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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Luther Bible-Pt 9: World vs. Lutherans; What Eve knew?

     This Part 9 continues from Part 8 (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 have reached the end of the technical discussion of Hebrew grammar, and now Pardieck is beginning his final defense.  I have been eager to hear his final comments about the actual words of Genesis 4:1b and their meaning.  –  Sometimes I have to double check... it almost seems to me that this essay was written by Franz Pieper himself, but no, it is rather the little known Prof. Eduard Pardieck.
  Hebrew characters have been added back in from the original text.
Underlining follows author's emphasis, highlighting is mine. Hyperlinks added for reference.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =   Part 9: Pages 409-410   = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
On Luther's Translation of Genesis 4:1
[by Prof. Eduard Pardieck] 
[page 409]
All these efforts and conjectures and uncertainty and despair stand in opposition to the Lutheran translation with its simplicity with the commonly accepted predicate: "linguistically possible."  "But according to the sense inadvisable", we hear Keil say, and the same sound comes from all opposing citations.  Also the dogmatic and so-called salvation-revelation historical concerns are those that would make this translation, where the words as they stand even at a first look make a strong impression, as Delitzsch says, unacceptable.  We examine the principal concerns briefly below.
     Lange’s Bibelwerk says: "The explanation of Luther (and also Philippi): “the man, the Lord” anticipates not only the development of the Messianic idea, but also goes beyond the Messianic idea; because the Messiah is not Jehovah absolutely”. [see page 255 here]  About Lange’s "the Messiah is not Jehovah absolutely" we do not have much to say.  If He is not absolutely Jehovah, then he is not Jehovah; and if he is not Jehovah, he is not God; for there is none other God but one.  It is quite enough to oppose this objection with the apostles words: "Christ, who came from the fathers according to the flesh, is God over all, blessed forever. Amen”. (Romans 9:5).  "This" (his son Jesus Christ) "is the true God and eternal life." (1 John 5:20).  And of a development of the Messianic idea, one can but speak of it only to the extent that God has revealed more and more of it over the course of time.  And most of it was already covered and seed-like in the Protevangelium.  Of course, if one is told in Genesis 3:15 nothing more than that people and snakes should hate each other for all time, then it is still a complete end to a "messianic idea".  Luther finds that in this passage very much is said.  He says: All of the following prophets have interpreted this word, learned and absorbed.  Indeed, he says, "but I would wish that I could treat this text according to its dignity; for it contains and summarizes in itself everything that all Scripture has that is excellent and special”. (St. L. Ed. vol. 1, col. 224, paragr. 137; Am. Ed. vol. 1, pg 183).  Also Delitzsch says, "It is the whole redemption decree, as this word of promise is its demolition, if one just considers that the serpent is meant as seducer, and that therefore the curse that she strikes at focuses back to the author of reconciliation. . . .  The whole history of salvation and order of salvation is wrapped up in this Protevangelium.  Like a Sphinx stores the sacred history at the entrance. . . .  It has just there solved, through whom and to what aim had to be fulfilled”. (Messianische Weissagungen, [page 410] pages 26, 27).  And in his commentary on Genesis: "This first promise is not merely the most common and most indefinite, it is viewed as conditional, historically, the most all-encompassing and deepest.  It dominates the whole subsequent development of proclamation of salvation.  Hic incipit Liber Bellorum Domini, [“Here begins the Book of the Wars of the Lord”] calls Rupertus Tuitiensis [Rupert of Deutz].  Hic sol consolationis oritur [“Here comes the sun for comfort”] calls out Luther.  It was not until the work of redemption itself and in particular the Temptation and Passion which brought to light the content of this pronouncement of God; the New Testament only is the key to this hieroglyph; only the Gospel is the interpretation of the Protevangelium.  ‘General, vague, dark, like the primitive’, says Drechsler, ‘to which it belongs, an awe-inspiring Sphinx in front of the ruins of a mysterious temple, it is wonderful and holy at the threshold of paradise forlorn; thence comes from the great historical process in which the promise of God's grace, always certain and specific, is limited through Shem on a specific realm of people, with Abraham to a special people in Judah to a single stem, in David to a single family.’  But it was the son of Mary, who for us all endured the heel bite of the serpent to crush its ​​head for all of us, only he, himself, has solved the puzzle of this Spinx, that was too difficult for all the saints and prophets, in that he has fulfilled it." [Die Genesis, pages 131-132]  We say with Philippi: "Who wants to determine the limit up to which way they (the first humans) entered into the meaning of the mysterious word puzzle?"
This means that the next two objections are actually already eliminated.  The one is our perception of her exclamation that with Eve there is too much presumed knowledge, the other too little.  Too much.  It is said that Eve could not know that the Messiah would be God.  Luther replied: This could have been taken by them only too well from the work which the Promised One should do.  If a mere man could and should do it, then Adam would have had the idea come to him why he could not then do it himself.  Too little.  Eve should have known that the Messiah descended only from a woman, and would not have a human father.  Gerhard responds: "That the Messiah should be the seed of the woman, she had heard; but that he should be a virgin’s son, she did not know at that time or not at least think of it."  Luther says: "Therefore Eve hoped, since she had given birth to her first son, that she would now have the serpent crusher.  And if she well was lacking in this hope, she knew that seed once had to be born from her gender, and that it also would happen in its own time.  So this promise, where the people were concerned, had been at the same time very clear and also dark.  But Isaiah 7:14 has explained this saying and brought further light to it, as he says, a Virgin should conceive.  For it was in those days certain that that seed should not be born of the union of  [Page 411] a man and woman.  
= = = = = = = =  cont'd in Part 10 = = = = = = = =

We hear again from the well-known Lutheran theologian John Gerhard, affirming the Biblical doctrine of the "Protevangelium" from Genesis 3:15.  But this is not the last time Pardieck quotes Gerhard – there is a surprising comment to come from John Gerhard in the next part.  This part ends in the middle of a quote from Luther which will be completed in the concluding Part 10.

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