The translation of "pro multis" as "for many" vs. "for all"
#5
(11-30-2010, 07:52 PM)Zakhur Wrote: 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?

Here is the Catechism of the Council of Trent's explanation of the distinction made by the employment of the connotation of the phrase "pro multis" as opposed to the connotation of the phrase "for all":

"The additional words for you and for many, are taken, some from Matthew, some from Luke, but were joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God. They serve to declare the fruit and advantage of His Passion. For if we look to its value, we must confess that the Redeemer shed His blood for the salvation of all; but if we look to the fruit which mankind have received from it, we shall easily find that it pertains not unto all, but to many of the human race. When therefore ('our Lord) said: For you, He meant either those who were present, or those chosen from among the Jewish people, such as were, with the exception of Judas, the disciples with whom He was speaking. When He added, And for many, He wished to be understood to mean the remainder of the elect from among the Jews or Gentiles.

"With reason, therefore, were the words for all not used, as in this place the fruits of the Passion are alone spoken of, and to the elect only did His Passion bring the fruit of salvation. And this is the purport of the Apostle when he says: Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many; and also of the words of our Lord in John: I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me, because they are thine."
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Re: The translation of "pro multis" as "for many" vs. "for all" - by INPEFESS - 11-30-2010, 10:47 PM



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