Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Thoughts on the Prologue - John 1:1-18

I can't believe its been a week since I last posted. Anyway, last night we went over the the Prologue to St. John's Gospel. I did take the Douay-Rheims and that ended up being a good decision. Every time, with one exception, he preferred the wording in my Rheims NT to that of his. I was grinning inside when he said "Oh, you must have a better translation" to one of the verses we were discussing. A lady there must have had (what looked like) a Confraternity or Douay with well used "tape binding" because her translation was very similar to mine but I don't remember it being exact.*

In studying the first few chapters this past week before the class, I also used the (New) Vulgate text. There was one term however that I feel is best expressed in the Vulgate, and that is the word "perhiberet". I was unfamiliar with the word so I looked it up and it means:

to bring forward , cite; to maintain, assert, hold, say (Notre Dame Latin Dictionary)"

To bring forward is a great way of reading what John the Baptist did in context with the prologue. Doesn't the passage really bring forward the Light? The prologue evokes a sense of coming out of darkness, an awakening from a dream, moving out of the the fog and, almost like a sunrise and with no break, we are all of a sudden in the daylight seeing John do his work. It reminds me of Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday. To bring forth is a motion. Yes John witnessed, he maintained, asserted, and said. But I think the the motion of to bring forward makes the passage flow better. Obviously, this is a personal pereference.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to give testimony [testimonium perhiberet] of the light, that all men might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but was to give testimony [testimonium perhiberet] of the light. 9 That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. 13 Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15 John beareth witness of him, and crieth out, saying: This was he of whom I spoke: He that shall come after me, is preferred before me: because he was before me.

16 And of his fulness we all have received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18 No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.


* She actually had two Bibles, the other was one of those color coded editions where every verse is highlighted in a different color to show some other aspect of the text. I have seen Catholic editions like his online but out of print. I believe they came in the NLT and NRSV but I'm not quite sure. It was interesting to glance over at in class though.

1 comment:

Chrissy Joy said...

This is an interesting observation. I agree that John did bring forward.

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton