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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Luther Bible-Pt 8: Gen. 4:1- Septuagint & Vulgate?; Kretzmann's Commentary

     This Part 8 continues from Part 7 (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...
     We continue to meet with a host of lesser known theologians of the past in this portion: Amana [or Amama?], Pareus, Tiele, Hofmann, Tuch, Gunkel, Rabbi Solomon Ben Melech (or Aben Melech), Rabbi Jarchi [or Rashi], Onkelos, etc., they all had something to say on the grammar of Gen. 4:1, and most were confused on its meaning.  But as you read Pardieck's compilation, he glues it all together from the basis of the true meaning of this passage, what the words actually say.
     I beg the reader's pardon in portions of this translation for its roughness.  I am sure others could do the job much better, especially for those with Hebrew expertise.  But the content of this essay is too important to overlook...  it has to do with strengthening my faith... and nothing is more important.
  Hebrew characters have been added back in from the original text.
Underlining follows author's emphasis, highlighting is mine. Hyperlinks added for reference.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =   Part 8: Pages 406-408   = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
On Luther's Translation of Genesis 4:1
[by Prof. Eduard Pardieck] 
[Page 406]  (Conclusion.)
We have heard how Calvin swallowed four translations at once.  He approves with God, from God, through God.  He for his part then draws the dative construction before: "So I believe that would translate: I have God a man acquired.  This comes thereto closer to the Hebrew manner of speech".  The Thesaurus Theologico-Philologicus says: "So many heads, so many different translations.  Some argue that the particles 343-Hebrew03.jpg are here signs of the genitive, others, the dative, and again others, the ablative.  With bare necessity one has left the nominative and vocative from out of the act, only to not concede the accusative.  Some give 343-Hebrew03.jpg with prepositions again, with a, de, ex, coram, cum, per. Still others find a knot in the rushes and take an ellipse of 406-Hebrew01.jpg or 406-Hebrew02.jpg, while others want for 343-Hebrew03.jpg, to read 406-Hebrew03.jpg."  He then proceeds  [Page 407] sequentially through. "Signs of the nominative can 343-Hebrew03.jpg not be.  So it is only with a passive verb or an intransitive verb (although this statement is to be taken cum grano salis-with a grain of salt)".  He means the frequent occurrence that 343-Hebrew03.jpg is in a passive voice, for example, Genesis 21:5; 407-Hebrew01.jpg, as Isaac was born. There but the accusative is then put, as the grammarians express themselves, to a verb in the passive latent agens sake. The case has not held here of course; here stands indeed no passive verb.  The genitive can 343-Hebrew03.jpg not call.  "Amana [or Amama?] confidently asks: Where have you ever heard or read that 343-Hebrew03.jpg is sign of the genitive?  We concede, of course, that Luther had translated so.  But later he had, after he has better things considered, amended this translation and held firmly to it as we now find in our Bible."  "Also the opinion of Calvin, Pareus and others did not take that about the dative so enthusiastically. . . .   This is a new, distorted explanation and quite contrary to the text.  I ask you, who has untied the bear Calvin  that 343-Hebrew03.jpg are signs of the dative, especially when an active verb precedes?"  "Even their opinion is not right who argue as for the altar and home for the ablative to render it by "with”.  Which is then understood in two ways:
a). that with the ablative an allied cause (causa aliqua socia) will be denoted.  So R[abbi]. Melech: I have attained with God; for he has also contributed his part by he has breathed into him the soul.  Similarly, R[abbi]. Jarchi: With God.  When he namely created me and my husband, he created alone; but in this work we have worked with him together;
b). comparate, because one wants to express the involvement of the first cause and so translate: through God's grace, with God's help".  "The adversary should specify once just one example for us where in such word combination as the particle 343-Hebrew03.jpg necessarily with cum, a, de, ex, per, coram must be given by, especially in combination with the majestic name.  They will never be able to do this".  "Also is not with Tremellius and Piscator to accept an ellipse, that 343-Hebrew03.jpg stands for 407-Hebrew02.jpg, a Domino [from the Lord], as it should be in Genesis 44:4; Deuteronomy 34:1.  I answer:
a. by this I deny, that has held an ellipse at the passages cited”.  Gesenius refers to that in such cases simply as accusative, analogous to the Latin egredi urbem, and noticed that as well probably an accusative without 343-Hebrew03.jpg stands, eg Genesis 34:24.
"b. And even if that would have to be admitted, then one must nevertheless hold that revealed and consistent designation as accusative case of an active verb and must not impose upon other places the ellipse.  Much less we admit that 343-Hebrew03.jpg is called ex [with].  What should this have for its the sense?  So it only remains that 343-Hebrew03.jpg is nota accusativi".
The LXX [Septuagint] translates: 408-Greek01.jpg; the Vulgate: "per Deum"; the English Bible [King James Version], "from the Lord". The commentary of Jamieson, Lausset and Brown recorded another variant, namely a marginal reading in Queen Elizabeth's Bible: "I have gotten a man according to the Lord's word or promise" [see here for reference].
From this whole throng of exegetical councillors is the only alternative that 343-Hebrew03.jpg must be taken seriously as a sign of the accusative this, that 343-Hebrew03.jpg would be the preposition 'with'.   That 343-Hebrew03.jpg in the meaning often happens, is indeed well enough known.  But there is to say:
1.  that the connection 343-Hebrew09.jpg in the meaning "with Jehovah" admittedly never occurs.  With God is called: 408-Hebrew01.jpg, 408-Hebrew02.jpg, 408-Hebrew03.jpg, 408-Hebrew04.jpg, 408-Hebrew05.jpg, – all, but never 343-Hebrew09.jpg.
2.  408-Hebrew06.jpg and 343-Hebrew03.jpg but are not quite the same.
Let us hear about it from Hofmann.  We cite purposely a little longer.  "When Eve brought forth her son, she cried out: 408-Hebrew07.jpg 343-Hebrew09.jpg.  That translation of these words, in which 337-Hebrew02.jpg as apposition to 343-Hebrew02.jpg be taken, even Tiele is the question contrary, where Eve had such knowledge of the divine nature of the Redeemer, and how she held such an extraordinary illumination of the Holy Spirit with such a stark error, that she held Cain to be the promised (Messiah) and so should think they are connected.  But the other translation of 343-Hebrew01.jpg, "with the help of Jehovah" would be subject to linguistic difficulty, as well 408-Hebrew06.jpg but never 343-Hebrew03.jpg occurs in that meaning.  At the passages of Genesis 5:24; 6:9, which Tuch draws on, called 343-Hebrew03.jpg not, as he says, the helping fellowship, but rather the relationship full presence as indicative. as Judges 17:11; Ezek.. 47:22 and elsewhere.  But this meaning also suffers application on our position; because that 343-Hebrew03.jpg could be used not only with neutral terms, but also with active ones is proven the passage Psalms 67:2.  Accordingly, Eve considered the birth of her son for a viewing of Jehovah, an event happening in relation to Him and is right about it: it is a step forward in her relationship to Him.  But her joy would remain undisturbed only if she could say in the full sense 408-Hebrew08.jpg not merely408-Hebrew09.jpg." (Weissagung und Erfüllung, page 77).  Some have completely despaired of gaining a sense to the words as they stand there and have recommended conjectures, thus 408-Hebrew10.jpg and especially for 408-Hebrew11.jpg.  So already Onkelos.

