Commentary

As Scott Carroll, research professor of manuscript studies at Baylor University declares, “Translating the Bible is a soap opera of moving spiritual and political parts.”[1]  In this vein, USA Today has an article “`Booty’ booted from revised Bible,”[2] to which the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) host, Raymond Arroyo, seems to refer when he complains about the new translation approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for the New American Bible.[3]  Arroyo wants to keep the traditional language, teaching what it meant, rather than incorporating meaning for those unfamiliar with traditional language.  If Arroyo wants to get back to the traditional language, he needs to revert to the original Greek, with which the Faithful struggle in these Personal Notes. 

The new translation of the entire Bible came out March 1, 2011.  I do not know where to obtain a copy.  My intention is to obtain a copy from Liturgical Press, when they offer it.

Roman Catholics now have two official English translations: one outside the liturgy from the USCCB, the other inside the liturgy from the Vatican.  The best I can do is guess about the forthcoming relationship between the USCCB and the Vatican translations.  The Vatican translation (called the New Roman Missal) is replacing the Sacramentary.  The Sacramentary, used by the priest, is the book that remains on the altar during Mass.  So far, these Notes have done nothing with the Sacramentary.  When the new Sacramentary becomes available, I intend to compare the Lectionary translations with USCCB translations and with Vatican translations.

These Notes have only treated the Sunday Lectionary, which appears in two books for liturgical use at Mass.  The ordinary cloth-covered book contains the First and Second Readings, from which the laity, including females, may read.  The heavy gold-covered book, the Book of the Gospels, which is carried by a Deacon, if one is available or, otherwise by one of the Faithful (who may be female) in the procession at the beginning of Mass.  Only ordained (male) clergy may read from the Book of the Gospels. 

These Notes repeatedly observe, in the Lectionary, that just because a book has a nihil obstat and imprimatur of USCCB approval does not make it, ipso facto, academically acceptable.  What is happening is that the Vatican is imposing one set of politics on Sacred Scripture, while the USCCB is imposing another set of politics on the same Sacred Scripture.  Please pray that these Notes unscramble and verify whatever relationship exists between the two translations.  In this case, the hierarchy, both Vatican and USCCB, appear to prioritize their particular brand of politics over the truth academically-free and unfettered scholarship has to offer.  The better approach is to begin with the truth and end with political considerations.

The Word, the Bible, Sacred Scripture is the gate through which the Faithful enter the religious life of God.  The Word shepherds the Faithful.  The first part of the Mass is sometimes called “The Liturgy of the Word.”  The Word is there for all to read and, unlike as recently as two hundred years ago, today practically everyone is literate enough to read Sacred Scripture. 

I was amazed to the point of being dumbfounded when I realized that someone was always caring a Bible in my classes at Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC), in Hampton, Virginia.  This means that society is not as secular as I once thought.  This also means that the some of the Faithful are always reading Sacred Scripture, at least daily.  The TNCC setting is reasonably secular. 

How I discovered the hidden religious nature of our culture was that I frequently quoted Sacred Scripture in class and sometimes students challenged what I said.  Testing my observation that someone always had a Bible in class to verify my quotations, I did find a class, once, in which no one had a Bible.  My students seemed upset and several assured me that they could readily get their Bibles from their cars.  Sacred Scripture is the gateway through which the Faithful enter the life of God.  We live in and reinforce such a culture.

The prayer suited for these readings is that the truth of an understandable translation from the original Greek will determine the politics of liturgical prayers and readings.

 

Readings

First Reading:                    Acts 2:14a, 36-41

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 (1)

Second Reading:               1 Peter 2:20b-25

Alleluia:                             John 10:14

Gospel:                             John 10:1-10

 

==================================================================

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.

