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Feb. 9th, 2008 @ 01:25 am Question : Legion
I have a random question, hoping someone here is familiar with this or can point me in a good direction for further info, or both.

I was wondering about the term Legion used in Mark 5:9, Luke 8:30, and Matthew 8:23-24.

What is the original term used (or various terms used) in Aramaic or Greek? What would the literal translation be and are there any connotations missing between the original context and the common English translation?

Also are there any mentions of the event of that event in the Apocrypha anywhere?

Thanks! I just need to learn Hebrew and Greek one of these days finally!
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Date:February 9th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
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The New testament was written in Greek, not in Hebrew, so the question would probably be better posed in a Greek community. (Actually, it would still better be posed in a Latin community. More on that in a bit.)

But I'll tell you what I know.

The word legion is not a translation at all. It is a transliteration. (For example, if I am an English speaker and I write that someone is having a fiesta I am not translating the word "fiesta" into its meaning; I am rather just leaving it as it is as a foreign word, assuming that my readers will know what this "fiesta" from another culture is.)

The Greek word (λεγεων, legeon) is itself a transliteration of the Latin word (legion). A legion was a Roman military organizational group. (The Latin word was derived from "to choose", meaning originally that these men in this group were chosen.) Roman legions usuall contained 3000 to 6000 troops, often with cavalry.

So you can see how your question really has nothing to do with Hebrew! :)

For more information check historical sources on Roman legions or ask around in a Latin community.

Edited at 2008-02-09 04:29 pm (UTC)