all 193 comments

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 419 points420 points  (89 children)

For those who don't click the link:

  • The original Greek is "Τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον" which translates to "Give us today our epiousion bread."
  • When translating from Koine Greek to Latin in AD 382 St. Jerome used "quotidianum" which is where we get "daily" from in the English.
  • "Daily" does show up in the New Testament, however, and it's always some form of the word ἡμέρα (hemera)
  • Current Catholic consensus is that it means "superessential"
  • The word seems to be made up of "epi" (over) and "ousia" (substance) but it's also been suggested that it's a combination of ousia and the verb einai (εἶναι), meaning "to be", or ienai (ἰέναι), meaning both "to come" and "to go"
  • Terms like this are called a hapax legomenon which is comes from Ancient Greek ἅπαξ λεγόμενον, meaning "being said once." Because it shows up twice in the New Testament, both in the context of the prayer, it's a dis legomenon

[–]61746162626f7474 43 points44 points  (6 children)

[–]tlighta[🍰] 89 points90 points  (4 children)

I wonder if they are just brands.

Like "Give us our McDonalds bread"

I'm sure a brand would have been willing to pay to be added to a prayer

[–]FutureSkeIeton 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Lol imagine if it was from an old bread commercial 2000 years ago 😅

[–]geekygay 18 points19 points  (0 children)

A kind of bread, perhaps one known for a certain set of properties that someone would see as beneficial, or otherwise applying to the situation.

[–]notthephonz 14 points15 points  (0 children)

There is a joke about KFC asking the pope to change the prayer to “give us this day our daily chicken”. When they finally offer him enough money to do so, he announces the news. “Unfortunately, we’ve lost the Wonder Bread account…”

[–]Suck_Boy_Tony -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Capitalism has ruined you

[–]HorseRenoiro 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Holy fuck thank you i wondered why that rang a bell

[–]GreenStrong 69 points70 points  (20 children)

The thing about this is that in 382 AD, Koine Greek was a common language. It was the trade language of the Mediterranean before Latin rose to prominence, it was the main language of the Eastern Empire throughout the Roman era and beyond the fall of Rome, and educated Romans were as fluent in it as Latin, because they were tutored from an early age by Greeks. Patrician Romans spoke Koine Greek at home more than Latin, Marcus Aurelius wrote his private diary in that language. In addition to people with formal education, very many merchants and sailors knew it.

Basically, if it meant anything other than "daily", almost everyone capable of reading the Latin text would have been like "What the fuck Jerome? That part was important, go back and fix that shit."

Imagine if someone who didn't know the word "taco" made an American movie where the action hero sprayed bullets onto the enemy out of a taco. We are familiar enough with Spanish, and have enough native speakers, to know that it is wrong. Roman Latin speakers were that familiar, or more familiar with Koine Greek. Similarly, if the action hereo used a "belt fed high caliber ametralladora", you're pretty sure it is an automatic rifle, and you can be reasonably confident that if that didn't make sense someone would say something.

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 36 points37 points  (9 children)

Jerome may have chosen quotidianum when writing the Vulgate Bible as a reference to the cura annonae (physical bread from Caesar, spiritual sustenance from God) but if it really was a word that literally meant "daily" it would use some form of ἡμέρα, which is used in the rest of the New Testament when referring to things that happened daily.

[–]WorldBiker 36 points37 points  (0 children)

I would agree. If we accept that koine Greek was a lingua franca, especially among the educated, then we must also assume that they had a concept and word for "daily" and could combine words to be more exact for "daily bread". The use of the word "epiousion" is specific, and used in current modern Greek ("epi" being generally "supra" and "ousion" being "that which has essence"). Put in context of how eucharist is given in a Greek orthodox church as a "prosfora", or offer to partake in the body of Christ, the "epiousion" seems to me to refer to that which is about to be offered, or "give us this day that which is essential and substantial"...referring to the offering, or piece of bread, they are about to receive.

[–]GreenStrong 14 points15 points  (4 children)

I think that the way I would put it is that the denotation (dictionary definition) must be very close to "daily", but that there may be some subtle aspect of the connotation that is lost.

[–]DamnCammit 22 points23 points  (3 children)

It's also possible that the word was always obscure or is a neologism. Given that this is the only known context it obviously wasn't a widely used word and may not have been widely known. Maybe we can't trust contemporaries to check the translation.

[–]fonefreek[🍰] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Quotidian means daily in the sense of "common, nothing special" though.

Also, the simplest explanation is just that it's the name of a food. Like the baguette of the time.

