The older layer of the Gothic version

This concludes a series of articles exploring places where the use of synonyms could indicate that the biblical text was translated into Gothic at two different times or by two different translators. The main attraction of this article is the table where we compare the conclusions of my vocabulary study of Gothic Luke with Dieter T Roth’s reconstruction of Marcion’s version of Luke.

It is colour-coded according to how strongly it indicates the presence or not of the text in the respective early version.
Blue = maximum certainty of presence.
Green = probably present.
Yellow = hard to say.
Orange = probably absent.
Red = maximum certainty of absence.
Roth doesn’t use colours to designate levels of certainty, but I allowed myself to interpret from descriptions like “[…] attested but no insight into wording can be gained.” to the colour displayed for Luke 18:12, and so on.
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Gothic synonyms: Sunno and sauil

Where the Greek text typically has 峒ノ晃刮肯, Gothic has:

1. sunno (f) ‘sun’ – Matthew 5:45; Luke 4:40; Ephesians 4:26; Nehemiah 7:3.
2. sunno (n) ‘sunshine weather’ – Mark 4:6; 16:2.
3. sauil (n) ‘sun’ – Mark 1:32; 13:24.

Sunno has connections with Old English sunne and OHG sunna, according to Balg’s dictionary. Sauil has similar forms in Old English, Old Norse and Latin sol. It is difficult to say from etymology which form is more likely original and which would be later, however since sunno appears rather often, 6 times versus 2 for sauil, if one form is later it is probably the rarer one.

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The effort to turn trucks into a problem

Certain parties and ideologies hold that it would be good for society and the environment if more people traveled collectively, that is by bus or train. They rarely mention goods.

Think about it!

If it is preferable to the environment if people journey together, then certainly it is preferable if goods do. It takes less fuel. There will be fewer vehicles.

So, in socialist countries in Scandinavia, there are lanes that only busses may use. On the contrary, there are signs saying trucks may not pass certain streets. Bus good. Truck bad. Nonsense.
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Gothic synonyms: Biuhti and sidus

I attempted to write an article on orthographic variants involving the words for devil and apostle that the Gothic version received transcribed from Greek. However the possible explanations for the rather few variants branched out too much and I found I don’t have access to the variants from Codices Ambrosianus because the transcription at Project Wulfila, that of Streitberg, is somewhat normalized so that some orthographic variants have been removed and some have remained in the text. I leave it to my dear readers from the next generation as I guess digital facsimiles will be made and released some day. Anyway, here is an illustration with two of the words: apaustauluns and unhul镁om from Luke 10:1 in Codex Argenteus:

Luke 9:1 in Codex Argenteus

Biuhti and sidus can both be translated with ‘custom’, ‘manner’ or ‘habit’ in English. Biuhti is the more commonly used word in the Gothic version, and so is unquestionably original. In Peshitta it sometimes correspond to the similarly sounding 軖堀軡軙軔 baya虅da虅 ‘by habit’. But usually, it is matched by 軙堋堀軙 dama虅d. In the Greek, we have mostly 峒斘肝肯 ‘custom’ and 蔚峒跋幬肝滴 from 蔚峒聪壩肝 ‘be accustomed’ or ‘make into a custom’. So both the Greek tradition and the Syriac tradition deviate from the Gothic. The usual Latin word is a form of consue-, such as consuetudo.

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16 causes of Sweden’s migration crisis

Many people ask: “Why did they do this to us?” and “Why couldn’t they just accept that we didn’t want any more immigration?”

It would be nice to have an answer to point them to, even though in some cases the question is meant to be “rhetoric” in the sense that they would prefer if everybody pretend that it is too difficult to answer.

I picked the 16 most effective causes I could think of and I will not call them “reasons” because reason speaks against this country’s policies. The list is probably not perfect and as usual, I welcome feedback.

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Was Wulfila’s Exemplar of Luke’s Gospel Marcionite?

We have seen in two previous articles that sometimes the Gothic bible uses one synonym consistently for a number of verses and then switches to using another synonym for a few verses. How about studying synonyms and orthographic variants to see if we can isolate an older textform? I do, and even though I am only halfway through, I dare say it correlates with the text reconstructed for Marcion’s gospel of Luke, to a certain extent.

How can that be?

Map of Black Sea area in the 3rd century
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Culture and Anticulture

When both sides of the political debate agree on something, it is often time to reconsider it with a contrarian spirit. Today everyone seem to agree that culture is good. Is it? It depends on what culture is. It is very easy to agree on something that can have lots of definitions.

The word `culture麓stems from Latin cultura, meaning something that is cultivated. The farming-and-vegetables-sense can be unambigously expressed as `agriculture麓, so that the culture without agri- could take a new meaning.

One reasonable definition is to say that the culture of a human society is that which humans within that society choose to do and produce spontaneously. This mirrors the agro- definition because, if you sow tomato seeds, add water and sunshine, you still don’t decide how that plant will look but the plant decides for it self based on its genes and what building blocks it finds in the soil.

People who don’t care to pick a definition tend to default to defining culture as that which government decides is culture. This is very much in contrast with the previous definition which required spontaneity on the part of individuals.

