some nice #Latin resources on @LogosPrePub

The great Latin poet, Virgil, holding a volume...
The great Latin poet, Virgil, holding a volume on which is written the Aenid. On either side stand the two muses: “Clio” (history) and “Melpomene” (tragedy). The mosaic, which dates from the 3rd Century A.D., was discovered in the Hadrumetum in Sousse, Tunisia and is now on display in the Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For those of you interested in learning a really important ancient language, like Greek, but somewhat easier…

First, here.

New Steps in Latin is a three-book series designed for beginning level students. For maximum learning efficiency, the texts employ minimum explanation of grammatical principles and instead concentrate on the essential grammar, morphology, and syntax of simple, compound, and complex sentences. This offers students a complete graded introduction to Latin. Learning is done contextually through numerous examples of Latin texts. These volumes can be used alone as core texts or as supplements to cultural and reading-oriented courses.

Each book consists of 30 lessons intended for a year-long course in Latin. Taken together, the three books form a comprehensive introduction. Vocabulary in the series is based on Cicero,VergilOvid, and Pliny. After completing New Steps in Latin, students will be ready to read these or other unaltered Latin authors.

Next, here.

The Introduction to Latin Collection provides students and instructors of Latin with everything they need to learn and teach this classic and culturally rich language. Introduction to Latin serves as an up-to-date and pedagogically effective first-year college grammar. The companion workbook supplements this solid grammar with challenging exercises, extensive vocabulary lists, and comprehensive English–Latin and Latin–English glossaries. With the innovative text By Roman Hands, students are propelled even further into the language and culture of the classical world through unadapted Latin inscriptions and graffiti as they actually appeared on Roman monuments, walls, and tombs. This collection unites the study of language and culture in a novel and compelling way, and provides all the tools needed for early Latin learners to grasp and discuss this enduring language.

And finally, here.

Vergil, Aeneid Books 1–6 is the first of a two-volume commentary on Vergil’s epic designed specifically for today’s Latin students. Along with this classic text, these editions navigate its complexities and elucidate the stylistic and interpretive issues that enhance and sustain appreciation of the Aeneid. This volume includes the complete Books 1–6 in Latin with the most up-to-date notes and commentary by today’s leading scholars of Roman epic. A general introduction to the entire volume sets forth the literary, cultural, political, and historical background necessary to interpret and understand Vergil.

The commentary includes an introduction to each book, as well as shorter introductions to major sections to help frame salient passages for students. Line-by-line notes provide grammatical and syntactical help in translating, discussion of the most up-to-date scholarship, and explanations of literary references that help students make connections between Vergil and Homer. An appendix on meter clearly and helpfully demonstrates the metrical concepts employed in the Aeneid with actual examples from the text, giving students the framework for understanding Vergil’s poetic artistry. The glossary on rhetorical, syntactic, and grammatical terms aids students in identifying and discussing the characteristic elements of Vergil’s style.


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Review: Latin Commentaries on Revelation (Ancient Christian Texts) @ivpress

Click to Order

One of the greatest contributions to the academic mind of the Church these last few years has been the publication of the Ancient Christian Commentary and Texts series by IVP-Academic. In this latest resurrection of ancient writings, William C. Weinrich, a Lutheran professor with international experience, brings to us ancient Latin commentaries, which have been neatly translated into English, on the Book of Revelation. Included in this volume are commentaries from the 4th century Victorinus of Petovium, Apringius of Beja, Caesarius of Arles, and Bede the Venerable, an Old English monk of the 8th century. For those who are interested in the reception of this book, it provides a string of thought which follows from those situated still within the Roman Empire to those looking at the ruins of the Great Babylon. For those interested in examining the so-called prophetic traditions often associated with John’s book, you will find long buried primitive interpretations which should serve to correct some of the more outlandish violence done to the Apocalypse.

One of the most important, to be personal, theologians in this volume is Victorinus of Petovium who has written the oldest surviving Latin commentary. As noted above, Victorinus used primitive interpretations, which is why his commentary is so very important. It brings to light earlier thoughts on the book which were handed down through Tradition, albeit modified as the culture of reception changed. For example, we see the Nero Redivivus legend (see the commentary on chapter 13 and 17) mentioned in Victorinus which should point us to the idea that the earliest communities understand the book not to be about events millenia removed from them, but about their time and social situation. There is also the ‘already but not yet eschatology’ of an age inaugurated by Jesus when Victorinus takes to speaking about the opening of the sealed book. Further, as the editors point out, there is no chronological structure in Revelation for Victorinus, only the divine purpose told by “similitudes.” Again, there is enough of the primitive interpretation to off set any modern notion that they have it right, given the vast difference in outcomes.

