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Kekaritomene,GratiaPlena,FullofGrace

FULLOFGRACE(Luke
1,28)

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KEKARITOMENE
FULLOFGRACEORFAVOURED?
()

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SomecontroversybetweencatholicsandprotestantsstillcomefromthetranslationofLuke1.28,wherecatholicbibles
translate with "full of grace", while non catholic bibles prefer to translate "favoured by the grace",
"filledwithdivinegrace""favoured"or"higlyfavoured".RevisedStandardVersionCatholicEdition(1966)restored
traditional"fullofgrace",whiletheNewAmericanBible(1970),officialversionofamericancatholics,replacedfull
ofgraceofDouayRheims(1610)withfavoredone,grieving so many readers and following, as in other points
(seeforexampleRomans9.5andTitus2:13),thesadexampleofKingJames(1611).Wedontwanttocontendwith
protestantpeoplenorwiththeU.S.episcopalconference.We,however,notethattodaymanycatholics(andorthodox)
areperplexednottowardancienttranslations,literallyconfirmedandgrammaticallyacceptable,as:

youwhohavereceivedgrace(Diodati)
favouredbythegrace(Riveduta,NewRiveduta)

buttowardsversionsas:

favoured (Young Literal Translation, Darby English, Revised Standard Version, New Revised Standard
Version,NewAmericanStandardBible,NewAmericanBible)or
higlyfavoured(NewDiodati,KingJames,AmericanStandardVersion,NewKingJames,NewInternational
Version,NewWorldTranslation)

Actually the term "favoured" was (and still is) often used to identify harlots or women of dubious virtue or lost
reputation.Bytranslatingkekaritomenewith"favoured",wedescribetheloveofGodtoMaryasaneventfleeting,
ephemeral and ambiguous: favorites were (and are) subject to a continuous replacement and eternal whims.
Translating"kekaritomene"with"favouredbythegrace"(asLuzzi)isamorebalancedposition,whichemphasizes
theimmensityofthegraceofGodtohumanity.GratiaplenausedbyJeromeseemstoconfirmtoMary(andtoevery
man)thestability,thestrengthandthefullnessofalovethathassolovedtheworldtogivehisonlybegottenSon,that
whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).The beautiful translation of Jerome is
thereforeevidentandseemstogobeyondthereservationstotheMariandevotion,thedogmasdevelopedbycatholics
andthelearneddisputesofallwhowouldlikegooverthebiblicaltext.Harlots,whoresorwomenofdubiousvirtue
are "favoured" for beauty, charm, loveliness, intelligence or education, while Mary is "full of grace" because she
"receivedgracebyGod"(Luke1:30).Thetranslation"favoured"couldsuggestforegoingmeritsofMary,but"fullof
grace""oryouwhohavereceivedgracecouldonlyshow"thelowestateofthehandmaidenofGodLuke1.48).

istheperfectpassiveparticiple(vocative,femaleandsingular)ofverbthatmeanstoreceive
grace, make gracious, charming, beautiful, nice, examine with grace, honor with blessings, encourage, gratify.
Prefixindicatesthattheverbisattheperfecttime,whilethesuffixshowsthattheverbisusedintheformof
passive participle. The catholic translation full of grace dates back to "gratia plena"used by Jerome, who in
[1]
Vulgate didnt want make active a perfect passive participle but merely wished give a substantive or attributive
nuance (full of grace, beautiful, preferred) to perfect passive participle (subject of divine grace, filled with divine
grace,honoured,blessedbydivinefavor,watchedwithgrace,madebeautifulbygrace,favouredbygrace,surrounded
[2]
bydivinegrace) .

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Accordingtomanyscholars,theperfect,whichinGreekClassichadexactandmomentaryvalue,intheGreekKoin
andintheNewTestamenttendstotake"continuative, permanent and durative"value.Thesamethingseemstobe
valid also for the perfect passive participles that, in the socalled "periphrastic coniugation", tend to replace the
perfect, especially in the Christian Greek Scriptures. Indeed, in Greek Koin,perfect and periphrastic coniugation
"estin + perfect passive participle" are often substantially equivalent. In New Testament then there are many cases
where perfect time, perfect passive participle preceded by "estin" and perfect passive participle (used alone) have
similarvalueTheperfectpassiveparticiple,whenusedalone,revealssubstantiveorperiphrasticvalue (with "estin"
[3] [4]
oftenomitted) .

Thosewhotranslate"kekeritomene"with"favoured"arguethat"kekaritomene"isaparticiplesubstantivizeddevoidof
fullness,durabilityandstability.TheverbusedbyGabrielwouldbetheimperative"chaire" that is "rejoice".Many
otherscholarsthinkthattheperfectpassiveparticiple"kekaritomene"couldbeaverbalformandnotanounitself.In
NewTestament,inApostolicFathersandinEarlyChristianLiteraturetherearemanyexamplesofpassiveparticiples
used in periphrastic coniugation: in many periphrastic forms the verb to be is clearly omitted. If "chaire" is a
salutationratherthanarealimperative(aswellrealizedJerometranslating"chaire"with"Ave"),wecanassumethat
"kekaritomene" here retains a high verbal value. Although we cant prove that "kekaritomene" correspond to the
periphrasticconiugation"estin+kekaritomene",wemaynotethat,withinthesameverse,theverb"tobe"isomitted
atleastoncemore.InLuke1.28wehave:

""
"KairekekaritomeneorKuriosgoalsou"
"Hail[youwere]filledwithgrace,theLord[is]withyou."

AccordingtoLuke1.42,insomemanuscripts(includingTextusReceptus),thegreetingcontinueswith:

""
"Eulogemeneonengunaiksin"
"Blessed[areorwere]youamongwomen,"

wherewefind(eulogemene),perfectpassiveparticiplenominativesingularandfemale(askekaritomene),
withaverb"tobe"omitted.GratiaplenacouldtranslatewithcarefulprecisiontheideathatthegraceofwhichMary
wasfilledisfull,stable,durableandlasting

[5]
.Literally"kekaritomene"shouldmean"youthatwere,areandremain

foreverfilledbydivinegrace."PopeJohnPaulIIhasrightlyobservedthat"Weshouldnotsimplysay"fullofgrace"
but"madefullofgrace"or"filledofdivinegrace",whichclearlyindicatethatthisisagiftfromGodtotheVirgin.The
term,intheformofperfectparticiple,confirmstheimageofaperfectandlastinggracewhichimpliesfullness.The
sameverb,meaning"givegrace,"isusedinthelettertotheephesianstoindicatetheabundanceofgracegrantedto
usbytheFatherinhisbelovedSon(Ephesians1:6)".Anauthoritativepastorofthecatholicchurchhasalsorecently
stressedthat"IntheBookofExoduswereadthatGodisfullofgrace(Exodus34.6),butGodiswhofillswithgrace
[6]
inactivesense,whileMarywasfilledwithgraceinreceptivesense .

"Gratiaplena" of the Vulgate seems also shared by versions SyriacaPeshitta, Arabian, Egyptian and Ethiopian. In
addition:

Wyclif'sVersion[1380]has"fullofgrace"
Tyndale'sVersion[1534]has"fullofgrace"
Cranmer'sVersion[1539]has"fullofgrace"
GenevaBible[1599]saidinthemarginnotes"mightberenderedfullofgraceandfavour",
http://digilander.libero.it/domingo7/kekaritomene.htm

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DouayRheims[1610]has"fullofgrace"
AuthorizedVersionorKJV[1611]saidinthemarginnotes"muchgracedorgraciouslyaccepted"
Revised Version [1881], American Standard Version [1901] and Scofield Edition [1909, 1914] have in a
marginnote"OrEndowedwithGrace"
NewAmericanStandardBible[1971,1977]hasinafootnote"Or,Owomanrichlyblessed"
EnglishPeshittaTranslationofEtheridge[1849]has"Peacetothee,fullofgrace"
EnglishPeshittaTranslationofMurdock[1852]has"Peacetothee,thoufullofgrace"
EnglishPeshittaTranslationofLamsa[1933]has"Peacetoyou,ofullofgrace"
EnglishPeshittaTranslationofYounan[2000]has"Peacetoyou,fullofgrace".

,correspondingmaleof,isjustanothertimeintheBible(Sirach18.17)andinVulgate
wastranslatedbyJeromewith"iustificato",withoutintroducinganyactivenuance

[7]
.Theneutralis

rather rare and was also employed by Symmachus to translate the Hebrew word (barar) that is "pure" (Psalm
[8]
18.26) .InFathersoftheChurchwecanfindcorrespondingneutralof,usedforthe
[9]
HolySpiritthat"therewasgivenbygrace"orthatis"fullofgrace"(ClementofAlexandria,Stromata,I,1,14) .