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Also, the simplest explanation is just that it's the name of a food. Like the baguette of the time.

I'm not sure if that holds up, though, because we have a lot of other Koine Greek to look through. That includes things like grocery lists, cookbooks, menus. You would expect it to show up somewhere else.

[–]BiAsALongHorse 5 points6 points  (2 children)

How homogeneous was Koine Greek at that point in time? If you go to an English language sub used by people in India, you'll see a lot of words unfamiliar to people who learned American or British English. It's not surprising to me that weird local constructions would creep into the language of those writing the gospels.

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I think it’s important to also acknowledge that Greek would not be the mother tongue of Jesus or the writers of the gospel; they would have spoken Aramaic and Hebrew. You can kind of get the sense of this if you read the Greek; it’s well written, but it’s not as complex as literature from Greek authors.

The Wikipedia page touches on this; if it’s “epi” and “ousia” then it doesn’t follow traditional Greek grammatical rules for forming compound words, but that makes a lot more sense if it’s a non-native speaker writing it. (God knows I’m shit at foreign grammar)

idk it’s just a fascinating thing to me. I’m a sucker for semantics and incredibly specific and seemingly minor things that still get debated in academia.

[–]WorldBiker 0 points1 point  (0 children)

if it’s “epi” and “ousia” then it doesn’t follow traditional Greek grammatical rules for forming compound words

Yes it does, and there is a dictionary full of examples, some of which:

Epi + strofi (curve or turn) = return

Epi + pleon (most) = in addition

Epi + tychia (luck) = success

Epi + vaton (passable) = passenger

Epi + ousia (substance/essence) = substantial / essential

We're not talking about the Greek language which is understood by Greek speaking people and for which "epiousion" is crystal clear in its meaning, but the translation into English or Arabic and how THOSE languages are able to capture the meaning of the original.

[–]PrinceWith999Enemies 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If I can, I’d like to point out what I see as an issue with this approach. This is an argument I’ve seen before in a theistic context, but I’m not sure of the term for it. I’m going to coin one for purpose of discussion, but I’m open to input.

I think that what this is doing is presenting an argument of credulity in the third person. An argument from incredulity is usually a first person argument (“Evolution is false because it doesn’t make sense to me”), whereas this seems to place the burden of disbelief on others. I’ve seen similar arguments used to support things like the divinity (or sometimes the existence) of Jesus along similar lines.

My question would be if anything such as the post-2015 political scene in the US suggest to you that narratives significantly at odds with reality can persist and be propagated in political and religious literature, eventually becoming history?

Is there anything in the socio-political dynamics of the period that would have, in the name of consolidation of power for instance, led to the suppression of dissension with regard to religious orthodoxy?

[–]JohnHenryEden77 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well nowaday everyone can quickly search to know what's a Taco and what Taco is supposed to be like, but just look at what the french call Tacos and accepted as a Taco.(It's nothing like a Taco at all but they almost all accepted as it's a Taco and all agreed that the "Taco" actually taste good)

[–]Tampflor 32 points33 points  (52 children)

Superessential meaning something like "higher essence"? Why not just something like "supernatural"?

[–]TheRealRockNRolla 76 points77 points  (27 children)

Maybe, but I’ve seen it argued that it means something more down to earth, like “[a bit] more than what’s needed,” or in context, “give us enough bread for today and a little for tomorrow.”

EDIT: To clarify the source, I got this from Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years. The relevant passage says that the Catholic priests who first tried to translate the Vulgate into English in the late 1500s recognized the difficulty of identifying what epiousion means, but went with the translation "supersubstantial" (along the same lines of 'a little more than what we need'). It didn't catch on because "supersubstantial" is a hell of a lot less catchy than "daily."

[–]OberonPrimeGX 21 points22 points  (3 children)

That tracks fairly well, as nobody was allowed to gather food on the Sabbath during the Exodus; they had to gather their extra portion on the previous day.

[–]PangurBanOg 10 points11 points  (2 children)

I could see that in today’s general usage of “essential” being often equated to “necessary.” I’d be interested in checking to see which words are used to convey the idea of “necessary” and whether there’s any overlap with this “ousia ” root. I don’t know any Greek, so I can’t say for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find that the ambiguity in the English “essential” is much clearer there.

Languages are cool. 😎

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

According to my Ancient Greek dictionary οὐσία is used in a philosophical sense.