The others are equally important, but I will not spend much time reviewing them as I should leave something for you to read. Apringius of Beja, a Spanish Bishop, wrote during the time of the Visigoths. His commentary is not wholly original, but supplements itself with work from previous theologians. It is also supposed that he wrote his work due to the large role which Revelation had in the liturgy of his native land. Caesarius is also important in understanding the reception of this book and how it was used during Christian times. Born in 470, he was writing shortly after the sack of Rome which would lead to its final decline. His commentary is homiletic and thus could serve modern preachers who wish to bring to their congregations the book of Revelation. The Venerable Bede who is the first Anglo-Saxon scholar and an English Monk wrote many works throughout his long career, but this one was written near 716. He seems to follow the heretical Donatists in proclaiming that the book was about the near future.

One of the issues I have with this entire series – and maybe the only real issue, is that the verses aren’t printed with the commentary. No doubt, this would lead to bigger, and more expensive books, so alternatively, if you are reading this as a commentary, have a bible around.

So, is this a volume you should pick up? Yes. Simply, we have forgotten the great minds who have struggled in the past to write these commentaries or to, as in the case of one of our subjects, preached the Text. We have forgotten their methods and focuses, often times, allowing only the academic work to shine forth. Reading these volumes helps us to connect back to the earlier writers, to maybe judge how far we are removed from them, to either lengthen our chain or take away our license.

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The Lucifer which is Christ

In a recent email exchange, I was hit with:

If you believe in Lucifer then the green movement is for you.

“No one will enter the NWO unless he or she will make a pledge to worship Lucifer. No one will enter the new age unless he will take a Luciferian Initiation.”

David Spangler, Director of Planetary Initiative, United Nations

Continue reading “The Lucifer which is Christ”

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An Exposition of Faith: A New English Translation (Chapter 2 Begins)

I am starting the translation of chapter 2 for the Marcellian document, Exposition of Faith, and I am running into some problems – as to be expected from a novice. Any help would be appreciated.

2.1 Πιστεομεν μοως ες τ πνεμα τ γιον, τ πντα ρευνν “κα τ βθη το θεο,” ναθεματζοντες τ παρ τοτο φρονοντα δγματα.

2.2 οτε γρ υοπτορα φρονομεν ς ο Σαβλλιοι λγοντες μονοοσιον κα οχ μοοσιον κα ν τοτ ναιροντες τ εναι υἱόν.

2.3 οτε τ παθητν σμα φρεσε δι τν το παντς κσμου σωτηραν, νατθεμεν τ πατρ.

2.1 Credimus similiter in Spiritum sanctum, qui omnia scrutatur etiam profunda Dei. Dogmatius nutem omnibus quae his contraria fuerint, anathema dicimus.

2.2 Neque enim Filio Patrem agnoscimus qui unius sit substantiae, non vero consubstantialius, ut volont Seblliani, qui hoc pacto Filium pentius tollunt.

2.3 Neque etiam patibile corpus, quod propter totius mundi salutem gestavit, attribuimus Patri.

2.1 We believe also in the Spirit, the Holy (Hebrews 10.5), the searcher of all things, even the depths of God (1st Corinthians 2.10). Cursed is he who is against this doctrine.

2.2 Niether, for the Son-Father, of which Sabellius speaks, acknowledges the monoousian but not the homoousian, and he destroys the Son’s existence.

2.3 Neither, the suffering body, by which he saved all the world, given by the Father.

I am not happy with the beginning of verse 2 and 3. The ‘οτε γρ’ and ‘οτε τ‘ is throwing me. Please, help! I am thinking that the author intends to state that those that, like Sabellius, deny the Consubstantiality of the Father and Son, referring to think the Son is a ‘nickname’ (patripassianism) are accursed as well, as are those that destroy the notion that Christ had a body.

Marcellus’ problem for a long time had been that he was unfairly categorized a Sabellian by his opponants – unfair because Marcellus never denied the disctinction in time of the Incarnation and never professed that the Son was realy the Father, but with a different name. It is only natural that along with other heresies, the author places Sabellius.

