Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And forgive us our Shoulds...

I posted a comment a while back at Althouse: link

The Lord's Prayer in German:

Vater unser im Himmel,
geheiligt werde dein Name;
dein Reich komme;
dein Wille geschehe,
wie im Himmel so auf Erden.
Unser tägliches Brot gib uns heute.
Und vergib uns unsere Schuld,
wie auch wir vergeben unsern Schuldigern
und führe uns nicht in Versuchung,
sondern erlöse uns von dem Bösen.
Denn dein ist das Reich und die Kraft
und die Herrlichkeit in Ewigkeit.Amen

The German words Schuld and Schuldigern mean debt/guilt and debtors/guilty* respectively, and correspond to our words "trespasses" and "those who trespass against us." Our words are perhaps too nuanced with a property infringement meaning (though the figurative meaning is there too).
*Nietzsche commented on the historical use in German of the same concept Schuld for guilt and debt (monetary) in his Genealogy of Morals.
An astute commenter followed-up my comment with:
Presbyterians use the debts/debtors formulation for the Lord's Prayer. It comes from the King James Bible. The trespasses and trespassers language comes from the book of Common Prayer, an Anglican formulation accepted by Baptists and Methodists, unknowingly. link
In old English, the word for trespass or guilt, and for debt or fine, was the same: Gylt. This in turn is rooted in an older word Scylde which survives as our modern word should in the sense of a debt or an obligation. link

1 comment:

  1. Usury was a practice legally limited to Jews in the Christian nations during the Middle Ages.

    ...and every time the various kings ended up with a debt to the Jews that seemed extreme, they were purged from that particular kingdom...

    The same was true of the Knights Templar and the various Masonic temples who ended up owning a vast share of the British treasury during the crusades -- and was in turn purged. They didn't practice usury, but bankrolled the war, taking their "interest" in the form of graft.