GraceandfavourarealwaysandonlybyGod(1Peter5:10andEphesians1:6),butthetranslation"fullofgrace"in
the sense of "beautiful, loved and always full of divine grace " seems without any doubt correct, accurate and
applicabletoMarybyallChristians,giventhatnotonlyJesus(John1:14)butalsothedeaconStephen(Acts6:8)was
clearly said namely" full of grace ". The fullness of grace of Mary is obviouslydifferent from the
fullnessofgraceofJesusandStephen,but"fullofgrace"isajusttitleforMary,as"SonofGod"isajusttitlefor
Jesus, given that even the judges were called gods (Psalm 82.6 and John 10.34). The opposition shown by non
catholic people towards the translation "full of grace" therefore seems rather due to theological prejudices (Marian
Devotion,ImmaculateConception,PerpetualVerginity)thantological,linguisticandgrammaticalreasons(Songof
Songs4:7).

FromtheScripturesweknowthatfullofHolySpiritwereJohntheBaptist(Luke1:15),Mary(Luke1:35),Zechariah
(Luke1.67),JesusChrist(Luke4:1),Peter(Acts4,8),Stephen(Acts7.55),Barnabas(Acts11:24) and Paul (Acts
13.9).ThefullnessofgraceofMaryisthereforejust,lawful,proper,rightandvalid,giventheparticularfullnessofthe
HolySpiritofMary.Asamatteroffact,theangelGabrielsaidthat:"TheHolySpiritwillcomeuponyou,andthe
poweroftheMostHighwillovershadowyouthereforethechildtobebornwillbecalledholy,theSonofGod"(Luke
1:35).

NoncatholicpeopleoftenquotetheBiblewhereitiswritten:Thefoolsaidinhisheart:thereisnoGodcorruptare
they and have done abominable iniquity there is none that does good. God looked down from heaven upon the
childrenofmen,toseeiftherewereanythatdidunderstand,thatdidseekafterGod.Everyoneofthemisgoneback
they are together become filthy There is none that does good, no, not one (Psalm 53.24) or There is none
righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10). If you want to argue that the justice of men is not derived from special or
meritoriousworksorfromcompliancewithspecificprecepts(Romans3.19Galatians3:11)butfromfaithinGodthe
FatherandinJesusChrist,ourLordandSavior(Romans1.17Romans3.28Galatians2:16),thereisnothingtosay
againstit.IfyouwanttosaythatMaryledalifenotjustandnotpurefromsin,itshouldbenotedthatbyfaithand
works(James2.26),thatis,throughafaithworkingthroughlove(Galatians5:6),wereconsideredrighteousalotof
men,likeNoah,afairandrighteousman(Genesis6.9and7.1),Jobblamelessandupright(Job1:1)andAbraham
whobelievedGod,anditwasreckonedtohimasrighteousness(Romans4:3).MoreoveryouconsidertherightLot(2
Peter2:7),Abel(Matthew23.35),JohntheBaptist,justandholy(Mark6,20),Simeon,justmananddevout(Luke
2:25), Zechariah and Elizabeth, righteous before God (Luke 1:6), Joseph of Arimathea, good man and just (Luke
23.50)andcenturionCornelius,justandGodfearingman(Acts10:22).

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[1]
"Highlyfavoured"(kecharitomene):perfectpassiveparticipleofcharitooandmeansendowedwithgrace("charis"),enriched
withgraceasinEphesians.1:6,nonutmatergratiae,sedutfiliagratiae.TheVulgategratiaeplena is right, if it means' full of
gracewhichthouhastreceived'wrong,ifitmeans'fullofgracewhichthouhasttobestow'.A.T.Robertson,WordPicturesinthe
NewTestament,Nashville,1930,vol.II,p.13.

[2]
Manypastparticipleshavelostlargepartofthepreviousmeaningtoassumetheroleofadjectiveornoun,retaininglittleactive
or passive value (for example, terms such as exit , entry, sight, ice cream, banned, invited, put, elected, fact, happened, prefix,
escaped,accurate,loved,fostered,.).Dependingontheregentverbandongrammaticalcontextandbackground,someofthem
haveonlysubstantivizedvalue,whileothersmaynotexcludeaverbalpermanentanddurativevalue.Someparticipleshavetotally
lostanyverbalvalue(likedress,bandit,content,teacher,singer,container,),whileothersstillseemtoomittheverbtobeor
some other verb. "Bandit" is such because it violates the law and not because I was banned (as in the past) by the society. An
intermediate case is "converted" that can be a self converted man or a man converted by others. Past participles as "beloved",
"favoured","sent"or"hung",whenarenotusedinareflexiveway,seemtounderstandtheverbtobe(whowasloved,whowas
fostered, who was sent or hanged). Then, persistence of some verbal durative and permanent value seems possible, logical and
legitimate.Theterm"icecream"hasaclearnondurablevalue:inamomenticecreammelts,whiletheterm"killed"hasaclear
permanentanddurativevalue:deadsdontraiseagain.Theterm"beloved"hasavaluenotalwaysclear"whowasbeloved"may
havebeenlovedforawhile,foracertaintimeorforever.

