First Reading:                    Acts 5:12-16

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24 (1)

Second Reading:               Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19

Alleluia:                             John 20:29

Gospel:                             John 20:19-31



“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting” is the Responsorial Antiphon for this Sunday.  Praise may be substituted for thanks.  In the relationship between created and Creator, praise seems more appropriate than thanks.

Expect the most insight to come from John 20:30-31, come to believe.  Sometimes trying to love in a sea of hatred and indifference is discouraging and hopeless from an earthly point of view.  These verses about praising God are a consolation for the effort, especially when things seems to be going badly. 


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 details.


Different languages see reality differently.  The ancient Greeks used pronouns for emphasis.  Translating this emphasis from the original Greek into English is an object of the highlighting on the last pages of the hard copy, not found on the web site.  The purpose of the highlighting is to transfer the Greek emphasis on personal pronouns into the English translation.  Anyone else wanting a copy of the highlighted verses, please ask me at  Thank you.


Acts 5:12-16

The Greek emphasizes that they were all together and that they were all cured.  All is always intense, but both alls have special intensity.  The manuscripts for the first all are difficult as to whether it deserves special or ordinary intensity.  I will always mark all in red, as more intense that the other pronouns.  What is difficult here is just how intense that first all should be.



Acts 5:12-16

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.[1]

Plate 27 is a picture of the earliest parchment manuscript of the New Testament dated from the Second/Third Century.  The manuscript has tears and holes.


Acts 5:12-42

C. Clifton Black, review of Blake Shipp, Paul the Reluctant Witness: Power and Weakness in Luke’s Portrayal[2]

Black does not think that Shipp covers all the bases.  “… Speeches S. does not discuss … may derail S’s principal thesis beyond recovery.”  Shipp is looking for tension between Paul and God.


Psalm 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24 (1)

          The Church makes this psalm available for funerals.[3]


Psalm 118:22

Charles L. Quarles, "The Use of the Gospel of Thomas in the Research on the Historical Jesus of John Dominic Crossan"[4]

Quarles argues that how Crossan uses this psalm is “puzzling.”


Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19

The Lectionary omits the Greek pronoun at “said to them, `Do not be afraid.’”



Rev 1:8, 9, 10-11

Paul Lawrence, The IVP Atlas of Bible History[5]

Lawrence explains, “The island of Patmos is some 60 km (37 miles) off the modern Turkish coast and probably served as a Roman penal settlement.”  A map appears on page 175, in the unlabeled Aegean Sea at a latitude like Athens, which is not identified either.


Rev 1:4-11

C. Clifton Black, “Mark as Historian of God’s Kingdom,”[6]

Black comments,


The NT’s Second Gospel makes no claim of authorship (cf. John 21:24), nor offers any reason for accepting its account’s reliability (cf. Luke 1:1-4).  When compared with ancient histories or biographies—compared even with literature of other genres in the NT (see Acts 1:1-4; Gal 1:1-2; 2 Pet 1:1; Rev 1:4-11 [used here])—Mark’s nonchalance regarding its own bona fides makes of this Gospel an unusual literary product for its time.”


Rev 1:18

William Bales, “The Descent of Christ in Ephesians 4:9”[7]

Where the Lectionary has “I hold keys to death and the netherworld,” the Greek has abyss, which appears ten times in the New Testament.  The abyss or netherworld is a place to which persons go after death, a place to which one descends or goes down.”


John 20:29


John 20:19-31

The Greek manuscripts are difficult at “he showed them his hands … ” in verse 20.  There is another difficulty in verse 25 with the word mark.  Unless I see the mark of the nails …”  Such uncertainty humbles Faith.



John 20:19-31

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.[8]

The Alands have a lot to say about these verses.  There is a Third Century papyrus with verses 19-20, 22-25 in the British Library in London.  There is more papyrus dating from about 200 at the Bibliotheca Bodmeriana in Cologny, with verses 19-20, 22-23, 25-31.  The Public Library in Leningrad has a Sixth Century parchment with verses 17-26.  The Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris has a Seventh Century parchment with verses 26-27 and 30-31.  Finally, the Alands offer a pertinent paragraph on textual criticism.


… the competence of New Testament textual criticism is restricted to the state of the New Testament text from the moment it began its literary history through transcription for distribution.  All events prior to this are beyond its scope.  To illustrate this from the gospel of John:  for purposes of textual criticism the gospel comprises twenty-one chapters in their present sequence of 1 through 21.  It is only in this form, with the final chapter appended and in the present order of chapters, that the book is found throughout the manuscript tradition.  Any editing, rearrangement, revision, and so forth it may have undergone must have occurred earlier, if at all (with the exception of the Pericope Adulterae, which is lacking in a considerable part of the tradition).  Similarly, any imagined recomposition of the Pauline correspondence to form the present corpus of Pauline letters must have occurred before copies of it began to circulate as a unit, if at all.  The question of such a possibility cannot be discussed here, yet it should be observed that the way in which chapter 21 has been attached to the gospel of John argues against any such complex theories as Rudolf Bultmann’s, for example.  A redactor needed only to delete 20:30-31 [… Jesus did many other signs …] and the sequence would have been quite smooth—but this is precisely what was not [emphasis by the Alands] done.  Also very dubious is the theory that somewhere an original collection of Paul’s letters was compiled which contained all the essential texts but in a revision made by the collector on the basis of the autographs.  It is far more probable that the tradition began with several small groups of letters collected under quite different circumstances, and that any theory of an overall revision is gratuitous …



John 20:19-23

Tobias Hagerland, “The Power of Prophecy: A Septuagintal Echo in John 20:19-23.”[9]

This whole article is on the very passage the Lectionary uses.  Hagerland argues “it is the church of the Spirit, Tertullian’s church of the new prophecy, than can forgive sins, not the church of bishops.  For the judgment belongs to God, not to the priest (21:17).”


John 20:24-29

Arland D. Jacobson, review of Odette Mainville, Les Christophanies du Nouveau Testament: Historicité et théologie[10]

Jacobson reports,


The second part of the book deals with the rest of the apparitions:  to women (Matt 28:9-10; John 20:14-18), to the disciples on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24), to Thomas (John 20:24-29 [used here]), and to the Seven (John 21).  M. says that all have a didactic or catechetical function; none is historical.  They are literary creations designed to serve larger literary purposes and to address needs in the several communities.


John 20:30-31

Pheme Perkins, “What is a Gnostic Gospel?”[11]

Perkins argues, “An incipient interest in the author’s credentials here come to the fore in Gnostic texts, which authenticate their teaching by appeal to revered apostolic figures.”  John 20:30-31 that you may believe leaves the generally impersonal approach of the canonical gospels.



John 20:30-31

Seán Kealy, C.S.Sp., review of Jean Zumstein, L’Evangile selon Saint Jean (13—21)[12]

Kealy reports,


This is the best commentary on John that I have read … The truth remains exterior to the disciple and is inseparable from love.  At such points I often wished that Z. had given more extensive treatment to the theological problems that have so often surfaced in the history of interpretation.  He does note (p. 296 on John 20:30-31) that the Gospel is not fundamentally polemical but that it aims to comfort the Christians and in particular the Jewish Christians in the face of Jewish objections.  He finds rather improbable many of the hypotheses that have been raised during the history of research, including the idea that John was a Missionary Gospel, or one aimed at Hellenistic pagans, Samaritans, Jews, or Diaspora Jews.


John 20:31

Teresa Okure, S.H.C.J., “Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (Jn 4:1-42) in Africa”[13]

Okure argues, “Martha first articulates the confession that is the entire aim and purpose of the Gospel:  that Jesus is `the Christ, the Son of God the one who is coming into the world’ (11:27; 20:31).”


John 20:31

Michael M. Winter, "Theological Alterations in the Syriac Translation of Ben Sira"[14]

Winter argues, “There is a close connection between faith and life in the NT, especially in the Fourth Gospel.  For example … John 20:31:  These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.”



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

[1] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989 104, 105.


[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (April 2008) 393.


[3] N.a., International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by Authority of Pope Paul IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: Approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 275.


[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3 (April 2007) 528, 531, 532.


[5] Downers Grove, Illinois,  InterVarsity Press, 2006 170, 174.


[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (April 2009) 77.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 1 (April 2010) 87.


[8] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989 96, 100, 120, 121, 297.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (April 2009) 84-103, 101.


[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 2 (April 2009) 411-412.


[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (April 2009) 119.


[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 2 (April 2009) 426.


[13] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 2009) 415.


[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (April 2008) 306.