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Originally Posted by Economos Roman V. Russo
The problem with all psals translations from the Hebrew is that it makes a nonsense of countless patristic references.
What are some of the worse instances, or the worst example, of this divergence of the Hebrew psalms and a patristic reference?

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I confess myself deeply distressed by postings that contain expressions of "distrust of any Bible translation after 1950" or that refer to the "scholastic guesswork of the New Testament Critical Text." Forgive me but I feel such thoughts are indicative of a deeper spiritual pathology of which these postings are mere symptoms. A spiritual father with a familiarity with neo-con, alt-right, traddie phenomena is what is needed here. The translation 'problem' would soon be sorted.

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AJK and Economos Roman V. Russo, Respectfully, i would like to answer AJK's request. Keep in mind when I address this I am using the Septuagint enumeration of the Psalms.

The best example is from the psalms. First, until the 1960s Roman Catholics generally used the same numbering for the psalter as did the Orthodox that was derived from the Septuagint. With the advent of the Grail psalms, the belief came into vogue with Roman Catholics that the use of the Masoretic numbering of the psalms was the correct and more accurate approach to enumerating the psalms. The change was justified on ecumenical grounds that is was acceptable to Protestants and Jews. Nobody, however, took into account the tradition of the Roman church as well as the traditions of the various Eastern Churches. What this did was to create a divorce between modern texts and the past. So, if you read a commentary on psalms by a father of the church, such as Jerome or Theodoret of Cyrus you had to take into account the numbering difference.

However, use of the Masoretic texts does, as the Economos states, "makes a nonsense of . . . patristic references", most notably in the case of Psalm 90 with the reference to the noonday demon. The Masoretic texts will often refer to the "Scourge of noonday, the plague at noon, etc." Why is this problematic? Because, the demon of noonday is associated with the vice of acedia. This vice is addressed by the great Evagrius of Pontus and and St. John Cassian, with references to the noonday devil. If we use the Masoretic text, it does indeed make nonsense of what Evagrius and St. John Cassian discuss, as well as creating issues in monastic spirituality.

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Originally Posted by Roman Byzantine
AJK and Economos Roman V. Russo, Respectfully, i would like to answer AJK's request. Keep in mind when I address this I am using the Septuagint enumeration of the Psalms.

The best example is from the psalms. First, until the 1960s Roman Catholics generally used the same numbering for the psalter as did the Orthodox that was derived from the Septuagint. With the advent of the Grail psalms, the belief came into vogue with Roman Catholics that the use of the Masoretic numbering of the psalms was the correct and more accurate approach to enumerating the psalms. The change was justified on ecumenical grounds that is was acceptable to Protestants and Jews. Nobody, however, took into account the tradition of the Roman church as well as the traditions of the various Eastern Churches. What this did was to create a divorce between modern texts and the past. So, if you read a commentary on psalms by a father of the church, such as Jerome or Theodoret of Cyrus you had to take into account the numbering difference.
This is just bookkeeping, an inconvenience, using the numbering of the source document.

Originally Posted by Roman Byzantine
However, use of the Masoretic texts does, as the Economos states, "makes a nonsense of . . . patristic references", most notably in the case of Psalm 90 with the reference to the noonday demon. The Masoretic texts will often refer to the "Scourge of noonday, the plague at noon, etc." Why is this problematic? Because, the demon of noonday is associated with the vice of acedia. This vice is addressed by the great Evagrius of Pontus and and St. John Cassian, with references to the noonday devil. If we use the Masoretic text, it does indeed make nonsense of what Evagrius and St. John Cassian discuss, as well as creating issues in monastic spirituality.

I'd need more specifics -- what writings, what they said -- about Evagrius of Pontus and St. John Cassian discussing acedia. Acedia, Greek ἀκηδία, literally not-caring, is linked to the noonday devil of Psalm 90 [91]. Biblical variants abound and translations, even and especially if considered in some way inspired, are still based on an original language source that is certainly inspired.

A closer look at the MT for the case of Psa 90:6 might soften the criticism and apparent difference. Ralphs' LXX has δαιμονίου (daimoniou : demon, devil) μεσημβρινοῦ (noon) (Psa 90:6) and the MT צָהֳרָֽיִם (noon) יָשׁ֥וּד (yashud). yashud is a verb meaning to destroy or oppress while the LXX has the (genitive) noun daimoniou. Now look at Psa 105 [106]:37. It also has the (dative) noun δαιμονίοις (daimoniois:to demons). The MT has לַשֵּֽׁדִים (lash-shedim: to-the demons). Hebrew is built of small, often just two letter, root words, in this case the root is probably שֵׁד ( sh-d). Psa 90 had yashud from shadad. The sh is one letter in Hebrew and the vowels are (mostly) not written, and words of the same root are vocalized differently depending on their grammatical forms BUT I think the link to the root sh-d is apparent in both verses. So the sense of evil spirit or demon or devil is possible from MT's Psa 90 but English translators prefer otherwise. (Other Hebrew words with different meanings, e.g. breast, are also built on sh-d).

The OT is in Hebrew and some few verses in Aramaic. The LXX is venerable and canonized by its being referenced, even if not verbatim, in the NT. It is still a translation and cannot do or convey entirely the literary and rhetorical and at times poetic force of the original Hebrew. For me, both are needed.

Also of interest is:New English Translation of the Septuagint

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AJK,

The enumeration does matter, especially if you say the Kathismas. If we say the Second Kathisma, First Stasis, we say Psalms 9 and 10 and then at the Second Stasis Psalms 11 and 12. Keep in mind that our Psalm 9 contains psalm 9 and 10 of the Masoretic text. So, if we use Masoretic enumeration, Psalm 9, divided in two become Psalms 9 and 10 and then 10 becomes 11. That would confuse people and it would confuse me.

The problem is the unverified assumption that the Masoretic Hebrew text faithfully reflects the original text. Since the Septuagint is older, it may likely reflect the original, if not older form, of the Hebrew text. But the truth is, we do not have the original Hebrew text.

Since you want examples, here are some:
Robert E. Sinkewicz, Evagrius of Pontus: The Greek Ascetic Corpus, Oxford 2003
To Eulogios - Page 49-50, #22
The Monk: A Treatise on the Practical Life (the Praktikos) Page 99, # 12

John Cassian The Institutes, Paulist Press Ancient Christian Writers Vol 58, 2000
Book 10 The Spirit of Acedia, page 219, #1

John Cassian The Conferences, Paulist Press Ancient Christian Writers Vol 58, 1997
Seventh Conference, page 270, # XXXII (4)

There are others - Jerome's Homily on Psalm 90, St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Homilies on Psalm 90.

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Originally Posted by Roman Byzantine
AJK,

The enumeration does matter, especially if you say the Kathismas. If we say the Second Kathisma, First Stasis, we say Psalms 9 and 10 and then at the Second Stasis Psalms 11 and 12. Keep in mind that our Psalm 9 contains psalm 9 and 10 of the Masoretic text. So, if we use Masoretic enumeration, Psalm 9, divided in two become Psalms 9 and 10 and then 10 becomes 11. That would confuse people and it would confuse me.

Just for the record, I did not say it doesn't matter, rather "This is just bookkeeping, an inconvenience, using the numbering of the source document." You are conflating two issues, the numbering, and the source text of the translation, into a general criticism.

Originally Posted by Roman Byzantine
The problem is the unverified assumption that the Masoretic Hebrew text faithfully reflects the original text.
This is not my assumption or understanding, nor that of scholars in general. Who supports that "assumption"?

Originally Posted by Roman Byzantine
Since the Septuagint is older, it may likely reflect the original, if not older form, of the Hebrew text. But the truth is, we do not have the original Hebrew text.
Do we have the original of anything? The Hebrew MT copy dates from the Middle Ages as I recall and the LXX also has several textual witnesses. Textual criticism is an ongoing issue. A textual witness can be good or bad, old or recent. So, for instance, a 12th c. Hebrew text may be superior to a 6th c. Greek text. Sometimes the LXX is a better reading, as were instances of the Vulgate relative to the Textus Receptus.

Originally Posted by Roman Byzantine
Since you want examples, here are some:
Robert E. Sinkewicz, Evagrius of Pontus: The Greek Ascetic Corpus, Oxford 2003
To Eulogios - Page 49-50, #22
The Monk: A Treatise on the Practical Life (the Praktikos) Page 99, # 12

John Cassian The Institutes, Paulist Press Ancient Christian Writers Vol 58, 2000
Book 10 The Spirit of Acedia, page 219, #1

John Cassian The Conferences, Paulist Press Ancient Christian Writers Vol 58, 1997
Seventh Conference, page 270, # XXXII (4)

There are others - Jerome's Homily on Psalm 90, St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Homilies on Psalm 90.
Thank you but surely you can provide at least one tangible example by giving a quote with sufficient context. I do not question that they write about acedia but specific references alone do not demonstrate that, as you say, 'use of the Masoretic texts does, as the Economos states, "makes a nonsense of . . . patristic references." '

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Dear AJK,


The Economos made a general statement.
You demanded proof from the Economos to substantiate his allegation.
I gave you generalized examples to support the Economos's generalized allegation.
You demanded further proof and dismissed my argument regarding enumeration.
I have now given you specific cites to translations from critical editions that are proof of the Economos position. Said cites are your specific examples. I also provided you proof from the Kathismas a specific proof regarding enumeration.
You now criticize the specifics proofs as (a) not proving the generalized allegation, (b) as cites without context, and (c) not a tangible example.
The cites are your specific tangible credible evidence. I am sorry, but I do not have the time to type them up for you. To quote Blessed John Duns Scotus from the translation by my late friend Father Allan Wolter, OFM, Duns Scotus on the Will and Morality (Catholic University of America Press, 1986), "Look it up." And, if you look them up, you will find the context provided by the translators and that will be your tangible evidence. As for the Kathismas, your context is the Horologion and the Office of Vespers.

If I put words in your mouth, I am sorry, but I do not have time, and I suspect, neither does the Economos. to type up the citations. If you gave me your email I could scan some of them and send them to you.

Further context for Evagrius and his disciple Cassian:
http://evagriusponticus.net/ by Joel Kalvesmaki
AND
http://www.ldysinger.com/Evagrius/00a_start.htm by Father Luke Dysinger, OSB - Father Luke has his own translations and here it is from the Praktikos
Dysinger provides for free his translations: Here is #12 from the Praktikos with the Greek:

12. THE demon of acedia, which is also called the noonday demon (Ps 90.6), is the most burdensome of all the demons. It besets the monk at about the fourth hour (10 am) of the morning, encircling his soul until about the eighth hour (2 pm).

ιβʹ (12) Ὁ τῆς ἀκηδίας δαίμων͵ ὃς καὶ μεσημβρινὸς καλεῖται͵ πάντων τῶν δαιμόνων ἐστὶ βαρύτατος· καὶ ἐφίσταται μὲν τῷ μοναχῷ περὶ ὥραν τετάρτην͵ κυκλοῖ δὲ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ μέχρις ὥρας ὀγδόης.

[1] First it makes the sun appear to slow down or stop , so the day seems to be fifty hours long.

Καὶ πρῶτον μὲν τὸν ἥλιον καθορᾶσθαι ποιεῖ δυσκίνητον ἢ ἀκίνητον͵ πεντηκοντάωρον τὴν ἡμέραν δεικνύς.

[2] Then it forces the monk to keep looking out the window and rush from his cell to observe the sun in order to see how much longer it is to the ninth [hour, i.e. 3 pm], and to look about in every directions in case any of the brothers are there.

Ἔπειτα δὲ συνεχῶς ἀφορᾶν πρὸς τὰς θυρίδας καὶ τῆς κέλλης ἐκπηδᾶν ἐκβιάζεται͵ τῷ τε ἡλίῳ ἐνατενίζειν πόσον τῆς ἐνάτης ἀφέστηκε͵ καὶ περιβλέπεσθαι τῇδε κἀκεῖσε μή τις τῶν ἀδελφῶν.

[3] Then it assails him with hatred of his place, his way of life and the work of his hands; that love has departed from the brethren and there is no one to console him (cf. Lam 1.17, 21).

Ἔτι δὲ μῖσος πρὸς τὸν τόπον ἐμβάλλει καὶ πρὸς τὸν βίον αὐτόν͵ καὶ πρὸς τὸ ἔργον τὸ τῶν χειρῶν· καὶ ὅτι ἐκλέλοιπε παρὰ τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ἡ ἀγάπη καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ παρακαλῶν·

[4] If anyone has recently caused the monk grief the demon adds this as well to amplify his hatred [of these things]

εἰ δὲ καί τις κατ΄ ἐκείνας τὰς ἡμέρας εἴη λυπήσας τὸν μοναχόν͵ καὶ τοῦτο εἰς αὔξησιν τοῦ μίσους ὁ δαίμων προστίθησιν.

[5] It makes him desire other places where he can easily find all that he needs and practice an easier, more convenient craft After all, pleasing the Lord is not dependent on geography, the demon adds; God is to be worshipped everywhere.

Ἄγει δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ εἰς ἐπιθυμίαν τόπων ἑτέρων ἐν οἷς ῥᾳδίως τὰ πρὸς τὴν χρείαν ἔστιν εὑρεῖν καὶ τέχνην μετελθεῖν εὐκοπωτέραν μᾶλλον καὶ προχωροῦσαν· καὶ ὡς οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν τόπῳ τὸ εὐαρεστεῖν τῷ Κυρίῳ προστίθησιν· πανταχοῦ γάρ͵ φησί͵ τὸ θεῖον προσκυνητόν.
[6] It combines this with remembrance of his relatives and his former way of life, and depicts to him a long life, placing before his eyes a vision of the burdens of the ascetic life.

Συνάπτει δὲ τούτοις καὶ μνήμην τῶν οἰκείων καὶ τῆς προτέρας διαγωγῆς· καὶ χρόνον τῆς ζωῆς ὑπογράφει μακρόν͵ τοὺς τῆς ἀσκήσεως πόνους φέρων πρὸ ὀφθαλμῶν·

So, it employs, as they say, every [possible] means to move the monk to leave his cell and flee the racecourse.
καὶ πᾶσαν τὸ δὴ λεγόμενον κινεῖ μηχανὴν ἵνα καταλελοιπὼς ὁ μοναχὸς τὴν κέλλαν φύγῃ τὸ στάδιον.

No other demon comes immediately after this one; rather, after the struggle the soul receives in turn a peaceful state and unspeakable joy

Τούτῳ τῷ δαίμονι ἄλλος μὲν εὐθὺς δαίμων οὐχ ἕπεται· εἰρηνικὴ δέ τις κατάστασις καὶ χαρὰ ἀνεκλάλητος μετὰ τὸν ἀγῶνα τὴν ψυχὴν διαδέχεται.

Dysinger's translation substantialy agrees with Sinkiewicz's.

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The Moore NT & Psalter was reprinted by Abrams in NYC. The Psalter follows the LXX and includes the titles.

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Originally Posted by Roman Byzantine
Dear AJK,


The Economos made a general statement.
You demanded proof from the Economos to substantiate his allegation.
I made no demands of anyone. I asked a question posed to the Forum in general, with reference to words of the Economos.

Originally Posted by Roman Byzantine
I gave you generalized examples to support the Economos's generalized allegation.
Right, too general all around.

Originally Posted by Roman Byzantine
You demanded further proof and dismissed my argument regarding enumeration.
I demand nothing

Originally Posted by Roman Byzantine
I have now given you specific cites to translations from critical editions that are proof of the Economos position. Said cites are your specific examples. I also provided you proof from the Kathismas a specific proof regarding enumeration.
You now criticize the specifics proofs as (a) not proving the generalized allegation, (b) as cites without context, and (c) not a tangible example.
The cites are your specific tangible credible evidence. I am sorry, but I do not have the time to type them up for you. To quote Blessed John Duns Scotus from the translation by my late friend Father Allan Wolter, OFM, Duns Scotus on the Will and Morality (Catholic University of America Press, 1986), "Look it up." And, if you look them up, you will find the context provided by the translators and that will be your tangible evidence. As for the Kathismas, your context is the Horologion and the Office of Vespers.
You "Look it up" and make your case. Provide specifics; make the time if you make the claim.

