Gothic synonyms: Sunno and sauil

Where the Greek text typically has ἥλιος, 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.

Another possible Nordic+English connection appears in the variant utgaggan vs more usual usgaggan. Utgaggan with t appears in two places: Mark 7:15 and John 10:9. Out is still called ‘ut‘ in Swedish and ‘ud‘ in Danish.

χώρα ‘land, region, district’ gets translated with:

1. gawi (n) Matthew 8:28; Mark 6:55; Luke 4:14; 8:26; 15:14,15.
2. land (n) Mark 5:1, 10; Luke 2:8; 3:1; 4:37; 15:13; 19:12.

Land is pangermanic. Gawi has connections with Old High German. However, based on which verses it occurs in, if one of them is late it would probably be gawi. This is a bit subjective and circular, so I will mark it as speculative.

In the next article, it is time to summarize this and compare it to a reconstruction of Marcion’s text of Luke’s gospel. I should say few things about the method first.

Apart from the words treated so far, I examined these words, where I could find no pattern or hint from which to argue for the lateness or originality of it:

terrify: gaisjan vs geisnan
apostle: apaustaulus vs apaustulus
to help: hilpan vs niþan
disease: sauhts vs siukei
joy: swegniþa vs *swigniþa
father: fadar vs atta
hiding place: filigri vs filegri
high(est): auhuma/auhumist vs hauhs/hauhista
kingdom: þiudinassus vs þiudangardi
rich: gabigs vs gabeigs

I searched for orthographic patterns, such as spelling with ‘au’ rather than ‘u’, synonyms occurring in verses with known variations in manuscripts and synonyms where one word occurs in particular biblical books such as the letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, that weren’t part of Marcion’s edition. The study was far from exhaustive, so it can be improved upon.

One comment

  1. Mark 1:32 (featuring sauil) is a parallel passage to Luke 4:40 (sunno). Luke 4:40-41 are btw attested as relatively safe in Marcion’s version.

    I read in Weiland Wilker’s commentary on Mark, page 43, about the Greek word used in Mark (but not in Luke):

    “ἔδυσεν does not appear in the Greek Bible. It’s the modern Greek form, though.
    Either ἔδυ is a conformation to LXX usage or ἔδυσεν is a change to the more contemporary form.
    The support for ἔδυσεν is not coherent.”

    This means if we apply my method to the Greek language version, we get the same result for this verse as for the Gothic, that is, if codices Vaticanus and Bezae (who read ἔδυσεν) are right, the language of this verse indicate a later authorship- or translation date than its parallel account in Luke.

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