Fidelity to the Word
Our Lord and His Holy Apostles at the Last Supper

A blog dedicated to Christ Jesus our Lord and His True Presence in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist

I will sing to my beloved the canticle...

Isaias 5:1

Friday, March 10, 2006

The consecration in Aramaic [Catholic Answers]

From Catholic Answers forum:

Originally Posted by Gottle of Geer
## In Aramaic such as Jesus would have spoken, the phrase meaning literally "many", meant as an idiom "all". ##
I have seen this claim made in another forum, with a couple of passages from Holy Scripture to back it up. However, on closer examination, the phrase that is used in those passages is not simply "many", but rather "the many". While the phrase "the many" apparently can suggest everyone, nevertheless it continues to be translated as "many", not "all", even when translated by advocates of "dynamic equivalence".

Furthermore, the phrase "the many" does not appear in Matthew 26:28, so the connotations of the phrase "the many", as it appears elsewhere in Scripture, are irrelevent to understanding our Lord's words of consecration. St. Matthew records that our Lord said He would shed His blood "for many", and I suspect the evangelist, writing in the first century, had a better idea of what our Lord meant than ICEL did, working in the 20th century.

The Bible has been translated into Aramaic, in a version known as the Peshitta. The Aramaic has in turn been translated into English in a version of the Gospel of Matthew available here. Note that even going directly from Aramaic to English, our Lord is still recorded as having said that He sheds His blood "for many".

It should also be noted that the translators' task was not to create a new Liturgy based on speculation about what our Lord originally said in Aramaic. Their job was to take the new Mass, already created, and translate it from Latin to English. The Latin says pro multis, "for many", and the translators should have followed the text they received. While the Greek, and the Aramaic based on the Greek, don't define the Mass, the fact that they also attest that our Lord said He would shed His blood "for many" strengthens the argument that the ICEL translators got the consecration wrong.

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