Thursday, February 23, 2012

Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins is a classification of vices used in early Christian teachings.  The current version of the sins are wrath ( ira ; 暴怒), greed ( avaritia ; 貪婪), sloth (acedia ; 懶惰), pride (supervia ; 傲慢 ), lust ( luxuria ; 色欲 )  , envy ( invidia ; 妒忌 ) and gluttony ( gula ; 貪食).

Development of the traditional seven sins

Ponticus 1
Cassian 1b
Gregory I 2
Dante 3
Philokalia 4
RC Catechism 5
'gastimargia'  gluttony
'gula'  gluttony
'gula'  gluttony
'gula'  gluttony
'porneia'  prostitution, fornication
'fornication'  ust
'luxuria' lechery / lust
prostitution, fornication
'luxuria' lust
'philargyria' avarice
'avaritia'   greed
'avaritia' averice / greed
'avaritia' greed
'hyperephania'  hubris
'supervia'  pride
'superbia'  pride
'superbia'  pride
'kenodoxia' boasting
'vangloria'  vainglory
'orge'  wrath
'ira'  wrath
'ira'  wrath
'ira'  wrath
'akedia'   acedia
'acedia'  sloth
'acedia'  acedia / sloth
'acedia'  sloth 
'lype'   sadness
'tristitia'  despair
'invidia'  envy
'invidia'  envy
1.  Evagrius Ponticus 'Evagrius the Solitary', 345-399 AD, The Eight Logismoi.
1b.John Cassian, c 360-435 AD, Institutions
2.  Pope Gregory I 'Gregory the Great', c 540-604 AD.
3.  Dante degli Alighieri, 1265-1321, The Divine Comedy
4.  Nikodemos the Hagiorite, 1749-1809 & St. Makarios, 1731-1805, The Philokalia.
5.  Roman Catholic Catechism, 2nd Edition, 1997

The Book of Proverbs VI:16-19  list a considerably different vices :
“There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”

The Epistle to the Galatians V:19-21, includes more sins :
“The acts of the flesh are obvious:
sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
idolatry and witchcraft;
hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy;
drunkenness, orgies, and the like.
I warn you, as I did before,

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Trees : By the Rivers of Babylon

Psalm 137 ( KJV )

 1By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
 2We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
 3For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song;
and they that wasted us required of us mirth,
saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
 4How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?
 5If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
 6If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth;
if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
 7Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem;
who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
 8O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed;
happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.
 9Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

1611’s KJV and a lot of other bible translations ( ASV, CEV, Darby, ESV, GNT, NASV, Wycliffe, etc ) refer the tree as ‘willow’, apparently influenced by ancient Latin translations.

Salix babylonica ( Babylon willow, Peking willow or 垂柳 ) is a species of willow native to dry areas of northern China.  It was planted along the famous ancient trade route - the  Silk Road, which began c.200 BC.  It is subsequently introduced to Europe via middle East.

It was described and named by Carolus Linnaeus in 1736, when he encountered the species in Hartekamp, of The Netherlands. 

Linnaeus thought that this species was the tree described in the Bible’s 137th Psalm.  Thus he named it  Salix babylonica, as well as its common name ‘Babylon willow’.   The genus name Salix is from the Latin word ‘salicibus’ which is the dative plural of ‘salix’, means ‘willow’, from the 1592’s Sixto-Clementine Vulgate.     

The actual tree that were growing along the Eupharates River of Babylon of Mesopotamia ( Modern Iraq ) during that time ( c.580 BC ) was actually gharab ( Hebrew ), the Euphrates poplar ( Populus euphratica ).  It has the same willow-like leaves on drooping shoots.  

Thus in a handful of bible translations, such as 1984’s NIV, NLT, and Holman Christian Standard Bible, the tree’s name is corrected to ‘poplars’, which is more botanically accurate.  

2002’s The Message translation, however, refers it to ‘quaking aspen’, the Populus tremuloides.  P.tremuloides is native to North America, which is very unlikely that it’s the tree on the banks of River of Babylon.