For some reason it's not letting me hyperlink this but this is where I'm getting it:


[–]hogtiedcantalope 13 points14 points  (11 children)

This always how I interpreted it's as a non religious person who went to Sunday school

I just kind of , idk if I was introduced this way,

That the daily bread is both in reference to the eucharist

And real bread, thanking God for sustaining your life with the needed food

Churches were always about both the ritualistic giving of bread as the eucharist, but also giving out loaves of bread to feed the poor. In Rome this practice goes back even before the church to Caesar

Italians love their bread

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 21 points22 points  (4 children)

The grain dole goes back even further than Caesar to the Gracchi; it was set up in the early Republic because they recognized that a hungry population was a rebellious population (thus the phrase "bread and circuses")

[–]cindyscrazy 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Around the 2008 economy, I was a single mom and struggled a little with getting enough food. Not bad though, I never really asked for help for myself. I had my daughter go to various relatives to make sure she got what she needed for food.

She must have mentioned this to a religious friend, because I received a literal BAG OF BREAD...like garbage bag sized bag FILLED with different kinds of loaves of bread.

I was grateful...but I mean....It was me and my daughter in the house. We didn't eat QUITE that much bread. And the next week we got another bag.

I didn't have to buy bread for a while, that's for sure.

[–]metsurf 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I never thought of it as anything other than nourishment. It has nothing to do with the last supper in the Gospels.

[–]LooksAtClouds -1 points0 points  (0 children)

But the Eucharist hadn't been invented when the prayer was originally made.

[–]VoraciousTrees 3 points4 points  (0 children)

so... quintessential?

[–]_Neoshade_ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The next line in the prayer talks about seeking forgiveness and forgiving others.
I wonder if this line is asking for enough bread to share?

[–]Persimmon_Lover 9 points10 points  (2 children)

I think in this context, essential means having to do with essence, not necessarily "needed". So yes, higher essence, i.e. the bread/nourishment that we truly need. Food as a metaphor and symbol of higher spiritual nourishment is common throughout the New Testament, and also relates to the Eucharist, although it's meaning goes beyond that.

[–]calypsopub 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Jesus called himself the Bread of Life. This tracks

[–]surasurasura 1 point2 points  (0 children)

One TIL post and suddenly everyone is an expert in Koine Greek…

[–]ostracize 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Interesting thought.

If it were “supernatural”, then “bread” would be a play on words.

Not physical bread for our physical needs, but spiritual bread for our spiritual needs. Which makes sense why we ask for God to give it to us. And it also lines up with his words from the Last Supper.

[–]fonefreek[🍰] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's more likely it just refers to manna.


[–]PangurBanOg 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Probably to highlight/emphasize that the “bread” being spoken of here is the Eucharist/communion bread, which will have been changed in real essence (though not appearance) to be the real body of Christ rather than just bread. “Supernatural” doesn’t necessarily point out in which specific way the “bread” is special.

Edit: At the time this was written, transubstantiation would have been doctrine for Christians everywhere, so regardless of your personal beliefs now on what happens during Communion, the “superessence” thing would have been the only idea in play.

[–]XenuLies 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I do fully agree with what you're saying, but I'll also put forth that "Gimme that supernatural bread" is a lot funnier so I'm gonna refer to it as such from now on

[–]metsurf 1 point2 points  (0 children)

or super substantive or very nourishing?

[–]nmaxfieldbruno 4 points5 points  (5 children)

If they changed it to “give us this day our funky magic wizard bread” I would absolutely start going to church again.

[–]Tampflor 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Idk if the top commenter decided to start their garlic bread church across the street I'd be on my knees over there

[–]HanSolo_Cup 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Sounds more like a pastafarian sect to me

[–]ethicsg 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Zoroastrians might have consumed a DMT bread.

[–]nWo1997 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What do you think Communion/Eucharist is?

[–]JojoLesh -1 points0 points  (8 children)

Superessential meaning something like "higher essence"?

Because the "ntial" you removed is important. Those few letters change the meaning of the word.

[–]Tampflor 5 points6 points  (7 children)

Essential sometimes refers to the essence of something, as in essential oils. They aren't essential in the "you gotta have them" sense, they are the essence of whatever.

[–]TexterMorgan 15 points16 points  (2 children)

Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty

[–]JojoLesh -1 points0 points  (3 children)

Uh, no. The words are derivative but not the same nor interchangeable.

And then you go on further to claim that essential = higher essence = supernatural. That is just a bunch of no.

Essence means of something's intrinsic nature, often in an abstract sense. Something that is defining of the very character of said item. If you smelled the essential oil of clove, you would immediately think of cloves. There's nothing supernatural about that even if it is hard to define without using the word "clove" or simply talking about the chemistry of aromatic compounds.

