Sunday, January 31, 2010

more translating Peter

Is it too much of stretch to note similarities between what Helen says of Odysseus and what Peter says of Jesus?  Below are three lines from the Odyssey and three from Matthew's gospel (Od. 4:252-54 and Mt. 16:16,20).  In both passages, both Helen and Peter speak Greek.  In the former passage, Helen is the narrator of the story of when she discovers the true identity of Odysseus.  In the latter passage, Peter is the one identifying who Jesus truly is.  Helen has Zeus in the heavens as her ostensible father.  Jesus is the son of his father, God, in the heavens.  Both have human mothers.  Helen bathes Odysseus.  Jesus has already been baptized and a voice has called down from the skies declaring him his loved son (Mt. 3).  Both Helen and Jesus are concerned that the true identities be concealed.  The anointing is significant.

Here's Homer's text and then Matthew's.  I've translated the passages into English below the Greek.

ἀλλ' ὅτε δή μιν ἐγὼ λόεον καὶ χρῖον ἐλαίῳ,
ἀμφὶ δὲ εἵματα ἕσσα καὶ ὤμοσα καρτερὸν ὅρκον
μὴ μὲν πρὶν Ὀδυσῆα μετὰ Τρώεσσ' ἀναφῆναι,

Σὺ εἶ ὁ χριστός, ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ζῶντος....
Τότε διεστείλατο τοῖς μαθηταῖς [αὐτοῦ]
ἵνα μηδενὶ εἴπωσιν ὅτι αὐτός ἐστιν [Ἰησοῦς] ὁ χριστός.

Yet when finally I bathed and anointed him in oil,
then I wrapped around him a sheet and solemnly swore an oath
not to give him up - not to give Odysseus up - to the Trojans.

You, sir, are Anointed, Son, of God, of Life....
Then he warned those apprentices [of his]
that they should not ever say that he is [Y'Shua] Anointed.

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