Friday, December 27, 2013

Psalm 22:16 notes: Karu or Kaari?

Note: Look at the comment by catholicnick for a compelling argument "pierced" would be used and not lion, based on the list of animals, which is reversed in Psalm 22.

Psalm 22:16 (verse 17 in some numbering, Psalm 21 in LXX and the Vulgate) has been a verse in dispute between Christians and Jews for a few hundred years. The issue is less over translation, and more over what the Hebrew text says. The modern Hebrew text reads:

 כארי ידי ורגלי --Psalm 22:16 (Masoretic Text with vowels removed)

Like a lion, my hands and feet.--Psalm 22:16b (Masoretic translation)

The word  כארי (kari) means "like a lion,"  "ארי" referring to a lion, and "כ" meaning "like."  The issue is that Christians have always read this as "they have dug/pierced." We find the word pierced in several ancient translations:

ὤρυξαν χεῖράς μου καὶ πόδας --Psalm 22:17b Greek Septuagint(Psalm 22:16 in non LXX numbering) ὤρυξαν meaning "dig/bury"

"They have gouged my hands and feet"--Psalm 22:17b (NETS translation of the LXX)

 ܒܙܥܘ ܐ̈ܝܕܝ ܘܪ̈ܓܠܝ--Psalm 22:17 Peshitta text (Aramaic) ܒܙܥܘ meaning bury, dig, pierced, wounded.

Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos;--Psalm 21:17 Latin Vulgate, Foderunt meaning "dig."

We also have the Targum of the Psalms which is in Aramaic and reads:

  נכתין היך כאריא אידי ורגלי .--Psalm 22:17b Targum נכתין meaning "bite" and כאריא meaning "as a lion""
they bite my hands and feet like a lion"--Psalm 22:17 Targum translation
 This is interesting since it makes it obvious that Psalm 22:16/7 is reference to biting/piercing since, what else would you expect a lion to do at your "hands and feet"? The Masoretic reading does not explicit say, though it should be obvious and antimissionaries act as if the lion would not pierce the hands and keep, perhaps lick them even?

Finally, we have a fragment of Psalm 22:16(17) in the Dead Sea Scrolls Nahal Hever (5/6Hev1b f8_9:12). Which is provided below.

Another picture can be found at the website for the Dead Sea Scrolls at Israel's Antiquities Authority. Though the quality is much more diminished there.

The Hebrew word has כארו (they dug), though an unusual spelling not found else where, instead of the word in the כארי (lion), this is evidence Christian did not tamper with the text, but that this may very well have been the original. The only difference between the two words, as can be seen in the fragment, is that the yod, is smaller than the vav, Kaaru has a "vav" and Kari has a "yod," so an error could have happened with either making the letter too short, or too long.

Concerning the spelling of כארו (to dig) it is spelled elsewhere in the Hebrew bible lacking the א Aleph כרו  in the middle of the word, as in:
כָּרוּ לְפָנַי שִׁיחָה --Psalm 57:6(7) (Masoretic Text)
They dug (karu) before me a pit.--Psalm 57:6(7)
כָּרוּ-לִי זֵדִים שִׁיחוֹת --Psalm 119:85 (Masoretic Text)
The proud have dug pits (karu) for me--Psalm 119:85
 כִּי-כָרוּ שׁוּחָה לְנַפְשִׁי --Jeremiah 18:20 (Masoretic Text)
For they have dug (karu) a pit for my soul.--Jeremiah 18:20
 כִּי-כָרוּ שׁוּחָה לְלָכְדֵנִי --Jeremiah 18:22 (Masoretic Text)
 For they have dug (karu) a pit to take me--Jeremiah 18:22
Now concerning the word for as-a-lion it appears 4 times in the Hebrew Bible
 כארי ידי ורגלי --Psalm 22:16 (Masoretic Text with vowels removed)
Like a lion, my hands and feet.--Psalm 22:16b (Masoretic translation)
 כָּרַע שָׁכַב כַּאֲרִי וּכְלָבִיא, מִי יְקִימֶנּוּ--Numbers 24:9 (Masoretic text)
He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a lioness; who shall rouse him up?--Numbers 24:9 
 שִׁוִּיתִי עַד-בֹּקֶר כָּאֲרִי, כֵּן יְשַׁבֵּר כָּל-עַצְמוֹתָי--Isaiah 38:13 (Masoretic text)
The more I make myself like unto a lion until morning, the more it breaketh all my bones;--Isaiah 38:13 
 קֶשֶׁר נְבִיאֶיהָ בְּתוֹכָהּ, כַּאֲרִי שׁוֹאֵג טֹרֵף טָרֶף--Ezekiel 22:25 (Masoretic text)
There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey;--Ezekiel 22:25  
 So, we can see that the word for "they have dug" does not appear to be spelled in the ordinary way, and certainly not a way used elsewhere in the Masoretic Hebrew text, yet the "like a lion" simile does not really make a whole lot of sense in Psalm 22:16 since it doesn't explicitly mention anything the lion does, just says "like a lion, my hands and feet." Some Jewish translations changed it to "like a lion AT my hands and feet" to try to make more sense of it.

 It is interesting how the Antimissionaries insist on an error, despite the fact the ancient Aramaic, Greek, Latin, and at least 1 Dead Sea Scroll contain dug/pierce. This is not the only instance where the Masoretic text is in the minority, a similar case is with Genesis 4:8, where the Masoretic text lacks what Cain said to Abel, all the other texts including some Jewish targums add "let us go into the field."

In the Masoretic text of the Psalms there are variant readings for some verses, some of which are far more explicit than Psalm 22:16. For instance, Psalm 100 contains a variant based on a homophone--"v'lo" which can mean either "and not" or "and his" depending on whether the O is spelled using a vav or aleph:
הוּא-עָשָׂנוּ, ולא  אֲנַחְנוּ--Psalm 100:3 (One Masoretic version "and not")
He made us, and not ourselves--Psalm 100:3 (Variant)
This reading is rejected by most Protestants but it is the traditional Christian reading and is used in the traditional Latin Vulgate. Now here is the alternate version preferred by Protestants:
הוּא-עָשָׂנוּ, וְלוֹ אֲנַחְנו--Psalm 100:3 (one Masoretic version "and his")
He made us, and we are his--Psalm 100:3 (Variant reading favored by Protestants)
So we see a small error crept into the manuscript tradition based on two letter that look nothing alike, but make the same sound, produce a completely different reading of the text. If an error so significant could have been made here, why not in Psalm 22:16(17), and the original reading be "they have dug", theoretically spelled correctly?

Finally, the Hebrew bible, even the Torah contains defective spellings of words FREQUENTLY, which rabbis have historically exploited for gematria purposes, or to interject some midrashic idea about WHY its spelled the way it is. It is possibility that the LXX, Peshitta, and DSS reading was based on some form of defective spelling that no longer exists, or perhaps the DSS just added an aleph. Who knows.
Video Part 1
Part 2:

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pope Gregory and Deuterocanonicals

In Moral on the Book of Job, Pope Gregory the Great (whether he wrote this book before or during his papacy, I don't know) quotes Sirach several times. Protestants are fond of using the Maccabee reference that it is "not canonical," what he meant by that is debated, but we can look at him quote other books:

That the acuteness of wisdom is designated by the ‘sun,’ is said also in the way of comparison by Solomon; A wise man continueth as the sun, a fool changeth as the moon. [Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 27:11] What then is pointed out in this place by the rays of the sun, but the acuteness of wise men?--Volume III, Part 6, Book XXXIV, Paragraph 25

And the love of our neighbour is carried down into two precepts, since on the one hand it is said by a certain righteous man, Do that to no man which thou hatest. [Tobit 4:15]  And on the other ‘Truth’ saith by Himself, Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. [Mat. 7:12]--Volume I, Part 2, Book X, Paragraph 8

In Sacred Writ ‘woman’ is taken either for the sex, or else for ‘frailty.’  For the ‘sex,’ as where it is written, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law [Gal. 4, 4].  But for frailty, as where it is said by the Wise Man, Better is the iniquity of a man than a woman doing well. [Ecclus./Sirach 42:14]  For ‘a man’ is the term for every strongminded and discreet person, but ‘a woman’ is understood of the weak or indiscreet mind.  And it often happens that even the discreet person suddenly falls into a fault, and that another weak and indiscreet man exhibits good practice.  But he that is weak and indiscreet is sometimes lifted up the more on the score of what he has done well, and falls the worse into sin; but the discreet person even from that which he sees that he has done amiss, takes occasion to recall himself with closer application to the rule of strictness, and advances the further in righteousness from the same act, whereby he seemed to have fallen from righteousness for a time.  In which respect it is rightly said, Better is the iniquity of a man than a woman doing well; in that sometimes the very fault of the strong becomes occasion of virtue, and the virtue of the weak occasion of sin. --Volume 2, Part 3, Book XI, Paragraph 65

