Monday, July 16, 2007

Crossan, Back to Greek, or, Better, Aramaic?

Crossan's latest contribution to On Faith is:

Back to Greek, or, Better, Aramaic?
. . . . In terms of Roman Catholicism, our ancestors in faith began with Aramaic, changed to Greek, then tried Latin, and finally, moved into the various vernaculars. If we wish to revert to our linguistic origins, why just to Latin, why not to Aramaic with Jesus or Greek with the New Testament? . . .
It is a response to the latest question, "Pope Benedict is encouraging wider use of Latin Mass. What elements of tradition -- including language -- are essential for worship?"

5 comments:

Greg DeLassus said...

If we wish to revert to our linguistic origins, why just to Latin, why not to Aramaic with Jesus or Greek with the New Testament?

The question is silly and tendentious. What has Benedict's motu proprio to do with "revert[ing] to our linguistic origins"? The Mass in the vernacular is not being supressed. Rather, Benedict is simply making it easier for that tiny minority for whom Latin is significant to make use of Latin. I dare say that those other tiny minorities of Roman Catholics for whom Aramaic or Greek were significant would find that they could get Masses said in those languages if they wanted. I doubt, however, that there would be any more than a dozen Roman Catholics in the whole world that might actually want such a thing.

DafKesher said...

I doubt, however, that there would be any more than a dozen Roman Catholics in the whole world that might actually want such a thing.
wrong: there are many catholics who do conduct their rites in Greek and Aramaic - they are called Greek Catholics and Syrian Catholics. Their liturgies have been authorized by the church in Rome for many many centuries.
Actually, what the pope is doing is creating a third such "authorized rite" - we would now have "Latin Catholics" as distinct from "Roman Catholics".

Greg DeLassus said...

I doubt, however, that there would be any more than a dozen Roman Catholics in the whole world that might actually want such a thing.

wrong: there are many catholics who do conduct their rites in Greek and Aramaic - they are called Greek Catholics and Syrian Catholics.


Right, but those folks are not Roman Catholics. That is why I was careful in my first post to specify that there are only a handful of Roman Catholics who would want a (Roman rite) Mass in Aramaic or Greek.

Actually, what the pope is doing is creating a third such "authorized rite" - we would now have "Latin Catholics" as distinct from "Roman Catholics".

I am wondering if you have actually read the motu proprio, because I am hard pressed to see where you get this impression from the document in question. Indeed, Benedict's document appears to exclude your interpretation specifically when it claims that "sunt enim duo usus unici ritus romani."

Tony Bellows said...

It has always amazed me that the Latin form of the Mass has such a status that even the new English version is looking back to a fixed Latin form (and a relatively late one, the standardised version of Trent) rather than earlier Greek texts. It is interesting that Cramner looked back to Sarum and the Mozarabic Liturgy, but also Greek texts such as the Liturgy of St Chrysostom, the Liturgy of St Basil, and the Clementine Liturgy for the Book of Common Prayer.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Edgecomb at Biblicalia
(http://www.bombaxo.com/blog/) has an interesting take on the subject.
For those interested, see:

Motu Proprio et Catena Aurea, Sunday 15 July 2007

Regards,
John McBryde