The “Hypotheses” of Eusebius

In his commentary on the Psalms, Eusebius includes a section which has his “hypotheses” on every Psalm (Gk υποθεσις).  These are short little multi-word summations of each Psalms’ theme, as Eusebius understands it. I’ve translated the first 15 here. If anyone has any ideas for Psalm 5 and 14, please let me know. I’m not quite sure how to interpret those. These can be found in Migne Patrologia Graeca volume 23 column 68.

Psalm 1. An example of godliness and staying away from its opposite
Psalm 2. A prophecy concerning Christ and the calling of the nations.
Psalm 3. A prophecy of the good things coming to David.
Psalm 4. A prophecy concerning the One who suffered
Psalm 5. A prayer from a figure of the Church. (?)
Psalm 6. A teaching on confession and praise.
Psalm 7. Praise by David and the calling of the nations
Psalm 8. A prophecy on the calling of the nations.
Psalm 9. The death and resurrection of Christ, and his ascension to the throne, and the overthrow of all enemies.
Psalm 10. A victory song for those who contend for the godly prize.
Psalm 11. The kinds of evil, and a prophecy about the coming of Christ.
Psalm 12. The rising up of enemies, and expectation of Christ’s coming
Psalm 13. The kinds of evil, and a prophecy of Christ’s coming.
Psalm 14. The final restoration according to God. (?)
Psalm 15. The election of the Church and the resurrection of Christ.

And here is the Greek:

Psalm 1 – Greek αʹ Προτροπὴ θεοσεβείας καὶ ἀποτροπὴ τοῦ ἐναντίου.
Psalm 2 – Greek βʹ Προφητεία περὶ Χριστοῦ καὶ κλήσεως ἐθνῶν.
Psalm 3 – Greek γʹ Προφητεία γενησομένων ἀγαθῶν τῷ Δαυΐδ.
Psalm 4 – Greek δʹ Προφητεία τῷ Δαυῒδ περὶ ὧν πέπονθεν.
Psalm 5 – Greek εʹ Ἐκ προσώπου τῆς Ἐκκλησίας προσευχή.
Psalm 6 – Greek ςʹ Διδασκαλία ἐξομολογήσεως.
Psalm 7 – Greek ζʹ Τῷ Δαυῒδ ἐξομολόγησις καὶ διδασκαλία κλήσεως 1 ἐθνῶν.
Psalm 8 – Greek ηʹ Προφητεία κλήσεως ἐθνῶν.
Psalm 9 – Greek θʹ Θάνατος Χριστοῦ καὶ ἀνάστασις, καὶ βασιλείας παράληψις, ἐχθρῶν τε πάντων καθαίρεσις.
Psalm 10 – Greek ιʹ Ἐπινίκιος ὕμνος τοῦ κατὰ Θεὸν ἀγωνιζομένου.
Psalm 11 – Greek ιαʹ Κατηγορία πονηρῶν, καὶ προφητεία Χριστοῦ παρουσίας.
Psalm 12 – Greek ιβʹ Ἐχθρῶν ἐπανάστασις, καὶ προσδοκία Χριστοῦ παρουσίας.
Psalm 13 – Greek ιγʹ Κατηγορία πονηρῶν, καὶ προφητεία Χριστοῦ παρουσίας.
Psalm 14 – Greek ιδʹ Τοῦ κατὰ Θεὸν τελείου ἀποκατάστασις.
Psalm 15 – Greek ιεʹ Ἐκλογὴ Ἐκκλησίας, καὶ Χριστοῦ ἀνάστασις.

Greek Verse of the Day

Here’s a nice Greek verse, taken from the 31 Psalm (LXX):

πολλαὶ αἱ μάστιγες τοῦ ἁμαρτωλοῦ,
τὸν δὲ ἐλπίζοντα ἐπὶ κύριον ἔλεος κυκλώσει.

Many are the snares of sin,
but the one who hopes in the Lord will be enveloped with mercy

~alex

A Fun Dabbling of Textual Criticism

As I’ve been reading some of Chrysostom’s commentary on the Psalms, I had wondered how long it would take me to notice a difference between his text of the Psalms and mine. It’s quite funny that it took me this long to find one, because there is one right at the beginning of the work! Chrysostom is great for this kind of thing because he loves to make rather detailed points about the text. He’s fond of saying things like, “The prophet didn’t say this (insert slight difference), but this.” The change in the text with Rahlfs is very minor, but it would break his argument at this point (or hinder this particular point any way).

