The Lord’s Prayer In A Dozen Languages -- By: Donald B. Maclane
BSac 75:300 (Oct 1918) p. 527
The Lord’s Prayer In A Dozen Languages
1. Let us begin with the Greek. The most notable feature of the Greek is its wealth of terminations to indicate case and person, mood and tense. More than half of the words
BSac 75:300 (Oct 1918) p. 528
in the Prayer have some sign of inflection or conjugation. The genitive, dative, and accusative, the singular and the plural, the masculine and the feminine, the indicative and the imperative, — all of these are differentiated in Greek with a precision and elegance unmatched in the other languages. Take the definite article, the, for example. The occurs 14 times in the Prayer, about twice as many as in any of my other languages (English has only 3 the’s, the kingdom, the power, and the glory). But Greek puts in a the on all occasions,— Our Father who art in the heavens, hallowed be the name of thine, come the kingdom of thine; and so on to the end, it is extremely the-ological. Furthermore, these many the’s are found in the Prayer in no less than eight different forms according to the case, person, or number involved (ho, tois, to, hē, ton, ta, tou, tous). This shows the gusto, the nicety, the elaborateness, with which Greek revels in grammar.
2. Modem Greek. We speak of Greek as a dead language. But modern Greek is very much alive, and is very little changed from the ancient Greek. In modern Greek the Prayer is almost a duplicate of the ancient, word for word, and letter for letter. Whatever changes there are, ar...
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