The figure below illustrates how two persons can misunderstand each other by using the two definitions above, respectively.

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A trail on 1 Corinthians 14:34

Let us compare the handed down text of 1 Corinthians 14:31-40 with my reconstruction of the ausgangstext translated to English King James style, and a suggestion for how to render it in a modern bible!

v. KJV Reconstruction Suggestion
31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all congregations of the saints.
34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
40 Let all things be done decently and in order. Let all things be done decently and in order. Let all things be done decently and in order.
41 [Let the women keep silence in congregation: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
42 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in congregation.]

The verses 34-35 exist in all manuscripts, however in the Book of Armagh (ca year 808) and in Codex Claromontanus (mid 5th century), they appear at the end of chapter 14. These two are also supported by Ambrosiaster’s commentary. How do I know?

A grant from the European Union enabled Brill to release for free a digital copy of a collation of Old Latin witnesses to Paul’s letters. You can download it here.

The word that KJV translated “church” is Greek 蔚魏魏位畏蟽喂伪. Liddel & Scott’s dictionary says:

An assembly of the citizens summoned by the crier, the legislative assembly: at Athens, the ordinary assemblies were called 魏蠉蟻喂伪喂 峒愇何何晃废兾蔽, four in each 蟺蟻蠀谓蟿伪谓蔚委伪 […]

The word 蔚魏魏位畏蟽喂伪 can mean church, but doesn’t necessarily refer to a Christian congregation, so translating it with ‘church’ in 1 Cor 14:34 involves some unnecessary speculation.

At the end of the verse we read: “… as also saith the law.” When “the law” is mentioned in Paul’s letters it is usually understood to mean the Mosaic law. However, in this case it becomes farfetched to try to find something in the Mosaic law that forbids women from speaking in assemblies. It would also be anachronistic to try anhave this bronze-age law collection talk about Christian churches.

The Greek-English lexicon BDAG provides some pointers that may be relevant. Under headword 位伪位苇蠅, it mentions in connection with 1 Corinthians 14:34, Plutharch’s Moralia 142 D, which reads:

韦峤次 峒ㄎ晃滴壩 峤 蠁蔚喂未委伪蟼 峒埾喯佄课次勎肺 峒愊慰委畏蟽蔚 蠂蔚位蠋谓畏谓 蟺伪蟿慰峥ο兾蔽,
慰峒拔何肯呄佄毕 蟽蠉渭尾慰位慰谓 蟿伪峥栂 纬蠀谓伪喂尉峤 魏伪峤 蟽喂蠅蟺峥喯.
螖蔚峥 纬峤跋 峒 蟺蟻峤赶 蟿峤肝 峒偽轿聪佄 位伪位蔚峥栁 峒 未喂峤 蟿慰峥 峒谓未蟻慰蟼,
渭峤 未蠀蟽蠂蔚蟻伪委谓慰蠀蟽伪谓 蔚峒 未喂 峒位位慰蟿蟻委伪蟼 纬位蠋蟽蟽畏蟼 峤ハ兿蔚蟻 伪峤愇晃废勧酱蟼 蠁胃苇纬纬蔚蟿伪喂 蟽蔚渭谓蠈蟿蔚蟻慰谓.
鈥 Moralia 142 D.

They also reference Inscriptiones Graecae 1369, so let’s quote it as well:

螒 螕 螞 螒 违 巍 螣 违 螜 螘 巍 螘 螒 桅 螘 螜 螖 螣 危 韦 巍 螒 韦 螚
螘 韦 螘 螣 螝 螞 螘 螣 违 危 螒 螜 螛 螒 螞 螜 螖 螣 违 螛 违 螕 螒 韦 螚 巍
… normalised …
峒埼澄晃毕嵪佄肯 峒蔽佄 桅蔚喂未慰蟽蟿蟻维蟿畏
峒樝勎滴课何晃肯呄 螒喂胃伪位委未慰蠀 胃蠀纬维蟿畏蟻.

It is considered bad practice to omit a portion of text from a bible if that text is in all manuscripts, even if we believe it is not original. In this case, verses 34-35 may have been original in their position at the end of chapter 14, or they may originate in the very first letter that Paul sent to the Corinthians, for he had addressed them previously (1 Cor 5:9). If so, it becomes easy to understand why Paul doesn’t provide us with context to his advice or specify which law he refers to, since his first letter wasn’t intended to circulate as scripture.

Words for 'white'

The Hebrew word for white is laban 鈥 诇讘谉. A figure with this name occurs in Genesis chapter 29 and onwards.
When Jacob was sent to Haran in search of a wife, it was not because a white one would be better, as we can see in chapter 28:

Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram to take a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he directed him, 鈥淵ou must not take a wife from the Canaanite women,鈥 and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and gone to Paddan-aram. So when Esau saw that the Canaanite women did not please Isaac his father, Esau went to Ishmael and took as his wife, besides the wives he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham鈥檚 son, the sister of Nebaioth. 鈥 verses 6-9, ESV.

A related name is the place name Lebanon, commonly thought to refer to the whiteness of that snow-covered mountain range.
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