In which is Mary’s Magnificat

by Craig on February 22, 2015

Magnificat anima mea Dominum, "my souls magnifies the Lord"

last Christmas was all about the Panis Angelicus of Aquinas
this Christmas I fell madly in love with the Magnificat of Mary
so for the foreseeable future I’m focusing my study

on one

little

word

in Latin the word is magnificat
this is how someone who really knows Latin says it magnificat

in the Hebrew it’s גּדל (gadal)
and I can’t pronounce it any better than this גּדל 

in the Greek it’s μεγαλύνω (megaluno)
and I couldn’t find an online pronunciation

and at first glance it looks as if it should mean…

big-moon-211092

am I right?  ツ

anyway…

it’s pronounced megaloono
with emphasis on the “loon”
and with a really heavy “l”
and with the shortest little “no” you’ve ever heard
and, of course, spoken like a typical Greek fisherman
(some flourishing of one of your hands helps)

megaLOOOONNNNo

this is Mary’s word
she probably said it in Aramaic
which is kind of like Hebrew but I can’t translate it

There is good reason to believe that Mary knew all these languages. But the word that Luke puts on her lips is the Greek version, so to me that’s the big one to study. And there are only a handful of times this word is used in the New Testament so to get a bigger picture I’m digging into the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, where it’s used oodles of times.

The Septuagint is the version of the Old Testament all the early Christians quoted, even Jesus. I have a sneaking suspicion that scampering about the Septuagint, tracking down the word, might reveal something rare and wonderful.

And if the very first word of the Magnificat is a major wonder, what might all of them be?

 

 

the picture sources:
the magnificat
the big moon

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle February 23, 2015 at 1:59 am

“I’m focusing my study..on one..little..word.”

And yet it holds the promise of so much! I look forward to the gems you share with us on this study.

Reply

Felecia February 23, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Your studies are always so rich in precious information … breathless to know what you discover.

Reply

Martha Orlando February 24, 2015 at 7:18 am

Looking forward to learning more, Craig! Blessings!

Reply

Debbie February 25, 2015 at 12:35 am

Thank you for focusing like you do! And then taking us along for the ride! yippee! God bless you as you study and seek!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: