Non nobis Domine

Non nobis Domine. Latin, date unknown. The phrase ‘Non nobis Domine’ comes from the Vulgate (Psalm 113: 9). In the 1611 translation of the Bible, the King James Version, it opens Psalm 115 (‘Not unto us, not unto us, O Lord’): the Latin phrase appears at the head of that Psalm in the Book of Common Prayer. It is a prayer of thanksgiving for some great achievement which avoids the sin of pride by ascribing the credit to God. The phrase begins ‘Non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam’. It was used, as the psalmist no doubt intended, as a corrective to human self-sufficiency, and it has some affinities with the frame of mind that taught the Greeks to beware of hubris (pride, or...

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