We hear yet a completely new thing by the Handkommentar of Dr. Hermann Gunkel: "408-Hebrew09.jpg is very difficult.  An older exegesis explained this point so that Eve here in the first joy of motherhood already believed she possessed the promised Redeemer, over whom she had spoken the correct doctrine of both natures (he is 343-Hebrew02.jpg and 337-Hebrew02.jpg at the same time).  LXX: 408-Greek01.jpg and Vulgate read the traditional text.  The version: “with Jehovah”, that is, with his help, is not provable.  [page 409] The conjecture 409-Hebrew01.jpg (after Onkelos) is hardly correct.  A stronger intervention seems to be necessary; perhaps 409-Hebrew02.jpg, Hitp., to read 409-Hebrew03.jpg."
= = = = = = = =  cont'd in Part 9  = = = = = = = =

     Pardieck's essay brings up the fact that both the Septuagint (or LXX, the Greek translation of the O.T.) and the Vulgate (the old Latin translation of the Bible) did not translate the Hebrew words of Genesis 4:1 as Luther did.  For some, this presents a stumbling block to accepting Luther's work, for after all, these were long before Luther.  But the Lutherans are not about accepting what anybody else thinks, but rather what the words say.  Franz Pieper said the following in one of his "Luther Hours" lectures to the student body of Concordia Seminary:
When we therefore speak of Luther’s or Chemnitz’s or Gerhard’s exposition of Scripture, then we do so in the sense that Luther, Chemnitz and Gerhard have shown us from the Scripture itself how a text of Holy Scripture is to be understood. .... No person, no number of people, as highly regarded or learned they might also be, no synod, no entire church body can lay down a decree how a text of Holy Scripture is to be understood. But everyone has to prove to each other, when they interpret Scripture that the interpretation which they offer, is not their interpretation, but the exposition of Holy Scripture itself. (bolding is mine; 6th Lecture, on True Visible Church, ca. 1890, translation by Australian pastor)
Yes indeed, it took a Martin Luther to restore the meaning of Genesis 4:1 from the original Hebrew words themselves.  What does that say about today's modern theology that has corrupted Luther's translation?

     There was a Bible commentary written by a colleague of Franz Pieper, in English in the 1920s, that follows the Lutheran meaning, i.e. as the words read.  It was by Paul Kretzmann entitled Popular Commentary of the Bible, in 4 volumes.  It was written while Pieper was still alive, while the Missouri Synod still had a pure teacher of the Gospel as its head teacher.  I see that CPH has picked up this old title from their archives and is to be commended for publishing it again.  It is not inexpensive because of its large size, but quite voluminous.  Kretzmann chose to write his commentary in English, not German, and I suppose that is why he called it a "Popular Commentary".  I extracted Kretzmann's paragraph on Gen. 4:1 from the "Kretzmann Project" website:
The offerings of Cain and Abel. — V.1. And Adam knew Eve, his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. In the order of natural procreation, according to the blessing which the Lord had pronounced upon the man and his wife, Eve gave birth to a son, whom she named Cain (possession). The reason for giving her first-born son this name is shown in her joyful exclamation: I have gotten a man, Jehovah (which is the exact translation). The first Messianic prophecy had been given, and faith in this prophecy lived in the heart of Eve. Although she therefore made a mistake in the person when she believed this son of hers to be the promised Messiah, she showed that her desire was directed toward the man, toward the Seed of the woman, who was to crush the head of the serpent.2) Adam and Eve were the first sinners, but also the first believers, the beginning of the Church of God on earth. We walk in the footsteps of Eve’s faith.
Kretzmann's Popular Commentary is a vast improvement over the sea of Bible commentaries from the Reformed theologians and later Lutheran theologians.  Indeed, it may be the best Bible commentary written in English that is available today.  Paul Kretzmann eventually left the LC-MS... after Pieper's death.  As with Friedrich Wyneken, I would put Paul Kretzmann in the 2nd tier of theologians of the old (German) Missouri Synod, chiefly because he was not as strong in teaching and defending the doctrine of Justification as... C.F.W. Walther and Franz Pieper.
In the next Part 9...

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