 

Acts 2:14a, 36-41

 


 

Acts 2:38

Bettye Collier-Thomas, Daughters of Thunder: Black Women Preachers and Their Sermons, 1850-1979[4]

Rosa A. Horn (1880-1976) was born in Sumter, South Carolina, site of Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began.  After establishing the Pentecostal Faith Church in Harlem, in 1933, at the age of 53 she began a radio ministry.  Horn preached:

 

Peter on the Day of Pentecost, told the Jews and all who had not received Jesus, as they had only been baptized unto John’s baptism (Acts 2:38) to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus; not to deny the Father, whom they had already accepted, but to believe in Jesus, also.

 

Lewis Sperry Chafer, whom I intend to follow very closely, beginning within a few months, has a chapter on “God the Son:  His Deity and Eternity,” that follows the same line of thinking, from a mainstream Baptist perspective.[5]

 

Acts 2

Neil J. McEleney, C.S.P., "Peter's Denials—How Many? To Whom?”[6]

McEleney argues that Luke expands what John contracts.  McEleney contrasts Acts 2 with John 16:7-8 and John 20:22, about the arrival of the Holy Spirit.  In his chapter 15 “God the Holy Spirit:  His Advent,” Chafer mentions John 20:22, 16:7, but not Acts 2.  The assertions made by Chafer seem incomplete.[7]

 


 

Acts 2:22-36

Daniel A. Smith, “Seeing a Pneuma(tic Body):  The Apologetic Interests of Luke 24:36-43”[8]

Luke makes the point that the body of Jesus rose before decomposing in his Gospel narratively at 24:1-12 and exegetically in the readings from Acts today.

 

Acts 2:25-36

C. Kavin Rowe, review of Dennis J. Horton, Death and Resurrection:  The Shape and Function of a Literary Motif in the Book of Acts[9]

Rowe uses the word “diegetically, rather than exegetically” to describe how Luke presents the matter of death and decay for the body of Jesus.  Diegetically is not in the dictionary.[10]  I did better searching on the web:  “1. In fiction, diegesis is the (fictional) world in which the situations and events narrated occur; and 2. telling, recounting, as opposed to showing, enacting”[11] and; “of, or relating to diegesis (of film music) that occurs as part of the action (rather than as background), and; can be heard by the film's characters;”[12] and; “Is voice-over part of the action or (non-diegetically) outside of it? What does the narrator know and what is his/her relationship to the action?”[13]  In addition; “How does music work, both diegetically (i.e., source sound, part of the story) and discursively (added to the soundtrack), to aid in the establishment.”[14]  I guess Rowe means implied rather than specified.”

 

Acts 2:37

Charles H. Talbert, review of Hans Jorg Sellner, Das Heil Gottes: Studien  zur Soteriologie des lukanischen Doppelwerks[15]

Talbot reports that Sellner argues that during this time period between the Ascension and the rapture, when Jesus returns, salvation comes through Faith in Jesus, the working of the Holy Spirit, and repentance.  Sellner reinforces consensus reading.

 

Acts 2:37

Dennis Hamm, S.J., "The Tamid Service in Luke-Acts: The Cultic Background behind Luke's Theology of Worship (Luke 1:5-25; 18:9-14; 24:50-53; Acts 3:1; 10:3, 30)”[16]

Hamm may be arguing that “cut to the heart” is a metaphor about circumcision of the heart.  After reading and rereading Hamm, I am unclear about just what he means.

 

Acts 2:37

Gregory R. Perry, review of Filip Noel, The Travel Narrative in the Gospel of Luke: Interpretation of Lk 9:51—19:28[17]

Perry writes, “… in Acts 2:37 … Mary and the Samaritan are paradigmatic respondents …”  I do not find either Mary or the Samaritan in Acts 2:37, so I do not understand what Perry means.

 

Acts 2:41-4

Richard I. Pervo, review of Reta Halteman Finger, Of Widows and Meals: Communal Meals in the Book of Acts[18]

Pervo reports that Halteman makes more of communal meals than facts warrant.  Halteman takes a feminist/liberation theology approach to her subject out of the Mennonite tradition.  The value of her work is to stimulate thinking.  Pervo points out that Acts 2:41 baptizes the Faithful without prior rigmarole, something Finger needs for her approach.

 

Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 (1)

Psalm 23:1

Reed Lessing, review of Jerome F. D. Creach, The Destiny of the Righteous in the Psalms[19]

Lessing reports that Creach argues, “God makes it possible for the righteous to be near the deity through the divine gifts of David, Zion, and Torah.”  “The Lord is my shepherd” is an oblique reference to David, who was a shepherd before he was king.  Lessing thinks highly of Creach.

 

1 Peter 2:20b-25

1 Peter 2:21-25

Dino Dozzi, "`Thus Says the Lord' The Gospel in the Writings of Saint Francis"[20]

Dozzi refers to 1 Peter 21-25 as “a short hymn.”  The Greek indents these verses as a hymn.  Dozzi argues that Francis “presents Christ as a model to imitate, or better, as a guide to follow.”  

 

1 Pet 2:21-25

F. Scott Spencer, review of Richard A. Burridge, Imitating Jesus: An Inclusive Approach to New Testament Ethics[21]

Spencer reports that Burridge successfully argues that New Testament ethics are about imitating Jesus, especially his death, than about handbooks of morality.

 

1 Peter 2:21

Jean-Joseph Buirette, O.F.M., "A Short Glossary of Terms Used by Francis of Assisi"[22]

The term Buirette is explaining is footprints.  Buirette observes that Francis does not encourage his followers to imitate Jesus, but rather to follow in his footsteps.  “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footprints [sic]” (1 Pet 2:21).  Francis is not thinking about how Jesus died, but about his poverty and teaching. 

 

John 10:14

 

John 10:1-10

 

John 10:1-30

Dino Dozzi, "`Thus Says the Lord' The Gospel in the Writings of Saint Francis"[23]

Dozzi argues that Francis summarizes the whole context of John 10:1-30 in Chapter XXII of his Franciscan Earlier Rule.

 

John 10:1, 8, 10     

William M. Wright IV, “Greco-Roman Character Typing and the Presentation of Judas in the Fourth Gospel”[24]

Wright argues that Jesus is the gate to the sheepfold and that “all who come before me are thieves and robbers.”  All strikes me as too strong, but that is what the Gospel says.  Wright proposes that Judas is such a thief and robber.

 

John 10:3

Séan P. Kealy, C.S.SP., review of Robert J. Karris, O.F.M. (ed.), St. Bonaventure, Commentary on the Gospel of John, vol. 11 of Works of St. Bonaventure[25]

Kealy reports that Karris cites Bonaventure directly:

 

Question 1 addresses the fact that in John 10:7 the Lord compares himself to a door whereas in John 10:3 above to the gatekeeper.  How is the same individual door and gatekeeper and shepherd?—I answer that the point has to be made that is said in John 14:6 below:  Christ is the way, the truth and the life.  Since he is the way to the Father, he is the door.  Since he is the truth, which teaches the way, he is the gatekeeper.   Since he is life, he is the shepherd who provides pasture and preserves life (p. 556).

 

Kealy observes that this eleven hundred page book “would be helpful for sermon preparation, particularly for the Sundays of Lent.”

 


 

John 10:9

Tobias Hägerland, “The Power of Prophecy: A Septuagintal Echo in John 20:19-23”[26]

Hägerland writes,

 

Although the Hebrew Bible never calls Balaam son of Boer a “prophet” … referring to him only in passing as “the diviner” … (Josh 13:22), the oracles ascribed to him in Numbers 23—24 can justly be described as the first extensive instance of prophecy in the narrative timeline of the Pentateuch, set in an epoch when no prophet had yet risen in Israel.

