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Apolytikion of Nativity -- light of knowledge or wisdom?

Pedro

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Greetings: to all those on the New Calendar: Christ is born!

Question for you, from a priest who is still a Greek hack.

In the Nativity troparion -- Ἡ γέννησίς σου Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, ἀνέτειλε τῷ κόσμῳ, τὸ φῶς τὸ τῆς γνώσεως· -- Is "the light of KNOWLEDGE" (as in, Knowledge OF Christ personally) a better way to translate τὸ φῶς τὸ τῆς γνώσεως·, or would it be "the light of WISDOM" (perhaps ABOUT Christ, though the latter, in my mind would be "τῆς σοφιας")?

A friend of mine suggested "has enlightened the world with the knowledge of the Light," citing the second τὸ as being a reason to reverse the words. As I still lack the skills to parse all this out, I'm asking around.

Many thanks!
 

Porter ODoran

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Glorify Him!

Well, speaking as merely an average ancient Greek student, in cases like this, much would depend on a translation formula. That is, there are several conceivable ways to represent that attributive position, or synonyms to translate gnosis, and a formula should be adhered to for consistency and traditionality.
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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Gnosis means knowledge. Tis Sophias would be wisdom.

But it depends whether you're going for a literal rendering or one that flows better.
 

Porter ODoran

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Oh and, no, you can't reverse the words there. "... the light, the one pertaining to the knowledge" is about as literal as you could twist out of that, and as you can see it can't reverse the meaning.
 

LBK

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The correct translation is knowledge, not wisdom. Given the great significance of both words in biblical and liturgical use, I very much doubt the hymnographer was anything but precise and deliberate in the choice of word.

Moreover, the Slavonic word used in the troparion is разума (razuma). Wisdom in Slavonic is премудрост (premudrost').
 

scamandrius

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Fr. David said:
Greetings: to all those on the New Calendar: Christ is born!

Question for you, from a priest who is still a Greek hack.

In the Nativity troparion -- Ἡ γέννησίς σου Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, ἀνέτειλε τῷ κόσμῳ, τὸ φῶς τὸ τῆς γνώσεως· -- Is "the light of KNOWLEDGE" (as in, Knowledge OF Christ personally) a better way to translate τὸ φῶς τὸ τῆς γνώσεως·, or would it be "the light of WISDOM" (perhaps ABOUT Christ, though the latter, in my mind would be "τῆς σοφιας")?

A friend of mine suggested "has enlightened the world with the knowledge of the Light," citing the second τὸ as being a reason to reverse the words. As I still lack the skills to parse all this out, I'm asking around.

Many thanks!
Knowledge is the most accurate rendering into English, but since very few words match up 1:1 with Greek, I would suggest that knowledge is not the only "theological" meaning. The second "to" is needed because in classical Greek an attributive adjective that comes after the noun it modifies needs the article to be duplicated. I only know that thanks to years of Classical Greek composition.  As to your friends suggestion using the preposition "with" the only way that can happen is if the case of phos were dative instead of accusative.  It is accusative and the direct object of aneteile.
 

Porter ODoran

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scamandrius said:
Fr. David said:
Greetings: to all those on the New Calendar: Christ is born!

Question for you, from a priest who is still a Greek hack.

In the Nativity troparion -- Ἡ γέννησίς σου Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, ἀνέτειλε τῷ κόσμῳ, τὸ φῶς τὸ τῆς γνώσεως· -- Is "the light of KNOWLEDGE" (as in, Knowledge OF Christ personally) a better way to translate τὸ φῶς τὸ τῆς γνώσεως·, or would it be "the light of WISDOM" (perhaps ABOUT Christ, though the latter, in my mind would be "τῆς σοφιας")?

A friend of mine suggested "has enlightened the world with the knowledge of the Light," citing the second τὸ as being a reason to reverse the words. As I still lack the skills to parse all this out, I'm asking around.

Many thanks!
Knowledge is the most accurate rendering into English, but since very few words match up 1:1 with Greek, I would suggest that knowledge is not the only "theological" meaning. The second "to" is needed because in classical Greek an attributive adjective that comes after the noun it modifies needs the article to be duplicated. I only know that thanks to years of Classical Greek composition.  As to your friends suggestion using the preposition "with" the only way that can happen is if the case of phos were dative instead of accusative.  It is accusative and the direct object of aneteile.
There are other ways to represent an attributive, and, after all, an adjective does not have to be attributive -- that here it is is the salient point.
 

scamandrius

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Porter ODoran said:
scamandrius said:
Fr. David said:
Greetings: to all those on the New Calendar: Christ is born!

Question for you, from a priest who is still a Greek hack.

In the Nativity troparion -- Ἡ γέννησίς σου Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, ἀνέτειλε τῷ κόσμῳ, τὸ φῶς τὸ τῆς γνώσεως· -- Is "the light of KNOWLEDGE" (as in, Knowledge OF Christ personally) a better way to translate τὸ φῶς τὸ τῆς γνώσεως·, or would it be "the light of WISDOM" (perhaps ABOUT Christ, though the latter, in my mind would be "τῆς σοφιας")?

A friend of mine suggested "has enlightened the world with the knowledge of the Light," citing the second τὸ as being a reason to reverse the words. As I still lack the skills to parse all this out, I'm asking around.

Many thanks!
Knowledge is the most accurate rendering into English, but since very few words match up 1:1 with Greek, I would suggest that knowledge is not the only "theological" meaning. The second "to" is needed because in classical Greek an attributive adjective that comes after the noun it modifies needs the article to be duplicated. I only know that thanks to years of Classical Greek composition.  As to your friends suggestion using the preposition "with" the only way that can happen is if the case of phos were dative instead of accusative.  It is accusative and the direct object of aneteile.
There are other ways to represent an attributive, and, after all, an adjective does not have to be attributive -- that here it is is the salient point.
THere are other ways, yes, but the grammar here indicates that this IS an attributive adjective.
 
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