Latin

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The Language

Latin is the language of ancient Rome and its empire, widely used historically as a language of scholarship and administration.

It is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Its' alphabet was derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets, and from the Phoenician alphabet.

Latin was originally spoken by the Kittim in the area known as Latium. It became the dominant language through the expansion of commerce and Roman Empire. Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Romanian developed from Vulgar Latin which contributed many words to the English language often having Ancient Greek roots. It is used in theology, biology, science, medicine, and law.

By the late Roman Republic (75 BC), Old Latin had been standardized into Classical Latin. Vulgar Latin was the colloquial form spoken during the same time and attested in inscriptions and the works of comic playwrights like Plautus and Terence. Late Latin is the written language from the 3rd century, and Medieval Latin the language used from the 9th century to the Renaissance which used Renaissance Latin. Later, Early Modern Latin and Modern Latin evolved. Latin was used as the language of international communication, scholarship, and science until well into the 18th century, when it began to be supplanted by vernaculars. Ecclesiastical or Church Latin remains the official language of the Holy See and the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.

Latin is taught in primary, secondary, and postsecondary educational institutions around the world.

Latin is a highly inflected language, with three distinct genders, seven noun cases, five declensions, four verb conjugations, four verb principal parts, six tenses, three persons, three moods, two voices, two aspects and two numbers.

Bible

Words in the Bible with a Latin origin.

A number of words are found in the Bible with Latin origins.


There are coins mentioned in the scriptures by their Latin names that were in use throughout the Roman Empire.

Coins and weights

  • assarion translated farthing

787 ~ἀσσάριον~ assarion \@as-sar’-ee-on\@ of Latin origin; ; n n AV-farthing 2; 2

1) an assarium or assarius, the name of a coin equal to the tenth part of a drachma
  • Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing <787>? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
  • Luke 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings <787>, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
  • kodrantes translated farthing

2835 ~κοδράντης~ kodrantes \@kod-ran’-tace\@ of Latin origin; ; n m AV-farthing 2; 2

1) a quadrans (about the fourth part of an "as"); in the NT a coin equal to one half the Attic chalcus worth about 3/8 of a cent
  • Matthew 5:26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing <2835>.
  • Mark 12:42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing <2835>.

The quadrans (literally meaning "a quarter") or teruncius ("three unciae") was a low-value Roman bronze coin worth one quarter of an as. The quadrans was issued from the beginning of cast bronze coins during the Roman Republic with three pellets representing three unciae as a mark of value.

  • denarion translated penny, pence, pennyworth

1220 ~δηνάριον~ denarion \@day-nar’-ee-on\@ of Latin origin; ; n n AV-penny 9, pence 5, pennyworth 2; 16

denarius means "containing ten" because it was worth ten asses
1) A Roman silver coin in NT time. It took its name from it being equal to ten "asses," a number after 217 B.C. increased to sixteen (about 3.898 grams or .1375 oz.). It was the principal silver coin of the Roman empire. From the parable of the labourers in the vineyard, it would seem that a denarius was then the ordinary pay for a day’s wages. (#Mt 20:2-13)
  • It appears 16 times[1] in the Greek text as penny 9 times, pence 5 times, pennyworth twice. The denarius was also an apothecary weight


Another Latin word that has to do with money and important to understand is "tribute".

2778 ~κῆνσος~ kensos \@kane’-sos\@ of Latin origin; ; n m AV-tribute 4; 4

1) census (among the Romans, denoting a register and valuation of property in accordance with which taxes were paid), in the NT the tax or tribute levied on individuals and to be paid yearly. (our capitation or poll tax)
2) the coin with which the tax is paid, tribute money
  • Other words translated tribute in the New Testament include 5411 and 1323.

There were also weights and measures.


A libra is, of course, a standard of weight.

Litra translate pound 3046 ~λίτρα~ litra \@lee’-trah\@ of Latin origin [libra]; ; n f AV-pound 2; 2

1) a pound, a weight of 12 ounces (340 gm)



Ranks and Titles

The rank of centurions.

2760 ~κεντυρίων~ kenturion \@ken-too-ree’-ohn\@ of Latin origin; ; n m AV-centurion 3; 3

1) centurion, an officer in the Roman army
  • Mark 15:39 And when the centurion <2760>, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
  • Mark 15:44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion <2760>, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.
  • Mark 15:45 And when he knew it of the centurion <2760>, he gave the body to Joseph.

Cupio dissolvi


The word titulus meant the fixing of a title as part of the Judicial procedure 5102 ~τίτλος~ titlos \@tit’-los\@ of Latin origin; ; n m AV-title 2; 2

1) a title which is the result of a judicial procedure.
2) an inscription, giving the accusation or crime for which a criminal suffered
  • John 19:19 And Pilate wrote a title <5102>, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title <5102> then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.


Father

  • The word father is translated from Pater. The term can be a rank in many different social and legal constructs. While it was used by the Greeks it is a Latin word. This is probably one of the most significant Latin words in the Scriptures and the lack of understanding of the word as it was used at the tie has led to many false doctrines and practices.

The word Pater

3962 ~πατήρ~ pater \@pat-ayr’\@ apparently a root word but with clearly Latin origins; n m AV-Father 267, father 150, parent 1; 418 see also Patronus, Pater Patriae, Parens patriae, or Conscripted fathers of Rome.

1) generator or male ancestor
1a) either the nearest ancestor: father of the corporeal nature, natural fathers, both parents
1b) a more remote ancestor, the founder of a family or tribe, progenitor of a people, forefather: so Abraham is called, Jacob and David
1b1) fathers i.e. ancestors, forefathers, founders of a nation
1c) one advanced in years, a senior
2) metaph.
2a) the originator and transmitter of anything
2a1) the authors of a family or society of persons animated by the same spirit as himself
2a2) one who has infused his own spirit into others, who actuates and governs their minds
2b) one who stands in a father’s place and looks after another in a paternal way
2c) a title of honour
2c1) teachers, as those to whom pupils trace back the knowledge and training they have received
2c2) the members of the Sanhedrin, whose prerogative it was by virtue of the wisdom and experience in which they excelled, to take charge of the interests of others
3) God is called the Father
3a) of the stars, the heavenly luminaries, because he is their creator, upholder, ruler
3b) of all rational and intelligent beings, whether angels or men, because he is their creator, preserver, guardian and protector
3b1) of spiritual beings and of all men
3c) of Christians, as those who through Christ have been exalted to a specially close and intimate relationship with God, and who no longer dread him as a stern judge of sinners, but revere him as their reconciled and loving Father
3d) the Father of Jesus Christ, as one whom God has united to himself in the closest bond of love and intimacy, madeacquainted with his purposes, appointed to explain and carry out among men the plan of salvation, and made to share also in his own divine nature
3d1) by Jesus Christ himself
3d2) by the apostles
  • "The word Prater properly signifying a General or Captain from praire... those who were Commanders in chief being like wise Judges in civil Causes." The Great Historical, Geographical, Genealogical and Poetical Dictionary; Being a Curious Miscellany of Sacred and Prophane History ... Collected from the Best Historians, Chronologers and Lexicographers ... But More Especially Out of Lewis Morery, D.D. His Eighth Edition Corrected and Enlarged by Monsieur Le Clerc ... The First[-second] Volume, Volume 2


The word kubernesis for Government 2941 ~κυβέρνησις~ kubernesis \@koo-ber’-nay-sis\@ from kubernao (of Latin origin, to steer); TDNT-3:1035,486; {See TDNT 416} n f AV-government 1; 1 see also 2942

1) a governing, government
  • 1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

There are many more words and phrases that have Latin origins. Work in progress.



Latin words and phrases

Assarion

Benedictus (Song of Zechariah) The Benedictus, given in Gospel of Luke 1:68-79, is one of the three canticles in the opening chapters of this Gospel, the other two being the "Magnificat" and the "Nunc dimittis". The verses 68-75 is a song of thanksgiving for the realization of the Messianic hopes. The verses 76-79 is an address by Zechariah to his own son, who was to take so important a part in the scheme of the Redemption; for he was to be a prophet, and to preach the remission of sins before the coming or the Dawn from on high. The prophecy that he was to "go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways" (v. 76) was of course an allusion to the well-known words of Isaiah 40:3 which John himself afterwards applied to his own mission (John 1:23), and which all three Synoptic Gospels adopt (Matt 3:3; Mark 1:2; Luke 3:4).


Cupio dissolvi


Disciple (Christianity)


Ecce homo are the Classical Latin words used by Pontius Pilate in the Vulgate translation of John, when he presents a scourged Jesus Christ, bound and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd shortly before his Crucifixion. John 19:5

Etiam si omnes, ego non


Gloria in excelsis Deo


In saecula saeculorum


Legion (demons)


Macellum is an ancient Roman indoor market building that sold mostly provisions (especially fruits and vegetables). 1 Corinthians 10:25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles<3111>, [that] eat, asking no question for conscience sake:

Membrana


The Nunc dimittis also Song of Simeon or Canticle of Simeon. It is a canticle from the opening words from the Vulgate translation of the New Testament in the second chapter of Luke named after its incipit in Latin, meaning "Now you dismiss" (Luke 2:29–32).


Praetorium


Speculator


Vince malum bono or Vince in bono malum is a Latin phrase meaning Overcome evil with good or Defeat Evil with Good. Romans 12:21

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Footnotes

  1. Matthew 18:28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, which owed him an hundred pence <1220>: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
    Matthew 20:2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny <1220> a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
    Matthew 20:9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny <1220>.
    Matthew 20:10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny <1220>.
    Matthew 20:13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny <1220>?
    Matthew 22:19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny <1220>.
    Mark 6:37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth <1220> of bread, and give them to eat?
    Mark 12:15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny <1220>, that I may see it.
    Mark 14:5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence <1220>, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
    Luke 7:41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence <1220>, and the other fifty.
    Luke 10:35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence <1220>, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
    Luke 20:24 Shew me a penny <1220>. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s.
    John 6:7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth <1220> of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
    John 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence <1220>, and given to the poor?
    Revelation 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny <1220>, and three measures of barley for a penny <1220>; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.