 

Although Chafer makes a great deal out of the prophetic nature of the Bible, he cites neither Josh 3:22 nor John 20:19-23.[27]  Again, the assertions made by Chafer seem incomplete.  Chafer wrote in 1926.  Walvoord revised him in 1974.  This means that Chafer has had a significant impact on Biblical studies.  That is why I am paying so much attention. 

I am reading Chafer while I wait for my new computer to finish various activities.  This means I am moving along little by little.  It also means that I am sensitive to the differences between Chafer and what I am finding in current scholarship.  I am reporting on those differences.

Hägerland argues that the image of coming in and going out echoes Numbers 27:17 where Moses asks for a leader for the community “who will lead them out and bring them in.”

 

John 10:10

Teresa Okure, S.H.C.J., “Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (Jn 4:1-42) in Africa”[28]

Okure argues that Jesus is identifying himself with the poor.  That lack of self-identification with the victims of sexual abuse makes the scandal more about the cover-up than the abuse.

 

 

For more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes

 

 

Themes

For recurring themes in Sacred Scripture, see the following.  The exclamation point (!) indicates where a principal reference list of passages related by a common theme or expression found.  Italics of the same verse indicates a special relevance; italics of a different verse or book, indicates a direct quote.  The abbreviation for following is f.  The abbreviation for personal confusion is ??  For material based on the Greek Septuagint Greek, the abbreviation is LXX.  LXX means the psalms may be one less than the number used.  With this material, I am trying to lay a foundation for developing Biblical themes the next time through the Cycles, when I intend to add in which Lectionary readings the relevant passages are found.

 

Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in Acts 2:14a, 36-41:

 

Verse 14a     Matthew 28:16! Acts 26:25, 5:1-19, 4:16, 13:27; Luke 24:18.

Verse 36       Psalm 20:7; Acts 4:10.

Verse 37       Psalm 108:16 LXX; Acts 16:30, 22:10; Luke 3:10.

Verse 38       Acts 3:19; Mark 16:16, 8:16, 19:5; Acts 5:31! Acts 8:15! 1:4!

Verse 39       Acts 22:21; Sirach 24:32; Isaiah 57:19; Joel 3:5.

Verse 40       Deuteronomy 32:5; Psalm 78:8; Philemon 2:15.

Verse 41       Acts 8:12! 47! 5:14, 11:24, 4:4.

 

 

Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in 1 Peter 2:20b-25:

 

Verse 20b    

Verse 21       (Verses 21-15 are indented, indicating something sung as a hymn.) 2  Peter 3:9, 3:18; Matthew 16:24; Romans 4:12.

Verse 22       Isaiah 53:9; John 8:46!

Verse 23       1 Peter 3:9; Matthew 5:39! Jeremiah 11:20; John 8:50.

Verse 24       Isaiah 53:4, 12; John 1:29! Hebrews 9:28; Colossians 1:22; Hebrews 10:10; cf. Romans 3:25, 6:11, 18; Isaiah 53:5.

Verse 25       Isaiah 53:6; Ezekiel 34:5, 16; Matthew 9:36.

 

 

Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in John 10:1-10, 14:

 

Verse 1        

Verse 2        

Verse 3         John 16:27, 18:37; Revelation 3:20; Psalm 95:7.

Verse 4         Psalm 80:2.

Verse 5        

Verse 6         John 16:25.

Verse 7         John 14:6.

Verse 8         Psalm 118:20.

Verse 9         Numbers 27:17.

Verse 10       John 5:24 f.

Verse 14       John 10:27; 1 Corinthians 13:12!

 

 

Manuscripts

 

Through Reading 70A, January 30, 2011, I designed these notes on the availability of manuscripts to make the point that uncertainty exists about exactly which Greek to use for the purposes of translation.  At that point, I began offering manuscript availability for background when examining Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology,  which I purchased based on the review in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.[29]

 

Acts 2:14a, 36-41

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.[30]

The Pierpont Morgan Library in New York has a Fifth/Sixth Century papyrus with verse 14.  A Fourth Century papyrus with Acts 2:30-37 is at the Macquarie University in North Ryde, Australia.

