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Greek/Seeking Literal Translation of One Sentence


Kind sir,

The following statement appears in a treatise by Eusebius of Caesarea. I think the standard translation offered by  W.J. FERRAR is a simplification.

Might you be able to tell me the literal meaning of this? Your interpretation is welcome too.

    Iσοuα μεν γαρ παρ Εβραιοις σωτηρια

I have never done this before. And I am willing to answer any questions YOU may have for me. Here is  W.J. FERRAR's standard translation:

       For in Hebrew "Isoua" is "salvation,"

The topic is the meaning and origin of Christ's personal name. I think Eusebius is saying that The Hebrew form (which is trans"letterated" as "Iσοuα" ) comes from or is related to the word for salvation (in The Hebrew). But I don't think Eusebius is saying they are exactly equivalent, even though Ferrar's translation suggests that.

That's why I am seeking a literal translation. I know some Latin and Hebrew. I am not qualified to understand this statement. I have attempted to fiddle around with word-for-word translating, but I cannot discern the case of the word "Εβραιοις". Dative, Accusative, Genitive.

Please tell me what you can about this.

Humbly and gratefully submitted,
Michael A. Banak

Hi Michael,

happy Easter and Lord's Resurrection! Thank you for your question. You may address me as Michael, as it's my favourite one :)

The translation of Ferrar is correct and unproblematic. The prepositional determiner παρά + Dative shows location within sth. Its Latin equivalent would be apud + Acc. So, παρ Εβραιοις means literally "among Hebrews" which might not necessarily 100% mean than the word for "salvation" is also of Hebrew origin. It is only uttered like that by Hebrew people. Well, nowadays with linguistics there might be other suggestions, too. This needs a closer look. But the translation itself is "For, among the Hebrews Isoua <is> salvation". You see, there is not great difference with Ferrar's version.

If by searching within old languages you find out that the word "Isoua" occurs in e.g. Avestan, Persian roots or whatever possible, then Eusebius' statement would somehow be wrong. It's not a scientific statement, but just an observation. If you come to Greece and you record something you heard Greeks say, this doesn't make it 100% Greek. It might be a loan word or a reborrowed word. Yet, I am not qualified enough to tell the origin of "salvation", i.e. whether it is purely Semitic from Hebrew or else.

Let me know if you need any more help on that. Glad to assist.
Have a nice evening.



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Michael Barkas


I provide assistance in linguistic, literary topics of Greek and Latin covering, thus, the following fields: translation, grammar, syntax, vocabulary, etymology, morphology, semantics and interpretations etc.


Studies: University of the Aegean, Dept Rhodes Friedrich Wilhelm Universitšt Bonn

Magister Artium (Archeology/Linguistics) Bachelor (Latin/English/Greek)

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