KATA PANTA, DIA PANTA

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Wed Oct 06 1999 - 10:06:37 EDT


<x-rich>Two days ago, Felipe Flores-Morelos brought to the list an interesting
question about what he very rightly called in his subject-header, a
"difficult text." If anyone has forgotten, it is a sentence in the
"Divine Liturgy" of St. John Chrysostom that is used in the services of
the Eastern Orthodox Churches:

TA SA EK TWN SWN SOI PROSFEROMEN KATA PANTA KAI DIA PANTA

Thus far only Steve Puluka, himself of the Eastern Orthodox
"persuasion" and Senor Flores-Morelos have had input into this
question. I think, however, that the meaning of KATA PANTA and DIA
PANTA in that liturgical text is worth serious discussion. The concerns
of our Mexican correspondent yesterday are very real; I'm not
altogether sure that we can pinpoint EXACTLY what St. John Chrysostom
meant by the phrase, but some of the Spanish-language versions he cited
are clearly wrong. I'd like to invite some further discussion on the
question of what COULD be meant by KATA PANTA and DIA PANTA,
particularly INSOFAR AS THESE PHRASES ACTUALLY DERIVE FROM NT BIBLICAL
LANGUAGE, and ask whether or not we can more clearly determine what
they possibly CAN mean and eliminate altogether proposed meanings that
are clearly wrong.

I offered on Monday my own view of how the text should be understood
and conveyed in English:

>I think this is "What is yours (TA SA) from what is yours (EK TWN SWN)
we

>offer to you (SOI PROSFEROMEN) on every occasion (KATA PANTA) and
for

>every reason (DIA PANTA)."

>

>There may be other accounts of the phrases KATA PANTA and DIA PANTA.

>Another way to express the idea, as I understand it, and in English
that

>better fits normal English usage is: "Whatever we offer you, whatever
the

>occasion and whatever the reason that we offer it, it belongs to you
and

>comes from you."

Steve Puluka then added the

>... official English translation for the Byzantine Ruthenian
jurisdiction

>reads "We off to You Yours of Your own, in behalf of all and for all."
 

>However, this comes to English through the Old Slavonic, which reads
"Tvoja

>ot Tvojich Teb'i prinosim, o vs'ich i za vsja."

and added:

>I'm curious as to how close the English matches the Greek after the
pass

>through the Old Slavonic. This English is a very good rendering of
the Old

>Slavonic. My Greek is not this good yet.

I then added another from a little volume of the Greek Orthodox liturgy
used here in St. Louis that I have in my office:

<excerpt>"Thine own of thine own we offer to Thee, in all and for
all."

(translation of the Most Reverend Archbishop Germanos, Archbishop of
Thyateira,in _The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom_ ed. & arr. by
Rev. George Mastrantonis, St. Louis, 1966.

</excerpt>

Yesterday afternoon Senor Flores-Morelos brought back to us several
other suggested Spanish versions and expressed a deep concern about
understanding these phrases rightly.

>We are trying to do a translation into spanish. The translations to
this

>text that exist now in spanish do not convince us:

He adds:

>We are translating here KATA (= según, en cuanto a, a lo largo de,
cada)

>with a distributive meaning: for each thing we offer...it is:
whatever we

>offer.

>

>And DIA (=debido a, a causa de, por, a través de, por medio de) : por
medio

>de, through: por medio de todo.

>

>So, one of the problems is: What does PANTA means, to what does it
refer?

>"All", I now, in Spanish "todo", in plural (if neutral), but in
Spanish

>"all" means also "all" (the people): "todos", because we do not have
a

>neuter plural for PANTA: if we translate "todo" it is singular and can
be

>referred to neuter, but if we translate in plural, then "todos" refers
to

>all people, not to all things.

Let me now summarize what I see to be the alternative understandings of
these phrases:

KATA PANTA:

Conrad: "on every occasion"

Byzantine Ruthenian: "in behalf of all"

Germanos: "in all"

Rusnak: "por todos"

Sapelak: "por todos"

Roma: "en todo"

Royster: "por todo" (perhaps the two phrases have been reversed in
order?)

Mureddu: "a todo" ("in all things")

Mureddu/Flores: "sobre todas las cosas" ("above, over all things")

Flores/Koliussi: "por cada una de las cosas" ("for each thing")

Remember that KATA PANTA must construe with SOI PROSFEROMEN. My own
sense here is that KATA PANTA ought to mean "with respect to all
things" = "with unlimited application throughout the universe," and
that the phrase is neuter plural and refers to THINGS, not PEOPLE

DIA PANTA:

Conrad: for every reason"

Byzantine Ruthenian: "for all"

Germanos: "for all"

Rusnak: "por todo"

Sapelak: "por todo"

Roma: "por todo"

Royster: "por todos" (perhaps the two phrases have been reversed in
order?)

Mureddu: a través de todo ("through all things")

Mureddu/Flores/Koliussi: "por medio de todo ("through all things")

Here too remember that DIA PANTA must construe with SOI PROSFEROMEN. My
own sense here is that the phrase really ought to mean "for the sake
of/on account of all things" in the intended sense, "as an expression
of our gratitude for all things that we receive from God's grace," and
that the phrase is again neuter plural and refers to THINGS, not PEOPLE
(although people are logically included among all that we are thankful
for).

The question is: what in fact did St. John Chrysostom actually mean to
convey with these two prepositional phrases. It seems to me that part
of the answer must be an answer to another question: was he observing
Greek usage of his own time and place or was he reflecting phrasing
derived directly from the Greek New Testament.

And insofar as the question MAY reflect Greek New Testament usage, I
think the question deserves discussion in our forum. CAN we, by
responding to a question about the sense of a fourth-century liturgical
Greek text that may derive from a NT Greek usage, be of assistance to
our Mexican inquirer? I've offered again my own input? Do others have
any suggestions that may be helpful?

 

Carl W. Conrad

Department of Classics/Washington University

One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018

Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu

</x-rich>



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