Since according to the voice of Truth, Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. [Matt. 24, 2]  He, then, who hath not warmth of the heart in the love of God, and yet keepeth not the life, which he loves, assuredly he ‘fleeth like a shadow.’  Hence it is well written concerning him, that he hath followed a shadow. [Sirach 34:2]  Now it is well said, and never continueth in the same state.--Volume II Part III, Book XI, Paragraph 88

Outside of Moralia, we see him also quoting Tobit and Sirach:

Lest they should give something, however little to those on whom they ought to bestow nothing at all, let them hear what is written, Give to the good man, and receive not a sinner: do well to him that is lowly, and give not to the ungodly [Sirach 12:4]. And again, Set out your bread and wine on the burial of the just, but eat and drink not thereof with sinners [Tobit 4:17].--Pastoral Rule (Book III)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Psalm 22:2 notes

I am looking at Psalm 22:2(1) (MT)/Psalm 21:2 (Vulgate/LXX), this Psalm is significant since it is quoted by the Lord Jesus at the cross--at least the initial words "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me." The Catechism of the Catholic Church and St Augustine explain Christ is saying these words in the name of humans, not for His own sake.
Jesus did not experience reprobation as if he himself had sinned.(405) But in the redeeming love that always united him to the Father, he assumed us in the state of our waywardness of sin, to the point that he could say in our name from the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"(406) Having thus established him in solidarity with us sinners, God "did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all", so that we might be "reconciled to God by the death of his Son".(407)--CCC 603
"...the first verse of which the Lord Himself uttered on the Cross: "My God, My God, look upon Me; why have You forsaken Me?" For "transferring us in a figure" [1 Corinthians 4:6] to what He was saying, and to His own Body (for we are also "His Body," and He is our "Head"), He uttered from the Cross not His own cry, but ours. For God never "forsook" Him: nor did He Himself ever depart from the Father; but it was in behalf of us that He spoke this: "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?" For there follows, "Far from My health are the words of My offences:" and it shows in whose person He said this; for sin could not be found in Him.…"--St Augustine, Exposition on Psalm 44
Anyway, here is what the whole verse says:

אֵלִי אֵלִי, לָמָה עֲזַבְתָּנִי;    רָחוֹק מִישׁוּעָתִי, דִּבְרֵי שַׁאֲגָתִי
My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me, and art far from my help at the words of my cry?

The translation from the Hebrew text in modern Hebrew is

Eli, Eli, lamah azav'tani.
Éli, Eli, lamah azav'tani
or in Ashkenazi like
Eli, Eli, lamah azav'sani
Greek traditionally transliterates the tav without a daggesh with a theta.
Making azav'thani

The New Testament transliterations are somewhat different because they are transliterations of Hebrew and Aramaic into Greek, which we transliterated again into English. I will go off of Matthew 27:46 for now. The Byzantine Majority here does NOT agree exactly with the so called Textus Receptus, despite the insistence by KJV only Baptist it ALWAYS does. Nor is Alexandrian consistent with Westcott and Hort here, really, each major manuscript is slightly different, though not by a whole lot. All of them transliterate the word for "forsaken" the same except for Tischendorf which seems to throw in an extra eta just before the iota at the end. Here is the Greek transliteration in most texts σαβαχθανι. This does not match the Hebrew, which does not even start with a sound besides "a," σαβαχθανι which can be transliterated into English as savakthani (beta in modern Greek refers to a v sound, and the iota at the end is said like a long e as in meet). This seems to correspond to the Targum of Psalm 22:2  (1) which reads שבקתני which could come close to Matthew's.

In bold I highlighted the Hebrew word מִישׁוּעָתִי "from my help" or as it can also be read "from my salvation" since the Hebrew word there has ישׁוּעָ which contains one of the Hebrew spellings for Jesus "Y'shu'a". This spelling is found in later Hebrew as in Ezra/Nehemiah.

