On Those Who Wish To Appear To Know More Than They Really Do: Interlinears

At the Baden disputation Johannes Eck used the Complutensian Polyglot and pretended to read the Hebrew text while he was actually reading the Latin.   Zwingli justly derides this as pretense, Eck doing nothing more than using an interlinear!  As Zwingli writes at the end of August, 1526

Cumque aliquando Eccius, qui in suggesto nescio quas moles verborum volutabat, in Hebraicarum literarum mentionem incidisset: Quid, inquit, Oecolampadi, Hebraicas voces iactamus? Adeo dudum didicimus Hebraice loqui, ut ferme dedidicerimus. Ac simul magnum codicem ante se habens stridet quiddam Hebraicum: si vultis, dicam etiam Graece ac Latine. Hic non forte fortuna quidam aderat, cui semper suspecta fuit Eccii complicumque procacia, qui tum non longe ab Helia et a Corvo sedebat. Cumque Hebraicam istam Graecoquelatinam cantilenam finiisset Eccius ac librum e suggesto demitteret ad manus Corvi, ratus ille noster, quod res erat, nimirum esse glossis, ut vocant, interlinearibus fartum; occurrit, officiosus futurus scilicet, ut librum exciperet ac in struem librorum (quam isti tantam habebant,  ut decem lacertosi baiuli aegre simul tollerent) reponeret.  …  Obtemperat homo librumque explicat. Ibi adparuit insignis ista promptitudo Eccii. Fuit enim exemplum Hispanicum, quod ipse nondum vidi, habens Hebraica, Graeca et Latina, sic unum alii imposita, ut nobis olim pueris Catonis moralia Germanica expositione intra versuum spacia posita circumferebantur. Sic deprehendit bonus iste vir doctissimorum doctorum promptitudinem, quam nostri mirabantur perinde atque pueri Iunonis avem. Vides hic, cur merito ignorantiam nostram Eccius exibilet; loripedem enim rectus deridet, Aethiopem albus. Ipse enim sic trilinguis est, ut omnes treis legere possit ac sese coram rudibus doctissimum praedicare, non praestare.

So it is with the users of interlinears today.  Mutatis mutandis, what Zwingli said of Eck could be said of them.

About Jim

I am a Pastor, and Lecturer in Church History and Biblical Studies at Ming Hua Theological College.
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3 Responses to On Those Who Wish To Appear To Know More Than They Really Do: Interlinears

  1. Claude Vigneau says:

    I grant you that much: Eck was cheating if he pretended to translate from the Hebrew. However, is the Complutensian Polyglot really an interlinear Bible? I plead guilty to hav-ing used quite a few times an interlinear Bible (with English word under the correspond-ing Hebrew word) AND a Polyglot as well (with the English translation alongside the Hebrew text). But be assured that I was no Eck and never pretended to translate directly from the Hebrew when I was using these…only making life a bit easier for me… So, Jim, having confessed to my crime, do you condemn me to spend eternity with Eck? Claude.

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  2. Claude Vigneau says:

    To steal from you or rather from what you have quoted from Zwingli (once more I made confession!):
    …Ja, wenn dich dunckt,
    der sünden funck
    werd nit mer bherrschen mich uff erd,
    so muoß min mund
    din lob unnd leer
    ußsprechen mer
    dann vormals ye,
    wie es ioch gen,
    einfaltigklich on alle gferd.
    Claude.

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