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On Christian Doctrine, in Four Books
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Chapter 4

8. And not only these, but also those ambiguities that do not relate either to punctuation or pronunciation, are to be examined in the same way. For example, that one in the Epistle to the Thessalonians: "Propterea consolati sumus fratres in vobis". Now it is doubtful whether "fratres" [brethren] is in the vocative or accusative case, and it is not contrary to faith to take it either way. But in the Greek language the two cases are not the same in form; and accordingly, when we look into the original, the case is shown to be vocative. Now if the translator had chosen to say, "propterea consolationem habuimus fratres in vobis", he would have followed the words less literally, but there would have been less doubt about the meaning; or, indeed, if he had added "nostri", hardly any one would have doubted that the vocative case was meant when he heard "propterea consolationem habuimus fratres in vobis", But this is a rather dangerous liberty to take. It has been taken, however in that passage to the Corinthians, where the apostle says, "I protest by your rejoicing [per vestram gloriam] which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily." For one translator has it, "per vestram" juro "gloriam", the form of adjuration appearing in the Greek without any ambiguity. It is therefore very rare and very difficult to find any ambiguity in the case of proper words, as far at least as Holy Scripture is concerned, which neither the context, showing the design of the writer, nor a comparison of translations, nor a reference to the original tongue, will suffice to explain.

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