Hail, Full of Grace or Hail, highly favored one...Which is the correct translation?


#1

Below are three versions of Luke 1:28. The first is taken from the New Catholic Edition which uses translation from the Douay version coming from the Latin Vulgate. The next two are of the King James Version and the American Standard Version. From my understanding, the first translation is not a transliteration, yet " as opposed to saying "Hail, highly favored one."
There are those that will claim that the Catholic Church uses the Latin vulgate translation of the original Greek in order to more fully support the Church’s teaching on our Blessed Mother.
How does a Catholic share about the difference in translations, knowing that the newer translations are closer to a transliteration of the Greek, than the Douay which is a translation of the Latin? In other words, which translation is closest to the ‘correct’ translation?

28And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Douay Rheims

28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”c] KJV
28 And he came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee. American Standard Version


#2

One meaning of “grace” is God’s favor.
So “full of grace” means “highly favored one”.


#3

Thanks for the prompt reply :slight_smile: Below is a link that pretty much disects the Hail Mary prayer. What it trys to prove is that if the closest rendering/translatin of Luke 1:28 is to use ‘highly favored’ that does not necessarily mean Mary was ‘full of grace’ implying that she was sinless as the Catholic Church teaches. I guess what I am looking for is some solid rebutal, which may only be the support of Sacred Tradition and the Authority of the Catholic Church. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

In the hearts of Jesus through Mary,

Rita (Legion of Mary)

dtl.org/catholicism/article/hail_mary/part-1.htm


#4

[quote=WordMadeFlesh]Below are three versions of Luke 1:28. The first is taken from the New Catholic Edition which uses translation from the Douay version coming from the Latin Vulgate. The next two are of the King James Version and the American Standard Version. From my understanding, the first translation is not a transliteration, yet " as opposed to saying "Hail, highly favored one."
There are those that will claim that the Catholic Church uses the Latin vulgate translation of the original Greek in order to more fully support the Church’s teaching on our Blessed Mother.
How does a Catholic share about the difference in translations, knowing that the newer translations are closer to a transliteration of the Greek, than the Douay which is a translation of the Latin? In other words, which translation is closest to the ‘correct’ translation?

28And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Douay Rheims

28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”c] KJV
28 And he came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee. American Standard Version
[/quote]

Full of Grace much more closely resembles the actual Greek.

catholic.com/library/Immaculate_Conception_and_Assum.asp

catholic.com/thisrock/1992/9209fea2.asp

But you can really figure it out based on this:

Jerome, a fantastic scholar who lived in the time when biblical greek was still in use, translated the word as “full of grace” in latin. He knew the language from first hand experience, not from trying to figure it out from old scrolls like modern scholars.


#5

Hi Word,

When St. Luke wrote his gospel, theology had not yet developped. The Greek word for grace meant “free gift”, “favor”. So did the Latin “gratia”.

The Greek word used int the Gospel is “kecharitômenê”, which means “favored”. The grammar of the sentence indicates that a title is being given. Hence the translation “highly favored”.

In Latin there is no verb derived from “gratia”. So they had to use a circumlocution “gratia plena”, “filled with [God’s] favor”. Thils was translated into our languages as “full of grace”. This is not a “bad” translation, but it can be used to try and prove theological points that it the original text does not really support.

Verbum


#6

[quote=WordMadeFlesh]There are those that will claim that the Catholic Church uses the Latin vulgate translation of the original Greek in order to more fully support the Church’s teaching on our Blessed Mother.

[/quote]

First, some common sense here. There is no-one alive today, who speaks “Ancient Greek”, as fluently as the “Ancient” ones did. So what they try to do nowadays, is they use statistical analysis, (how often a Greek Word appears in ancient texts, with relation to how it “appears” to be used). So quite a bit of guessing takes place. And the statistics can be wrong.

The ideal situation would be to ask someone from that Ancient era, what the words really mean. Someone who is fluent in two languages, Ancient Greek and, at the time, Latin. This is rather difficult, given that this is almost 2,000 years later.

But, whoa----, there is someone we can ask. By goodness, slap your knee, there was someone like that!! His name was St. Jerome. He was fluent in both Ancient Greek and Ancient Latin. And guess what he translated it as “Full of Grace”.

So if someone wants to say, that this rendering is some sort of cover up, well then you have a “Conspiracy Theorist”. And no amount of Facts, evidence, Truth or history is going to change their minds.

Chipper


#7

It begs the question though: If “full of grace” is the translation closest to the Greek, and if it is in traditional Catholic translations, and if it is also in one of the most common prayers said by Catholics, why don’t the modern English Catholic translations of Luke say “full of grace”?


