Saturday, 25 April 2015

Lysias On Remembering Warriors

 #sydney #anzac #greekorators #classical culture

 #Lysias on remembering warriors

for the Anzacs and Others

If you are a student of ancient Greek history and culture you may have read Pericle's funeral oration as reported by Thucydides.

Other orators also gave orations at state funerals.

#Lysias gave as one reason for honouring the dead by giving a speech about their deeds of valour that

"they also are events which all men ought to remember .....
honouring them on such occasions as this and finding in the achievements of the dead as many lessons for the living."

After describing the Athenians valour during the Persian Wars he told his listeners that the dead should be remembered in public and private as men fighting for the right and democracy  who prized valour above all else and he also called on people to support and honour surviving family members, parents, widows, orphans.

At the end of this speech he said something that may well be the origin of a certain statement that appears on many war memorials.

Conincidence or indirect quote Lysias said this:

"For I say their memory can never grow old
while their honour is every man's envy.

I hope you all had a great and good Anzac day despite the ghastly weather in Sydney!?

Lysias' funeral oration appears in the Loeb bilingual edition in which you can compare the original Greek to the English translation.

Swords and Peace

Matthew 10: 34 - 37 #biblestudy #gospel #guns

It really worries me that these verses especially 34 are often cited to support things like concealed carry and the right to bear arms etc

I notice that people who cite these verses rarely if ever mention Jesus appears to be quoting from the Prophet Micah 7:6

Furthermore in parallel passages in Luke and Mark as with this one Jesus seems  be  prophesying the persecutions of later centuries and perhaps even the religious wars of Catholic versus Protestant ?

People seem to over look the possibility the guy capable of overturning tables at the Temple might have been doing irony as well?

So time to look at the original or as close to the original as we can get ...

not think that i have come to cast throw bring peace upon the earth
not i have come to bring peace but a sword

is casting down a sword a gesture of peace or surrender?

remember the verb is balloo?

verses 35 and 36 are a quote from Micah 7:6 so he is talking about prophecies !

note that dikhasai is an aorist infinitive form of the verb dikhazoo split differ

37 he who is loving a father or mater over me not is of me worthy
and he who is loving a son or daughter over me not is of me worthy

38  and whoever not takes the cross of his him and follows behind me / after me not is of me worthy

39 he who is finding  the life / spirit of him will lose it
and he who is destroying the life / spirit of him for the sake of me he will

auteen is literally her and refers back to psykheen the word often transcribed as psyche in English.

I think when reading this verse bear in mind the next section about rewards.

You are not ... well so it seems to me .. being called on to take violent action but to beware sometimes violence and dissent is evitable?

There is certainly nothing about guns or encouragement to personally take violent actions!

This is on my mind cos last week I saw some one cite this verse in a discussion about concealed carry and some Catholic priest in the US supporting using his church hall for teaching classes in it.

Make sure when you study this section and verses you read or reread the verses before and after!

Please think about Content and Context!

as St Paul said in his letter to the Thessalonians

PANTA DOKIMAZEI  Examine Everything !

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Acknowledging Christ

Acknowledging Christ #matthew 10: 32 - 33 #biblestudy #gospel

all therefore whoever homologeoo confess / admit/ declare say plainly acknowledge / claim in me before people ... everyone who speaks for me
i will speak for in self equals same way here ? before the father of me in heavens


whoever and / but should deny / disown me before the people
i will disown him before the father me the in heavens

The problem nowadays seems to me to be people claiming to be Christian or to speak for Christ regardless of whether they are or not ?

But thats one of the reasons I do this blog. I'm lucky enough to have been able to study Greek and while we have no proof Christ spoke Greek  though it is possible given all the greek colonies in the area the people who translated early Aramaic  gospels or their precursors into greek were often bilingual in both languages

I hope these literal word for word translations are of some help to those who do not know Greek ?

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Greek Gallipoli

#Gallipoli #Greek#maps

Did you know Gallipoli has a #greek heritage too?

While the modern name is Turkish #Gelibolu also #canakkale  Gallipoli derives from Kallipolis the Beautiful City one of several Greek colonies on the Dardanelles peninsula which was once known as the Thracian Chersonesus.

Its also the site of the famous Aegospotamos Naval Battle, and Xerxes' bridge was constructed somewhere along its shores. The cities of Abydos and Sestos and the Hellespont crossed by Leander to court Hero were here.

Here are two maps showing ancient sites in the area.

If you're lucky enough to be visiting don't forget there are other Turkish Byzantine Roman and Greek sites of interest and you can catch a ferry across the straits to visit #Troy or feature further into and visit Bursa once ancient Prusa or Iznik / Nicaea.

Here are the maps.

Do bear in mind these are very old sites and the best artifacts will have been removed to museums. However if you've hired a car and are not part of a fixed tour you might want to take a look before driving back to Istanbul?

