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Hilary of Poitiers, De Trinitate, Book VI, Sec. XVI

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Diadem, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. Diadem Senior Member

    USA (English)
    Postremo quod dixit: Ex Patre exivi, et veni (John 8:42), utrum ambiguitatem reliquerit, quin intelligeretur non aliunde quam ex Patre esse quod Deus est? Ex Patre enim exiens, neque aliam nativitatis habuit naturam, neque nullam: sed eum sibi testatur auctorem, ex quo se profitetur exisse.​

    I need a precise translation of this.

    Hilary of Poitiers is discussing John 8:42. I can translate bits and pieces, but I'm having trouble putting it all together. I don't need a common English translation as found on various websites. I need something precise. Hence, why I'm asking the experts here. :)

    Finally, that he said (John 8:42), "I came out of the Father and have arrived," ... did he leave ambiguity ... of the Father ... that he is God? For, he came out of the Father ---​
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  2. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Reading, UK
    English - UK
    Greetings all.

    I can see why Diadem finds this tricky. Here's my suggestion:

    "Finally, as to what he said (at Jn 8:42), "I proceeded from the Father and came [here]": did he leave any doubt that it is to be understood that that which is itself God takes its existence from nowhere else but from the Father? For proceeding from the Father, he had neither any other [than divine] nature, nor none. Rather, he affirms that He [God the Father] was the source from whom he [Jesus] declares that he proceeded."

    This looks to me like a late echo of the Christological issues which preoccupied much early doctrinal debate - was Jesus divine or human?

    I await with interest further thoughts on the matter from others.

    Σ
     
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Dear Scholiast, What do you make of nativitatis?
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
  4. Diadem Senior Member

    USA (English)
    Thank you, Scholiast. That gives me a very strong foundation to work with. So, here's how I would work with that.

    First clause:

    Postremo quod dixit: Ex Patre exivi, et veni (John 8:42), utrum ambiguitatem reliquerit, quin intelligeretur non aliunde quam ex Patre esse quod Deus est?

    Finally, that he said (John 8:42), 'I proceeded from the Father and came,' did he leave doubt that 'to be from the Father' (ex Patre esse) is to be understood as no other than that he is God?​


    Second clause:

    Ex Patre enim exiens, neque aliam nativitatis habuit naturam, neque nullam: sed eum sibi testatur auctorem, ex quo se profitetur exisse.

    (reserved)

    What are your thoughts on my revision of the first clause?
     
  5. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Reading, UK
    English - UK
    Greetings again.

    In my previous post (#2) I would have done better to quote the RSV, "I proceeded...and came forth".

    In response to fdb's question (# 3):
    I understand Hilary to be arguing that as he cannot have no nature (or ousia) at all, one who "proceeds from" the Father must have as an inborn attribute the (divine) nature of the Father.

    As to Diadem's follow-up in #4: my impression is that this misconstrues the syntax. Following intellegeretur I understand (indirect statement) "...that from nowhere else than from the Father is (exists) [that] which is God".

    I hope this helps to clarify. Of course Hilary's rhetoric and double negatives don't help, and perhaps a translation should not attempt too much clarification.
     
  6. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    My objection was merely that you had not rendered “nativitatis” in your translation. I actually do not think that Hilary is contesting the dogma that Christ has two ousiai, divine and human. As a staunch upholder of Nicea he obviously believed this. This passage is a polemic against Arianism. Thus, I think that the subject of “habuit” is “quod deus est”; in other words: Christ’s divinity (“that which is god” in his prosopon) comes from the father. “nativitatis natura” must mean the “nature of his birth”, not his divine nature.
     
  7. Diadem Senior Member

    USA (English)
    Thanks fdb and Scholiast. I appreciate it.
     
  8. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    I should have thought the parallelism of ex Patre exivi and ex Patre exiens and ex quo se profitetur exisse would mean that the subject of habuit was 'he'. I believe that the clause quod Deus est is naturally understood in late Latin to mean 'the fact that he is God' rather than 'that which God is'.
     

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