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  #1  
Old 6th March 2016, 03:41 AM
mort mort is offline
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Default Paenitentiam agite

Hi Ron,

Hope you are doing well. I just was reviewing the Douay-Rheims translation of Matthew 3:2 which contains the Latin phrase, Paenitentiam agite.

This has been translated as "Do penance."

The commentary states: "Do penance: Paenitentiam agite. Which word, according to the use of the scriptures and the holy fathers, does not only signify repentance and amendment of life, but also punishing past sins by fasting, and such like penitential exercises."

I see though that in your translation you have it as "Repent."

Why did you choose to translate it as the latter?
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Old 6th March 2016, 06:21 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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The phrase can be translated either way. But the more usual meaning of the phrase is repent. It is also the more common translation in Bible versions.

Translation is not so simple as looking up the meaning of each word. Any word in Latin will have a range of meaning, and perhaps no word in English will have the same range of meaning. More than one phrasing can be a correct translation.
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Old 6th March 2016, 07:04 PM
mort mort is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
The phrase can be translated either way. But the more usual meaning of the phrase is repent. It is also the more common translation in Bible versions.

Translation is not so simple as looking up the meaning of each word. Any word in Latin will have a range of meaning, and perhaps no word in English will have the same range of meaning. More than one phrasing can be a correct translation.

This may be more speculation, but what word do you think our Lord used in the Hebrew or Aramaic? It seems St Jerome translated metanoia as paenitentiam agite because it involves more than just an interior transformation but must bear outward fruits.
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Old 6th March 2016, 10:18 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mort View Post
This may be more speculation, but what word do you think our Lord used in the Hebrew or Aramaic? It seems St Jerome translated metanoia as paenitentiam agite because it involves more than just an interior transformation but must bear outward fruits.

The Latin text of Matthew is not from Saint Jerome's translation of the Greek. The Vetus Latina predates Jerome. There were many translations of Matthew's original Hebrew (not Aramaic) into Latin, prior to Jerome's work.

Both possible translations are valid: Repent. Do penance. There is no single correct wording for Sacred Scripture. That is why God does not permit us to have the original manuscripts from any book. So we will not get caught up in the exact wording, and will instead focus on the meaning.

I don't know much Hebrew. But from looking at the interlinear of Jeremiah (for the word translated as both repent and penance), it appears to be the word "nchm". So the Hebrew term has a range of meaning that encompasses both repent and do penance.
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Old 16th March 2016, 03:53 AM
mort mort is offline
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Ron,

What is the literal translation of the two Latin words, paenitentiam agite?
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Old 16th March 2016, 11:52 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Ron,

What is the literal translation of the two Latin words, paenitentiam agite?

The more literal translation is "do penance" and a somewhat looser translation is "repent".
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