Intrate per angustam portam

At Matthew 7:13, Christ says: Intrate per angustam portam (enter by the narrow gate). Entry by the narrow gate represents self-denial and the taking up of one’s cross, the difficult way leading to life and the Kingdom of God; this is in opposition to the comfortable, broad way of this evil world — the one walked by most men — filled with worldly pleasures and leading only to self and to spiritual destruction. This entry will look at the Latin, Polish and Friulian renderings of Christ’s words enter by the narrow gate.

Latin. Intrate per angustam portam. The Latin infinitive intrare means to enter; as for intrate, spoken by Christ, this is a second-person plural imperative. Of intrate, the second-person singular equivalent is intra; in this way, intrate is the imperative form used when speaking to more than one person (enter {you}), and intra is the imperative form used when speaking to but one person (enter {thou}). The Latin preposition per is read by, through. The adjective angustus means narrow. The Latin for gate is the feminine noun porta. Vocabulary: intrare (to enter); intrate (enter {you}); per (by, through); angustus (narrow); porta (f., gate). The Latin for the narrow gate is angusta porta; here, the adjective angustus takes the form angusta that it should accord with the noun porta. However, in Christ’s words, we find not angusta porta but angustam portam: the preposition per has caused angusta porta to fall into accusative position. Consider: angusta porta (the narrow gate); per angustam portam (by the narrow gate). Wherefore: Intrate per angustam portam (enter by the narrow gate).

Polish. Wchodźcie przez ciasną bramę. The Polish imperfective verb wchodzić means to enter; as for wchodźcie, spoken by Christ, this is the second-person plural imperative. Of wchodźcie, the second-person singular equivalent is wchodź; in this way, wchodźcie is the imperative form used when speaking to more than one person (enter {you}), and wchodź is the imperative form used when speaking to but one person (enter {thou}). The Polish preposition przez is read by, through. The adjective ciasny means narrow. The Polish for gate is the feminine noun brama. Vocabulary: wchodzić (impf., to enter); wchodźcie (enter {you}); przez (by, through); ciasny (narrow); brama (f., gate). The Polish for the narrow gate is ciasna brama; here, the adjective ciasny takes the form ciasna that it should accord with the noun brama. However, in Christ’s words, we find not ciasna brama but ciasną bramę: the preposition przez has caused ciasna brama to fall into accusative position. Consider: ciasna brama (the narrow gate); przez ciasną bramę (by the narrow gate). Wherefore: Wchodźcie przez ciasną bramę (enter by the narrow gate).

Friulian. Jentrait pe puarte strete. The Friulian verb jentrâ means to enter; as for jentrait, spoken by Christ, this is the second-person plural imperative. Of jentrait, the second-person singular equivalent is jentre; in this way, jentrait is the imperative form used when speaking to more than one person (enter {you}), and jentre is the imperative form used when speaking to but one person (enter {thou}). The Friulian preposition par is read by, through; this preposition is subject to contraction, which is explained below. The Friulian for gate is the feminine noun puarte. The adjective stret means narrow. Vocabulary: jentrâ (to enter); jentrait (enter {you}); par (by, through); puarte (f., gate); stret (narrow). The Friulian for the narrow gate is la puarte strete; here, the adjective stret takes the form strete that it should accord with the noun puarte. As for pe, found in Christ’s words, this is a contraction of the preposition par and the feminine definite article la, so that par (by) + la puarte strete (the narrow gate) = pe puarte strete (by the narrow gate). Wherefore: Jentrait pe puarte strete (enter by the narrow gate).

The reader will find below the text of Matthew 7:13-14 in Latin, Polish and Friulian, for his consideration.

Latin (Biblia Vulgata): Intrate per angustam portam: quia lata porta, et spatiosa via est, quae ducit ad perditionem, et multi sunt qui intrant per eam. Quam angusta porta, et arcta via est, quae ducit ad vitam: et pauci sunt qui inveniunt eam!

Polish (Biblia Tysiąclecia): Wchodźcie przez ciasną bramę. Bo szeroka jest brama i przestronna ta droga, która prowadzi do zguby, a wielu jest takich, którzy przez nią wchodzą. Jakże ciasna jest brama i wąska droga, która prowadzi do życia, a mało jest takich, którzy ją znajdują!

Friulian (Bibie par un popul): Jentrait pe puarte strete; parcè che comude e je la puarte e largje la strade che e mene a la danazion; e a son une vore chei che si inviin di chê bande. Cetant strete che e je la puarte e scomude la strade che e mene a la vite; e ce pôcs che a son chei che le cjatin!