The translation of "pro multis" as "for many" vs. "for all"
I am studying Latin and I know of no way to translate into English the phrase "pro multis" so that it means "for all," unless some ancient writer testifies to the use of "multus, multa, multum" to connote "all," which is doubtful...

But that aside, I have one problem with translating "pro multis" as "for many."  It appears to connote predestination.  For if Christ shed his blood only for some (which is implied by "many"), then why didn't he shed it for everyone?  The implication is that some cannot be saved because they were never going to be saved in the first place.  Christ, being God, is after all is omniscient, and so, knowing all things, he would know who would be saved and who wouldn't.  So he would know beforehand who he should shed his blood for and who he should not shed it for.  But really, if he intended to shed his blood only for some, then he intended not to shed his blood for some others.

Is that really what the Church teaches?  I don't think so.

I know that Trent's catechism explains "pro multis" by saying it refers to the effects of Christ's shedding of his blood, not his intent in doing so.  By implication then, the Church does not teach that Christ only intended to shed his blood for some and not others.  But here's the crux I think:

When the translation is changed to "for many," people are going to think the Church is implying something about Christ's intent, not about what Trent's catechism says about this phrase.

We do not worship John Calvin's god.  But some are going to feel like we do as a result of this move (I think).

These are just some general reflections.  What do y'all think?

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The translation of "pro multis" as "for many" vs. "for all" - by Zakhur - 11-30-2010, 07:52 PM

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