The text in question is the fourth Psalm. Here’s Rahlf’s text:

Εν τῷ ἐπικαλεῖσθαί με εἰσήκουσέν μου ὁ θεὸς τῆς δικαιοσύνης μου

And here’s Chrysostom:

Εν τῷ ἐπικαλεῖσθαί με εἰσήκουσέ με ὁ Θεὸς τῆς δικαιοσύνης μου

Can you spot the difference? It’s very slight, it occurs in the word following εισηκουσεν:

Εν τῷ ἐπικαλεῖσθαί με εἰσήκουσέν μου ὁ θεὸς τῆς δικαιοσύνης μου (Rahlfs)
Εν τῷ ἐπικαλεῖσθαί με εἰσήκουσέ με ὁ Θεὸς τῆς δικαιοσύνης μου (Chrysostom)

Why is this important? Well Chrysostom goes on to make this point:

Πρὸς γοῦν τοὺς ἐν πονηρίᾳ μὲν ζῶντας, προσδοκῶντας δὲ τῷ μήκει τῶν
ῥημάτων δυσωπεῖν αὐτὸν, ὅρα τί φησιν. Ὅταν πληθύνητε τὴν δέησιν, οὐκ εἰσακούσομαι
ὑμῶν. Ἐὰν ἐκτείνητε τὰς χεῖρας, ἀποστρέψω τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς μου ἀφ’ ὑμῶν. Ἄρα πρὸ
τῶν ἄλλων ἁπάντων παῤῥησίαν δεῖ τὸν εὐχόμενον ἔχειν, καὶ πάντως ἕψεται τὰ τῆς
αἰτήσεως. ∆ιά τοι τοῦτο καὶ ὁ Προφήτης οὐκ εἶπεν, Εἰσήκουσεν ἐμοῦ, ἀλλὰ, Τῆς
δικαιοσύνης μου
, τὴν πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν αὐτοῦ παῤῥησίαν δεικνὺς, καὶ ὡς μετὰ ταύτης
αὐτῷ προσῄει διὰ παντός.

And a rather rough translation.

To those that live in evil, who give to Him lofty words, see what is written: Whenever you utter your request, I will not hear you. If you stretch out your hands, I will turn my eyes from you. Before all others your prayer must have boldness, so by all means follow the boldness of this prayer. Because of this the prophet didn’t say, “He heard me,” but “He heard my righteousness.” Having shown God this righteousness, he prayed through all things.

I’m not so sure about the “So before others…” line, so for the Greekers out there please double check that one for me.

First, the difference between the readings. As I understand it, Rahlfs reading would be translated like this:

In my cry to him, God, who is my righteousness, heard me.

Chrysostom’s would go like this:
In my cry to him, God heard my righteousness.

I don’t have easy access to a textual apparatus, though I could find no mention of the variant in Swete’s apparatus (which is online at archive.org). Swete’s LXX followed Chrysostom’s text on this one though.

So what is Chrysostom up to here? As always, he’s extremely concerned with the moral character of his congregation. In teaching them to pray, he is goes out of his way to point out that one prays through good works. The opposite is true too. Sin blocks prayer, and he trots out the famous passage from Isaiah where God castigates Israel for observing religious ceremonies while failing to do justice. Thus, he naturally points out that God hears our actions just as loud as our words. The argument is summed up nicely in a short sentence early in the homily:

Οὐ γὰρ δὴ ῥημάτων πλῆθος πείθειν τὸν Θεὸν εἴωθεν, ἀλλὰ καθαρὰ ψυχὴ καὶ ἔργων ἀγαθῶν ἐπίδειξις.

For it is not the fullness of words that convinces God, but a pure soul and the demonstration of good works. (again, not sure about ειωθεν).

Textual Criticism is normally of no interest to me, but I found this little bit interesting ;-).

Dream Gift

At least one dream gift of mine would be a one volume Septuagint + New Testament with my name engraved on the cover, in Greek!  I have four names, 3 Greek ones and a Hebrew one (Matthew), so I think it would look quite nice ;-).

