Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Starting the day with Greek

This is my Bible reading for today, cross-posted from the Greek blog because it has some relevance to getting on with each other cross-culturally and will probably get a mention in my thesis, when I get there!

It's Galatians 1:3

χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ Θεοῦ πατρὸς καὶ Κυρίου ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ,

This verse is pretty much Paul's standard greeting in his letters.

χαρις ὑμιν - grace to you (plural)
και - and
εἰρηνη - peace
ἀπο - from, away from
Θεου - God, genitive case following ἀπο
πατρος - father
και - and
Κυριου Ἰησου Χριστου - Lord Jesus Christ, all genitive case because of the ἀπο.

It is well known that shalom or peace was the standard Jewish greeting. The standard Greek greeting was χαρειν, which meant 'joy' although the greeting had become a formula (such as good morning or goodbye to us). Paul's use of χαρις was almost certainly an echo of the Greek greeting, although he modified it to use χαρις (grace). Thus Paul's standard greeting was a combination of Greek and Jewish and similar to the practice of South Africans who will greet a group with "Good morning, molweni, dumelang, sanibonani".

No comments: