Vos estis sal terrae

At Matthew 5:13-16, as part of His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells His disciples: vos estis sal terrae (you are the salt of the earth) and vos estis lux mundi (you are the light of the world). This entry will look at the Latin, Polish and Friulian readings of these His two pronouncements.

Jezu, ufam TobieLatin. (i) Vos estis sal terrae. The second-person plural vos estis means you are, which is employed when speaking to more than one person; when speaking to but one person, Latin employs tu es (thou art). The Latin for salt is the masculine noun sal, and the Latin for earth is the feminine noun terra. Vocabulary: vos estis (you are); sal (m., salt); terra (f., earth). In Christ’s words, the genitive form terrae is found. Whereas terra means the earth, the genitive terrae means of the earth. Wherefore: vos estis sal terrae (you are the salt of the earth). (ii) Vos estis lux mundi. Appearing again in this second pronouncement is the second-person plural vos estis (you are). The Latin for light is the feminine noun lux, and the Latin for world is the masculine noun mundus. Vocabulary: vos estis (you are); lux (f., light); mundus (m., world). In Christ’s words, the genitive form mundi is found. Whereas mundus means the world, the genitive mundi means of the world. Wherefore: Vos estis lux mundi (you are the light of the world).

Polish. (i) Wy jesteście solą ziemi. The second-person plural wy jesteście means you are, which is employed when speaking to more than one person; when speaking to but one person, Polish employs ty jesteś (thou art). The Polish for salt is the feminine noun sól, and the Polish for earth is the feminine noun ziemia. Vocabulary: wy jesteście (you are); sól (f., salt); ziemia (f., earth). In Christ’s words, the genitive form ziemi is found. Whereas ziemia means the earth, the genitive ziemi means of the earth. Moreover, sól has taken its instrumental form solą, which can be likened to as the salt, though as need not be expressed in English. Wherefore: wy jesteście solą ziemi (you are the salt of the earth). (ii) Wy jesteście światłem świata. Appearing again in this second pronouncement is the second-person plural wy jesteście (you are). The neuter noun światło is Polish for light, and the masculine noun świat is Polish for world. Vocabulary: wy jesteście (you are); światło (n., light); świat (m., world). In Christ’s words, the genitive form świata is found. Whereas świat means the world, the genitive świata means of the world. Moreover, światło has taken its instrumental form światłem. Wherefore: Wy jesteście światłem świata (you are the light of the world).

Friulian. (i) Vualtris o sês il sâl de tiere. The second-person plural vualtris o sês means you are, which is employed when speaking to more than one person; when speaking to but one person, Friulian employs tu tu sês (thou art). The Friulian for salt is the masculine noun sâl, and the Friulian for earth is the feminine noun tiere. Vocabulary: vualtris o sês (you are); sâl (m., salt); tiere (f., earth). Found in Christ’s words is de, which is the contraction of the preposition di (of) and the feminine definite article la (the), so that de tiere (of the earth) = di (of) + la tiere (the earth). Wherefore: Vualtris o sês il sâl de tiere (you are the salt of the earth). (ii) Vualtris o sês la lûs dal mont. Appearing again in this second pronouncement is the second-person plural vualtris o sês (you are). The feminine noun lûs is Friulian for light, and the masculine noun mont is Friulian for world. Vocabulary: vualtris o sês (you are); lûs (f., light); mont (m., world). Found in Christ’s words is dal, which is the contraction of the preposition di (of) and the masculine definite article il (the), so that dal mont (of the world) = di (of) + il mont (the world). Wherefore: Vualtris o sês la lûs dal mont (you are the light of the world).

Below is the entirety of Matthew 5:13-16 in Latin, Polish and Friulian, for the reader’s consideration.

Latin (Biblia Vulgata): Vos estis sal terrae. Quod si sal evanuerit, in quo salietur? ad nihilum valet ultra, nisi ut mittatur foras, et conculcetur ab hominibus. Vos estis lux mundi. Non potest civitas abscondi supra montem posita, neque accendunt lucernam, et ponunt eam sub modio, sed super candelabrum, ut luceat omnibus qui in domo sunt. Sic luceat lux vestra coram hominibus: ut videant opera vestra bona, et glorificent Patrem vestrum, qui in caelis est.

Polish (Biblia Tysiąclecia): Wy jesteście solą ziemi. Lecz jeśli sól utraci swój smak, czymże ją posolić? Na nic się już nie przyda, chyba na wyrzucenie i podeptanie przez ludzi. Wy jesteście światłem świata. Nie może się ukryć miasto położone na górze. Nie zapala się też lampy i nie umieszcza pod korcem, ale na świeczniku, aby świeciła wszystkim, którzy są w domu. Tak niech wasze światło jaśnieje przed ludźmi, aby widzieli wasze dobre uczynki i chwalili Ojca waszego, który jest w niebie.

Friulian (Bibie par un popul): Vualtris o sês il sâl de tiere; ma se il sâl al devente lami cun ce si varàial di salâ? Nol sarà plui bon par nuie, dome di jessi butât vie e tibiât de int. Vualtris o sês la lûs dal mont. Une citât metude suntune mont no pò restâ platade. E nancje no si impie un lampion par metilu sot dal miezut; si lu poe invezit sul cjandelîr par che ur fasi lûs a ducj chei che a son in cjase. Cussì e à di lusî la vuestre lûs denant dai oms par che, viodint lis vuestris oparis buinis, a glorifichin il Pari vuestri che al è tai cîi.