inflected verbs.  Example: Matthew 5:2 ܘܦܬܚ ܦܘܡܗ ܘܡܠܦ ܗܘܐ ܠܗܘܢ ܘܐܡܪ  Literally "And-he opened (perfect) mouth-his and teaching (participle) he was (to) them saying" = And he opened his mouth and taught them saying.  In Matthew 21:2 the participle comes out as a future: ܘܐܡܪ ܠܗܘܢ ܙܠܘ ܠܩܪܝܬܐ ܗܕܐ ܕܠܩܘܒܠܟܘܢ ܘܡܚܕܐ ܡܫܟܚܝܢ ܐܢܬܘܢ ܚܡܪܐ ܕܐܤܝܪܐ ܘܥܝܠܐ ܥܡܗ ܫܪܘ ܐܝܬܘ ܠܝ , Where ܡܫܟܚܝܢ ܐܢܬܘܢ is a participle with a pronoun (ܙܠܘ is an impereative).  In other words, unless there is some mood other than indicative, the particple is used.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2007, 02:27:27 PM »

Most Coptic verbs are inflected by prefix (In fact, these prefixes are fossilized phrases, combined/prefixed with the present participle).

Fossilised phrases.  How are they so?

Quote
Actually the optative is not in the prefix (it would mean the same without it)

Not always so, I would think.  In cases where the prefix is necessary, the (h)arfil-jazm is what brings about the jussive.

فقط في صيغة المخاطب يكون اظهار الجزم بواسطة السكون كافياً (اخرس، فلتخرس) ولكن تصبح لام الأمر ضروريةً في الحالات الأخرى (لنذهب، ليذهب).1

Quote
The Syriac employs what you might call a future indicate, but it is also the only way to express an optative or an imperative.  Usually the Syriac is straight forward indicative and uses a present particple.

I don't follow here concerning the present participle.  The equivalent to this in Arabic and Syriac would be the ism faa`il and ism maf`oul (as a gerund or adjectival participle, and without conveying time as the Semitic participle is classified as a noun or adjective and not as a verb possessing grammatical tense).  What purpose does this serve in Syriac, you say?

More or less the present, but subject to influence of aspect by inflected verbs.

Ok, I see what you mean.  I was thrown off there: you are speaking of what I understand to be the verb rather than the participle, and of how for example a present-tense verb can be used by default to indicate the future, as in Arabic (e.g. بُكرى بنروح ; ܠܡܚܪ ܐܙܠܝܢܐܢ; غداً نذهب  ) This I know, but I am not sure why you are calling this a participle since I understand the participle in Syriac and Arabic to be the ism-faa`il and ism-maf`oul.  Below, you state that ܘܡܠܦ is a participle, when I mean to say that this is a verb possessing tense whereas the Semitic participle, which does not have such properties (unlike, say, a participle in Greek), in this case would be ܡܠܦܢܐ

ܘܡܠܦ ܗܘܐ ܠܗܘܢ looks to me (correct me if I'm wrong) to be imperfect, with a progressive (or perhaps habitual) aspect,
( كان يعلّمهم ) formed through the addition of ܗܘܐ (same role in this case as كان in Arabic), though I think the addition is to a verb, not a participle.  To note the difference in both Arabic and Syriac with the word 'sajada' for example: ܤܓܕ ܗܘܐ
كان يسجد  and ܤܓܘܕ ܗܘܐ / كان ساجداً (I am guessing gdomo is required here).  The first pair involves a verb and the second a participle.  Is what I have been saying correct?  I presume you've taken a good deal more Syriac than I, and I'd appreciate refining what I do already know.
 
Quote
Example: Matthew 5:2 ܘܦܬܚ ܦܘܡܗ ܘܡܠܦ ܗܘܐ ܠܗܘܢ ܘܐܡܪ  Literally "And-he opened (perfect) mouth-his and teaching (participle) he was (to) them saying" = And he opened his mouth and taught them saying.
 

Again, correct me if I am mistaken, but doesn't this verse literally translate to (without the diacritics, I am assuming ܘܐܡܪ is omar/aamar [present], and not emar [past]) 'And He opened His mouth and was teaching (maybe also 'would teach') them, and saying'?  Or how about, since the Arabic would be much more accurate (I would prefer your evaluation of the Arabic rather than the English),  وفتح فمه وكان يعلّمهم ويقول  as opposed to, as your English translation would have it with the adverbial participle 'saying', وفتح فمه وعلّمهم قائلاً  ?

Quote
In Matthew 21:2 the participle comes out as a future: ܘܐܡܪ ܠܗܘܢ ܙܠܘ ܠܩܪܝܬܐ ܗܕܐ ܕܠܩܘܒܠܟܘܢ ܘܡܚܕܐ ܡܫܟܚܝܢ ܐܢܬܘܢ ܚܡܪܐ ܕܐܤܝܪܐ ܘܥܝܠܐ ܥܡܗ ܫܪܘ ܐܝܬܘ ܠܝ , Where ܡܫܟܚܝܢ ܐܢܬܘܢ is a participle with a pronoun (ܙܠܘ is an impereative).  In other words, unless there is some mood other than indicative, the particple is used.

