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Sunday, April 29, 2007

My God, my God

As I continue to read through the Psalms in the Pagnini Psalter, I cannot not help but recognize again the powerful words of the King James Version in the Pagnini version of Psalm 22. Never again in the English language is this psalm translated with such powerful imagery.
    My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
    why art thou so far from helping me,
    and from the words of my roaring?
    O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not;
    and in the night season, and am not silent. KJV
Here are the same verses in the Wycliffe version which is a translation from Jerome's Vulgate.

    God, my God, biholde thou on me,
    whi hast thou forsake me?
    the wordis of my trespassis ben fer fro myn helthe.
    Mi God, Y schal crye bi dai, and thou schalt not here;
    and bi nyyt, and not to vnwisdom to me. Wycliffe
And the Douay Rheims,
    O God my God, look upon me: why hast thou forsaken me?
    Far from my salvation are the words of my sins.
    O my God, I shall cry by day, and thou wilt not hear:
    and by night, and it shall not be reputed as folly in me.
I rather think at this point that there is a bit of a problem with the Vulgate version of these verses. I believe that there are two different Psalter's attributed to Jerome so I am not entirely sure where the difficulty occurred. However, it is clear that the Wycliffe and D-R. versions are dependent on the Vulgate version which I see here in the official Clementine text.
    Deus, Deus meus, respice in me : quare me dereliquisti ?
    longe a salute mea verba delictorum meorum.
    Deus meus, clamabo per diem, et non exaudies;
    et nocte, et non ad insipientiam mihi.
But here is the Pagnini version once again eerily close to the KJV,

    Deues mi deus mi utquid dereliquisti me,
    elongates es a salute mea
    A verbis rugitus mei
    Dues mi, clamo per diem, et non exaudis,
    et nocte et non es silentium nihi
Distinctive in this version is the "roaring" in the third line. This is important because the lion does roar later in this psalm and the word is the same in Hebrew. There is also the abrupt shift from the roar of pain to the sharp lack of "silence" in "am not silent". And here for the first time is the translation which has "my God, my God".

While this psalm is often the object of meditation in a Messianic context, it also reflects the extreme emotions of abandonment and misery which we all may experience at some time in our lives. It speaks to me of one of the ways that Christ is our high priest, because he is like us, his brothers and sisters, in that he also experienced abandonment and pain and death.

    Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:14-18 TNIV

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5 Comments:

At Sun Apr 29, 04:19:00 PM, Blogger Iris Godfrey said...

I have sent the "Thinker's Blog Award" to you folk. I know you may not participate in such, but your kind and precious sharings on the meaning of the language of Scripture is a rich blessing in my life. I do not comment often but I read almost daily. Thank you.

 
At Sun Apr 29, 04:24:00 PM, Blogger Iris Godfrey said...

Fogot to tell you where to go to get notice of the award for your blog, if you wish. www.mannaword.blogspot.com

 
At Sun Apr 29, 08:03:00 PM, Blogger John said...

Jerome's Hebrew Psalter reads:

Deus Deus meus quare dereliquisti me
longe a salute mea verba rugitus mei
Deus meus clamabo per diem
et non exaudies
et nocte nec est silentium mihi

Biblia Sacra Vulgata (Weber, 3d ed.)

John
www.ancienthebrewpoetry.typepad.com

 
At Sun Apr 29, 08:16:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

John,

Thank you very much. I finally realized that the Vulgate did not include Jerome's Psalter but I couldn't find his on the internet. I obviously need to get a copy. I have not done Jerome justice here.

Pagnini's is very close to Jerome's psalter although not identical.

 
At Sun Apr 29, 08:21:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Iris,

Thank you very much. I went to your site and downloaded your sermon from April 22 and listened to it this afternoon. It was a real inspiration to me.

 

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