Translating an ostracon

Other Greek writings of the New Testament era, including papyri and inscriptions
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Benyahmin
Posts: 2
Joined: February 19th, 2019, 3:04 pm

Translating an ostracon

Post by Benyahmin » February 19th, 2019, 3:07 pm

Hello

I am trying to find the translation for an ostracon and was hoping that I could find some help here. It is from Lik 1:42

I understand the word Godbearer is injected, but it also has Karpon written with G so gar pon ?

Also, it seems to say the he is NOT the fruit of her womb.

How would you guys do a word by word translation of this?

Link: https://www.britishmuseum.org/research/ ... 9&partId=1
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Robert Emil Berge
Posts: 62
Joined: August 24th, 2016, 1:34 pm

Re: Translating an ostracon

Post by Robert Emil Berge » February 19th, 2019, 6:38 pm

It is written by someone obviously aquainted with the words of Luke 1:42, but who wasn't proficient in Greek standard orthography. So it says:
ευλογιμενη και ενηξι θεοδοκου του ευλογιμενου γαρπος της κυσου και χαριτωμενη
I would normalize it into something like this:
εὐλογημένη καὶ <ἐν> (γύ)ναιξι θεοτόκου τοῦ εὐλογημένου καρπὸς τῆς κυσοῦ καὶ χαριτωμένη
As you see, the words continue after the line break, so there it doesn't say "isn't the fruit of her womb (actually, vagina), since the -ου is continued from ευλογιμεν-.

It's not easy to translate, since the person who wrote it obviously didn't know Greek, or at least not New Testament Greek, so the grammar mistakes make it difficult to decide what is meant, at least for me. I guess it's a copy of a copy of a copy and so on. So:
(You are) blessed, and among women, fruit of the vagina, of the blessed god-mother, and (you are) given grace.
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Benyahmin
Posts: 2
Joined: February 19th, 2019, 3:04 pm

Re: Translating an ostracon

Post by Benyahmin » February 21st, 2019, 5:26 pm

Thanks. Why would you prefer God-mother over God-bearer?
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Robert Emil Berge
Posts: 62
Joined: August 24th, 2016, 1:34 pm

Re: Translating an ostracon

Post by Robert Emil Berge » February 22nd, 2019, 10:12 am

θεοτόκος is a very unusual word, and as far as I can see it is always feminine (except in this ostracon, where it is wrongly masculine), and only used to refer to Mary, mother of God. It is a compound of θεός (god) and τόκος. τόκος is a noun made from the verb τίκτω which means to engender, to bring into existence, used both of mothers and fathers, so it is not exactly connected to the process of childbearing. τόκος again, by itself, is mainly used in a passive sense, meaning offspring, but it seems θεοτόκος is only used in the active sense, parent. With a word that is only used when referring to one person, it isn't easy to know exactly what aspect of this person is referred to, so I think the generic "mother" gives the most correct sense. Perhaps "God-parent" would be more literal, but that sounds very technical, and I don't think that would serve the sense.
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