That said, I’ve never encountered any such volume!  Zondervan has a nice Reader’s Edition Greek/Hebrew NT/OT, but I’ve never seen anything that combines the Greek OT and NT.  It almost sounds like something I’d have to buy in Greece or order from there.  Has anyone every heard of such a book?

~alex

Ψαλμος 23

I rather enjoyed writing this reflection.  The prayer and praise pops into the middle, so there isn’t a separate prayer.

Psa. 23:1 ¶     Ψαλμὸς τῷ Δαυιδ· τῆς μιᾶς σαββάτων.
Τοῦ κυρίου ἡ γῆ καὶ τὸ πλήρωμα αὐτῆς,
ἡ οἰκουμένη καὶ πάντες οἱ κατοικοῦντες ἐν αὐτῇ·
Psa. 23:2     αὐτὸς ἐπὶ θαλασσῶν ἐθεμελίωσεν αὐτὴν
καὶ ἐπὶ ποταμῶν ἡτοίμασεν αὐτήν.
Psa. 23:3     τίς ἀναβήσεται εἰς τὸ ὄρος τοῦ κυρίου
καὶ τίς στήσεται ἐν τόπῳ ἁγίῳ αὐτοῦ;
Psa. 23:4     ἀθῷος χερσὶν καὶ καθαρὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ,
ὃς οὐκ ἔλαβεν ἐπὶ ματαίῳ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ
καὶ οὐκ ὤμοσεν ἐπὶ δόλῳ τῷ πλησίον αὐτοῦ.
Psa. 23:5     οὗτος λήμψεται εὐλογίαν παρὰ κυρίου
καὶ ἐλεημοσύνην παρὰ θεοῦ σωτῆρος αὐτοῦ.
Psa. 23:6     αὕτη ἡ γενεὰ ζητούντων αὐτόν,
ζητούντων τὸ πρόσωπον τοῦ θεοῦ Ιακωβ.
διάψαλμα.
Psa. 23:7     ἄρατε πύλας, οἱ ἄρχοντες ὑμῶν,
καὶ ἐπάρθητε, πύλαι αἰώνιοι,
καὶ εἰσελεύσεται ὁ βασιλεὺς τῆς δόξης.
Psa. 23:8     τίς ἐστιν οὗτος ὁ βασιλεὺς τῆς δόξης;
κύριος κραταιὸς καὶ δυνατός,
κύριος δυνατὸς ἐν πολέμῳ.
Psa. 23:9     ἄρατε πύλας, οἱ ἄρχοντες ὑμῶν,
καὶ ἐπάρθητε, πύλαι αἰώνιοι,
καὶ εἰσελεύσεται ὁ βασιλεὺς τῆς δόξης.
Psa. 23:10     τίς ἐστιν οὗτος ὁ βασιλεὺς τῆς δόξης;
κύριος τῶν δυνάμεων, αὐτός ἐστιν ὁ βασιλεὺς τῆς δόξης.

καλος τουτος ψαλμος εστιν!  αγαπω αυτον.  ἡ γη του κυριου!  και το πληρομα αυτης!  οἱ φιλουντες γνωσιν ουδεν γινωσκουσιν.  ἡ γη ου κακη αλλα καλη.  Θεος αυτην εποιησεν και αγαπᾳ.  εποιησεν ουρανον και γην, αορατον και ορατον.  Θεος κυριος παντος.  Ιησους εστιν πρωτότοκος κτισεως και δια αυτου παντα εστιν.  ὑμνογραφος δε ερωτᾳ τίς αναβησεται προς τον κυριον ;   και ειπεν “αθῷος   χερσιν και καθαρος τῃ καρδιᾳ.”  ορθῶ δει λαλειν.  ου δυναται ψευδος ειναι εαν προς κυριον αναβαινειν θελει.  ευλογιαν λημψεται ὁ καθαρος απο κυριου.  τίς ευλογια ; τίς δοθησεται ὁ κυριος ; εαυτον θεος εδωκα.  πως ;  εν ὑιῳ και πνευματι αυτου εδωκα.  Ιησους εαυτον εδωκα ὑπερ ἡμῶν και απεστελλεν πνευμα απο Πατρος προς ἡμας.  μηγά δωρον εστιν!  σκια και τυποι εισιν εν τῃ παλαιῃ διαθήκῃ, ἡ δε αλεθεια εγενετο εν Χριστῳ.

ὁ ὑμνογραφος θελει ὂτι ζητουμεν το προσοπον του θεοῦ.  ουδεν μεν εβλεψεν θεον εγενετο θεος δε σαρξ εν Ιησου Χριστῳ.  δυναμεν εν σαρκι Χριστου, αρτῳ ἡμων, βλεπειν θεον.  ὁ διαψαλμα ἡμας λαλει ὂτι ζητουτων θεον εν μεσῳ ψαλμου εστιν.  λογος ψαλμου.  δίο, Ιησους Χριστος εν μεσῳ ψαλμου εστιν, Ιησους γαρ εστιν προσοπον και εικων θεου.  ζητειν Ιησους εστιν ζητειν προσοπον θεου.  βλεπομεν δε Χριστον εν τελῳ ψαλμου.  ου πορευομεν προς τον κυριον αλλα κυριος προς ἡμας επορευθη!  επορευθη εν Χριστῳ.  ὑψιστος μεν εστιν ὁ κυριος ὡς δε ανθρωπος εγενετο.

τίς εστιν κυριος τὴς δοξης ;
κυριος του σταυρου, αυτος εστιν ὁ βασιλευς της δοξης.

John Chrysostom and the Psalms

Since I’ve been reading through the Greek psalms recently, I’ve been curious about how the Fathers read the Psalms.  John Chrysostom is probably the most notable of the early Greek Fathers, so I naturally turned to him first.  The wikipedia page informed me that he wrote homilies on the Psalms, and that many of them are extant, but it didn’t give me a list of what Psalms he commented on!  I was then even more surprised to find out that no one has done a critical text of his homilies on the Psalms.  They have been translated into English.  There is a list of the extant homilies in the in that product  description, but I didn’t see that my first go around ;-).

Still curious to see which ones he commented on, I stumbled about a PDF of the work from Migne’s Patrologia Graeca. (HT Roger Pearse).  The PDF is pretty good, from a cursory glance.  It had been OCR’ed, so it was searchable!  I believe it was a Russian group who did the scanning, so huge props to them! Unfortunately, there was not a table of contents, and the titles for each Psalm where in Greek numerals (think Roman numerals with a Greek twist).  However, I was able to whip up a nice Ruby script to give me the information I wanted.  I’m thinking of creating either a series of PDFs (one per psalm), or just redoing the entire PDF with a table of contents and Arabic numerals.

I did find a few oddities in the PDF.  Psalms 9-12 got inserted twice, as best as I could tell.  Also, the OCR didn’t seem to like the digammas which were used in the numerals.  The digamma is a Greek letter that was largely obsolete by the classical period, but it has hung around as a numeral.  Also, I’ve noticed a discrepancy with that product description of the English translation.  It states that “Psalms 4-13, 44-50, and Volume Two contains commentaries on Psalms 109-150 (with the exception of the long Ps 119)” are commented on.  It looks like that misses Psalm 41 (Hebrew 42), which Chrysostom also commented on.  Also note that the English translation follows the Hebrew numbers.

Either way, here’s the list of Psalms that John Chrysostom commented on, with both the LXX chapter number and the Hebrew (English) chapter number.  If I do any more work with them, I’ll post something.

