First Reading:                    1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 84:2-3, 5-6, 9-10 (cf. 5-a)

Second Reading:               1 John 3:1-2, 21-24

Alleluia:                             cf. Acts 16:14 b

Gospel:                             Luke 2:41-52



This Sunday is about the inner dynamics, not only of the Holy Family, but also of all families of the Faithful.  Families and marriages are under stress, derived at least in part from greater economic opportunities for women.  In the United States, more women than men initiate divorces.[1]  As another sign of stress, there is a willingness to cohabitate in order to avoid the economic commitments of marriage.

Within that context, this Sunday the Faithful have an opportunity to contemplate the Holy Family.  One of the ordinary life-stages through which people pass is the stage of raising adolescent children.  The gospels record Mary and Joseph going through that stage.

In 1951, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote a book, Three to Get Married,[2] which Mark A. Yarhouse and James Sellers do not annotate, but which makes their point.  Successful marriages look outside of themselves for the source of stability.  Sheen referred to God as the third person in a good marriage.  God was the third person in the marriage between Mary and Joseph.  Jesus, their child, was not God in that sense of three to get married.


Annotated Bibliography

Material above the double line draws from material below the double line.  Those uninterested in scholarly and tangential details should stop reading here.  If they do, however, they may miss some interesting material.



1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28

1 Sam 1:24

Mark Leuchter, "`Now There Was a (Certain) Man’: Compositional Chronology in Judges—1 Samuel”[3]

Leuchter discerns the remnants of a developing theology in how the Faithful preserved Sacred Scripture in the Books of Samuel and Judges.  How God protects the Faithful is not always clear.


Psalm 84:2-3, 5-6, 9-10 (cf. 5 a)

Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord seems to suit the Sinaiticus.[4]


Codex Sinaiticus[5]


The transcription of Codex Sinaiticus was funded by the

What is an electronic transcription?

A transcription of a manuscript is as exact a copy as possible, reproducing its precise text letter by letter.  A transcription may also reproduce the layout of the manuscript and show any corrections that were subsequently made to it.  Such transcriptions of biblical manuscripts in printed form have been part of scholarly activity since at least the eighteenth century.  One was made in the nineteenth century by Constantine Tischendorf of the parts of Codex Sinaiticus of which he knew.

An electronic transcription is essentially the same.  It consists of a file or series of files containing in plain text a letter by letter reproduction of the text of the manuscript.  Corrections, layout features and anything else considered noteworthy are tagged so that they may subsequently be displayed, searched and analyzed as required.

What are the advantages of an electronic transcription?

  • The creation of a 'virtual' Codex Sinaiticus permits scholars to see the manuscript as a whole, as never before possible.
  • Creation of a scholarly, machine-readable transcription, linked by word to the manuscript images, is providing textual scholars with possibilities for research and analysis never before available.
  • Future scholars will be able to develop and improve the same basic material as new tools become available.
  • Different manuscript transcriptions may be linked or shared between projects, developing more sophisticated resources and avoiding duplication of efforts.

How has this transcription been made?

A team at the University of Birmingham and at the University of Münster (see a list of the team members) has produced the electronic transcription.  Two initial transcriptions were made of each book, by two transcribers working from the new digital images.  These two transcriptions were then compared automatically using 'Collate' software.  The list of differences was then checked against the images, and a final definitive version produced.  When necessary, the transcribers examined the original to verify uncertain readings.  This transcription was then converted into xml, and then into html, to produce the transcription as it appears on this website.  The New Testament is based upon transcriptions made in the Institute for New Testament Textual Research, in Münster in Westphalia, Germany.

Examination of the entire text by the editorial team has led to the first-ever full comparison of all the leaves now available, for full codicological and palaeographical study.  Because the manuscript was copied by at least three scribes and corrected by a series of hands, this study has lead to a fuller description and understanding of the formation of the manuscript.


1 John 3:1-2, 21-24

1 John 3:1-2, 21-24

Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, 2nd ed., Erroll F. Rhodes, tr.[6]

The Cologny Bibliotheca Bodmeriana has a Seventh Century parchment manuscript with verses 1 and 2.  Selly Oak College in Birmingham has verses 23 and 24 in a Sixth Century parchment manuscript.


1 John 3:2

Neil J. Ormerod, "Two Points or Four?—Rahner and Lonergan on Trinity, Incarnation, Grace, and Beatific Vision"[7]

The Lectionary is using the classic verse that describes the Beatific Vision.


cf. Acts 16:14 b

While the Sinaiticus and Nestle-Aland Greek agree, the other manuscripts cause a difficulty.  I do not understand the difficulty at asking the Lord to open our hearts.[8]


Luke 2:41-52

Luke 2:48 has a difficulty that seems to be about either having been looking or have been looking.  I lack the time and confidence to unscramble the tenses and words involved.[9]



Luke 2:49

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults[10]

In their Chapter 35, “God Calls Us to Pray,” the Bishops point out that Mary and Joseph taught Jesus to pray.  The Bishops write, “… a filial prayer he revealed when he was twelve, `I must be in my Father’s House’ (Lk 2:49), Jesus addressed his Father by the name `Abba,’ which in the language of his day was used by children to speak to their fathers.”  In the Greek, neither Nestle-Aland nor the Sinaiticus[11] use “Abba.”  Both use the root word for patriarchy.  This page in the Catechism, therefore, is a hoax.  The Vatican Catechism is not the source for this nonsense.[12]



For more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at


[1] Mark A. Yarhouse and James Sellers, “Family Therapies:  A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal” (2009 manuscript in press) 440.


[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3 (July 2007) 431.


[4]  (accessed May 17, 2009).  Psalm 85 in the Lectionary is Psalm 84 in the Codex Sinaiticus.


[6] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 101, 126.


[7] Theological Studies, Vol. 68, No. 3 (September 2007) 667.


[10] Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006, 466.


[12] n.a., Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, revised in accordance with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II, contains glossary and analytical index (The Vatican: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1994, 1997) 624, # 2599.