Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

O große Lieb, o Lieb ohn alle Maße,
Die dich gebracht auf diese Marterstraße.
Ich lebte mit der Welt in Lust und Freuden,
Und du mußt leiden.

O mighty love, O love beyond all measure,
Which thee hath brought upon this way of torment.
I lived amongst the world in joy and pleasure,
And thou must suffer.

Christus, der uns selig macht,
Kein Bös' hat begangen,
Der ward für uns in der Nacht
Als ein Dieb gefangen,
Geführt für gottlose Leut
Und fälschlich verklaget,
Verlacht, verhöhnt und verspeit,
Wie denn die Schrift saget.

Christ, who hath us blessed made,
No wrong hath committed;
He was for us in the night
Like a thief made captive,
Led before a godless crowd
And falsely indicted,
And mocked and scorned and bespat,
For so it was written.


Siarlys Jenkins said...


Is it true that the German word for "joy" is "Lust"?

Red Cardigan said...

I've not studied any German, Siarlys (the translations were on the video sites). But a dictionary says that "Lust" in German can mean anything from a zest for life to the more carnal meaning. I think the translator probably used "joy" as a close approximation to the English meaning of the phrase in the hymn.

Red Cardigan said...

You know, now that I look at it, I think that perhaps the translator missed the mark! Certainly, "I lived among the world full of carnality and gratifications/And Thou must suffer (because of it)" seems closer to the idea of the hymn, in my mind.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Translation does that sort of thing. It is one of the weaknesses to the Protestant prediliction for translating the Bible into every possible language and then proclaiming the result to be "The Word of God." Its a good idea for everyone to be able to read it, but Wycliffe's English is not a perfect rendition of St. Jerome's Vulgate, which is not a perfect rendition of Paul's Greek, nor of the Septuagint, and I'm told the original Hebrew says Eve was made from Adam's SIDE, not from his rib, and Jeptha's daughter was elevated to a LIFE of divine service, not burnt upon the altar... Human interpretation and cultural differences enter into every act of translation.