[3]
Anemblematiccaseistheverb"grapho".Toquoteprophets,theNewTestamentusesindifferently"gegraptai"(perfect),"estin
+gegrammenon"(periphrasticform) or "gegrammenon" (alone). In these cases we can translate without distinction "as it is
written","aswaswritten"or"inaccordancewithisowaswritten."Thereareobviouslycaseswithmoremarkedverbalvalue,while
in other contexts the substantivized value seems to be stronger: the meaning, however, does not seem very different. For use of
"gegraptai"see,forexample,thecasesofMatthew2.5Romans3.4Apocalypse13.8.Foruseof"estin+gegrammenon"seeLuke
20.17John2.17John6.31John6.45John10.34John12.14John19.19.Foruseof"gegrammenon"alonewithperiphrastic
coniugation(andsometimesalsoprecededbyarticle)finallyseeLuke22.37and2Corinthians4.13.Therearealsocasesinwhich
"estin"inverbalformisprobablyomitted(asinRevelation2.17Apocalypse5.1andRevelation17:5).

[4]
Forananalysisofperfectusedtodenotea"continuingeffect"seeBlass&DeBrunner,GreekGrammaroftheNewTestament,
Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1961,pp.176177.Forahinttotheuseofperiphrasticconiugationinthe"perfect",see,for
example,Blass&DeBrunner,GreekGrammaroftheNewTestament,Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1961,pag.179.Fora
detailed examination of the trend in Greek of the New Testament, to omitthe verb"to be" still see Blass & De Brunner, Greek
Grammar of the New Testament, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961, pp. 7071. For "continuative, permanent and
durative"valueofperiphrasticconiugation,seeJ.Gonda,SelectedStudies,1975,VolI,pag.472.For"periphrasticformomitting
copula"seeA.T.Robertson,AGrammaroftheGreekNewTestamentintheLightofHistoricalResearch,1919,pp.11191120.For
Luke1,28asincompletestructureomittingcopula,seeWiner,ATreatiseontheGrammarofNewTestamentGreek,1870,pag.
732.

[5]
Some Catholics quote the phrase: "It is permissible, on greek grammatical and linguistic grounds, to paraphrase"
kecharitomene "as completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace," quoting Blass & De Brunner, Greek Grammar of the
NewTestament,Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1961,pag.166and175176.Totellthetruth,BlassandDeBrunnernever
gaveanassessmentofthemeaningofthetermgreek"kekaritomene."SomeU.S.websites,wouldaccredittheuseoftheperfect
whenperfecttimeisusedtodenoteacontinuingeffectonapersonoranobject(342).

[6]
JohnPaulII,AudienceofWednesday,May8,1996andTarcisioBertone,HomilyontheFeastoftheImmaculateConception,
December 8, 2007. To tell the truth, Ephesians 1.6 (where Jerome translated literally: laudem gloriae gratiae suae in qua
gratificavitnosindilecto)usedactiveindicativeaorist(ekaritosen)oftheverb"karitoo."Thisisanexact,circumstantial,detailed
anddefinitiveaction,sincethegreekaoristisverysimilartooursimplepast.

[7]
DouayRheims(1610)translatesofSirach18.17by"manjustified",whileNovaVulgatetranslates
with"gratioso",theNewAmericanBiblewith"kindlyman",theItalianBibleCEIwith"charitable",theRevisedStandardVersion
andtheNewRevisedStandardVersionwith"graciousman".

[8]
] See: F. Field, Origenis Hexaplorum: quae supersunt sive veterum interpretum graecorum in totus Vetus Testamentum
fragmenta,OxfordUniversityPress,1875,VolII,p.111.

[9]ArchangelGabrielturnedtoDanielusinga rare term, namely "chemdahiysh" (Daniel 9.23 and Daniel 10.11) that is "Man
muchloved,beloved, gracefulandpleasing", a term that Septuagint and Vulgate translated freely with "anerepitomion," that is
"verywantedman"and"virdesideriorum"meaning"manofdesires".

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