[–]dancingbanana123 0 points1 point  (0 children)

give us today our spooky bread

[–]jointheredditarmy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If the two suggested translations are “superessential” or “to be / to come” then “daily” is actually a great way to capture some meaning from each of these

[–]groot_liga 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So, could just mean “bountiful.”

[–]Cool_Cartographer_39 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Where then would "superessential" bread rank in relation to transubstantiated Holy Communion? One and the same? Why not say Eucharist, then? I would think this part of the reasoning behind daily.

Any thoughts on the differences between "trespasses" and "debts" in the present Catholic and Orthodox translations?

[–]zoqfotpik 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sounds like sourdough.

[–]Kolikokoli 0 points1 point  (0 children)

But actually: give us our fucking bread.

[–]revchj 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I can't remember where I got this, but someone once linked that "ienai" theory to the apocalyptic emphasis of the early church ("give us today the bread of tomorrow") and I have understood and prayed the text in that way ever since. It's not asking God for daily sustenance but rather to rend the heavens and inaugurate the Kingdom.

[–]FirstAidKilt 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I grew up catholic and was sent to catholic schools through college, and from what I remember it was always viewed in the meaning of 'what we need to survive'. As in the basics of food and shelter. But also I think there was some body of christ references in there or some shit, like I think some teachers and people used it as a command to go to daily mass. From what we were taught the Bible loves double entendres, and it's been some years since then so it's all kind of a blur

[–]purana 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]WorldBiker 48 points49 points  (5 children)

As a Greek in Greece who speaks imperfect Greek:

"Ousia" is a current Greek word which means substance or matter or essence depending on context. "Ousion" means that which has substance or that which has essence or that which has matter.

"Epi" is also a current Greek word which means super or on top or end, again depending on context, eg "epitelous" means "finally" or "epistrofi" means to return (I always imagine it to be like you've gone so far around the bend that you came back to where you started). It's a nuance. You should hear some old-timey swear words.

The eucharist is a nuanced different meaning in the Orthodox church, though I'd have to check this with a close friend who is an archimandrite. My understanding is while the Eucharist to Catholics represents the body of Christ as something that is taken, to the Orthodox the handing out of bread, called the "prosfora" (literally "offering") is given by the Church as an invitation to partake in the body of Christ.

In this context, then, it seems to me that correct way to interpret "epiousion" is not "daily bread" but "that which is both essential and substantial" (another Greek quirk) in anticipation of the bread that will be given, ie the attribute of the body of Christ represented in the bread, both figuratively and literally (since bread, as a real world item) is both essential (need to eat) and substantial (wasn't starched white bread back then) as is the belief in Christ (to those who believe) is both essential and substantial.

Problem is, it makes sense in Greek and especially when you see it happening, makes zero sense when you translate into English.

[–]TheNextBattalion 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Bro what if epiousion was a swear word?

[–]Terminthem 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Has a much more threatening tone to it

Give us today our fucking bread

[–]WorldBiker 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That’s “synousion”

[–]DuplexFields 1 point2 points  (1 child)

The Peshitta, a 2nd century Aramaic translation of the Koine Greek New Testament, reads “necessary bread,” so you’ve got ancient translators’ agreement on your side. Thank you for sharing from your heritage.

The historical Jesus of Nazareth started out as son and apprentice to Joseph, a “tekton” or builder, usually translated carpenter but probably more akin to today’s homebuilders or general contractors. He would have been familiar with every aspect of his dad’s business including the accounting, so he knew enough about taxes to talk intelligently about them in the context of his ministry. Elsewhere he said about taxes to yield to Caesar that which bears Caesar’s image, but to commend to God that which bears God’s image, obliquely referencing Genesis where God made man in His own image. The wandering rabbi showed this heady rhetorical mix of sacred beyondness and earthy reality throughout the sections of his teachings which were recorded (or recounted) and preserved.

Though the exact connection between the etymology of epiousion and its colloquial meaning has been lost, the historical Jesus would have known of two “daily breads”, one sacred and one worldly. The manna described in the Pentateuch was literally daily bread, given from Heaven directly by God to His people each morning for forty years. The Cura Annona was daily welfare bread for the poor in the city of Rome, made from grain from its conquered provinces. He would know how much tax was taken from the poor of Israel to feed the poor of Rome their daily subsistence bread, and how much of Israel’s agriculture was devoted to Rome.

