1. Consilius New Member

    Hello everyone.

    I would like to inquire about a translation of the Jesus Prayer, which, translated literally from Greek, goes like this:
    "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me the sinner."

    I found a Latin translation of this prayer circulating on the internet, which I think might be wrong (although I am inexperienced in Latin): "Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei, miserere mei peccatoris."

    Shouldn't "peccator" be in accusative, like in the Greek "Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱέ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸ ἁμαρτωλό"? Which means the Latin should be: "Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei, miserere mei peccatorem."



    To be specific, I am most interested in the translation of the words "one me the sinner"/"με τὸ ἁμαρτωλό".

    I would like some opinions on this, if someone can help me, as well as what is the most correct translation.

    Would greatly appreciate some help!
    Last edited by Consilius, Mar 11, 2019
  2. syntaxianus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Massachusetts, USA
    Misereor can take a genitive of the object of pity, so, mei peccatoris, a genitive phrase, is correct.
  3. Consilius New Member

    I see. Would "mei peccatorem" be correct as well? Or "me peccatorem"? I mean this as a correct and direct translation from the Greek "με τὸ ἁμαρτωλό".

    Or better yet, what would be the direct and grammatically correct translation of the Greek? Seeing the Greek is in accusative and not genitive. Or is the Latin translation in the genitive more accurate, even if the Greek is in accusative? Again, I'm not experienced in Latin and I wouldn't know for sure.

    Thing is, I always felt like there's something wrong with the Latin translation of this prayer, which bothers me. Or maybe it's all just in my head. :think:

    Thank you for your reply!
    Last edited by Consilius, Mar 11, 2019
  4. syntaxianus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Massachusetts, USA

    Mei peccatorem would incorrectly put an accusative in apposition with a genitive. The meaning of the Greek accusatives is caught by the genitive in the Latin expression already given.

    You lean to the word-by-word approach in translation. This is not considered the best way to reproduce the meaning across languages.

    Comment tu t'appelles? = What is your name? There is no "is" in the French.
  5. What about the Fili Dei part, Syntaxianus?
    Is that a flaw?
  6. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    There isn't. But there is with the Greek text you've presented. The last words should be τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν.
  7. syntaxianus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Massachusetts, USA
    Fili Dei = Son of God, with son as the vocative, fili, of filius.

    It is correct. Search on fili and vocative to find pages like this.

  8. Thanks. I was wondering about Filius's transformation.
  9. Westcott Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    I used to have an LP by the Byrds with a song called Kyrie Eleison. And now, nearly 50 years later, I find out what it meant!
    I have just Googled it to check my spelling and discovered that William Byrd wrote a Kyrie Eleison centuries ago, but I think Byrd and the Byrds had different tunes. I'm confused!
  10. Hemo Rusticus The Lizard King

    • Civis Illustris
    Well, when I look up the title, the only results along the lines of modern music are for Mr Mister, and a band by the name of The Electric Prunes. You sure you're not getting 'em mixed up? They have a similar sound to the Byrds.

    In any case, isn't it possible that the modern musicians had no awareness whatever of this William Byrd fellow, but liked the sound of 'kyrie eleison'?
  11. Hemo Rusticus The Lizard King

    • Civis Illustris
    It does sound rather mystical, after all.

  12. Yes.

    Yes again.
  13. Westcott Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Perhaps the LP was a soundtrack LP - possibly either Easy Rider or Candy. I think the Byrds contributed many of the songs on one or both these records. Maybe I just assumed it was the Byrds.
  14. Consilius New Member

    Not exactly. If you check the Gospel of Luke (Greek NT), chapter 18 I think, there is the prayer of the publican, which ends in "to amartolo", which is another form. "Ton amartolon" (with final "n") is a more formal way of putting it, if I'm not mistaken.
  15. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Cygnea, Gena

    The reason that word does not have a final -n in Luke 18, 13 is that the word is in the dative there [it was in the accusative in the line you quoted above which Etaoin rightly corrected]:

    For the record, it is a dative in the Latin translation as well:

    Last edited by Bitmap, Mar 28, 2019
  16. Consilius New Member

    Thing is, I don't know Greek that well. I know how to properly pronounce Koine Greek and Ecclesiastical Latin, but as far as grammar goes, I don't know much. Thanks for clarifying! :)

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