Author Topic: Grammar - Trisagion  (Read 1722 times)

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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Grammar - Trisagion
« on: June 23, 2013, 10:15:35 PM »
While I was pretty good with Greek while in seminary, I've lost a lot of it over the years.  Since there are many here who haven't, I thought I'd throw this question out. 

Quote
Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος Ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος Ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς.

This is the EO version of the Trisagion; the OO version includes a Christological phrase before ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς to make clear that we address it to Christ and not to the Trinity, as the EO do. 

Grammatically, is this addressed to one person or to more than one?  The Copts just adopted the Greek for this, and yet they address it to one person.  My understanding of the grammar is that it's directed to one person and not to three.  I'm interested in the grammar; theology and polemics can be done elsewhere (and if they have already been done, just let me know, and I'll look for that).  Are the Copts "doing it wrong" grammatically, or does the Trinitarian interpretation of the EO come from somewhere other than grammar?     
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Grammar - Trisagion
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2013, 10:27:04 PM »
While I was pretty good with Greek while in seminary, I've lost a lot of it over the years.  Since there are many here who haven't, I thought I'd throw this question out. 

Quote
Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος Ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος Ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς.

This is the EO version of the Trisagion; the OO version includes a Christological phrase before ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς to make clear that we address it to Christ and not to the Trinity, as the EO do. 

Grammatically, is this addressed to one person or to more than one?  The Copts just adopted the Greek for this, and yet they address it to one person.  My understanding of the grammar is that it's directed to one person and not to three.  I'm interested in the grammar; theology and polemics can be done elsewhere (and if they have already been done, just let me know, and I'll look for that).  Are the Copts "doing it wrong" grammatically, or does the Trinitarian interpretation of the EO come from somewhere other than grammar?     
Actually, the last verse the Copts sing is "di-Aghia 'trias! eleison imas" "O Holy Trinity"-the "di" is the only Coptic word in the whole hymn (though they have the same expansion/interpolation as the rest of the non-Chalcedonians).

Grammar isn't going to help, as the Trinity is always a singular subject.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Grammar - Trisagion
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2013, 10:54:48 PM »
Actually, the last verse the Copts sing is "di-Aghia 'trias! eleison imas" "O Holy Trinity"-the "di" is the only Coptic word in the whole hymn (though they have the same expansion/interpolation as the rest of the non-Chalcedonians).

Yeah, I knew about that.  The first time I heard it and made connections, I smiled.  :)

Quote
Grammar isn't going to help, as the Trinity is always a singular subject.

I guess what I had in mind was some of the Byzantine texts for today's feast, where the Trinity is expounded upon by splitting up the invocations: Holy God for the Father, Holy Mighty for the Son, and Holy Immortal for the Spirit.  I wondered whether you could assign the invocations to individual persons and still be grammatically correct (i.e., the hymn actually addresses a plurality of persons) or if it was more "poetic" expression of Trinitarian faith. 
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.