Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Revisting Lightfoot and "Ut Deo"

Previously on this blog, we discussed the saying by Pliny which Tertullian also quotes in his apology regarding Christ, namely, "ad canendum Christo et Deo" or as Bishop Lightfoot has suggested "ut Deo."

While my investigations on this subject are not completed yet, one thing that I have been trying to ascertain is Lightfoot's rationale for his emendation of Tertullian's text; particularly, his suggestion that we should read "ut" rather than the Latin conjunction "et." Granted, we could just chalk everything up to Lightfoot's bias (which may be the case), but I would like to know his stated reasons for choosing the emendation "ut" over against "et." And it is also of interest that G.A.T. Davies writes:

"as Lightfoot observes (op. cit. i 57, note), there can be no question that the correct reading is ut." See http://www.tertullian.org/articles/davies_tert_pliny.htm

At http://books.google.com/books?id=ZqcQAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA537&dq=lightfoot+and+christo+ut+deo&hl=en&ei=msszTMmhFcT48Aap9NnMCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

one can find Lightfoot's three stated reasons for preferring the reading "ut" to "et" in Tertullian's Apology. Check out page 537. One thing that does not make sense to me in this debate is why Lightfoot would insist on "ut" rather than "et" to uphold Trinitarian belief. One could still argue that "ut" does not necessarily support a Trinitarian reading of Tertullian's work.

Lightfoot appears to be basing his suggested emendation on Eusebius' reading of Tertullian which is TON CRISTON QEOU DIKHN hUMNEIN.

If you want to see Lightfoot's text, you can also click on the title of this blog entry.




Anonymous said...

Hi Edgar.

Interesting subject this one. I do see Lightfoots motive as trying to harmonise the 15th Century Latin text of Pliny letters by Avantius & Aldus taken from a MSS that no longer exists. To read "...as God..."

He probably sees Tertullians quotation as a genuine mistake.

He is not alone in this. Others translators do the same.

TERTULLIAN ( 145 to 225.C.E. ): "...save meetings before dawn to sing to Christ and to [3] God,..." -- TERTULLIAN'S DEFENCE OF THE CHRISTIANS AGAINST THE HEATHEN [Translated by Alexander SOUTER] CHAPTER II.
FOOTNOTE [2]. p.9 1 See G. A. T. Davies in Journ. Theol. Stud. (April) 1913.
FOOTNOTE [3]. p.9 2 So the MSS, but surely ut 'as to' should be read (cf. Plin. etc.).

TERTULLIAN ( 145 to 225.C.E. ): "...save meetings before day-break to sing to Christ as God [25]..." -- C. Dodgson, Tertullian Vol. 1. Apologetic and Practical Treatises. (1842). pp.1-106. Apologeticum. THE BOOK OF APOLOGY AGAINST THE HEATHEN. Chapter II.
FOOTNOTE [25] Ut Deo, the ancient cod. Fuld. Christo quasi Deo, Pliny l. c. Most edd. carelessly, "et Deo."

I hate quoting without the exact reference but it's interesting to compare Origens words.

Origen (Against Celsus): " We glorify in hymns God and His only begotten Son; as do also the Sun, the Moon, the Stars and all the host of heaven. All these, in one Divine chorus, with the just among men, glorify in hymns God who is over all, and His only begotten Son."

My personal views of Tertullian is that he has very confused theology with both subordanist and trinitarian and Montanist views mixed together in his writings, as you noted in a previous post quoting another writer.

To be continued in next comment:

Anonymous said...

Approximately 100 years later, writing in Greek, Eusibius quotes both Pliny the Younger and Tertullian:

EUSIBIUS ( 260 to 340 C.E. ): "...except that they rose at dawn to sing to Christ as though a God, ... The narrative has been taken from the Latin apology of Tertullian mentioned above of which the translation is as follows: ... that the Christians arose at dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as a God..." [277, 279]..." - "Eccles. History, III: 'XXXIII." from: Eusebius [c. 260 - c. 340], The Ecclesiastical History, with an English Translation by KIRSOPP LAKE, in Two Volumes, I, Harvard University Press, William Heinemann Ltd, MCMLXXX (1926).

EUSIBIUS ( 260 to 340 C.E. ): BOOK III: CHAPTER: XXXIII. [1.] "...except that they arose at dawn [892] and sang hymns to Christ as a God; ... [3.] We have taken our account from the Latin Apology of Tertullian which we mentioned above. [894] The translation runs as follows: [895] “...[4.] And he reported this also, that the Christians arose [899] early in the [166] morning and sang hymns unto Christ as a God,..."

