Sunday, 1 December 2013

The Sunday of the Visitation of Maryam to Elishba'

Today is the feast of the Visitation of Maryam (Mary) to Elishba' (Elizabeth) in the calendar of the West Syrian Rite.

The gospel reading today is Luke 1:39 - 57. The story, in summary, is the event where Mary visits Elizabeth, and the baby (John the Baptist) inside of Elizabeth leaps with joy at the arrival of Mary and Jesus. The exclamation that Elizabeth makes here is And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

Now there are many today who deny calling Mary the Mother of God or Birth-Giver of God or Theotokos or even Mother of Christ our God. Why? they seem to argue that it is unbiblical. However, it is clear from every mention of Lord in the New Testament gospels and the Book of Luke (at least) that "Lord" always explicitly refers to God. I will now divert to Tim Staples who explains the complicated Greek regarding this passage and the connection to Christ's divinity (I can't articulate it as eloquently as he can).


What is further interesting is the was the way "Lord" was used in the Peshitta translation of the bible:

ܐܰܝܡܶܟ݁ܳܐ ܠܺܝ ܗܳܕ݂ܶܐ ܕ݁ܶܐܡܶܗ ܕ݁ܡܳܪܝ ܬ݁ܺܐܬ݂ܶܐ ܠܘܳܬ݂ܝ "
Translation: How does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
As I have mentioned previously, in the Peshitta word Moryo appears quite often. Is is often translated as Lord, but infact should be translated as Lord-YHWH as it is a combination of the word Mor and the first letters of God's name YHWH. The word Moryo (in the Peshitta) can be used to refer to both God the Father and Jesus Christ

What is interesting in the quoted bible passage in the Peshita version (when Elizabeth says Mother of my Lord) is that Moryo was not used, but only Mor. That is, not Lord-YHWH, but only Lord.

The explanation for this could be anything:
  1. EDIT: That the word Mor can be used to refer to God just like Moryo such as in the Old Testament (This suggestion was give to me by a reader. It seems the most obvious). 
  2. That there was a fear that the passage may be interpreted in a heterodox fashion (Mary as the mother of the Trinity).
  3. That the translators were heterodox and/or heretics.
  4. Or simply that it was an oversight.
I am not sure, but I thought I would raise it with you all and see if there are any explanations on this.

Nevertheless, the original Greek clearly shows that Mary is the Mother of the Lord, hence the Mother of God, or the Birth-Giver of God.

Through the prayers of the Birth-Giver of God Maryam and Mor Ephrem. God bless you all.

1 comment:

  1. "...in the Peshitta word Moryo appears quite often. Is is often translated as Lord, but infact should be translated as Lord-YHWH as it is a combination of the word Mor and the first letters of God's name YHWH. The word Moryo (in the Peshitta) can be used to refer to both God the Father and Jesus Christ

    What is interesting in the quoted bible passage in the Peshita version (when Elizabeth says Mother of my Lord) is that Moryo was not used, but only Mor. That is, not Lord-YHWH, but only Lord."

    The form "moryo" is used in the Pshitta OT in lieu of the tetragrammaton, in the same way as the Hebrew "adonai". Elsewhere, it's an emphatic form of "mor" that is used only in reference to the Lord God. The normal form "mor" can be (and is) used for a variety of purposes, including the Lord God.

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