propitians nos deo

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Gloss concerning 1 John 2:2 et ipse est propitiatio pro peccatis nostris non pro nostris autem tantum sed etiam pro totius mundi, especially to the word propitiatio.

Propitians nos deo praedicatione (variant reading deprecatione) et intercessione.

Normally propitians nos deo should mean "propitiating us for God", but I don't see how it makes sense... you'd rather expect "propitiating God for us", except that the construction seems upside down. Or did they give another meaning to the verb like "making us worthy of having god propitiated/forgivable to God"? What do you all think was the intended meaning?
 

Laurentius

Civis Illustris
Can it be "rendering us favorable to God thourgh predication and intercession"?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Normally that's what it means, but it seems weird.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Propitiatio pro peccatis nostris seems more to be about obtaining God's forgiveness for us than about rendering us favourable to God.
 

Laurentius

Civis Illustris
Can this help?
Et ipse, scilicet Christus, est propitiatio pro peccatis nostris. Dicitur autem propitiatio vel active, idest propitians nos Deo, hoc est propitiator. Rom. 3, quem proposuit Deus propitiatorem per fidem in sanguine et cetera. Vel propitiatio passive, ipse est hostia oblata pro expiatione nostra. Infra tertio, misit dominus filium suum unigenitum propitiationem pro peccatis nostris. Hoc fuit significatum Exod. 25, ubi facies propitiatorium ex auro purissimo. Non pro nostris tantum, sed pro totius mundi.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Thanks, that's interesting. But I still don't really grasp what is actually meant by propitians nos deo.
 

limetrees

Civis Illustris
It seems like he got confused in the sense of "propitiare", and who gets propitiated for whom. It could easily happen.
 

Laurentius

Civis Illustris
Ye I didn't understand too, but hoped you could grasp something. Can't even find a translation of it too bad.
 
It is an unusual construction. Usually propitio in the active voice would have the one who is being appeased (God) in the accusative with the beneficiaries (or the things being forgiven) in the dative. A quick look in the PL also turned up a couple occurrences of "cum patre nobis propitians" from the 12th c., again showing that "nobis" is more common. I didn't see anything like the example you give --except the original source of the citation by Sancti Martini Legionensis, (someone I confess I know nothing about.) The line following the one you quote is " non pro nostris tantum, qui modo in carne vivimus, sed etiam pro totius mundi, id est pro omni ecclesia. Nemo ergo dicat. Ecce hic Christus, aut illic est Christus. Quare? Quia ubique est Christus, et ubique propitiatur." So he is understanding the passive in a slightly unusual way here too, as "making propitiation" instead of "being appeased/granting pardon." In Christian writings the use of the passive form of propitio became much more common than the use of the active. I'm wondering if it became so commonly seen in the passive tense that some people started thinking of it as a deponent, and using it as "making atonement," or "reconciling."

I think it is pretty clear that however you parse it, what he intends to say is that Christ is propitiating God for us. I think the suggestion of "rendering us acceptable to God" is probably a good way to understand what he was trying to say, or possibly "reconciling us to God." This would be the same as "obtaining God's forgiveness." Christ, taking our sins on himself and nailing them to the cross reconciles us to God. This is the way that he is the propitiation for our sins.

I also found an example of an 11th century author who wrote "sed non est Deus ut homo, gratis propitians conformari limo," where he seems to simply be interpreting "propitians" as "offering himself."
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The line following the one you quote is " non pro nostris tantum, qui modo in carne vivimus, sed etiam pro totius mundi, id est pro omni ecclesia. Nemo ergo dicat. Ecce hic Christus, aut illic est Christus. Quare? Quia ubique est Christus, et ubique propitiatur."
Yes, all this is found in nearby glosses that I've translated.

Thank you, you and limetrees are confirming my impression. Now I'm hesitating a bit between rendering it as "Propitiating God for us" (as I first did it and now have it in the draft of the book that I'm proofreading), or as "reconciling us to God". The first one translates propitians more literally, while the second one's construction is closer to that of the Latin, but the most important is the sense and I wonder which is better.
 
Here it says passive propitior means to be propitious. http://athirdway.com/glossa/?s=propitio
I guess I was thinking that usually the passive means being proptitious in the sense of "granting pardon." When applied to Christ, usually all the language surrounding propitiation have to do with Christ winning pardon for us.

Yes, all this is found in nearby glosses that I've translated.

Thank you, you and limetrees are confirming my impression. Now I'm hesitating a bit between rendering it as "Propitiating God for us" (as I first did it and now have it in the draft of the book that I'm proofreading), or as "reconciling us to God". The first one translates propitians more literally, while the second one's construction is closer to that of the Latin, but the most important is the sense and I wonder which is better.
Yes, it really depends on the type of translation you want. One thing to be aware of is that the verb "propitiating" is likely going to have most English readers reaching for a dictionary. Some Catholic readers may be familiar with the idea of Christ "being the propitiation for our sins," but it is rare to see it in the verb form.

As I side note, if you are using the Douay-Rheims, know that much of it is unrecognizable as English to many English speakers. I often have to use the Latin to figure out what it's saying.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I have noticed that D-R is not always written in the most idiomatic English, at least by modern standards. I don't know excalty what is the more responsible for this, archaism or the fact that it's often quite literal to the Latin. But, "unrecognizable as English"... I wouldn't have thought it was to that point, lol. I hope it's kind of an overstatement. ;)
 
I have noticed that D-R is not always written in the most idiomatic English, at least by modern standards. I don't know excalty what is the more responsible for this, archaism or the fact that it's often quite literal to the Latin. But, "unrecognizable as English"... I wouldn't have thought it was to that point, lol. I hope it's kind of an overstatement. ;)
I am exaggerating -- a little. The individual words are recognizable as English words, but I am not exaggerating at all when I say that I sometimes have to look at the Latin to know what the D-R is saying. I'm not entirely sure either why it is as awkward as it is. What we know as the D-R is actually a revision of the first D-R. Although it was a less literal translation of the Latin Vulgate than the first, it still held it as a value to be as literal to the Latin as possible. Since English is not Latin, however, it just often doesn't work. Another point is that when a passage was confusing in Latin, they just translated it as is into English. There was great concern about not putting any interpretations on the text (which is of course impossible in translation), so sided for being unclear over the risk of changing the meaning. Also, the D-R is in essence a translation of a translation, so there's that too. Then again, maybe it all sounded just fine to an 18th century British person.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
What we know as the D-R is actually a revision of the first D-R.
I'm afraid we're using the first one. The person whom I make the translations for chose to use this version, just with modernized spelling.
 
Thank you for this link. I had no idea that the original was available on-line. From what I hear, it is even more unintelligible than what I know as the Douay Rheims. There is an interesting footnote to James 1:13 in the online version you link to.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
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