sola, soli, solo

By Namesake, in 'Latin to English Translation', Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Namesake New Member

    I'm looking for the purist translation of , "God, alone," such as in the seven sola's of the Reformation. I see "soli deo" a lot, however, many seem to say that "sola dei" is more correct and exact. So, I'm a bit confused, and need an explanation. In a broader sense, would either be acceptable? My intention is to use this phase as a title for my business. I realize that "gratia" would complete the phrase as it's used historically, but prefer two words. Thank you for any input!
  2. Nikolaos schmikolaos

    • Censor
    Location:
    Oklahoma, US
    Soli Deo means "to/for God alone". Sola Dei means "the only female of God", and isn't what you want. Solus Deus would be "God alone/the only god".
    Aurifex likes this.
  3. Namesake New Member

    Thanks for clarifying, Nikolaos. I just discovered that Bach wrote "S.D.G." at the bottom of every one of his manuscripts, standing for "Soli Deo Gratia." (which I think I'd read "Sola Dei Gratia" once. Yet according to your translation, this wouldn't make sense. Would this, then, mean "By God's grace, alone"? This is the idea I wish to communicate. Perhaps I should go with all three words, but it seems a bit much. It's for the name of a piano school. Your thoughts on this are very much appreciated. As you can see, I'm a bit rusty on the Latin!
  4. Aurifex Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    Try combining Nik's soli deo with gloria instead, and all may become clear.
    Nikolaos likes this.
  5. Nikolaos schmikolaos

    • Censor
    Location:
    Oklahoma, US
    Sola dei gratia would indeed mean "by God's grace alone", but that sola refers to a woman by default - this is changed here by the added context of gratia.

    But, as Aurifex said, soli deo gloria was probably the intended reading - "glory [be] to God alone".
  6. Namesake New Member

    Good thought. On my site, as well as on business cards, etc. this phrase will appear. The Latin, trust me will have a ring of fascination with my students. They will seek out the meaning, so I need to make sure I get it right. Thankfully, I had you guys to steer me away from my original, Sola Dei. I'm thinking, perhaps with the word "Gratia" on the end, this was originally in the feminine gender, turning Soli and Dei into the feminine as well, being Sola and Dei.
  7. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

    • Civis Illustris
    Huh? What you're saying, insofar as I can even hope to comprehend it, is nonsense. In sōlā Deī grātiā, which is short for sōlā Deī grātiā salvantur ēlectī "by God's grace alone are the chosen/elect saved", sōlā "alone" is feminine because it agrees with grātiā "grace", which is also feminine. In sōlī deō glōria [sit], which means "Glory [be] to God alone", sōlī "alone" is masculine and agrees with Deō "God", also masculine.

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