3

In both the Douay-Rheims and its source, the Vulgate, the word καταφάγεταί (future tense) is translated as a verb in the perfect tense.

And his disciples remembered, that it was written: The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up.

Recordati sunt vero discipuli ejus quia scriptum est: Zelus domus tuae comedit me.

John 2:17 (DR+LV)

Here is the original Greek.

ἐμνήσθησαν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ὅτι γεγραμμένον ἐστίν· ὁ ζῆλος τοῦ οἴκου σου καταφάγεταί με.*

(My translation) His disciples remembered that it was written: The zeal of your house will consume me.

John 2:17 (NA28)

The question is quite technical and a bit pedantic, but it still baffles me, why would a verb which is clearly future tense be translated as a perfect?

Here is the parsing of καταφάγεταί on the Perseus word study tool.

2

It is not that Jerome translated the Greek verb καταφάγεταί into Latin as a perfect verb, but one of two other possibilities:

  1. He recognized that John 2:17 was a quotation of Psa. 68:10,1 and the LXX of Psa. 68:10 had κατέφαγέν (conjugated in the aorist tense), which of course is suitably translated into Latin by the perfect tense.2
  2. The Greek manuscript of John 2:17 that he was reading had κατέφαγέ(ν).

Regarding the latter theory, there is some support, although the great majority of witnesses favor καταφάγεταί.

Constantin Tischendorf wrote,3

Constantin Tischendorf, Critical Apparatus, John 2:17


References

Tischendorf, Constantin. Novum Testamentum Graece. Vol. 3, Part 1. Lipsiae: Hinrichs, 1884.

Footnotes

1 Rahlfs’ numbering
2 cp. LXX v. Vulgate of Gen. 31:15, etc.
3 p. 760

  • Great answer! I will think on it for a bit and then probably accept. – ktm5124 Mar 19 '17 at 17:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.