#8

[quote=Chipper]First, some common sense here. There is no-one alive today, who speaks “Ancient Greek”, as fluently as the “Ancient” ones did. So what they try to do nowadays, is they use statistical analysis, (how often a Greek Word appears in ancient texts, with relation to how it “appears” to be used). So quite a bit of guessing takes place. And the statistics can be wrong.

The ideal situation would be to ask someone from that Ancient era, what the words really mean. Someone who is fluent in two languages, Ancient Greek and, at the time, Latin. This is rather difficult, given that this is almost 2,000 years later.

But, whoa----, there is someone we can ask. By goodness, slap your knee, there was someone like that!! His name was St. Jerome. He was fluent in both Ancient Greek and Ancient Latin. And guess what he translated it as “Full of Grace”.
[/quote]

Lol :rotfl:

So if someone wants to say, that this rendering is some sort of cover up, well then you have a “Conspiracy Theorist”. And no amount of Facts, evidence, Truth or history is going to change their minds.

Chipper

This is true, especially when you consider that when Jerome translated the Vulgate, there was nobody to try to cover things up against. Evangelicals and fundamentalists didn’t come around until 1500-1600 years later.


#9

[quote=asteroid]It begs the question though: If “full of grace” is the translation closest to the Greek, and if it is in traditional Catholic translations, and if it is also in one of the most common prayers said by Catholics, why don’t the modern English Catholic translations of Luke say “full of grace”?
[/quote]

Because modern translations are put together by modern scholars who so often are heterodox.


#10

[quote=asteroid]It begs the question though: If “full of grace” is the translation closest to the Greek, and if it is in traditional Catholic translations, and if it is also in one of the most common prayers said by Catholics, why don’t the modern English Catholic translations of Luke say “full of grace”?
[/quote]

There are modern translations that say “Full of Grace”. When one takes on the task of translating ancient texts, one is faced with a dilemna. That dilemna is: Do you translate it word for word, exactly as stated, or do you attempt to translate the meaning? If the entire texts were translated word for word, they wouldn’t make a lot of sense to most people nowadays. So much translation takes place. But there is nothing wrong with actually giving the exact translation of a particular word or phrase either. If you give the exact translation, then you are leaving it up to the reader to attempt to discern the meaning. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with this either.


#11

[quote=Lazerlike42]Because modern translations are put together by modern scholars who so often are heterodox.
[/quote]

Does that mean that the Missals, which in the US and the UK happily use these translations are heterodox too? In our readings at Mass we do not hear “full of grace”. We hear “highly favoured”.


#12

[quote=asteroid]It begs the question though: If “full of grace” is the translation closest to the Greek, and if it is in traditional Catholic translations, and if it is also in one of the most common prayers said by Catholics, why don’t the modern English Catholic translations of Luke say “full of grace”?
[/quote]

Do you mean that none of the modern English Catholic translations use “full of grace”?
I refer you to the RSV- Catholic Edition (also known as the Ignatius translation).
“And he came to her and said, 'Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”
…Luke 1: 28.


#13

[quote=asteroid]Does that mean that the Missals, which in the US and the UK happily use these translations are heterodox too? In our readings at Mass we do not hear “full of grace”. We hear “highly favoured”.
[/quote]

No, they don’t. They say “Full of Grace.” The readings we hear at Mass are not the same as the ones in the New American Bible. The New American Bible was translated to be used in the Mass, but when it went to Rome for approval, it was rejected for use in the Mass because of things like saying “highly favored” instead of “Full of Grace,” and things like, “God loves you” instead of “*HE/'i] loves you.” The folks who put together the Missals took the NAB translation, and fixed all the problems, and those are the readings we hear in Mass. It is possible to get a Bible with these corrected readings, it is called the New American Bible St. Jospeh Edition.

I happen to have the Advent-Lent Missal right here, and I did verify that it does indeed say “Full of Grace.”*


#14

[quote=Reepicheep]Do you mean that none of the modern English Catholic translations use “full of grace”?
I refer you to the RSV- Catholic Edition (also known as the Ignatius translation).
“And he came to her and said, 'Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”
…Luke 1: 28.
[/quote]

The RSV might say it but not the NAB or the Jerusalem (which is used in the UK missal). I haven’t got the Catholic edition, on the Protestant and Common editions so didn’t know about the Catholic edition difference.

I confess I didn’t know about the US missal. I only knew it uses the NAB, and since I have the original and the revised editions of the NAB I just made the assumption. I didn’t know that there was a third version of it. Must look into it. Why isn’t that the one commonly sold? And why hasn’t anyone ever mentioned to me before that there is an NAB that can’t be read in church and an NAB that can be read in church? Why isn’t this more widely advertised?

