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Author Topic: Theotokos (Birth-Giver of God) vs. Mother of God.  (Read 4898 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2012, 01:02:28 AM »

^
http://books.google.com/books?id=7t0UAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA354&dq=%22Godes+cynnestre%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4gAVT8qfH8SUgwfw7tSGBA&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22Godes%20cynnestre%22&f=false
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 01:02:57 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2012, 11:43:34 AM »

As we debate this ad naseum at Holy Words Orthodox parish, everyone has fallen asleep, the roof is leaking and the electricity has been turned off.  Smiley
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« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2012, 04:40:44 PM »


From your last link....

"Soðlice fram anginne þæs halgan godspelles ge geleornodon hu se heah-engel Gabriel þam eadigan mædene Marian þæs heofonlican Æðelinges acennednysse gecydde, and þæs Hælendes wundra, and þære gesæligan Godes cennestran þenunge, and hyre lifes dæda on þam feower godspellicum bocum geswutollice oncneowon"

"Verily from the beginning of the holy gospel ye have learned how the archangel Gabriel declared to the blessed Mary the birth of the Heavenly Prince, and the miracles of Jesus, and the ministry of the blessed mother of God and the deeds of her life ye have manifestly known from the four evangelical books."

I just do not see how this pans out as supportive of "Theotokos."  It seems to me to be special pleading.
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« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2012, 05:01:50 PM »

"It is truly meet to praise thee, to bless thee, O Theotokos,
who are ever blessed, and all blameless, and the MOTHER OF OUR GOD..."  (Greek-Mitera to Theou Imon.)

We should not attempt to act as theologians when our Holy Church has decided upon these matters, centuries ago.

You do understand that the hymn you've quoted is a proof for not translating Theotokos as "Mother of God," but rather to render it as "God-bearer" (or "Birth-giver of God") since it would be nonsensical to have a hymn stating, "It is truly meet to praise thee, to bless thee, O Mother-of-God, who are ever blessed, and all blameless, and the MOTHER OF OUR GOD..."

Theotokos should be rendered as "God bearer," or "Birth-giver of God," properly, vs. "Mother of God," as the two terms/phrases (Theotokos vs. Mitir tou Theou / Mitera tou Theou) are used in combination multiple times in the hymns and prayers of the Church.  The above quoted hymn being example #1
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« Reply #49 on: January 17, 2012, 05:06:29 PM »

IMO: The liturgical and patristic texts of the Church are clear enough that both Theotokos (i.e. Birth-giver of God, or God-bearer) and Mitir tou Theou (i.e. Mother of God) are applicable to the Ever-Virgin Mary, and that they are SEPARATE TITLES.  So when translating (notice how I didn't say, "if" - I think it is appropriate to translate the term if so desired, and if people choose not to, then that's their prerogative) "Theotokos," one should use the more accurate and not redundant "Birth-giver of God" or "God-bearer" (although the latter term could be confused with "Theoforos," which would be more closely rendered as "God carrier") rather than duplicating "Mother of God" for multiple terms frequently used in tandem.
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« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2012, 05:20:03 PM »

"It is truly meet to praise thee, to bless thee, O Theotokos,
who are ever blessed, and all blameless, and the MOTHER OF OUR GOD..."  (Greek-Mitera to Theou Imon.)

We should not attempt to act as theologians when our Holy Church has decided upon these matters, centuries ago.

You do understand that the hymn you've quoted is a proof for not translating Theotokos as "Mother of God," but rather to render it as "God-bearer" (or "Birth-giver of God") since it would be nonsensical to have a hymn stating, "It is truly meet to praise thee, to bless thee, O Mother-of-God, who are ever blessed, and all blameless, and the MOTHER OF OUR GOD..."


The phrases "Mother of God" and "Mother of our God" are not identical.
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« Reply #51 on: January 17, 2012, 05:34:34 PM »

"It is truly meet to praise thee, to bless thee, O Theotokos,
who are ever blessed, and all blameless, and the MOTHER OF OUR GOD..."  (Greek-Mitera to Theou Imon.)

We should not attempt to act as theologians when our Holy Church has decided upon these matters, centuries ago.

You do understand that the hymn you've quoted is a proof for not translating Theotokos as "Mother of God," but rather to render it as "God-bearer" (or "Birth-giver of God") since it would be nonsensical to have a hymn stating, "It is truly meet to praise thee, to bless thee, O Mother-of-God, who are ever blessed, and all blameless, and the MOTHER OF OUR GOD..."

FWIW, the Ruthenian Catholic Church had that exact translation for a long time until the RDL.
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« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2012, 05:44:04 PM »

I think God-bearer is too confusing. It can refer to Symeon, Ignatius, etc. the God-bearer. To bear (carry) and to bear (give birth to) have evolved in Modern English to two quite separate meanings. Whilst I agree with the history of the term in Anglo-Saxon, in my jurisdiction we have agreed on Early Modern English (Shakespearean) as our liturgical language. The use of Birthgiver is quite harmonious in EME and gives a more accurate indication of the actions the Holy Spirit worked in the Mother of God.
Still I prefer direct translations from the originals, even though EME only has the two compared to Greek and Church Slavonic three.
The northern English/Scots rendering of "offspring" as "bairn", especially at the end of the Paschal Zadostoinik (in place of It is Truly Meet at Liturgy stc). Shine, shine... is a favourite of mine.
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« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2012, 05:51:45 PM »

Looks to me as though cennestran and γεννήτρια are cognates. Both Anglo-Saxon and Greek are Indo-Europoean languages.
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« Reply #54 on: January 17, 2012, 05:53:08 PM »

"It is truly meet to praise thee, to bless thee, O Theotokos,
who are ever blessed, and all blameless, and the MOTHER OF OUR GOD..."  (Greek-Mitera to Theou Imon.)

We should not attempt to act as theologians when our Holy Church has decided upon these matters, centuries ago.

You do understand that the hymn you've quoted is a proof for not translating Theotokos as "Mother of God," but rather to render it as "God-bearer" (or "Birth-giver of God") since it would be nonsensical to have a hymn stating, "It is truly meet to praise thee, to bless thee, O Mother-of-God, who are ever blessed, and all blameless, and the MOTHER OF OUR GOD..."
 

The phrases "Mother of God" and "Mother of our God" are not identical.

In the context of the hymn, using both phrases in the same sentence would be redundant/nonsensical, both in Greek and in English.
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« Reply #55 on: January 17, 2012, 06:22:28 PM »

"It is truly meet to praise thee, to bless thee, O Theotokos,
who are ever blessed, and all blameless, and the MOTHER OF OUR GOD..."  (Greek-Mitera to Theou Imon.)

We should not attempt to act as theologians when our Holy Church has decided upon these matters, centuries ago.

You do understand that the hymn you've quoted is a proof for not translating Theotokos as "Mother of God," but rather to render it as "God-bearer" (or "Birth-giver of God") since it would be nonsensical to have a hymn stating, "It is truly meet to praise thee, to bless thee, O Mother-of-God, who are ever blessed, and all blameless, and the MOTHER OF OUR GOD..."
 

The phrases "Mother of God" and "Mother of our God" are not identical.

In the context of the hymn, using both phrases in the same sentence would be redundant/nonsensical, both in Greek and in English.

I am not sure if holy Church has ever been embarrased by redundancies in her liturgical material.  Smiley  I am certanly not a maven in this area and I can speak only as an amateur out of many years of daily Vespers and Matins.  The search for succintness and avoidance of repetition is part of the genius of Rome.
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« Reply #56 on: January 17, 2012, 06:34:04 PM »

This thread makes me remember why I didn't major in linguistics....

Truth be told, most of the English formulations, including 'Theotokas' which has become a vernacular word to most Orthodox English speaking faithful, are acceptable and they are designed to describe,within the limitations of our inadequate, heartfelt human vocabulary, the praise and honor due to Mary; she who conceived the Son of God without sin,who gave birth to Him in a cave and who was Ever-Virgin and without sin.

Instead of endlessly fretting about what we call her, we are charged to know WHY we call her these honored names so that we may defend Orthodoxy and our love for Mary when confronted by Protestants who fail to comprehend her and fair to honor her as we - and our Roman brothers - honor her.

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« Reply #57 on: January 18, 2012, 01:47:55 AM »

Isn't anyone on this forum associated with the moderate Greek Synod of Resistance, the Traditionalist Old Calendar Church?  Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna, a multi-post graduate degreed polyglot, had written an exceptional justification for retaining "Mother of God," in English translations, over a decade ago.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #58 on: January 18, 2012, 04:16:24 AM »


From your last link....

"Soðlice fram anginne þæs halgan godspelles ge geleornodon hu se heah-engel Gabriel þam eadigan mædene Marian þæs heofonlican Æðelinges acennednysse gecydde, and þæs Hælendes wundra, and þære gesæligan Godes cennestran þenunge, and hyre lifes dæda on þam feower godspellicum bocum geswutollice oncneowon"

"Verily from the beginning of the holy gospel ye have learned how the archangel Gabriel declared to the blessed Mary the birth of the Heavenly Prince, and the miracles of Jesus, and the ministry of the blessed mother of God and the deeds of her life ye have manifestly known from the four evangelical books."

I just do not see how this pans out as supportive of "Theotokos."  It seems to me to be special pleading.
The phrase "Godes meder/modor" also appears.  The dissertation on Aefric discusses his play on the words.  That the translator doesn't do his job well here doesn't plead the cause of confusion.

I was curious to see how Hans Wehr, the authorative dictionary of Arabic-English translates والدة the exact equivalent of "cennestre" (and whose root is the exact same as "-tokos"): "mother; parturient woman, woman in childbirth."  I've have to see if the next edition has birthgiver (or "Gebärerin," the dictionary is actually done in German).

No special pleading beyond what the dictionaries of Old English, composed from the Anglo-Saxon corpus, tell us: the Anglo-Saxons had the words cennestre and modor, and distinguished between the two; a distinction they used to maintain the distinction between "Dei genitrix" and "Mater Dei" in Latin; and that they translated "Theotokos," in the rare instance where a Greek original text is connected to a Old English one, as "Godes cennestre," and; the use of it in an instance where the Greek original lacks "Theotokos," and the "formulaic (as the German article calls it) use of "Godes cennestre" shows it had some independent existence within English, i.e. it didn't depend on an underlying "Theotokos" or "Dei genetrix/Deipara." Then of course there is the fine example that every language adopted by the Orthodox makes the same distinction.
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
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« Reply #59 on: January 18, 2012, 04:18:30 AM »

"It is truly meet to praise thee, to bless thee, O Theotokos,
who are ever blessed, and all blameless, and the MOTHER OF OUR GOD..."  (Greek-Mitera to Theou Imon.)

We should not attempt to act as theologians when our Holy Church has decided upon these matters, centuries ago.

You do understand that the hymn you've quoted is a proof for not translating Theotokos as "Mother of God," but rather to render it as "God-bearer" (or "Birth-giver of God") since it would be nonsensical to have a hymn stating, "It is truly meet to praise thee, to bless thee, O Mother-of-God, who are ever blessed, and all blameless, and the MOTHER OF OUR GOD..."
 

The phrases "Mother of God" and "Mother of our God" are not identical.

In the context of the hymn, using both phrases in the same sentence would be redundant/nonsensical, both in Greek and in English.

I am not sure if holy Church has ever been embarrased by redundancies in her liturgical material.  Smiley  I am certanly not a maven in this area and I can speak only as an amateur out of many years of daily Vespers and Matins.  The search for succintness and avoidance of repetition is part of the genius of Rome.
Then it seems, Father, that it schooled ROCOR, as the translation you cite from the old prayer book drops a "Mother of God" (its prefered term) out of the Theotokion.
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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,
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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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