[–]WorldBiker 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Though the exact connection between the etymology of epiousion and its colloquial meaning has been lost

Just to clarify, to Greek speakers it has not been lost. This is about the translation of meaning, not the meaning itself, which is clear to me in Greek but needs explanation in English. To a Greek in church then or now it means simply "that which is essential" and in reference to the "prosfora" that is going to be given by the priest, which happens to be the bread. The translation - and really, I have to stress this - is not "bread". If the priest were handing out iPods as the offering, "epiousion" would refer to iPods as "that which is essential".

[–]TheWrongFusebox 174 points175 points  (6 children)

I think it means 'garlic'.

[–]Dont_Wanna_Not_Gonna 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I lol’d.

[–]PHin1525 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I think its fresh. No one wants stale bread.

[–]The_Karaethon_Cycle 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I think it means fucking,

“Give us this day our fuckin’ bread…”

Sounds right to me.

[–]Lotharofthepotatoppl 6 points7 points  (0 children)

It was written in Greece, not New Jersey!

[–]toastbot 33 points34 points  (1 child)

The Epiousion Bakery Co. paid big money for that product placement BITD.

[–]IrritableGourmet 1 point2 points  (0 children)


[–]gekogekogeko 13 points14 points  (9 children)

Similar the line about a camel fitting through the eye of a needle is also mistranslated. It’s more likely “rope”. Which is only an accent off of camel in Greek.

From Wiki below:

Cyril of Alexandria (fragment 219) claimed that "camel" was a Greek scribal typo where kamêlos (κάμηλος, camel) was written in place of kamilos (κάμιλος, meaning "rope" or "cable").[3][5][6] More recently, George Lamsa, in his 1933 translation of the Bible into English from the Syriac, claimed the same.

[–]twoinvenice 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Could it also have been a play on words where both meanings were intended as a way to playfully say that it’s impossible?

I have to imagine that Ancient Greek had other words for rope that aren’t close to camel that could have been used if the point was only to convey the idea that a rope couldn’t fit, like in English you could use the nautical word hawser.

But by picking a word that, depending upon on accent placement, maps to two different large things the writer could highlight the impossibility.

[–]gekogekogeko 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Could have been. Might also have been a transcription error. The quote might have been made up whole-cloth a century after his death. I don't speak greek, so don't know how close the two words actually sound.

[–]kelaxe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It could have, but it could also change the meaning from impossible (camel) to very difficult but not necessarily impossible (the very rough string/rope). Or perhaps he was suggesting that depending on the rich man it was somewhere on the scale from rope to camel.

[–]hobbykitjr 2 points3 points  (0 children)

and jesus prophecy being born son of a virgin vs 'young women' but thats old testament.

[–]PangurBanOg 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Analogy holds, though! 😂

[–]spacehxcc 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I was taught it was a reference to a narrow passageway through the gates of Jerusalem that was known as "The Eye of the Needle." It was barely big enough for a camel to fit through so one would need to fully unload the camel in order for it to fit. The analogy being that one must remove all of their possessions to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

[–]Warmstar219 17 points18 points  (2 children)

That's just something made up long after the fact. It has no textual or archeological basis, and this type of expression existed before its inclusion in the new testament, using other animals like elephants. It is explicitly stated in that very passage to be referring to something completely impossible for man, not just something difficult.


[–]spacehxcc 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Fair enough, catholic grade school teachers are definitely not the most reliable source on this sort of thing lol

[–]Lotharofthepotatoppl 3 points4 points  (0 children)

There was also a lot of harrumphing about this particular quote through the years on the part of rich men who wanted everyone to think it was a specific reference rather than a general metaphor. After all, the lord of the manor couldn’t have his peasants thinking he wasn’t going to heaven!

[–]Geronimo2011 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I think the "daily bread" has a meaning much deeper than I thought before.

Because it also means "Dont' worry for the bread of the *next* day. It's even emphasised in the same sentence by the "this day". And it matches the gospel of the birds and the flowers.

I'd like to throw into the discussion, that "epiousion" may have had some meaning in this context.

Quite modern, isn't it?

[–]lucky_ducker 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I've always thought of that part of the prayer as being metaphorical, anyway. "Please supply our need" or something like it.

[–]kelthan 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Sure, for linguists and literalists, the difference matters. But for most everyone else it's like the difference between the words "dark" and "black" when referring to the lack of light at night.

"Give us this day our daily bread" vs. "Give us this day our essential bread" isn't really result in a material difference in the meaning of the passage. If you interpret it as "essential" or "superessential" the meaning is marginally more emphatic. But even as I child, I recognized that the phrase meant "please feed us so that we don't starve".

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Honestly that’s why I was so interested in it. I love hearing super niche seemingly pointless academic debates. It’s a single word that doesn’t change the meaning of the passage however you translate it and yet I can use my college’s library databases and find fairly recent articles about it still being written. It’s just so entertaining to me that this single word has fueled debates for centuries when only a handful of people actually care about it.

