Luke 5 – Comments on the Latin

After thinking about the passage from last week (Luke 5:1-11), I decided to read through the Vulgate Latin translation. For the most part the English and Latin translations are pretty close. There were two things in the Latin that stood out to me which I would like to share.

Verse 6, “And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.”

The Latin is, “et cum hoc fecissent concluserunt piscium multitudinem copiosam rumpebatur autem rete eorum.”

What stood out to me is the Latin verb, “concluserunt.” This is the verb that we get “conclude” from. The Latin means to “close together.” What we have here is an example of usage changing over time. A very physical action that been passed down and is used now primarily in the abstract. I don’t remember the last time I used “conclude” or “conclusion” to mean something as physical an action as drawing in a catch of fish.

Verse 9, “For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken,”

The Latin, “stupor enim circumdederat eum et omnes qui cum illo erant in captura piscium quam ceperant”

The Latin translates “he was astonished” as “the astonishment/numbness surrounded him.” Above, stupor (astonishment/numbness) is the subject and eum (him) is the object. In someways I find the Latin translation to be more vivid and more captivating than the English version.

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