Thank you.

And by the way, where might I find a source for the Syriac font you are using?  If you would point me the way to where I might find fonts in Estrangelo, Serto, and Madnkhaya, as well as a diagrammatic layout of a Syriac keyboard, I would appreciate it.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2007, 04:22:47 PM by SamB » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2007, 11:35:12 AM »

Fossilised phrases.  How are they so?

Since Coptic is nothing but Ancient Egyptian in Greek letters, its evolution can be traced.  The Coptic conjugations all start as phrases like "he is on" combined with the participle.  An old form of the perfect, related to the Syriac perfect, in Old Egyptian is used as the adjective, and survives somewhat in th same role in Coptic (without, however, any of the original inflections).

Quote
Not always so, I would think.  In cases where the prefix is necessary, the (h)arfil-jazm is what brings about the jussive.

فقط في صيغة المخاطب يكون اظهار الجزم بواسطة السكون كافياً (اخرس، فلتخرس) ولكن تصبح لام الأمر ضروريةً في الحالات الأخرى (لنذهب، ليذهب).1

Ah, yes the tyranny of the theory of operators.  The jusssive would, with or without the prefix, be used.  It's almost never found without in these cases now though.

Quote
Ok, I see what you mean.  I was thrown off there: you are speaking of what I understand to be the verb rather than the participle, and of how for example a present-tense verb can be used by default to indicate the future, as in Arabic (e.g. بُكرى بنروح ; ܠܡܚܪ ܐܙܠܝܢܐܢ; غداً نذهب  ) This I know, but I am not sure why you are calling this a participle since I understand the participle in Syriac and Arabic to be the ism-faa`il and ism-maf`oul.  Below, you state that ܘܡܠܦ is a participle, when I mean to say that this is a verb possessing tense whereas the Semitic participle, which does not have such properties (unlike, say, a participle in Greek), in this case would be ܡܠܦܢܐ

ܘܡܠܦ ܗܘܐ ܠܗܘܢ looks to me (correct me if I'm wrong) to be imperfect, with a progressive (or perhaps habitual) aspect,
( كان يعلّمهم ) formed through the addition of ܗܘܐ (same role in this case as كان in Arabic), though I think the addition is to a verb, not a participle.  To note the difference in both Arabic and Syriac with the word 'sajada' for example: ܤܓܕ ܗܘܐ
كان يسجد  and ܤܓܘܕ ܗܘܐ / كان ساجداً (I am guessing gdomo is required here).  The first pair involves a verb and the second a participle.  Is what I have been saying correct?  I presume you've taken a good deal more Syriac than I, and I'd appreciate refining what I do already know.
   

Again, correct me if I am mistaken, but doesn't this verse literally translate to (without the diacritics, I am assuming ܘܐܡܪ is omar/aamar [present], and not emar [past]) 'And He opened His mouth and was teaching (maybe also 'would teach') them, and saying'?  Or how about, since the Arabic would be much more accurate (I would prefer your evaluation of the Arabic rather than the English),  وفتح فمه وكان يعلّمهم ويقول  as opposed to, as your English translation would have it with the adverbial participle 'saying', وفتح فمه وعلّمهم قائلاً  ?

My analysis of Syriac is overly etymological perhaps.  I first heard of the verbal system in Syriac when studying Ancient Egyptian, Gairdner's Grammar making a passing reference to Neo-Aramaic verbal conjugation, backed up with allusions to Hebrew.  It turns out that the CaaCeC pattern of the Aramaic participle (cf. faa9il), along with the suffix enclitic pronouns (e.g. ܐܡܪ ܐܢܐ I say), is paralled in Ancient Egyptian (in Coptic the suffixed pronouns become the objects, rather than the subjects, which are imbedded in the fossilized phrases mentioned above).

You are right that it is imperfect, but the "teaching" part is not inflected for person, the auxiliary ܗܘܐ does. 

The (over literal) parrallel to the Syriac in (btw, poor to the literalism) Arabic would be:وفتح فمه وكان معلمما لهم وقائلاً

Thank you.

Quote
And by the way, where might I find a source for the Syriac font you are using?  If you would point me the way to where I might find fonts in Estrangelo, Serto, and Madnkhaya, as well as a diagrammatic layout of a Syriac keyboard, I would appreciate it.

Unfortunately it's makeshift.  I go to biblos.com, and cut and paste from there. It's the only cite I know with a large amount of text (makes finding letters easy). I do the same for Arabic when I'm not a key board with Arabic.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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