Next question - if Rome rejected the NAB for use in the mass for these reasons, why didn’t it reject the Jerusalem for similar reasons? Why do we in the UK hear “highly favoured” rather than “full of grace”? And the beatitudes from the Jerusalem are rather grating too!


#15

[quote=Lazerlike42]No, they don’t. They say “Full of Grace.” The readings we hear at Mass are not the same as the ones in the New American Bible. The New American Bible was translated to be used in the Mass, but when it went to Rome for approval, it was rejected for use in the Mass because of things like saying “highly favored” instead of “Full of Grace,” and things like, “God loves you” instead of "HE/'i] loves you." The folks who put together the Missals took the NAB translation, and fixed all the problems, and those are the readings we hear in Mass. It is possible to get a Bible with these corrected readings, it is called the New American Bible St. Jospeh Edition.

I happen to have the Advent-Lent Missal right here, and I did verify that it does indeed say “Full of Grace.”

Yes I agree, but I don’t think most people realize, that the NAB edition prior to the 1970’s (close enough) was authorized by the Holy See. It is later editions of the NAB that were not, due to the use of language problems you just cited. Although, as you stated more current editions of the NAB are now corrected. There is a simple test, I believe. You just check Psalm 1. If it uses the word “they” or “them” or some other weird word (perhaps she or it), rather than “He” or “His” then don’t buy it. It is a hint that the language is tending towards, inclusive language.
[/quote]


#16

[quote=asteroid]The RSV might say it but not the NAB or the Jerusalem (which is used in the UK missal). I haven’t got the Catholic edition, on the Protestant and Common editions so didn’t know about the Catholic edition difference.

I confess I didn’t know about the US missal. I only knew it uses the NAB, and since I have the original and the revised editions of the NAB I just made the assumption. I didn’t know that there was a third version of it. Must look into it. Why isn’t that the one commonly sold? And why hasn’t anyone ever mentioned to me before that there is an NAB that can’t be read in church and an NAB that can be read in church? Why isn’t this more widely advertised?

Next question - if Rome rejected the NAB for use in the mass for these reasons, why didn’t it reject the Jerusalem for similar reasons? Why do we in the UK hear “highly favoured” rather than “full of grace”? And the beatitudes from the Jerusalem are rather grating too!
[/quote]

Are you sure that you hear “highly favored,” or do you only base that because the printed edition of the Bible says it? I am not saying you are wrong, I am just trying to make sure that there is not a similar case in the UK where the Jerusalem Bible had to be edited before inclusion in the missal. In other words, do you specifically remember hearing “highly favored,” or are you assuming that the missals are the same as the Jerusalem Bible but don’t have specific recollection of it?


#17

I don’t think most consider the RSV to be a truly modern translation the bulk of it is more than 100 years old with a handful of revisions made. In Canada, we’re saddled with the NRSV for liturgical use. Same problem - “highly favoured” is used.


#18

Well in any case they are going to be chaging the liturgy soon and fixing it up. They were going to do this under JPII, but now with B16 I can imagine it will turn out even better! :thumbsup:


#19

Thanks to everyone for sharing so much in regards to my question I posted.I find your answers most satisfying.:slight_smile:

In the end, when we stand before the judgement seat, who knows that God may be disappointed in those who truly did not give the honor to our Blessed Mother as they should have.

In the Hearts of Jesus through Mary,

Rita


#20

HI Lazer,

I don’t know if you read my post (very few do), but St.Jerome (or probably the Vetus Latina before him) had no way of translating “kecharitômenê” with one word. “Gratia plena” was fine because “gratia” in Latin meant the same as the Greek “charê”, namely favor". The word “gratia” took on other theological meanings as theology developped. “Full of grace” came about because we originally translated from the Latin. If we had translated directlly from the Greek in the beginning, it would have been different.

I frequently read that St. Jerome had better manuscripts and was closer to the original languages than St. Jerome was. This is not necessarily true. Just gathering all the books of the bible into one room was already an achievement. The only way St. Jerome could tell whether a manuscript was better than another one was by internal criteria such as fidelity to Church doctrine and text that contained less “mistakes” (subjectively judged) than the other one. Modern scholars have deveveloped techniques that allow them to do a “genealogy” of manuscripts, grouping them by families and thus are able to see how various readings developped and thus get as closed as possible to the original reading. There is no one manuscript that is 100% valid today. What is used is a “critical” text, the result of the analysis described above.

There is no reason to believe that St. Jerome was more knowledgeable in Greek or Hebrew than modern scholars. He had to learn Hebrew late in life although he probably studied Greek in school. (St. Augustine d was exposed to Greek but never learned it [to his regret] because he hated his teacher.) Additionally, recent discoveries have given modern scholars the advantage of being able to study koinê Greek of the first century from commercial and private correspondence, an advantage that St. Jerome did not have.

Verbum


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