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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Luther Bible-Pt 4: Calvin's way on Gen. 4:1; Philippi-Jewish convert

     This Part 4 continues from Part 3 (Table of Contents in Part 1) presenting my (BTL) translation of Prof. Pardieck's Lehre und Wehre article in 1914 on Luther's final translation of Genesis 4:1.  Luther's translation is virtually unknown in today's world because it has been corrupted.  Why?  Read on...


Friedrich Adolph Philippi
     It was with great joy that I learned more of the great Jewish convert to Lutheran orthodoxy, Friedrich Adolph Philippi.  You can even read about him in the "Jewish Encyclopedia"; in the Christian Cyclopedia here; more extended info is available here, in German.  I had read some things about him in Pieper's Christian Dogmatics, but now not only did I read of his wonderful defense of Luther's translation of Genesis 4:1, but in my research I discovered that some of his books were translated from German into English, and are available on Google Books for free.  I invite the reader to take at least a quick look at Philippi's writing here. (I may take some time to read more of him myself!)  Hmmm, I don't think Philippi ever chastised Luther over his writings against the Jews... like today's LC-MS does.


     In this section, I have omitted Hebrew words and replaced them with tildes (~) and dashes (-).  The reader may look these up from the original publication.
Underlining follows author's emphasis, highlighting is mine. Hyperlinks added for reference.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =   Part 4: Page 340-341   = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
On Luther's Translation of Genesis 4:1
[by Prof. Eduard Pardieck] 
[page 340] ... The only difference is: We say with the Apostle: without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God is manifest in the flesh [cf. 1 Tim. 3:16]; and Eve says: God will be manifested in the flesh".  He then explains how yet to find the propositiones personales [see Christian Dogmatics, vol. 2, pgs 86-87], also the first genus of communicatio idiomatum [i.e. communication of attributes, see C.D. vol. 1, pg 87], finds its expression in the words.  "From the beginning of the world after the fall was this mystery known, and in fact not unclear, but clearly just as the words and example (verba et exemplum) of Eve express the unity of the person, the difference of the natures, indeed also his Office and Work as Redeemer".  So there Luther's translation and explanation is held throughout, only with this deviation: she was not referring to Cain, held him not for this God-man, but on this occasion confesses her faith in the Savior, which she still expected.
Romanus Teller extensively expounds this view, that Eve speaks of the Messiah rather than referring to Cain, and gives the reasons for it.  In the Heiligen Schrift mit Anmerkungen engländischer Theologen [or “Holy Scriptures with Notes of English Theologians"] he says to the sentence which he discovered: "One could translate: a man, a Lord, or better: a man, who is the Lord.  So Eve believed she had born into the world the Messiah”, following: "The translation is however to be preferred under the rules of the Hebrew language as well as a thorough exegesis.  However, it follows by no means that Eve has held her first-born son for man and Messiah herself.  How she might have thought this, because, that 1) the same as the woman's seed has been announced which should be born without any help of a man; 2) the Sacrifice as type and shadow of the things to come, gave significantly enough to realize that the future of the promised Saviour could not be so close; 3) also is not to be doubted is that God would clearly explain by extraordinary revelation in the first Gospel and have made so much known as at that time it was necessary that in the person no mistake could proceed?  Meanwhile, this was their word: ‘I have the man, the Lord" a confession of their faith in the future Messiah. . . .  While the first of mankind beheld the light of this world, then remembered his mother the evangelical promise of God and known at the same time that she wanted to keep up with a firm reliance on those chosen Son of Man whom she worshiped as her Lord and God at the same time."  The Weimar Bible first cites Luther: “Ei, Gott sei gelobet, da habe ich erlangt den HErrn, den Mann, den Samen, der dem Satan, der höllischen Schlange, den Kopf zertreten soll; der wird`s tun” [i.e. Oh, God be praised, there have I obtained the Lord, the Man, the Seed that should bruise the head of Satan, the infernal serpent; he will do it.]  Then it remarks: "She would hardly (it would be because of haste, as happened subsequently of Lamech) have meant Cain himself because she knew that the Messiah should be only of the woman's seed, but she had faith the Christ and had as her possession, also comforted herself in the pangs of childbirth.  [Page 341]  One could also give it from the word Kina, which means a zeal, if one also still takes a verb after the Hebrew dialect: I carry a loving fervent desire for or against the man, the Lord, namely, that he may soon be born."
Among the moderns, Philippi [ref. Christian Cyclopedia] is one who goes for Luther's translation and also for Luther's understanding and use of this position.  In an excursus to the fourth chapter, he says in his commentary on Romans of Proto-Evangel: "This word of comfort they took from Paradise with in their misery, the Lord had given it to them as a rod and staff, as bread and water of life, that they should not perish on the way.  That was for them the Lord's law, over which they meditated day and night, and who wants to determine the limit up to which way they entered the mysterious rich sense of this wonderful mystery word?" and then continues: "Should we not perhaps over Genesis 4:1 have an explanation, should it now be ever so far that to translate ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ with Luther: "I have the Man, the Lord"?  That in the Proto-Evangel we have seen that the man the Lord, the God-man, is meant.  Eve was saying that her seed should bruise the serpent's head; so it was natural enough that she referred to this in the immediate sense and not only in the indirect sense. The miracle of the first birth of a human being must have been something overwhelming for them.  So could she also move easily in her delight over the border.  Might she be mistaken after all, nevertheless was Mary’s Magnificat, which was no illusion as that of Eve, but truly came to fulfillment.  Eve, indeed, had yet to learn that the serpent-conqueror would not be born of a sinful seed, that the natural seed of woman is merely a seed of the serpent." (Seite 176 f; see English translation in Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Volume 1, pgs 225-226).
In contrast, Calvin remarks at this place in his exposition of Genesis: "Some explain: with God, that is, with God's help or by God's grace, as if Eve leads back to God the received the blessing of children, just as Psalm 127:3 explains fruit of the womb for a gift of God.  At the same place comes out another translation: I have from God. Again Jerome translates, through God.  These three readings, I say, tend to this point, that Eve gives thanks to God for having begun to raise up a posterity through her, though she was deserving of perpetual barrenness, as well as of utter destruction. Others translate too subtle (subtilius): I have the man God, as if Eve understood that she already possessed that conqueror of the serpent, who had been divinely promised to her. Hence they celebrate the faith of Eve, because she embraced, by faith, the promise concerning the bruising of the head of the devil through her seed; only they think that she was mistaken in the person or the individual, seeing that she would restrict to Cain what had been promised concerning Christ.  To me, however, this seems to be the genuine sense, that while Eve [page 342] congratulates herself on the birth of a son, she offers him to God, as the first-fruits of his race. Therefore, I think it ought to be translated, ‘I have obtained a man from the Lord’, which approaches more nearly the Hebrew phrase".
= = = = = = = =  cont'd in Part 5  = = = = = = = =

     The last portion shows clearly the influence of Calvin's exposition of Genesis 4:1 on not only today's English Bibles, but also German and other languages.  Now we know why it is so hard to find an authentic version of Luther's Bible online... or anywhere!
     In the next Part 5...

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