Eusibius has dropped the "AND"!

The ANF translation says that they tried to harmonise Eusebius Greek with the Latin text taken from modern printed texts which are soley based on the 15th Century 15th Century of Avantius & Aldus, which has been accused of forgery and biased editing by some. I don't necessarily agree with them, but it has raised my suspicion.

Note what it says in one footnote:

[898] "...I have, therefore, translated the Greek word in the light of the Latin word which it is employed to reproduce..."

That is what most have translators have tried to do including Lightfoot.

The Greek of Eusebius is ambiguous:

BOOK III: CHAPTER: XXXIII. "...ἀνίστασθαι ἕωθεν τοὺς Χριστιανοὺς καὶ τὸν Χριστὸν θεοῦ δίκην ὑμνεῖν..."

Here is my proposed translations:

Literal translation according to word order:

1.) "...up-standing at earliest dawn/early morning these/those Christians and (to) the (to) Christ (of) God custom (to) sing hymns..."

Smoother translation according to sense:

2.) "...that these Christians customarily arise at earliest dawn and sang hymns to the Christ (of) God..."


3.) "...that these Christians customarily arise at earliest dawn and sang hymns to the Christ [as] (of) a god..."

Would not the Greek be differen't if the majority Latin "ET" of Tertullian is correct?

Would the Greek not be:

καὶ τὸν Χριστὸν καὶ θεοῦ
"and (to) the Christ [copulative] and of God" [anathorus genitive case]

καὶ τὸν Χριστὸν καὶ τοῦ θεοῦ
"and (to) the Christ [copulative] and of the God" [articular genitive case]

Or perhaps:

καὶ τὸν Χριστὸν καὶ θεὸν
"and (to) the Christ [copulative] and (to) God..." [anathorus accusative case]

καὶ τὸν Χριστὸν καὶ τὸν θεὸν
"and (to) the Christ [copulative] and (to) the God ..." [articular accusative case]

Or perhaps:

καὶ τὸν Χριστὸν καὶ θεῷ
"and (to) the Christ [copulative] and (to) God..." [anathorus dative case]

καὶ τὸν Χριστὸν καὶ τῷ θεῷ
"and (to) the Christ [copulative] and (to) God ..." [articular dative case]

And if "UT" is the correct reading, would it not be:

καὶ τὸν Χριστὸν ὡς θεὸν
"and (to) the Christ as (to) a god ..." [anathorus accusative case]

καὶ τὸν Χριστὸν ὡς θεὸς
"and (to) the Christ as a god ..." [anathorus theos]

Or more simply: "and (to) the Christ as god ..."

What do you think?

To be continued in next post!

Anonymous said...


(PLINY) MODERN LATIN TEXT: "...carmenque Christo (quasi) deo..."

(TERTULLIAN) MODERN EMENDED LATIN TEXT: "...canendum Christo (ut) deo..."

(TERTULLIAN) ORIGINAL MAJORITY TEXT: "...canendum Christo (et) deo..."

"...τὸν Χριστὸν θεοῦ δίκην ὑμνεῖν..."

LIGHTFOOT says: "...to Christ (AS) God..."

PLINY says: "...to Christ (as-if) a god..."

TERTULLIAN says: "...to Christ (AND) God..."

EUSEBIUS literally says: "...to the Christ (of) God..."

EUSEBIUS remotely possible alternate reading requiring addition: "...to Christ [as] (of) a god..."

One question to think about!

Would a pagan Roman official really have an accurate understanding of Christian doctrine?

I don't think so!

It would be easy for a non-beleiver to miss-interpret praying to God (in) Christ's name and sing hymns about God and his only begotten Son as if he were the (object) of worship.

But he is the mediator and high preist of the "Only true God" his God & Father. (John 17:3; Eph 1:17)

But it cannot be denied that Lightfoot is extremley biased towards the trinity and the deity of Christ beleif, none the less. So that's why I questioned his motives.

Anonymous said...

Note the dates for the texts:

TERTULLIAN ( 145 to 225.C.E. ): [6] "...quam coetus antelucanos ad canendum Christo (et) deo,..." - Text edited by F. Oehler, as revised by T. R. Glover (1851-53). Tertulliani Liber Apologeticus II.

TERTULLIAN ( 145 to 225.C.E. ): [6] "...quam coetus antelucanos ad canendum Christo (ut) deo et ad confoederandam disciplinam, homicidium adulterium fraudem perfidiam et cetera scelera prohibentes..." - Text edited by Carl Becker (1961). Tertulliani Apologeticum II.

Modern "Christian" scholarship has become more liberal and more blatant in it's retrospective views of Christian history.

They have no qualms about "CORRECTING" things that may not agree with 20th/21st Century trinitarian beliefs.

And such has been the case throughout the ages. (Rufinus, Cassiodorus, etc) correctors of Origen and Clement of Alexandria. There are few of the ANF which have not been tampered with and edited heavily in one way or another.

There is moutains of evidence to support this. So much I could write a book on it.

So please forgive me if I come accross as a conspiracy theorist but I have been researching this for years now and have found so much editing, correcting, adding, deleting and deliberate MISS-translations of ANF texts, that I have become very cinical and sceptical about trinitarian bias and scholarship.

It may seem like a small change and apparently well motivated, but when the bigger picture is taken into consideration the bigger picture and accumlative changes to these texts it borders on the criminal.

Edgar Foster said...

I would like to make an observation on the Greek from Eusebius' text:

ἀνίστασθαι ἕωθεν τοὺς Χριστιανοὺς καὶ τὸν Χριστὸν θεοῦ δίκην ὑμνεῖν.

The infinitive ὑμνεῖν modifies the accusatival construction τὸν Χριστὸν. Then, δίκην ("in manner of, like") is an adverbial accusative coupled with the genitive form θεοῦ ("of God"). So what we have in the latter portion of Eusebius' text (it seems to me) is the rendering, "and sing praise to (the) Christ after the manner of God."

It thus appears that UT would work even with Eusebius' use of δίκην, although I am not making the claim that UT should take precedence over ET.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Edgar for your insights on the matter. My Greek Grammar is not as advanced as yours. I am no good on tense, voice, mood.

Could I please get your opinion on another ANF text please?


Just about all translations I have seen translate vs 6(a) this way: "...Let us reverence the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was given for us..."

6. Τὸν κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, οὗ τὸ αἷμα ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἐδόθη, ἐντραπῶμεν, τοὺς προηγουμένους ἡμῶν αἰδεσθῶμεν, τοὺς πρεσβυτέρους τιμήσωμεν, τοὺς νέους παιδεύσωμεν τὴν παιδείαν τοῦ φόβου τοῦ θεοῦ, τὰς γυναῖκας ἡμῶν ἐπὶ τὸ ἀγαθὸν διορθωσώμεθα·

Alternate word meanings given with a / in the middle

Draught Translation 1: "(To) the Lord Jesus Christ, (of) whom the blood in behalf of us was given in-exchange, (of) those ruling over (to) us fear/revere/to respect, (of) those overseers (to) honor, (of) those new ones train up/give lessons the boys (of) the (of) fear (of) the God, the women/wives (to) us upon/over the good guide toward/direct..." Literally translated according to word order in the Greek by Matt13weedhacker (10/7/09)

I realise that (Τὸν κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν) is in the Accusative case making him the object of the sentence.

Does that mean that (αἰδεσθῶμεν) "give respect/fear/revere" and (τιμήσωμεν) "to honour", also in the accusative, have there antecident in Christ?

Or could it be translated differently?

And I can't find (ἐντραπῶμεν) in a dictionary anywhere. It appears to be a compound [ἐν] "in" + [τραπῶμεν] = "money changing/exchange table" is my closest guess. If you can shed any light on this word and passage it would be much appreciated.

Edgar Foster said...

1) Τὸν κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν is in the accusative case.

2) αἰδεσθῶμεν and τιμήσωμεν are not nouns, but verbs in the subjunctive mood. Therefore, we could render them "let us X."

3) Regarding ἐντραπῶμεν, it is also in the subjunctive mood. See http://lexicon.katabiblon.com/index.php?lemma=%E1%BC%90%CE%BD%CF%84%CF%81%E1%BD%B3%CF%80%CF%89

Compare Wisdom 2:10, see http://www.newadvent.org/bible/wis002.htm

Anonymous said...

Thank very much for taking your time to do that research.Much apreciated.

Thank you also for the Greek dictionary link, very helpful.

(ἐντραπῶμεν) "We should turn in deference".

"Deference" is a synonym for "honour" according to one dictionary.

I did compare Wisdom 2:10 and the Latin paralell text had "revereamur" as an equivalent for the Greek. So "we should revere" would be suitable as well. This explains the majority of the English translations.

Thank you Edgar.

Have a great day.