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Have no fear

Have NO fear
 #Matthew 10:26 -31 #biblestudy #jesus #greeknewtestament #gospel

First the literal word for word
26 : not there be afraid them
 (note the greek has passives  and imperatives in this passage that are best translated as active forms in English)
nothing for is covered which not will be revealed.
(note the use of apokaluptoo the verb from which apocalypse is derived and the reason we have a book of Revelations ... the Apocalypse is not merely a catastrophe despite its shift of meaning in English)
and hidden which not become known

Y es I know the English uses that but the Greek uses relative forms

27 : what i say to you in the dark tell / speak off in the light
and what into the ears you hear herald upon the dwellings
(remember flat roofed buildings so a person could spread a message from one roof top to another and I have read accounts of women and men still doing this in in modern times.

I have used the word herald to stress these are public proclamations.

A greek herald or keruks was a public official !

28 and not be afraid about those who kill the body
the but soul not they are able to kill

be afraid but rather of the one  being able and / both the soul and  body to destroy in gehenna.

note the contrast between merely killing and destruction ?

29 (are) not 2 sparrows (for) one ass  sold
( a type of low value coin use cents ?
and one of them any one out of them (sparrows flock) w
will not fall upon the earth without father yof ours (knowing )

30 from our and but the hairs of the head all are counted / numbered

31 not therefore be afraid many sparrows ... but its a genitive plural of comparison so not be afraid (for) many / much more (than) sparrows differ = are of more value you you are of more value to god than sparrows yet god values both sparrows and humans

be not afraid is repeated and verse 31 reminds us of why we should not be afraid

god values us  ! 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Escaping Hell

Escaping Hell #Hell #harrowinghell #limbo #hades

Lets look at the difference between pagan and particularly #Hellenic #pagan and #Christian legends about Escaping #Hell.

I've chosen this as a theme as today is #Easter Saturday in my timezone and this is the day or night when Christ is said to have descended into hell / sheol / hades  and freed various souls there.

Now several polytheistic cults sects and religions have stories about a shaman or hero or deity descending into the underworld / afterlife to try to gain the rescue of a soul or special knowledge or contact with the divine or demonic.

The Norse have the story of  Hel refusing to release Baldur unless every soul swept for him. Ancient Sumerian culture had the tale of Inanna's Descent into the Realm of the Dead. The Egyptians had tales of Osiris being restored to life yet also becoming the ruler of the dead?

The Greeks told stories of Heracles fetching Hades hound from the gates of the underrealm up to our world while he was still alive and mortal.
Some of them believed Hades Realm was a place you could access physically via gates or tunnels and you could return if you were very very careful.
Orpheus sing his way through trying to reclaim Eurydice and failed and Theseus's attempt lead to him having to be freed by Heracles but that was only possible because Theseus Heracles and Orpheus were demigods.

Ordinary mortals if they were lucky or had gone through the Mysteries might reach the Elysian Fields or Islands and if unlucky or evil be judged and their souls imprisoned or get to drink the waters of Lethe and either be reborn or wander mindlessly.

The afterlife had a class system like reality!

Now Christian churches tend to vary in how much emphasis or attention they pay to stories about Harrowing Hell and whether the souls released were Jewish and also Pagans?

The only references are 1 peter 3:19 and Matthew 27.53 which are both rather vague. However speculation about this appears not just in Dante's Divine Comedy or Catholic and Orthodox theology but a couple of odd minor works that while NOT CANON are Apocrypha.

The main one is the Gospel of Nicodemus which includes a section that seems from its language and style to be an inserted copy of an even older work.

It claims to report what two young men who came back to life saw in Hades realm. Hades is described as a jailer in charge of the afterlife and Satan as a separate entity. The legend is that Jesus descended to hell and freed the souls of various famous Jewish figures.

Coupled with the Righteous pagans verse in Romans this explained into a legend that Christ freed all righteous souls Jewish or pagan.

Now since this post is about myths and legends I'm not going to discuss the validity of the legend further.

Let's look again at the differences.

In the Hellenic mythos only those  Heroes who were sons of the gods seem to have been able to journey in and out of Hell. True Odysseus does pay a visit but only to the borderlands not the depths. Otherwise if you were a hero or had been one of the Mysteries a set of rituals you might reach Elysium and some scholars claim that some of these cults taught reincarnation as a concept but you had to be both righteous and trained.

The Christian Mythos and various legends of saints and indeed most churchs' Official teachings claim everyone or nearly everyone has a chance to repent and be saved and many churches believe the Innocent small children etc get a "free pass".

Paradise is not only for heroes! There is  a price but its not gold or silver or even blood. The price was and is a gift of faith hope and love. The ritual sacrifice a gift for all not just the elite.

On Good Friday we mourned the sacrifice.
Tomorrow Easter Sunday we celebrate the gift.

If you're not doing church or Bible study or after you do so enjoy reading some literature or mythology!

And don't over indulge in Chocolate !