 

1 Peter 2:20b-25

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.[31]

A Seventh Century papyrus with 1 Peter 2:20—3:1 is the property of S. Daris in Trieste.[32]  The University Library in Cambridge has a palimpsest parchment with 1 Peter 2:22—3:7.  Palimpsest means written over.  The Public Library in Leningrad has a Seventh Century parchment with Acts 2:6-17.  There is a photograph of a Ninth Century Coptic uncial (all capital letters) lectionary 1 Peter 2:24—3:4.  The Greek text is of remarkably good quality.

 

John 10:1-10, 14

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.[33]

The Bibliothèque Nationale et Universitaire in Strasbourg has a Coptic papyrus with John 10:1-2, 4-7, 9-10 dating from the Fourth Century.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has a papyrus with John 10:8-14. 

 

 

Anyone wanting a copy of these Personal Notes, please contact me at jirran@twc.com.



[1] Quoted by Cathy Lynn Grossman, “Planned high-tech museum to take scholarly look at Bible” USA Today, Monday, April 4, 2011, page 6A Nation, column 3, paragraph 5.

 

[2] Cathy Lynn Grossman, “`Booty’ booted from revised Bible” USA Today, Wednesday, March 2, 2011, page 1 column 5 and page 2, columns 2-3 below the fold.

 

[3] Raymond Arroyo, the Encore Presentation on ETWN, “The World Over,” Sunday, March 13, 2011.  I do not own the technology required to record this program, and accept the risk associated therewith.

 

[4] San Francisco, CA 94103-1741:  A Wiley Imprint: 1998, 184.

 

[5] Lewis Sperry Chafer, revised by John F. Walvoord, Major Bible Themes:  52 Vital Doctrines of the Scripture Simplified and Explained (Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506:  Zondervan Publishing House, First edition copyright 1926, 1953 by Dallas Theological Seminary, Revised edition copyright 1974 by Dallas Theological Seminary) 52-55.

 

[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 52, No. 3 (July 1990) 470.

 

[7] Lewis Sperry Chafer, revised by John F. Walvoord, Major Bible Themes:  52 Vital Doctrines of the Scripture Simplified and Explained (Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506:  Zondervan Publishing House, First edition copyright 1926, 1953 by Dallas Theological Seminary, Revised edition copyright 1974 by Dallas Theological Seminary) 91-96.

 

[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 754.

 

[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 829.

 

[12] https://smallbusiness.intuit.com/support  (Accessed March 9, 2011).  I do not understand why Windows Internet Explorer returned the above source.  I think the immediately prior footnote is correct and this one is in error.

 

 

[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 3 (July 2008) 622.

 

[16] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 2 (April 2003) 228.

 

[17] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 344.

 

[18] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (April 2008) 366.

 

[19] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 2 (April 2009) 366.

 

[20] Greyfriars Review, Vol. 18, Supplement (2004) 28, 74.

 

[21] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 158.

 

[22] Greyfriars Review, Vol. 18, No. 3 (2004) 298.

 

[23] Greyfriars Review, Vol. 18, Supplement (2004) 28.

 

[24] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (July 2009) 554.

 

[25] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (April 2008) 377.

 

[26] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 90.

 

[27] Lewis Sperry Chafer, revised by John F. Walvoord, Major Bible Themes:  52 Vital Doctrines of the Scripture Simplified and Explained (Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506:  Zondervan Publishing House, First edition copyright 1926, 1953 by Dallas Theological Seminary, Revised edition copyright 1974 by Dallas Theological Seminary) unnumbered “Scriptural Index” at the end of the book.

 

[28] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 2009) 413, 416.

 

[29] Robert Hodgson, Jr., review of Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), the Catholic Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 877-878.

 

[30] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 102, 120, 121, 121.

 

[31] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 101, 120, 164.

 

[33] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 96, 98.