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Latin that makes you think: Excruciating

From wiki (and here):

Crucifixion was almost never performed for ritual or symbolic reasons outside of Christianity, but usually to provide a death that was particularly painful (hence the term excruciating, literally “out of crucifying”), gruesome (hence dissuading against the crimes punishable by it) and public (hence the metaphorical expression “to nail to the cross”), using whatever means were most expedient for that goal. Crucifixion methods varied considerably with location and time period.

Think about that the next time you say some was ‘excruciating’. Is really as painful as the crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour?

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A Common Dialog: Is God a substance?

The ‘divine riddle’ of classic Trinitarians is ‘three substances; one essence’ to which many Modalists (many not knowing exactly what that particular name implies) rebut that God is not a substance, as substance is an element, and God is a Spirit.

God is a substance, but not the human-minded elemental substance of material. Is this blasphemy for an Economist to state such things? Let us briefly examine the issue with reason.

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (Hebrews 1:3 KJV)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJVA)

In the Greek, both of these words read υποστασις, hupostasis. In the Latin, it is translated as substantiae from which we derive our English word, substance. In no meaning of this word can we derive something ‘elemental’ as many would have us believe that the Trinitarians intend.

First, it would be erroneous for us to say that God is not a substance – as we would argue with the writer of Hebrews. What first must be learned is what is mean by ’substance’.

From TDNT (Kittel) –

The noun occurs some 20 times in the LXX (Septuagint) for 12 Hebrew terms, and the verb hyphístēmi occurs somewhat more often in the sense “to endure.” The meaning of hypóstasis seems to be “movable property” in Dt. 11:6, “immovable property” in Job 22:20, “basis of power” in Ezek. 26:11, “reality” that gives a firm guarantee in Ruth 1:12; Ps. 39:7, “life plan” in Ps. 139:15, “plan” in Jer. 23:22, and “counsel” in Ezek. 19:5; Dt. 1:12. LXX usage thus conforms to Greek. hypóstasis is the underlying reality behind things, often as a plan or purpose, or as that which, enclosed in God, endures.

It is primarily a word which means ‘foundation’, and it is this sense what we must understand the substance of God – not in that it can be divided to create ‘one-third’ Gods, but in that the substance of God is the very being of God. (Can you really divide faith?)

It is a matter of historical fact that the translators of the King James Version of the Scriptures were, to the last man, Trinitarian. This theological presence permeated every inch of their translation abilities. The use of ‘person’ in Hebrews 1.3 is not a statement of pure translation, but a theological statement aimed at directing readers, at least in subconscious thought, to the Trinity in which all members are ascribed Personhood. Note, however, that the only ‘Person’ in the ‘Godhead’ that is given a substance (hupostasis) is indeed God, and just as Paul told us in Colossians 1.15, Christ is the image of God.

At no time in Scripture is the Substance of God divided, or made distinct within itself, except during the Incarnation, when Christ entered Time, leaving Eternity behind. The issue with the Trinitarians is that they, a general concept, see this as ontological instead of economic. It was not until Tertullian in the 3rd century that the idea of the Son being ‘begotten from eternity’ arose in the Church – and it was not until the fourth century that they idea of hypostaseis (multiple persons) was applied to the Godhead by the Arians (This view was fought to the dying breath by Marcellus of Ancrya who considered it a heresy to have a ‘plural number’ in the Godhead.). Before Tertullian, as a whole, men such as Ignatius and Theophilus, both of Antioch, and Irenaeus (It is thought that Tertullian’s unnamed opponent in his theological works was Irenaeus) consistently referred to God as the One Person, and saw no lasting distinction in the ‘Godhead.’ For them, as Ignatius the Bishop of Antioch, disciple of Peter and John, and friend of Polycarp the Bishop of Smyrna, there was only ‘our God, Jesus Christ.’ (Ignatius, Ephesians 18.2)

But God is a spirit

In the King James Version, we read that God is a spirit (John 4.24), but in the Greek, it is πνευμα ο θεος, which literally reads, ‘God is spirit.’ Compare this with 1st John 1.5 and 4.8 in which God is light (ο θεος φως εστιν) and God is love (ο θεος αγαπη εστιν). The grammar is the same – God is (subject). Indeed, God is spirit, the pneuma, which denotes His non-corporeality, and in itself, spirit is the substance of God.

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