Need a Latin Translation

I am wondering if there is anyone on this forum who knows Latin fairly well and can give me a translation for an english phrase.

My son asked me if I could find the Latin translation for:

Only God can judge me.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
God Bless,

All that comes to mind is

Deus tantum me judicare potest

  • it may not be any help. ##

Thank you. That’s a start. Is the word “potest” Latin for the word “only” ? I know Deus is God. What does Tantum mean? I’ve heard the song Tantum Ergo, but can’t figure what the “Tantum” means.

God Bless,

Tantum means “only”; potest means “power”

Potest means power or authority. Tantum means only. The “Deus tantum me judicare potest” works but the words are a little out of order. Basically it says, “Only god has the power to try me”

I like “Tantum Deus ops probatur mihi” better. Mine basically says “Only God has the power to judge me”

They pretty much say the same thing, thats the thing about latin…lots of ways to say the same thing.

Thanks to you both. I just found another trans. on another site and it used “solus” instead of tantum. Is one better than the other?
BTW- I think my son wants to get this as a tattoo:eek:
God Bless,

solus means alone, only or the only. So it would work just fine. It might even be better because people might see solus and relate it sole, as in god has the sole power to judge me. I don’t think many people would have a clue what tantum means. :slight_smile:

“Solus” is an adjective. “Solus Deus” - “God alone”. “Soli Deo” - “to God alone”. “Solum Deum” - “God Only (I worship, e.g.)”. And so on. “Tantum” also comes from an adjective - it’s actually an adjective in the Accusative if we delve into it, but it’s used as an adverb. “Tantus” as an adjective means “so big” or “so small” (“such”?), therefore, “tantus Deus iudicare me potest,” would have a different meaning from, “Deus tantum iudicare me potest.” If the choice were mine and I were to start off in Latin, I would probably go for “solus”. However, what you’re asking to be translated is more properly translated with “tantum”.

Thanks again. I really appreciate the help and your sharing of your knowledge with me. We’ve got some pretty smart people on this forum. :smiley:
God Bless,

p.s. does it matter for instance if you use “j” or “i” for words with a “j”? I’ve seen both for Jesus: Iesu or Jesu.

Since “solus” is modifying “Deus,” that would probably be about right. Incidentally, it doesn’t matter to getting the quote right, but I think “potest” means “[he] can, is able to.”

Le Cracquere


In the Roman times there was no such letter as J so I is actually more true to the latin language.

Thanks. :smiley:

Iesus is more classical. Jesus is mediaeval, more like, although e.g. the French seem generally to use “j” for a long “i”. I never do “j” in Latin, but I don’t sweat it. :smiley:

“Potest” is 3rd sg. of possum, posse, “to be able to”. This is the word from which “possibility” comes. “Potent”, for example, is he who can (…do a lot). In this translation, it fits well. It works for both “can” and “to be able to” of the English language.

Thanks everyone for all your help! You did a great job and I am quite humbly impressed with y’all. :thumbsup: Now if i can talk my son out of getting a tattoo…

God Bless,

That is correct. Potest is the irregular third person singular of the verb possum, posse, potui. (can, is able to) normally followed by an infinitive.

possum possumus
potes potestis
potest possunt

I would use ‘solus’ rather than ‘tantum’ since ‘tantum’ is more likely to modify the verb. So, you’d end up with “God can only judge me,” which I’m sure is not the intention.

By the way, ‘tantum’ in “Tantum ergo” means “so great” rather than “only.”

So great a Sacrament, therefore,
we venerate by bending the knee. etc.

I personally use “VulSeach” to find verses in both english, and I couldn’t find a verse that really coresponded with what you were asking for…

In any case you might want to use “Solus”. I don’t know the grammatical reasons, but I think that it is a better translation of “Only god” or “God alone”.

So here’s my rendition: Solus deus potest iudicare = Only god can judge. If you add the latin word me “me” you are adding the English word “me” to the equation.


Tantum is an adverb meaning “alone” - not to be confused with solus, which is an adjective meaning “sole”. *Tantum *corresponds to quantum

Potest is the third person singular present indicative active form of the verb possum, meaning “I can”, which is an irregular verb belonging to the third conjugation; which means that it is conjugated pretty much like rego, “I rule”

Grammar is wonderful…

Hope that helps

J is a cursive variant of the letter I - they did not originally differ in phonetic value.

BTW, “Ye Olde Tea Shoppe” has the same sound as “The Old Tea Shop”. FWIW - Y = Th

The other blunder people often fall into, is that of mistaking a long-tailed lower case s, for a long-tailed lower case f, in the middle, & at the end, of words. This happens with 17th & 18th century texts in particular. The way to tell is to notice that the f is always crossed close to the top - like the one in this sentence; unlike the s.

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