 For example, in Ezra 10:18 we read in part there was a priest named "Jeshua" in English translations:

............ מִבְּנֵי יֵשׁוּעַ בֶּן-יוֹצָדָק .........--Ezra 10:18
............from the sons of Yeshu'a son of Yotzadak.....--Ezra 10:18

This priest is named after Joshua son of Nun, the original form of the name first appears in the Torah in Exodus 17

 וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל-יְהוֹשֻׁעַ .--Exodus 17:9
And Moses [Mosheh] said to Joshua [Y'hoshu'a]....--Exodus 17:9

The spelling of Ezra 10:18 Yeshu'a as a proper name only appears 30 times in the Hebrew bible, but only in 4 books: 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah.  Joshua son of Nun called Y'hoshu'a in Exodus 17:9 is called "Yeshu'a" in Nehemiah 8:17 as we see here:

... יֵשׁוּעַ בִּן-נוּן ...--Nehemiah 8:17

Yeshu'a ben Nun..--Nehemiah 8:17

Now since Jesus' name is based on Joshua the son of Nun's name (Hebrews 4:9) its reasonable to link the two names and the two different spellings of the name together.  Furthermore, the spelling of Psalm 22:2 of yshu'a is spelled the same as it is in 1&2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah since there Hebrew texts the were originally written in lacked diacritics--meaning no vowels.  The only letters seen would be yod, shin, vav, and ayin. The ayin having little to no sound in of its self (though the Vulgate suggests it may have made a slight g sound based on Genesis 18's town "Gomorrah".)

Anyway, continuing on with Psalm 22 we read that a significant textual variant--or at least a significant alternate translation. Just about every translation into English based on the Masoretic Hebrew text says "from the words of my cry." The Douay Rheims, which is a translation of the Latin Vulgate reads "words of my sins." Here are the comparisons of English translations:

 so far from my cries of anguish?--NIV
from the words of my groaning?--ESV
Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.--NASB

and from the words of my roaring?--KJV
 Far from my salvation are the words of my sins--DRB

Here is what the Vulgate reads:

Deus, Deus meus, respice in me: quare me dereliquisti? longe a salute mea verba delictorum meorum--Psalm 21:2 Vulgate (Vulgate uses LXX numbering)

Delictorum being from Delictum meaning " a fault, offence, trespass, crime, transgression, wrong, defect."     

Now the Douay Rheim's rendering and the Latin Vulgate are not alone in this reading, its also found in Greek Septuagint (LXX) Psalm 21:2

μου οἱ λόγοι τῶν παραπτωμάτων μου.--Psalm 21:2 LXX (LXX has a different chapter numbering than MT)

παραπτωμάτων means  false step, slip, blunder, which does not seem to be very different than "hamartia" the word for sin.

We also have the Peshitta text of Psalm 22:2 which also uses a word for sin, this is significant since the Peshitta is an ancient text written in Syriac/Aramaic which is a Semitic language very close to Hebrew. It reads:

ܐܠܗܝ ܐܠܗܝ ܠܡܢܐ ܫܒܩܬܢܝ܂ ܘܐܪܚܩܬ ܡܢ ܦܘܪܩܢܝ ܒܡ̈ܠܐ ܕܣ̈ܟܠܘܬܝ.--Psalm 22:2 Peshitta text
ܕܣ̈ܟܠܘܬܝ meaning "fall, sin."
While, the Masoretic text has "שַׁאֲגָתִי" sha'agati, which refers to a "roar," as seen in Job 4:10 "roaring of a lion."
I cannot conclude for certain why the Syriac Peshitta, Latin Vulgate, and Greek Septuagint read "sin," when the Hebrew Masoretic and Targum read "roar." The answer maybe, just as it is for Psalm 22:16 where there is a Hebrew variant reading "dug" where most have something about a lion (found at Nachal Hever).  The Haydock bible commentary states for this verse:
The Septuagint seem to have read shagathi, whereas the Hebrew places the g after the a, or they have substituted the cause for the effect; as sin was certainly the cause of Christ's affliction, and of his Father's not granting present relief. --Haydock
I did find in Hebrew words that are spelled SOMEWHAT similar to shagati, like in Psalm 19:13 (MT) it reads:

שְׁגִיאוֹת מִי-יָבִין-Psalm 19:13 MT
Who can discern his errors?--Psalm 19:13

The word errors in this verse is שְׁגִיאוֹת sh'gi'ot which seems to be 3rd person, plural, feminine, whereas Psalm 22:2 is 1st person. I could be wrong about this.  I do NOT know enough Hebrew to really figure this out.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Papacy and the Council of Sardica

Disclaimer: The following is 100% NOT my own work. It is a reproduction of an article made by John Collorafi, on his now defunct website Ancient Papacy. The canons of Sardica can be found here.  
 The Council of Sardica
The Council of Sardica was part of the orthodox reaction to the Arian heresy, which denied that the Son of God was truly divine. Although Arianism was condemned at the Council of Nicea, the Arian intriguers persecuted orthodox bishops in the east, notably Saint Athanasius of Alexandria.

