Saturday, January 30, 2010

translating Peter

Here שִׁימוֺן gets his new name "Rock" from יְהוֹשׁוּעַ.  It's in the 16th chapter of the gospel by "Matthew," who's heard it presumably as "כיפא" and who, transposing it from something spoken to something written, has also translated it into Greek as "Πέτρος."  And of course you, my English readers, know I'm translating also:

15 his statement to them:
So you all: What sure statement are you making about me?
16 the spoken retort of  Simon "Rock":
You, sir, surely are "Anointed" "Son""of God" "of Life."
17 the spoken retort of J'Shua to him:
You are surely fortunate, Jonah's son Simon:  Flesh and blood did not decode this for you; that daddy of mine in the skies did.

18 So here's my statement to you, sir:  You, sir, surely are "Rock."

On her, on this sheer rock I'll construct my household:  that summoned assembly of mine.  "Grave's Gates" won't have strength on her...

15 Λέγει αὐτοῖς
Ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνα με λέγετε εἶναι
16 Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ Σίμων [Simon] (שִׁימוֺן, [Shimon]) Πέτρος [Pétros] (כיפא, [Kēfā]) εἶπεν
Σὺ εἶ ὁ Χριστός [CHristós] (משיחא, [Mašíaḥ]) ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ζῶντος
17 Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς [Iēsoũs] (יְהוֹשׁוּעַ,[Yehoshua]) εἶπεν αὐτῷ
Μακάριος [makarios] (אשֶׁר, ['sher]) εἶ Σίμων [Simon] (שִׁימוֺן, [Shimon]) Βαριωνᾶ [bar-Jonah] (בר, [bar]) (יוֹנָה, [Jonah])
ὅτι σὰρξ καὶ αἷμα οὐκ ἀπεκάλυψέν σοι
ἀλλ’ ὁ πατήρ [patḗr] (אבא, [abba]) μου ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς

18 Κἀγὼ δέ σοι λέγω
ὅτι σὺ εἶ Πέτρος [Pétros] (כיפא, [Kēfā])

καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ [pétrạ] (צוּר, [ts'wr]) οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν [ẻkklesían] (קָהֵל, [qahal]) (כנישחא, [knistā])
καὶ πύλαι ᾍδου [hẠdes] (שְׁאוֺל, [Sh'ol]) οὐ κατισχύσουσιν αὐτῆς

The above is a sheer mix of the following:
  • Greek rhetorical language in Greek dialogical format
  • dialog in narrative 
  • speaking in writing
  • Matthew's voice with Peter's voice with Jesus's voice
  • Matthew as the writer, the narrator, translator, and the character
  • the writer as the outside narrator with the writer as an insider
  • the readers as audience with the audience as readers 
  • the writer as translator
  • his translation with some "accuracy," "clarity," "naturalness," and "acceptability" 
  • his translation rendering "accuracy," "clarity," "naturalness," and "acceptability"
  • his translation making outsiders of us all
  • our reading(s) taking us in
  • the original language(s) as shadows not reality 
  • the Greek language as shadow not reality 
  • proper names with sound-alike common nouns
  • masculine nouns with sound-alike feminine nouns
  • feminine nouns as the bedrock 
  • names having clear meanings and names with meanings obscured
  • Greek names translating Aramaic names
  • Greek letters transliterating Hebrew Aramaic names and Hebrew names
  • Greek words with Greek-transliterated Hebrew and Hebrew Aramaic words
  • wordplay as playfulness and as hermeneutic openness
  • the consequences of a name that changes 
  • proposition with imposition with transposition with ap(p)osition
  • informing with performing with reforming with transforming 
  • Matthew's Greek grappling with the spoken Aramaic and the written Hebrew and Greek-translated Hebrew of the Jewish scriptures 
  • my English (not Matthew's or J'Shua's or Rock's) grappling with Matthew's Greek 
  • most importantly:  (y)our grappling with the story next to (y)our own experiences
There is so much here that I've posted a preface, an introduction, and some commentary.  Most importantly, there's (y)our grappling with the story next to (y)our own experiences.


Toni Garçía said...

I wrote a short note about one ancient silver coin from l´Aquila, in Italy, that spells the hebrew "pe-tet-res-sin", [pétrus] or [pétros]. This coin was ordered by Pedro Alvarez de Toledo y Zúñiga (betwen 1532 - 1553).
Here it´s the link in a spanish numismatic forum:
Image of this coin was shared in an article of Mr. Gionata Barbieri, wich contains a good photographie of Francesco di Rauso, in this link:


Obviously this word with this spelling, would been included in hebrew medieval dictionaries.


J. K. Gayle said...

Wow, Toni. This is fascinating archaeological evidence for persistent translingualism. Hebrew appropriates Greek, and how early? Other than on coins (with illusions to St. Peter?), in what contexts is "pe-tet-res-sin" used?