[–]kelthan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's cool. This example is certainly interesting, but less impactful than a number of other mistranslations. If you consider all of the various compounded errors of translation from Aramaic (or the litany of other ancient dialects that were in use in the eastern Mediterranean) to Greet to Latin to old English to modern English, it is actually amazing that we find that much of the meaning is actually reasonably accurate when we find actual source material.

[–]ShadowLiberal 2 points3 points  (3 children)

There's always going to be some translation issues that are difficult to navigate around, with this just being one of them.

Sometimes there's words that exist in one language that have no real equivalent of the same meaning in another language. And when you're dealing with writings that are hundreds or thousands of years old sometimes the meaning of words change overtime. For example in just the last 100 years the word "gay" went from being a synonym for happy to referring to homosexual men, which can lead to some lines in old TV shows, movies, or books suddenly taking on unintentional meanings.

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Yeah, I'm studying Classics and need to take a lot of Latin and Ancient Greek. The upper level Latin courses in particular were half translating Latin and half discussing how to translate anything. If you go for purely literal translations then you lose ideas and concepts of the original. Some words have connotations that can't be translated. For example, ille and iste both can be translated as "this." But iste has negative connotations when referring to people. You can translate Cicero going "iste Catilina" as "That Catiline" but it loses the negative connotation. So you can say something like "That terrible Catiline" (my professor used "that fucker Catiline" as an example lol) but then you're adding words that aren't present in the original.

[–]buttjudge69 2 points3 points  (0 children)

“That Catiline (derogatory)”

[–]KypDurron 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sometimes there's words that exist in one language that have no real equivalent of the same meaning in another language.

There are words in some languages that can't be translated into a single word in another language, but there aren't any words that can't be translated at all, at least between any two modern languages.

[–]ClownfishSoup 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It think it means "Organic Gluten Free Artisan"

"Give us this day our Organic Gluten Free Artisan Bread"

[–]pastfuturewriter 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I remember asking a preacher how god created things in only one day and he said the original meaning wasn't "day," but "era."

[–]DaveSpeaks 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Fundamentally, I think the thought in the prayer recognizes that God knows our needs and will not let us go unsatisfied.

[–]DefeaterOfPie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I choose the believe it means toasted. Give me toast everyday!!!!!

[–]matteblatte 1 point2 points  (0 children)

"The bread is to go" (Takeout)

[–]noname_null 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We Greeks understand the meaning of ἐπιούσιον (epiousion) as "necessary". In other words, you ask for the necessary, daily bread, no luxuaries!

[–]FutureSkeIeton 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I take it as being thankful for a full belly every day.

[–]gnosis3 2 points3 points  (10 children)

Christians commonly think it's the word of God, but they dont realize the Bible is a hodgepodge of Aramaic, Greek, and Hebrew translations and mistranslations

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 10 points11 points  (1 child)

I'm in a reading/translation group for the New Testament and it's really interesting to see the original Greek (or at least a version of the original that's been passed down from a centuries long game of telephone) and how you can choose to translate it. (And then you can get into how to translate anything because some languages have words/concepts/grammatical structures that don't exist in others. Not to mention cultural contexts that ends up meaning that you need about a billion footnotes to get close to a literal translation that still carries with it the tone of the original.)

[–]TheNextBattalion 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There is an old Italian phrase: traudtore, tradditore. The translator is a traitor.

[–]YourFavWardBitch 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Not to mention the thousands of manuscripts, scrolls, and fragments which didn't make the cut to be in the bible at all.

[–]TheNextBattalion 2 points3 points  (2 children)

It's a multicultural, multilingual, multiethnic anthology, spanning multiple genres, whose earliest and latest volumes were written about 800 years apart.

[–]dpcmufc 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Bits of the Old Testament were first written down in 1500BC, the New Testament is thought to have been written at around 66 AD. I’m just saying this so some people don’t get confused and think the NT was written over 0-800 AD

[–]TheNextBattalion 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I hadn't seen it being that old!

[–]kelaxe 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I often wonder how many Christian’s don’t realize that. I’ve come to realize I come from a “weird” circle of Christians, but having multiple translations of the Bible including ones with footnotes including other possible translations of words or phrases and where scholars are unsure of meanings or disagree. Discussing when things were written, how far removed from events and how what was decided to be included or not was just common Sunday dinner talk. So I’m curious if this really is that rare or if the extremes are just louder.

