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Author Topic: Both now and ever and unto....?  (Read 756 times)
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scamandrius
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« on: June 03, 2010, 11:04:02 AM »

Though I know ancient Greek pretty well and my modern Greek is OK, one thing that puzzles me is how to translate the end of the doxology.  (Forgive me, I don't have Greek font on this computer).  kai nin kai aei kai eis tous aionas ton aionon.  is most often rendered, "both now and ever and unto the ages of ages."  This follows closely the Latin text which reads, et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum.  Now, I've noticed some Greek priests (and I don't know if this is in the Greek service books or not) say, "now and ever and forever." 

The term forever really doesn't strike me as being synonymous with the aion.  If I understand aion correctly as being an "age" and this age that we currently live in is the one that Christ established following his triumph over death, but which will come to an end at the final judgment, then I think this is a mistranslation.  I need someone with more theological linguistic grounding than myself to give me an answer since I am at a loss.  Evcharisdho.
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2010, 11:57:57 AM »

I think the "now and ever and forever" is born out of a text that was more common in our Archdiocese years ago, and I have a feeling (this is opinion, mind you) that it was to shorten the phrase and make it more "relevant."  Thankfully, most priests I know never utter the ending in that fashion.  I generally hear only two variations, being:

"both now and ever and to the ages of ages," and
"both now and forever and to the ages of ages."

(I have not included variances in "to" versus "unto.")
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2010, 01:54:47 PM »

Though I know ancient Greek pretty well and my modern Greek is OK, one thing that puzzles me is how to translate the end of the doxology.  (Forgive me, I don't have Greek font on this computer).  kai nin kai aei kai eis tous aionas ton aionon.  is most often rendered, "both now and ever and unto the ages of ages."  This follows closely the Latin text which reads, et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum.  Now, I've noticed some Greek priests (and I don't know if this is in the Greek service books or not) say, "now and ever and forever." 

The term forever really doesn't strike me as being synonymous with the aion.  If I understand aion correctly as being an "age" and this age that we currently live in is the one that Christ established following his triumph over death, but which will come to an end at the final judgment, then I think this is a mistranslation.  I need someone with more theological linguistic grounding than myself to give me an answer since I am at a loss.  Evcharisdho.
"forever" is a paraphrase of the phrase "ages of ages." All liturgical languages, which have words for "forever," none the less translate it "age(s[it is not plural here in all languages]) of ages."  English should follow suit, especially as it is a Semitism with Biblical overtones (cf. "King of Kings").
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2010, 02:09:51 PM »

If I understand aion correctly as being an "age" and this age that we currently live in is the one that Christ established following his triumph over death, but which will come to an end at the final judgment, then I think this is a mistranslation. 

The literal translation itself has already been dealt with. On a theological level, however, "ages of ages" does, in fact, mean "forever," i.e. starting now and continuing into the fullness of the Kingdom, which has no end (a la the Symbol of Faith).

Your argument seems to flip that on its head. We're not proclaiming that the glory of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit lasts until the end of this "age" (that would be Marcellian), but, rather, that it is without end. Just a Semitic way of saying that.
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