4 (LXX) – 4 (Hebrew)
5 (LXX) – 5 (Hebrew)
6 (LXX) – 6 (Hebrew)
7 (LXX) – 7 (Hebrew)
8 (LXX) – 8 (Hebrew)
9 (LXX) – 9-10 (Hebrew)
10 (LXX) – 11 (Hebrew)
11 (LXX) – 12 (Hebrew)
12 (LXX) – 13 (Hebrew)
9 (LXX) – 9-10 (Hebrew)
10 (LXX) – 11 (Hebrew)
11 (LXX) – 12 (Hebrew)
12 (LXX) – 13 (Hebrew)
41 (LXX) – 42 (Hebrew)
43 (LXX) – 44 (Hebrew)
44 (LXX) – 45 (Hebrew)
45 (LXX) – 46 (Hebrew)
46 (LXX) – 47 (Hebrew)
47 (LXX) – 48 (Hebrew)
48 (LXX) – 49 (Hebrew)
49 (LXX) – 50 (Hebrew)
108 (LXX) – 109 (Hebrew)
109 (LXX) – 110 (Hebrew)
110 (LXX) – 111 (Hebrew)
111 (LXX) – 112 (Hebrew)
112 (LXX) – 113 (Hebrew)
113 (LXX) – 114-115 (Hebrew)
114 (LXX) – 116:1-9 (Hebrew)
115 (LXX) – 116:10-19 (Hebrew)
116 (LXX) – 117 (Hebrew)
117 (LXX) – 118 (Hebrew)
119 (LXX) – 120 (Hebrew)
120 (LXX) – 121 (Hebrew)
121 (LXX) – 122 (Hebrew)
122 (LXX) – 123 (Hebrew)
123 (LXX) – 124 (Hebrew)
124 (LXX) – 125 (Hebrew)
125 (LXX) – 126 (Hebrew)
126 (LXX) – 127 (Hebrew)
127 (LXX) – 128 (Hebrew)
128 (LXX) – 129 (Hebrew)
129 (LXX) – 130 (Hebrew)
130 (LXX) – 131 (Hebrew)
131 (LXX) – 132 (Hebrew)
132 (LXX) – 133 (Hebrew)
133 (LXX) – 134 (Hebrew)
134 (LXX) – 135 (Hebrew)
135 (LXX) – 136 (Hebrew)
136 (LXX) – 137 (Hebrew)
137 (LXX) – 138 (Hebrew)
138 (LXX) – 139 (Hebrew)
139 (LXX) – 140 (Hebrew)
140 (LXX) – 141 (Hebrew)
141 (LXX) – 142 (Hebrew)
142 (LXX) – 143 (Hebrew)
143 (LXX) – 144 (Hebrew)
144 (LXX) – 145 (Hebrew)
145 (LXX) – 146 (Hebrew)
146 (LXX) – 147 (Hebrew)
147 (LXX) – 147:12-20 (Hebrew)
148 (LXX) – 148 (Hebrew)
149 (LXX) – 149 (Hebrew)
150 (LXX) – 150 (Hebrew)

Ψαλμος 13

ὁ ψαλμος
Psa. 13:1 ¶         Εἰς τὸ τέλος· ψαλμὸς τῷ Δαυιδ.
        Εἶπεν ἄφρων ἐν καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ Οὐκ ἔστιν θεός·
        διέφθειραν καὶ ἐβδελύχθησαν ἐν ἐπιτηδεύμασιν,
        οὐκ ἔστιν ποιῶν χρηστότητα, οὐκ ἔστιν ἕως ἑνός.
Psa. 13:2         κύριος ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ διέκυψεν ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῶν ἀνθρώπων
        τοῦ ἰδεῖν εἰ ἔστιν συνίων ἢ ἐκζητῶν τὸν θεόν.
Psa. 13:3         πάντες ἐξέκλιναν, ἅμα ἠχρεώθησαν,
        οὐκ ἔστιν ποιῶν χρηστότητα, οὐκ ἔστιν ἕως ἑνός.
        τάφος ἀνεῳγμένος ὁ λάρυγξ αὐτῶν,
        ταῖς γλώσσαις αὐτῶν ἐδολιοῦσαν·
        ἰὸς ἀσπίδων ὑπὸ τὰ χείλη αὐτῶν,
        ὧν τὸ στόμα ἀρᾶς καὶ πικρίας γέμει·
        ὀξεῖς οἱ πόδες αὐτῶν ἐκχέαι αἷμα·
        σύντριμμα καὶ ταλαιπωρία ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς αὐτῶν,
        καὶ ὁδὸν εἰρήνης οὐκ ἔγνωσαν·
        οὐκ ἔστιν φόβος θεοῦ ἀπέναντι τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτῶν.
Psa. 13:4         οὐχὶ γνώσονται πάντες οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν ἀνομίαν;
        οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὸν λαόν μου βρώσει ἄρτου τὸν κύριον οὐκ ἐπεκαλέσαντο.
Psa. 13:5         ἐκεῖ ἐδειλίασαν φόβῳ, οὗ οὐκ ἦν φόβος,
        ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἐν γενεᾷ δικαίᾳ.
Psa. 13:6         βουλὴν πτωχοῦ κατῃσχύνατε,
        ὅτι κύριος ἐλπὶς αὐτοῦ ἐστιν.
Psa. 13:7         τίς δώσει ἐκ Σιων τὸ σωτήριον τοῦ Ισραηλ;
        ἐν τῷ ἐπιστρέψαι κύριον τὴν αἰχμαλωσίαν τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτοῦ
        ἀγαλλιάσθω Ιακωβ καὶ εὐφρανθήτω Ισραηλ.

