Hi again, everybody! ‘Hall Of Shame’ continues.
22 MILAN ELESIN
There are numerous nationalistic myths concerning the various Balkan Slavic languages, notably Serbian. Milan Elesin, a Serbian writer, apparently believes that the Lord’s Prayer was mistranslated into Serbian and other modern Slavic languages, preferring his own reading of the version in Old Church Slavonic (OCS) – the classical language of Eastern European Orthodox Christianity – supposedly written by St Cyril. Elesin seems reluctant to acknowledge the status of the New Testament Greek text as the original formulation of the prayer. For instance, he regards the Serbian equivalent of the word daily in the prayer – and, it seems, the English word itself and equivalent words in other languages – as a confusing mistranslation. Elesin does not seem to be denying that the Greek sentence in question has the meaning ‘Give us today our daily bread’, or claiming that the English, Serbian etc. are mistranslations of the Greek. Instead, he ascribes higher status to the OCS wording, which he repeatedly translates quite differently from the Greek (differing in this respect from mainstream OCS scholars, though without overt acknowledgment of this divergence). In the case of the key word epiousion (‘daily’) as cited here, he treats the OCS as importing ideas from an Egyptian hymn beseeching divine relief from a drought. His view seems to be that Cyril had access – directly or indirectly – to these pre-first-century formulations, and that the OCS thus preserves these better than does the Greek. But these versions are not themselves known; and – like all scholars between post-dynastic times and the nineteenth-century decipherment – Cyril himself was surely unable to read Egyptian.
In other places Elison’s own interpretations are truly bizarre; for example, he translates one section of the OCS as referring to the gas ozone. And his ‘understanding’ of the ideas and covert motivations of contemporary linguists and biblical scholars is also bizarre.
It may be possible to purchase Milan Elesin’s e-book on this subject by writing to him at
email@example.com. It should be borne in mind that his English is often very strange and difficult to understand (some of it is machine-translated)
I found one source where Elesin’s surname was transliterated Elisin; maybe this spelling should be included in web-searches.
More next time!
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