Originally Posted by Roman Byzantine
IIf I put words in your mouth, I am sorry, but I do not have time, and I suspect, neither does the Economos. to type up the citations. If you gave me your email I could scan some of them and send them to you.
Again, provide specifics; make the time if you make the claim. I'd take you up on the email offer but I suspect getting lots of words going to a dead end as evidenced by the following examples.

Originally Posted by Roman Byzantine
Further context for Evagrius and his disciple Cassian:
http://evagriusponticus.net/ by Joel Kalvesmaki
AND
http://www.ldysinger.com/Evagrius/00a_start.htm by Father Luke Dysinger, OSB - Father Luke has his own translations and here it is from the Praktikos
Dysinger provides for free his translations: Here is #12 from the Praktikos with the Greek:

12. THE demon of acedia, which is also called the noonday demon (Ps 90.6), is the most burdensome of all the demons. It besets the monk at about the fourth hour (10 am) of the morning, encircling his soul until about the eighth hour (2 pm).

ιβʹ (12) Ὁ τῆς ἀκηδίας δαίμων͵ ὃς καὶ μεσημβρινὸς καλεῖται͵ πάντων τῶν δαιμόνων ἐστὶ βαρύτατος· καὶ ἐφίσταται μὲν τῷ μοναχῷ περὶ ὥραν τετάρτην͵ κυκλοῖ δὲ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ μέχρις ὥρας ὀγδόης.

[1] First it makes the sun appear to slow down or stop , so the day seems to be fifty hours long.

Καὶ πρῶτον μὲν τὸν ἥλιον καθορᾶσθαι ποιεῖ δυσκίνητον ἢ ἀκίνητον͵ πεντηκοντάωρον τὴν ἡμέραν δεικνύς.

[2] Then it forces the monk to keep looking out the window and rush from his cell to observe the sun in order to see how much longer it is to the ninth [hour, i.e. 3 pm], and to look about in every directions in case any of the brothers are there.

Ἔπειτα δὲ συνεχῶς ἀφορᾶν πρὸς τὰς θυρίδας καὶ τῆς κέλλης ἐκπηδᾶν ἐκβιάζεται͵ τῷ τε ἡλίῳ ἐνατενίζειν πόσον τῆς ἐνάτης ἀφέστηκε͵ καὶ περιβλέπεσθαι τῇδε κἀκεῖσε μή τις τῶν ἀδελφῶν.

[3] Then it assails him with hatred of his place, his way of life and the work of his hands; that love has departed from the brethren and there is no one to console him (cf. Lam 1.17, 21).

Ἔτι δὲ μῖσος πρὸς τὸν τόπον ἐμβάλλει καὶ πρὸς τὸν βίον αὐτόν͵ καὶ πρὸς τὸ ἔργον τὸ τῶν χειρῶν· καὶ ὅτι ἐκλέλοιπε παρὰ τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ἡ ἀγάπη καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ παρακαλῶν·

[4] If anyone has recently caused the monk grief the demon adds this as well to amplify his hatred [of these things]

εἰ δὲ καί τις κατ΄ ἐκείνας τὰς ἡμέρας εἴη λυπήσας τὸν μοναχόν͵ καὶ τοῦτο εἰς αὔξησιν τοῦ μίσους ὁ δαίμων προστίθησιν.

[5] It makes him desire other places where he can easily find all that he needs and practice an easier, more convenient craft After all, pleasing the Lord is not dependent on geography, the demon adds; God is to be worshipped everywhere.

Ἄγει δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ εἰς ἐπιθυμίαν τόπων ἑτέρων ἐν οἷς ῥᾳδίως τὰ πρὸς τὴν χρείαν ἔστιν εὑρεῖν καὶ τέχνην μετελθεῖν εὐκοπωτέραν μᾶλλον καὶ προχωροῦσαν· καὶ ὡς οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν τόπῳ τὸ εὐαρεστεῖν τῷ Κυρίῳ προστίθησιν· πανταχοῦ γάρ͵ φησί͵ τὸ θεῖον προσκυνητόν.
[6] It combines this with remembrance of his relatives and his former way of life, and depicts to him a long life, placing before his eyes a vision of the burdens of the ascetic life.

