Wednesday, April 02, 2008

"He rose AGAIN"?

We all know the Nicene Creed. Here's the International Consultation on English Texts translation as printed in: The Lutheran Book of Worship and The Book of Common Prayer (Episcopal)

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

We've been reading it in Greek in class. Someone noticed that the wording of the English Translation "On the third day he rose again" was puzzling. In the first place, the word "again" isn't in the Greek text (or the Latin or the French). Then there is the problem of what it might mean....

8 comments:

Martha said...

Isn't that why hymn #184 is saved for the 11 o'clock service on Easter morning?

Rev Dr Mom said...

Where can I get the Greek text?

We've been using the ICET version here and it's raised some eyebrows because of the filioque. But when we talk about it, no one can really articulate why the change matters to them except that it's different.

Thoroughly Educated said...

This is based on my own etymological deductions rather than recourse to authority, but fwiw:

"Again" originally means not "a second time" but "back along the same path" (cf. "Turn again, Dick Whittington") which is exactly the sense of the Latin prefix re-. "Again" (OE/ME agen, various spellings) has historically been the way of rendering re- in loan translations of Latin compounds, e.g. Agenbit of Inwit = "Remorse of Conscience". Thus "rose again" is a modern English version of a standard and quite literal premodern English rendering of Latin re-surrexit, where re- is a not-terrible rendering of Gk ana-, though of course Gk particles are a kettle of worms unto themselves.

Deirdre said...

Martha,
I'm with you! Reminds me of a priest friend preaching on Easter Morning. She remarked (after the Vigil the night before: Isn't he up yet??).

Rev Dr Mom,
http://www.creeds.net/ancient/niceneg.htm
is one place for the Greek (and the Latin and some other ET's).

Thoroughly Educated,
I think you have it. Our library is currently in storage so I am only able to check a few things so thrown back on fwiw, I agree. "Again" in the OED connotes "next, then" as well as repeat.

The same rendering of the Greek second aorist participle "anastanta" applies also to the ET of the Apostles Creed: for the Greek see
http://www.creeds.net/ancient/apostles.htm

OTOH the longer text of the Nicene Constantinopolitan Creed dated 381CE preserves the Greek "palin" behind "He shall come _again_ in glory to judge both the quick and the dead." Part of the problem is the rendering "again" in English in both cases but for entirely different reasons in the Greek.

I thank you all!

Martha said...

p.s. -- knowing only English, I thought maybe it was like he explanations I've heard for born again -- from above, from elsewhere.

Thoroughly Educated said...

I suppose it could be argued that "stood back up" (resurrexit/anastanta) means "i.e. to heaven, whence He came," but that wouldn't exactly be orthodox would it? Credal students please help, but I've always assumed that since the point of the immediately foregoing items in the creed is to assert that He really, truly did die, "rose again" must mean "really, truly came back to life/got up again" after being dead. Ascending happens in the next clause.

MNAshley said...

Maybe they should have put a coma or something between "rose" and "again." That way it wouldn't sound like He was rising for the second time. It would sound as if yes, this too happened, just like they said it would. ;-)

Martha said...

arose is arose is arose