Wednesday, January 23, 2019

John 1:2-3 - music

John 1:2 ουτοϲ ην εν αρχη προϲ τον θν
Verse 2

Margoliuth זֶ֥ה הָיָה֛ בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית אֵ֥צֶל הָאֱלֹהִֽים׃ is again different from Salkinson-Ginsberg. הוּא הָיָה מֵרֹאשׁ אֶת־הָאֱלֹהִים׃
Five words, three differences! This shows the decisions made by translators. Nothing magical here.

M: This was in the beginning next to the God. or SG: He/it was from the first with the God.

Clearly we could vary the English as well. We could drop the awkward articles for God. But why is this a convention? No one has suggested a rationale for it and it is common (but far from universal) in TNK to include the article ה with Elohim.

Note how the music starts on other than the tonic. I see this as linking this verse to the prior verse. (It is also a deliberate decision in TNK accentuation, and it seems more than just the lack of an upbeat as I have frequently recorded elsewhere.)

Now verse 3.

SG כָּל־הַמַּעֲשִׂים נִהְיוּ עַל־יָדוֹ וְאֵין דָּבָר אֲשֶׁר נַעֲשָׂה מִבַּלְעָדָיו׃
All that was made was by its hand,
and there is no thing that is made apart from it.
Tout par elle fut, et sans elle fut ne pas même une chose.
(The French has the feminine elle because the antecedent is la parole. I have left the pronoun as neuter to this point in the chapter. יד hand does not need to be a body part (there is no hand in the Greek) but could be phrased as by its means. Yet the word is to become clothed in flesh in verse 14. It will definitely be personal by the time we get there.)

M is significantly different
הַכֹּ֖ל נִהְ֣יוּ עַל־יָד֑וֹ
וּמִבַּלְעָדָ֗יו אַ֠ף לֹ֣א דָּבָ֥ר אחָ֛ד נִהְיָ֖ה אֲשֶׁר֥ נִהְיָֽה
The whole has become by its hand,
and apart from it indeed, not one thing has become that has become.
John 1:3  παντα δι αυτου εγενε το και χωριϲ αυτου εγενετο ουδεν
I was doing this work while listening to a lecture - really I should have concentrated on one or the other. Margoliuth is really good here. And he's not a composer. So some of the conventions for dealing with accent sequences may have a history reaching back to the music that was lost.

Do listen to the lecture in the link below. It needs attention from those who want a redefinition of faith.

We were overwhelmed by the public interest in last Thursday’s John Albert Hall Lecture Series event with Chris Hedges. Utilizing additional overflow capacity via video feed, we were eventually able to seat about 800 people, what I understand to be the largest event in the Centre’s history. We apologize to any who were turned away, and we want to let everyone know that a video recording of the lecture is now available at

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