Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition)


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To what extent is the Alfonsine Castilian Cantar de Cantares a product of intellectual collaboration between Jewish and Christian scholars? That is, as Prof. This is a difficult question to answer. Typically when a Christian author incorporates Jewish sources, they do not cite them, unless they are writing a polemic text meant to refute the Jewish source in question. But when the Jewish source is being used to enrich or round out the knowledge base of the Christian author, one usually has to do a bit of detective work in order to identify sources.

For this reason I would like to spend a couple of minutes talking about methodology. Conversely, the Cantar de Cantares in the General estoria is explicity a Christian text, in the sense that it was written for a Christian patron in the framework of Christian religion. But how can we tell? There is a good deal of interference to deal with. The Cantar de Cantares mostly follows the Vulgate, which in turn is a rather faulty translation from the Hebrew and as such has linguistic and interpretive characteristics that are particular to the Hebrew Tanakh.

Likewise, early Christian commentators of the Song of Songs such as Origen were influential on both Christian and Jewish exegetical tradition. I began by reading different versions side by side: the Cantar de Cantares next to the Vulgate next to the Tanakh , and noting where the Alfsonsine version differed from the Vulgate and from the Tanakh , giving especial attention to where it differed from both.

In the cases where the text seemed to deviate from the Vulgate I tried to find explanations in medieval Jewish exegetes, especially the commentaries of Rashi and of Abraham ibn Ezra, both of which pay attention to the literal sense of the Song of Songs.


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This is important because the Alfonsine translation is quite literal for the most part and makes no reference whatsoever to the traditional allegorical interpretations of the Song that dominate all discussion of the text in sacred contexts. Most medieval commentators were wary of discussing the literal meaning of the Song. In fact, one could get into quite a bit of trouble by considering the literal meaning apart from its traditional interpretations as the story of the love between God and the Church, God and Israel, or from the twelfth century forward God and the individual believer.

In the thirteenth century such commentaries would have been quite rare. There are many many commentaries on the Song of Songs, but among the most influential for both Christian and Jewish commentators and especially translators would have been the Sephardi Abraham ibn Ezra , and the French Rabbi Rashi of Troyes Ibn Ezra was an Andalusi polymath who fled persecution at the hands of the radical Almohad dynasty in the s.

He fled North across the Pyrenees, where he was able to parlay his Andalusi education into a brilliant career as an itinerant intellectual. In addition to his commentary on the Song of Songs he wrote a series of books on scientific and religious topics and is still to this day an important reference for Jewish rabbinics. Ibn Ezra insisted on a grammatical and literal reading as a sound basis for allegorical and midrashic interpretation.

ISBN 13: 9781168429049

What does it mean, then, for a translation to be between Christian and Jewish traditions of biblical interpretation? The General estoria is not meant to be a religious document. He even established school of Arabic studies in Seville to train future translators, diplomats, and polemicists. But the General estoria is just that, a history book, one that means to account for human history from Biblical prehistory to modernity.

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As such it approach to the Song of Songs skews to the historical and away from the allegorical, an approach that was highly suspect and potentially heretical —if it had been a religious text, which is was not. The compilers apply this approach in their theory of the order of composition of the Solomonic books, Song of Songs, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes:. Solomon as a wise aged king by the Russian artist Isaak Asknaziy Source: wikipedia.

Now, as the Holy Fathers elsewhere put in order the four books that Solomon wrote, we believe that the proper order of their composition is according to his own personal history, as they appear to come one after the other in the order he wrote them, we take into account the times and ages in which Solomon write the words of these books, for the sayings of the Song of Songs match the age of youth, when men write songs and pastoral compositions, we put the Song of Songs first in this history.

And because when men leave that age and enter into the next one of better judgment, the book of Proverbs matches that one, and so we put it after the Song of Songs.

Biblical Book Names & Abbreviations - Nombres y Abreviaciones de los Libros de la Biblia

And because next comes an age of greater judgment than the ones that come before it, and Solomon spoke in the book of Wisdom of knowledge, we therefore put that book in the third position after these other two, as we see fit. And because Solomon spoke of this in Ecclesiastes we put it in the final position of these four books. This reordering flies in the face of Christian exegesis of the times, that explains the canonical ordering of the Solomonic books as a progression of ever more sophisticated grasp of revelation, culminating, not beginning, with the Song of Songs, the highest and most sacred expression of human wisdom regarding Divine revelation, a work that must pale in importance beside the more pragmatic Proverbs and the bummer Ecclesiastes.

Surely only a mature man could have written such a sublime poem? Post a Comment. He wrote much, both prose and poetry. Aside from his lyric poetry, his best-known work and only one easily available in English translation is The Names of Christ , recently printed as part of Paulist Press' "Classics of Western Spirituality" series.

As the name says, Cantar de Cantares is a literal translation and explanation of the book of the Song of Songs. I cannot find an English translation of the Cantar de Cantares online, so I decided to try my hand at my own translation. I must admit, I am not a professional translator, and I cannot vouch for any high technical value in this translation. I am only working on a Spanish minor, and this is also medieval Spanish, so it's more difficult to translate.

The goal is to get across, at the least, the overall message of Fray Luis' book. I will include a summary of each section that I translate with the post, and I will include notes attempting to explain bits of my translation. Any words I have trouble translating will be included in braces.

Hopefully this translation provides some service to all non-Spanish speakers reading this. And for anyone who wants to look at the original Spanish, I found it here.

I hope you find this translation helpful! His Spirit conforms itself to our style and our love, with all its passions and affections, so that we are not separated from His grace. All the Scriptures show this, but the Song of Songs shows it in the most passionate detail. The passion in this book is so strong that it is almost dangerous to study. There is a spiritual sense to this book, with the words describing the mysteries of Christ's Incarnation and His love for the Church: this has been explained better by holier men in greater books. Instead, Fray Luis will merely discuss the meanings of the words themselves, with he says is still difficult, due to two main reasons: one, it is always difficult to make language accurately match the passion of the heart; two, the Hebrew language is a language with its own customs, from a different people of a different time, making the sayings of the book seem strange to us now.

Fray Luis sets out to produce a translation as literal to the Hebrew as possible; he also sets out to provide explanations of the more obscure passages of the book these explanations follow the translations. His wish is to have done what was commanded him [by his cousin, for whom he composed this work: she is the one addressed in the prologue]. The Psalms of David testify to this, and much more so the writings of the Holy Prophets; but nothing so much as the Book of the Songs that we have in our hands, where God shows Himself wounded, and all to the end that we do not flee from Him or separate ourselves from His grace; and that defeated, or by love, or by embarrassment, we would make it so that He advises us, for it is in this that our greatest happiness consists.

Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition) Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition)
Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition) Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition)
Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition) Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition)
Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition) Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition)
Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition) Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition)
Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition) Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition)
Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition) Cantar de los cantares de Salomón (Spanish Edition)

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