τουτος ψαλμος εστιν βοη τῳ κριματι. εστιν πολλυς ασηβης. πας ουκ εκζητει θεον. Παυλος εγραψεν απο τουτου ψαλμου εν επιστολῃ αυτου προς Ρωμην. βλεπωμεν την διαστολην μεν ἡ πλουτης μεν ὁ πτωκον. ὁ κακος κατεκρινει τον πτωκον, αλλα κυριος κατεκρινει πλουτον. ὁ κυριος αγαπα τον πτωοκον και ἡ ελπις του πτωκου εστιν ὁ κυριος. ουκ εστιν αλεθεια της ασηβης. ὁ κακος λεγει “ουκ εστιν θεος” αλλα θεος ηκουσεν αυτον. ὁ κυριος κρινεσει επι ημεραν κριτης, δικαιαν και αδικιαν.

ευχαριστω σε, θεος μου, οτι εἶ πτωχῳ. αγαπας ταπεινον και αντισσεσαι τον ὑπερεφανον. θελω ειναι ως σὐ κυριε μου. συ εἶ δικαιος, συ εἶ αξιος. ουκ αξιος ειμι. ψευδος και κακος ειμι. ευχαριστω σε οτι σταυρος Ιησοῦ! ουκ αξιος ειμι, αλλα εδικαιοσεν με εν ὑιῳ σου. μονος εστιν χαρις σου. ειμι ως ειμι χαριτι θεου. κυριε, θελω ποιεν δικαιῶ. θελω αγαπαν τον πτωκον ως συ. ελεησον με κυριε, τον ἁμαρτωλον.

αλεξανδρος

Ψαλμος 12

So this post requires a bit of explanation. This post is essentially a response to this post. Matthew over at Crypto-Theology suggested that I post some of my Greek reflection and prayer. I was reluctant at first, but I decided that it was a good idea (thanks for the suggestion Matthew!). I was reluctant for a few reasons. First, I’m still a Greek newbie! I misunderstand lots of things and frankly I didn’t want to embarrass my self ;-). Second, reflecting on the psalms is, by nature, an extremely personal endeavor. I’m often hesitant to “get personal” here because that’s not “academic.” However, I think we’re often too quick to divorce the devotional and the academic (at least I am!). I think it’s imperative we hold the two together if theology would serve the Church. So, these “Greek Psalms” posts will hopefully work to keep those two together, at least for me. It will also serve to humble, because I’ll make lots of mistakes and because my Greek composition skills would be matched by a young child! I won’t post a translation yet since a primary purpose of it is to “grow in Greek.” If I decide to keep this up, I’ll likely split them off into a separate blog so as not to bug those who don’t read Greek.

A few more notes: I’m copying the psalm from Accordance, to the accents there should be fine. The accents in my reflection and prayer, however, will be sporadic. I’ve tried to add them in the most helpful places, like εἶ, ὁ, or ῳ but I’ve left out a lot of the others. Some if this is because it takes way to much time to type, and some of it is that I simply don’t know most of them ;-). If sporadic accents are worse than no accents, then I’ll switch to the latter ;-). Also, I’m using the Greek numbering system, which is slightly different than the one our English bibles use. A good explanation can be found here (a great link!). Basically, this is the 12th Greek Psalm, but it’s the 11th Hebrew (and thus English) Psalm.

Comments are appreciated, as is constructive criticism (ie, Greek mistakes!). However, please be gentle :-).

And now, we can begin! Thankfully this psalm was short and relatively simple, and good one to start with.

ὁ ψαλμος:

Psa. 12:1         Εἰς τὸ τέλος· ψαλμὸς τῷ Δαυιδ.
Psa. 12:2         Ἕως πότε, κύριε, ἐπιλήσῃ μου εἰς τέλος;
        ἕως πότε ἀποστρέψεις τὸ πρόσωπόν σου ἀπ᾿ ἐμοῦ;
Psa. 12:3         ἕως τίνος θήσομαι βουλὰς ἐν ψυχῇ μου,
        ὀδύνας ἐν καρδίᾳ μου ἡμέρας;
        ἕως πότε ὑψωθήσεται ὁ ἐχθρός μου ἐπ᾿ ἐμέ;
Psa. 12:4         ἐπίβλεψον, εἰσάκουσόν μου, κύριε ὁ θεός μου·
        φώτισον τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς μου, μήποτε ὑπνώσω εἰς θάνατον,
Psa. 12:5         μήποτε εἴπῃ ὁ ἐχθρός μου Ἴσχυσα πρὸς αὐτόν·
        οἱ θλίβοντές με ἀγαλλιάσονται, ἐὰν σαλευθῶ.
Psa. 12:6         ἐγὼ δὲ ἐπὶ τῷ ἐλέει σου ἤλπισα,
        ἀγαλλιάσεται ἡ καρδία μου ἐπὶ τῷ σωτηρίῳ σου·
        ᾄσω τῷ κυρίῳ τῷ εὐεργετήσαντί με
        καὶ ψαλῶ τῷ ὀνόματι κυρίου τοῦ ὑψίστου.

τουτος ψαλμος εστιν βοη ανθροπου ἐν θλιψῳ. Κραζει, “Εως ποτε, κυριε.” Βλεπει τους εχθρους αυτου και κραζει τῳ κυριῳ. Ὁ κυριος εστιν ὑψιστος, υψοθεται δε ὁ εχθρος επ ὑμνογραφον. Βλεπει θανατον και ουκι ζωην. Εν δε θλιψῳ αυτος επι τῳ ελεει κυριου ελπιζει. Ενεκα τουτου, ὁ κυριος εσωσα αυτον, κυριος ερυσατο.

αξιος εἶ, κυριε. Ευχαριστω σε, εἶ γαρ μεγας. εσωσας με απο θανατου και ολεθρου. Υψω σε εις αιωνα ὁτι καλος εἶ. Σωζεις ἡμᾶς απο εχθρῶν ἡμων. δει ειναι ἡ χαρις σου, ἡμεις γαρ αξιοι ουκ εσμεν. Κυριε, θελω ανεχεσθαι καλῶς τους θλιψους. Επαγγελεται οτι εστιν θλιψις εν ἠμιν, και θελω φερειν αυτον ὡς Ιησους ενενγκεν τους θλιψους ἡμων. Θελω γνῶναι την δυναμιν Χριστου, και την κοινανιαν του παθηματῶν αυτου. Εν Χριστῳ θελω ειναι. Ελεησον με, ἁμαρτωλον κυριε. Ουκ ειμι ει μη χαρις σου.

Writing in Greek

I’ve started recently taking the advice of several folks regarding Greek composition. I’ve known for a while that only way I’ll learn the language well is to express my own thought in it. As I’ve been reading through the Psalms, I’ve finally changed my strategy to include a small bit of Greek composition. I had been going through bit by bit, attempting to learn all of the words I didn’t know. This was quite tedious, since there are so many words I don’t know!

What I have discovered is that I know enough to get a gist of what’s going on by a few re-readings. For instance, I can usually pick out the transition in a Psalm. Today, I was in Psalm 10 (LXX, Psalm 11 in our English Bibles) and the contrast was between the ungodly, and the righteous Lord. By focusing on the bigger picture instead of the granular details, I’m able to keep the whole Psalm in view much better. I know I’m missing details, but it’s much less tiresome and much more rewarding this way.

After reading a few times, I start to summarize the Psalms in Greek. I’ll vary the wording so I don’t just end up copying out of the Psalms. Where I can, I’ll use synonyms. After some summary, the reflection into a prayer. The prayers aren’t terribly long (and a First Century kindergartener would no doubt put me to shame in terms of style and vocab!) , but I must say that they’re tremendously helpful, especially spiritually. Thankfully, God has turned these into wonderful devotional moments! I’m starting to appreciate the Psalms in a way I never have before. I’m both learning lots of Greek, and constantly seeing the God for whom I’m doing so.

Πιστος εστιν ὁ Κυριος!

εν αυτῳ,
alex