From: Steve Puluka (
Date: Thu Oct 21 1999 - 13:45:06 EDT

<x-flowed>Dear Polychroni & b-greek,

My apologies for the lack of clarity in my earlier post. Once again my
effort to edit for brevity has gotten me into trouble. I hope I can clarify
my intent below.

Polychroni proposes to adjust the translation of LXX Psalm 117:26 (118:26)
as noted below:

>The LXX text of the psalm, repeated in the NT is: EULOHMENOS hO ERCOMENOS
>EN ONOMATI KURIOU Which I read as saying: Blessed [be] the Coming One in
>the name of the Lord. Not meaning that the Coming One comes in the name of
>the Lord, but that the Coming One is blessed [by us] in the name of the

I pointed out the use of the Psalm in various aspects of the Liturgy of St.
John Chrysostom. Ben Crick pointed to similar uses in the Western
liturgical cycle. This Psalm is seen as refering to the coming of Christ in
contrast with the original intent of the Pilgrams coming to Jerusalem.

>Polychroni writes
>Clearly then, it is God the Lord who comes to us, and not something present
>only in His name. I may come in the name of King, but that doesn't make me
>the King.

Christ is seen by the early Church as BOTH GOD AND MAN. This verse is used
to indicate that in these cases. Jesus is coming in the name of the Lord
and is the Lord. Therefore, the text from the liturgy reads "Blessed is he
who comes in the name of the Lord, God the Lord has revealed himself to us."
  The second part being a comentary on the first. In any case, the person
coming is blessed because he is coming in the name of the Lord not because
we are blessing him in that name. While the reasoning for Jesus being
blessed by this verse is circular in reasoning by the traditional
translation, your translation would render this invocation senseless. If we
know that Jesus is Lord how could we as people possibly bless him in his own
name, as your translation would have us do at this point. Not to mention
the fact that the lesser (we the people) cannot possibly bless the greater
(Jesus as Lord).

None of this challenges directly your use of the grammer or your
translation. All I am pointing out is that to accept your translation is to
reject what appears to be the understanding of this verse by the authors of
the Divine Liturgy. This is traditionally John Chrysostom but he very
likely did not pen the entire service. I do not rule out the possiblity
that you are correct and they are not. I am just pointing out that your
translation is not compatible with early christian usage of the verse in

To me, these liturgical texts seem to indicate that the coming one is
Blessed because he comes in the name of the Lord.

>I don't know Old Slavonic (or any Slavic language) so I can't speak
>to it; but the present translator of the "Lives of the Saints" from Old
>Slavonic to English tells me that the Old Slavonic sheds no light
>on the question.

I apologize again for the lack of clarity. You propose to change the modern
English translation of the Greek text. I offered the Slavonic translation
of the same text as another translators witness to the original. The
Slavonic translation of the Psalms is generally dated to the Ninth or Tenth
Century and was most probably done by Greek speaking missionaries to the
Bulgarian regions. I suggest that their translation of this verse with the
person being blessed because he comes in the name of the Lord is further
evidence against you position, but not conclusive in and of itself.

>These commemorations on Palm Sunday and Theophany seems to argue against
>the point your making, per St. John Chrysostom's _Commentary
>on the Psalms_ (cf. ET, Vol II, Ps. 118), the point is that HE IS THE
>LORD, and not that he's someone coming in His name.

I do not have a copy of Chrysostom's commentary on the Psalms could you
please supply a little more bibliographic information so I may find the
volume in a library? Thank you for the citation from the commentary on
Matthew. I should have been able to figure that out from your first post,
I'm sorry. I look forward to reading the it this evening.

Thanks for the proposal I have had a great deal of fun poking around at this

Steve Puluka
Adult Education Instructor
Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh

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