Saturday, November 4, 2023

Enjoying the Gospel of Mark in Latin

Okay, you can stop sending me emails asking where I am. Well, at least one of you did. I've been here all day doing what I normally do on a Saturday. 

I lifted:

I ran.

And I listened to Latin. That's right, Latin. The Latin Vulgate to be exact. The Gospel of Mark to be exacter. 

Free Latin audio online! 

It took me several hours but eventually I got through all 16 (truncated) chapters of Mark. One fine thing that came out of this was that I listened to more spoken Latin in one day than I have all year to this point. Several things, some of them humorous, struck me while listening so later I wrote them down:

1. The guy reading the text is speaking Latin with a Spanish accent. I kid you not. Interesting, eh?

2. In 5:13, Jesus sends the evil spirits into the "porcos." I heard "porks"!

3. In 14:37-38, Jesus finds Peter asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane and asks him, "Simon, dormis? Non potuistis una hora vigilare?" But then Jesus shifts to the plural: "Vigilate et orate, ut non intretis in tentationem." Here he's talking to all the apostles, not just Peter. But this is missed completely in English: "Peter, are you sleeping? Couldn't you watch for one hour? Watch and pray, lest you [disciples] fall into temptation." No Latin speaker would have missed this. 

4. In 16:7, the angel tells the women, "Go and tell his disciples -- et Petro -- that he is going ahead of you into Galilee." That "et Petro" ("and Peter") is a telltale sign that Mark is Peter's Gospel.

5. Sorry to say this, but the narration ends at 16:8. Sheesh. 99.9 percent of all extant Greek manuscripts support Mark 16:9-20. (That's 1,650 to 3!) Ditto for all extant Latin manuscripts as well. 

Anyhoo, it was great hanging out with Latin all morning. You oughta try it sometime.