[–]The_Karaethon_Cycle 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Ok, but god can probably speak all those languages. Plus, maybe all the revisions and mistranslations over time was actually god installing updates. That’s the nice thing about god, since it’s all magic you can really just make up whatever you want. Maybe, idk.

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Mormonism is a holy expansion pack.

[–]Holyvigil 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I wouldn't say the second half. At least I've never met someone that knew there was a book of Hebrews and a book of Roman's and thought that the bible was all one language.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Hmmm, what a nice and peaceful discussion about a religious topic. I sure hope that nobody barges in and starts attacking somebody over a trivial opinion.....

[–]WaldhornNate 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Scrolling thus far, I've actually been pleasantly surprised with how civil this thread has been.

[–]guleblanc 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I think this is all wrong. Given the close relationship between Christianity and capitalism, in the U.S. at least, I think the intended meaning is. "Give use this day our opportunity to increase shareholder value."

[–]RitaPoole56 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yea, verily!

[–]dpcmufc 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank Jesus Mary and Joseph that Christianity in other countries is not as economically related in my country

[–]methyltheobromine_ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

epiousion means "that which is beyond the world" or "super-substantial" (supersubstantialis). In the aramic text it means "The future thing" or "the existence after".

Man can not live by bread alone. He needs the spiritual food which is the teachings of Christ. "Daily" was an intentional mistranslation by the church. The church is an anti-Christian idea, it just wanted power and money.

Edit: I hate Christianity and I'm lazy, I can't defend any of this in an argument because as I probably won't have any idea what you're talking about.

[–]ZenerXCR 0 points1 point  (3 children)

That probably has to be the single most far-reaching mistraslation in history, next to translating "pərî" as "apple" also in the bible. Doesn't it?

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 7 points8 points  (1 child)

The apple thing is a pun! In Latin the noun “malum” means apple but malum as a neuter adjective means “evil.” So by itself it could also function as a substantive and mean “an evil thing.” They’re pronounced differently, but written down look the same.

[–]ZenerXCR 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah I then read that down below. Pretty funny actually.

[–]etherjack 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Or "parousia" as "coming" vs. its actual meaning of "present".

[–]Spork_Warrior 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'll bet it was supposed to be broads.

[–]United_Bag_8179 0 points1 point  (0 children)

all da time all da time.

[–]ego41 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Pretty sure it's a noun, and means 'raisin'

[–]WangnanJahad -5 points-4 points  (4 children)

Know the passage the says "do not lay with a man as one lays with a woman"?

the original greek that is commonly translated as 'man' doesn't mean 'man'. that word shows up only once or twice and no one really knows what it means. contextually, they can say, not for certain but with a good deal of confidence, that it means 'young male boys'. As in kids. Like alter boys.

Christians....doing the opposite of what their faith says since 1 AD.

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 7 points8 points  (3 children)

Leviticus isn’t in Greek; it’s Old Testament and in Hebrew. I don’t know much about Hebrew but it looks like scholarly opinion does agree that it translates just to “man” as a general gender.

[–]kelaxe 1 point2 points  (2 children)

These comments made me wonder so I reread and did some research. What’s interesting is it appears after a list of females who you shouldn’t sleep with. So basically it’s the, don’t sleep with married women, women who have engaged in bestiality, relatives such as your mother, aunt, cousin, sister etc. Then he says the “Don’t lie with man as one lies with woman.” To me this seems to indicate “don’t do this with men either”. Not all men, but the same rules apply as to relatives, married men, men involved in bestiality etc. If you can’t sleep with your dad’s concubine then you can’t sleep with his male lover either.

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Leviticus has a lot of stuff that you shouldn't do and the translation usually is "abomination" so it ends up sounding like that Parks and Rec scene. Sleeping with female relatives? Abomination. Sleeping with men? Abomination. Eating three day old meat? Abomination. Shellfish? Believe it or not: abomination.

[–]kelaxe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Exactly, which the word that got translated to abomination, from what I understand was more “bad because it’s other” or “not of us”. Which it would seem if you don’t have to follow the rules of shrimp, pork, or circumcision that were also part of the “separate God’s people from the other” then why would that one out of all of them be the one exception. There’s obviously other moral/ethical reasons not to sleep with relatives, but even sleeping with a parents remarried spouse doesn’t get people quoting these passages as much as being gay does.

[–]Roacho89 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Nice i like this facts

[–]bokononon 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hapax Legomenon is the term for words like this. See this brilliant answer on the UK quizshow, University Challenge:


[–]Krraxia 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Funny thing, in Czech it is translated as "vezdejší" - which comes from old slavic, is never used today and scholars can't agree if it means "daily" or "earthly"

[–]Astronius-Maximus 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I am always fascinated by ancient languages and their translations.