In 343, orthodox western bishops met the eastern bishops at Sardica, a city which was basically at the border between western and eastern Roman jurisdictions. Under the presidency of Hosius, bishop of Cordoba, the council restored orthodox bishops such as Athanasius and Paul of Constantinople.

The council of Sardica also laid down the following three canons or rules about church discipline, regarding the right of bishops to appeal to Rome:

Canon 3. Bishop Hosius said: “...if sentence has been pronounced against a bishop in some case, and he thinks that he has good reason for the case to be considered, let us, if it be agreeable to you, honor the memory of the holy apostle Peter: let letters be written to Julius, the bishop of Rome, by those who examined the case; if he judges that the case should be reconsidered, let it be reconsidered and let him appoint judges. If however he concludes that the case is not such that it ought to be reviewed, whatever he decrees will stand confirmed. Is this agreeable to everybody?” The council answered: “Yes.”

Canon 4. Bishop Gaudentius said: “Let this provision, if it be agreeable to you, be added to this very holy decision which you have made: when a bishop has been deposed by judgment of the bishops in neighboring areas, and has proclaimed that his case must be dealt with in the city of Rome, after the appeal of [the bishop] who apparently has been deposed, in no event may another bishop be ordained to replace him in his see unless the case has been determined by the judgment of the bishop of Rome.”

Canon 5. Bishop Hosius said: “But it has been agreed that if a bishop has been accused, and the bishops of that region have met, passed judgment and deposed him from his rank, and he takes refuge with the most blessed bishop of the Roman Church, and asked that the case be heard: if [the bishop of Rome] has agreed that he be heard, and considers it just that the case be reopened, let him deign to write to the bishops in the neighboring province, and the one next to it, that they examine the whole matter diligently, and define in reliance upon the truth. If, however, [the bishop] who asks that his case be heard again by his own petition has moved the bishop of Rome to send a priest with a special mission, it shall be in the bishop’s power to say what he wishes or as seems fit to him. If he determines to send [legates] to pass judgment together with the bishops, as having the authority of the one who sent them, it will be within his discretion. If however he considers the bishops sufficient to make the final decision on the case, he shall do what in his most wise counsel he judges best.” [Mansi 3: 23-5]

The canons of Sardica were included in leading Latin and Greek collections of canon law. For example, Greek canons of Sardica were included in a collection compiled by Patriarch John III Scholasticus [565-577] of Constantinople, called Synagoga L Titulorum.

The canons of Sardica also appear in an ancient Latin collection known as the Prisca, [PL 56: 775-7], the authentic Spanish collection of canons [PL 84: 115 sq.] and the collection of Dionysius Exiguus, a monk from Scythia, which was a province in the lower Danube. [PL 67: 949 sq]

The council also wrote a letter to Pope Julius [337-352] of Rome, which says:

... For this will seem best and most exceedingly fitting if the priests of the Lord, from each of the different provinces, refer to the head, that is, the see of Peter the apostle... [Mansi 3: 40]

The authenticity of these striking words has been called into question, but the words do appear in the Historical Fragments of Hilary, bishop of Poitiers [PL 10: 639].

The acts of the Council of Sardica were signed by bishops of numerous western and eastern regions or provinces, such as Africa, Egypt, Phrygia, Isauria, Ancyra, Gaza, Thrace, Larissa, Thessalonica, Nicopolis, Dardania, Macedonia, Achaia, Thessalia, Cyprus, Palestine, Arabia, Asia, Dacia, Pannonia, etc. [Athanasius, Apol. 37-50. PG 25: 311 sq. Cf. Mansi 3: 38-9]

Dacia corresponds roughly to Romania, while Pannonia corresponds more or less to Hungary. Dardania and Macedonia are in the Balkans. Thessaly and Achaia were provinces of Greece.

Canons of the council of Sardica, including the canons about appeals to Rome, were even included in the Armenian book of canons published at Yerevan, Armenia in 1971, during the Soviet era. [Kanonagirk Hayoc’, Yerevan 1971, 1: 254-257]

Thus the council of Sardica had the widest acceptance in east and west.

Copyright 2003, John Collorafi

Original translations by John Collorafi
My (Berhane Selassie) video on this article: