Tag Archives: Old Byzantine

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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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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