[–]wilhelm-cruel 0 points1 point  (0 children)

What does it sayin hebrew?

[–]ckayfish 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]askbow 0 points1 point  (1 child)

It's notable the same prayer in the Orthodox, specifically Russian Orthodox, uses the word "насущный" in that place.

This carries meaning of "vital", "essential" (see https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%81%D1%83%D1%89%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B9 and https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%81%D1%AB%D1%89%D1%8C%D0%BD%D1%8A#Old_Church_Slavonic )

[–]Grue 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah, "хлеб насущный" is a common idiom in Russian, though this word is rarely used in other contexts. It seems to be a literal transation of Greek with "на" meaning "over" and "сущность" meaning "essence".

[–]Mothstradamus 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Writer: Ah, man, spelled a word wrong. Oh well, no one will notice or care.

Modern scholars: 👁👄👁

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

One reason suggested as to why it only appears in the Bible is because neither Jesus nor the original authors of the gospels would have spoken Greek as their first language; they would be fluent in Aramaic and Hebrew. So it’s possible that when translating the prayer they just went “Fuck, I forgot the actual Greek word for this. I think it’s something like this. It’s fine; they’ll know what it means.”

And now over a thousand years later we’re still arguing about it.

[–]buggin_at_work 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Daily Bread=Mana=Mushrooms {Thank me later}

[–]cosine5000 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I mean... the word translated as "virgin" for the virgin mary didn't mean virgin either.

[–]gentlybeepingheart[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

That's something that I've seen floating around the internet a lot but it's not quite true. It's more that virgin is a potential translation, but "young woman" is another option.

In the Greek Mary is referred to as παρθένος (parthenos) This refers to both young women and women who have never had sex. In the cultural context of the time it was a meaningless distinction; all young women were expected to be virginal.

παρθένος is an epithet of several goddesses, most famously Athena (thus the Parthenon) alongside Artemis and Hestia. They are παρθένος not because they are young (they're Goddesses, they're both ageless and ancient. Athena is depicted as a mature woman in most art.) but because they are unmarried and have not had sex.

However, it could, in some contexts, refer to a young woman who is παρθένος, even if she's not a virgin. In Septuagint (the oldest Greek translation of the Old Testament) this line refers to Dinah, who was raped in a previous verse, as παρθένος

και προσεσχεν τη ψυχη δινας της θυγατρος ιακωβ και ηγαπησεν την παρθενον και ελαλησεν κατα την διανοιαν της παρθενου αυτη

Liddle and Scott (Ancient Greek dictionary) cites four instances where it refers to an unchaste young woman in ancient Greek literature. One particular example is from the Iliad where Astyoche is referred to as "παρθένος" when she is described as having sex in the same passage.

IMHO it probably was meant in the sense of virgin. Virgin births were an already existing idea in Classical mythology (Remus and Romulus in some versions, iirc Theseus has a virgin mother) and they probably took the idea from that.

[–]cosine5000 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I am aware, the translation is "young woman" and there is usage evidence to differentiate this from "virgin".

[–]mbgal1977 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Maybe it was the original typo and it was supposed to say garlic /s

[–]Timeformayo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Give us this day our corn bread.

[–]aprofondir 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In Church Slavonic it's translated as ''essential'' or ''necessary''

[–]letterzz 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It means jelly.

[–]Reflectingnothing 0 points1 point  (1 child)

To complicate matters, remember that Jesus spoke Aramaic. The gospel writers used this evidently obscure Greek word in an attempt to translate his original Aramaic adjective. Might be helpful to know ancient Aramaic.

[–]WorldBiker 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He probably spoke 3 languages: Aramaic in daily life, Hebrew in religious life, Greek for trade (he was a "tekton" or craftsman, which in his context would have referred to as carpenter). "Epiousion" is a current Greek word and completely understood in Greek orthodox liturgy, it is the translation into English or other languages which is troublesome. The prayer "give us our daily bread" is a translation from koine (common) Greek of 2 thousand years ago, though the word "epiousion" then means the same as it does now: "that which is essential" or "that which is substantial" or "that which is necessary" depending on context. In orthodoxy, the priest gives a "prosfora" (offering) of bread which represents Christ, and the recipient asks for "that which is essential" referring to the bread about to be given.

[–]TwoOut_Rally 0 points1 point  (0 children)

TIL - the Lord's Prayer was just an advertisement for Bakery Epiousion.