Συνάπτει δὲ τούτοις καὶ μνήμην τῶν οἰκείων καὶ τῆς προτέρας διαγωγῆς· καὶ χρόνον τῆς ζωῆς ὑπογράφει μακρόν͵ τοὺς τῆς ἀσκήσεως πόνους φέρων πρὸ ὀφθαλμῶν·

So, it employs, as they say, every [possible] means to move the monk to leave his cell and flee the racecourse.
καὶ πᾶσαν τὸ δὴ λεγόμενον κινεῖ μηχανὴν ἵνα καταλελοιπὼς ὁ μοναχὸς τὴν κέλλαν φύγῃ τὸ στάδιον.

No other demon comes immediately after this one; rather, after the struggle the soul receives in turn a peaceful state and unspeakable joy

Τούτῳ τῷ δαίμονι ἄλλος μὲν εὐθὺς δαίμων οὐχ ἕπεται· εἰρηνικὴ δέ τις κατάστασις καὶ χαρὰ ἀνεκλάλητος μετὰ τὸν ἀγῶνα τὴν ψυχὴν διαδέχεται.

Dysinger's translation substantialy agrees with Sinkiewicz's.
First, thank you for the links to these sites.

You have cut and pasted a lot of words in two language but what do they prove or demonstrate? As I said before,
Quote
I do not question that they write about acedia but specific references alone do not demonstrate that, as you say, 'use of the Masoretic texts does, as the Economos states, "makes a nonsense of . . . patristic references." '
There are two biblical references; what's the "nonsense" is the question not what is acedia. Looking at this

Originally Posted by Roman Byzantine
12. THE demon of acedia, which is also called the noonday demon (Ps 90.6), is the most burdensome of all the demons. It besets the monk at about the fourth hour (10 am) of the morning, encircling his soul until about the eighth hour (2 pm).

ιβʹ (12) Ὁ τῆς ἀκηδίας δαίμων͵ ὃς καὶ μεσημβρινὸς καλεῖται͵ πάντων τῶν δαιμόνων ἐστὶ βαρύτατος· καὶ ἐφίσταται μὲν τῷ μοναχῷ περὶ ὥραν τετάρτην͵ κυκλοῖ δὲ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ μέχρις ὥρας ὀγδόης.
There are a lot of what ifs about this. I an using Guide to Evagrius Ponticus edited by Joel Kalvesmaki which has a different English translation than here. (What's the direct link to what is here for the English?)

1. The specific noting of (Ps 90.6) is not in the text that I found at the referenced site; it is noted in the Greek as a kind of footnote. I have found and I suspect that pointing to Ps 90:6 is not in original manuscripts and has been added here by editors as a reasonable comparison but not a quote as noted in the points that follow.

2. What is the to be understood by δαίμων? See δαίμων He says it of other vices too, more than just acedia.

3. δαίμων is a different form from the LXX which has δαιμονίου noun genitive neuter singular common from δαιμόνιον. Compare the LXX's δαιμόνιον and the δαίμων of the Praktikos.

4. The translation as given above has " noonday demon (Ps 90.6)" but this repeat of demon is not in the Greek which has Ὁ τῆς ἀκηδίας δαίμων͵ ὃς καὶ μεσημβρινὸς καλεῖται, literally, Of the acedia δαίμων, which and noontide is called. So this is not in any way a quote of the LXX.

5. ἀκηδίας is explicit in the LXX, as πνεύματος ἀκηδίας (Isa 61:3) translated as spirit of heaviness, weakness, or faint spirit. Also λόγους ἀκηδίας (Sir 29:5 BGT) words of grief, ἀκηδίας (Psa 118[119]:28 BGT). Are these instances found in the writings of St. EVAGRIUS on acedia?

6. The second noted biblical citation shows more direct correspondence with the LXX. Compare

Evagrius of Pontus, Praktikos ... τὸ τῶν χειρῶν· καὶ ὅτι ἐκλέλοιπε παρὰ τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ἡ ἀγάπη καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ παρακαλῶν·


LXX Lam 1:17 χεῖρας αὐτῆς οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ παρακαλῶν


St. Evagrius addresses many δαίμων's. What makes the one called ἀκηδίας (acedia) stand out is the noonday designation. And noonday is in the LXX and the Hebrew of the MT of Ps 90(91):6. So if this is the worst case then I do not see the designation "nonsense" applicable.

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