First Reading:                    Acts 6:1-7

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19 (22)

Second Reading:               1 Peter 2:4-9

Alleluia:                             John 14:6

Gospel:                             John 14:1-12



Once again, Raymond Arroyo questioned the legitimacy of the recent new translation of Sacred Scripture commissioned by the Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Arroyo induced his guest, Philip Lawler, to praise the value of the King James Version (KJV) and assert that the KJV does not hinder understanding.  It never occurs to Arroyo to back pedal to the original Greek before moving forward into the English.[1]

Arroyo made fun of changing a virgin shall conceive to a young maiden shall conceive, because young maidens need not be virgins.  The problem is that Isaiah said young maiden, which later Christians mistranslated as virgin.  The former language is the pious pabulum against which Arroyo objects.

Arroyo also objects to changing booty to spoils of war.  From listening to Arroyo, it seems he reads USA Today,[2] but not Adoremus.  Adoremus explains that the acronym for New American Bible Revised Edition is NABRE.[3]  Arroyo used NAB, as if the same acronym stood for both versions.

Arroyo objected to the new translation responding to what Arroyo characterized as every whim of language, even within the context of acknowledging that the new translation took seventeen years to develop.  So, why go on and on about Arroyo?  For two reasons.  First, Arroyo represents important conservative, if not reactionary, thinking within the Church.  Second, Arroyo seems to respond positively to these criticisms.

For those reasons, my intention is to move distribution of these Notes back one day, from Thursday to Wednesday.  I had been using Thursday so that Arroyo would have my Notes in time for his Friday broadcast.  Now I am moving my ordinary distribution date to Wednesday so that Arroyo will have my comments in time for his new Thursday broadcast time.

Questioning, both by Arroyo and by these Notes, is legitimate.  The Gospel of John for today shows the apostles, Thomas and Philip, growing in Faith by questioning Jesus.  1 Peter shows the need for questioning in his explanation of the cornerstone rejected by the builders.  The Responsorial Antiphon is about the faithful placing trust in the Lord.  While the Psalmist does not spell it out, that trust includes the trust needed to formulate good questions and struggle with good answers.  The Acts of the Apostles also shows how the first Christians used practical questions about resources to develop the Deacon ministry.


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 6:1-7

Acts 6:1-6

Fr. Tissa Balasuriya, “Companion to the Encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI on God is Love’”[4]

Balasuriya observes, “In the early Church itself the apostles also had to face the problem of unequal distribution of resources.”  This means that questioning led to deeper and more solid Faith.


Acts 6:1

Richard I. Pervo, review of Reta Halteman Finger, Of Widows and Meals: Communal Meals in the Book of Acts[5]

Pervo assumes readers know that Acts 6:1-7 is problematic.  I do not know what is problematic about it.  Pervo reports that Finger moves from what is possible to what is probable to what is factual.  He uses Acts 6:1, about neglected widows, to illustrate his concern.  Finger asserts these women were not “recipients of charity.”  Pervo does not regard Finger as quite building castles out of thin air, but thinks she has value thinking differently from the mainstream.


Acts 6:1

Thomas E. Phillips, review of Michael Zugmann, “Hellenisten” in der Apostelgeschichte:  Historische und exegetische Untersuchungen zu Apg 6,1; 9,29; 11,20[6]

Acts 6:1 mentions Hellenistic Christians as one of several times the Hellenes appear in the New Testament.  Phillips reports that Zugmann argues for a divergence in the early Christian Church in Jerusalem between Greek-speaking and Aramaic-speaking Jewish Christians.  Zugmann argues that the Greek-speaking Christians who were not as tied into the law and the temple, were thereby better able to think through the meaning of the preexistence and sacrificial death of Jesus.  Phillips does not think Zugmann entirely convincing, summarizing his reservations with faint praise as, “this work is plausible—and perhaps even compelling.”


Acts 6:4

Mary Ann Beavis, review of Graham H. Twelftree, Exploring Luke’s View of the Church[7]

Beavis reports that Twelftree argues that Luke portrayed the early Church in such a way that it contrasts with “the challenges of postmodern culture and the globalization of Christianity.”  Beavis makes two more points.  (1) “T’s implication is that the pursuit of social justice is peripheral to the scriptural mandate.”  (2) Regarding the challenges confronting contemporary Christianity, however, it is better to follow Luke-Acts’ use of Scripture to illumine the church’s past, not to prescribe its future.”


Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19 (22)

Psalm 33:19

Richard J. Bautch, “An Appraisal of Abraham’s Role in Postexilic Covenants”[8]

Bautch argues that Abraham represented a type of lodestar to keep prodding Israel to stay on track to find God, as the Psalmist words it, “to deliver them from death.”


1 Peter 2:4-9

1 Peter 2:4-10

David N. Power, O.M.I., “Eucharistic Justice”[9]

Power argues that called you out of darkness into his wonderful light means that the Faithful in suffering with Christ, suffer like him.  That union is the meaning of the Eucharistic Communion.



1 Peter 2:7

Virgilio Elizondo, "Jesus the Galilean Jew in Mestizo Theology"[10]

Elizondo argues that The stone that the builders have rejected has become the cornerstone moves from the rejected Galileans to the rejected Mestizos and other rejected people.


1 Peter 2:7

John H. Elliott, review of Kenneth J. Thomas and Margaret Orr Thomas, Structure and Orality in 1 Peter: A Guide for Translators[11]

Elliott reports that the Thomases cannot be trusted.  For example, the Thomases translate Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith … as for you therefore it is honored, for those having faith.  Elliot explains that the mistranslation “is crude and obscures the fact that the Greek attributes honor to `you, the believers’ (in contrast to the shamed unbelievers).”


1 Peter 2:9

Bogdan G. Bucur, “Exegesis of Biblical Theophanies in Byzantine Hymnography: Rewritten Bible?”[12]

Bucur argues, “Hymnographic exegesis can have a Christological purpose, because it proclaims the Christ of the church as God of Israel, implicitly defining the church of Christ as … `kingly priesthood, holy people’ (1 Peter 2:9).”


John 14:6


John 14:1-12

John 14:5

David J. Norman, O.F.M., "Doubt and the Resurrection of Jesus"[13]

Thomas exemplifies that the way to Faith comes through questioning, Master, we do not know where you are going:  how can we know the way?”



John 14:6

Séan P. Kealy, C.S.SP., review of Robert J. Karris, O.V.M. (ed.), St. Bonaventure, Commentary on the Gospel of John, vol. 11 of Works of St. Bonaventure[14]

Kealy reports that “”it is disappointing that Bonaventure’s Commentary is ignored by today’s leading Catholic commentators,” and, then, goes on to name five such commentators.  Kealy regards this commentary as useful for Lenten Sermons.  I cited an example of this usefulness last week.


John 14:6

Dino Dozzi, "`Thus Says the Lord' The Gospel in the Writings of Saint Francis"[15]

John 14:6 is the Alleluia verse for this Sunday.  Francis regards the way, the truth, and the life as found in Lady Poverty.  Francis regards the Faithful as protected by the Good Shepherd and, therefore, in need of nothing else.


John 14:6

Jean-Joseph Buirette, O.F.M., "A Short Glossary of Terms Used by Francis of Assisi"[16]

The term is footprints.  Jesus is the way and, therefore, suited for footprints.  The Faithful are headed “to the Father’s house.” 


John 14:6

William M. Wright IV, “Greco-Roman Character Typing and the Presentation of Judas in the Fourth Gospel”[17]

Wright contrasts Judas with the Truth, namely Jesus. 


John 14:6

Sandra M. Schneiders, “The Lamb of God and the Forgiveness of Sin(s) in the Fourth Gospel”[18]

This is a Presidential Address.  Schneiders argues that God is diminished neither by giving nor by receiving; as humans often are.  This opens the possibility of a positive relationship between God and humans.


John 14:9

Pablo Argárate, review of Stephen M. Hildebrand, The Trinitarian Theology of Basil of Caesarea: A Synthesis of Greek Thought and Biblical Truth[19]

Basil fits between Greek and Biblical thought.  John 14:9, whoever has seen me has seen the Father, is one of several verses from which Basil builds his thought.  Argárate concludes, “With qualifications, I recommend this study for exploring one of the foremost theological enterprises in the history of Christianity.”


John 14:10

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

Hägerland compares how Jesus prophesied with how the donkey of Balaam also prophesied.  Such prophecies are about hearing and seeing hidden things; speaking the Word; distance to the mediated message; and disinterest in personal gain and honor.


John 14:10

Pheme Perkins, “What is a Gnostic Gospel?”[21]

Perkins explains,


Valentinian exegetes deconstruct the familiar, as in the treatment of the passion in Exc. Theod., 61, 1—62, 3. 

61: (1) [sic] That he himself was other than that which he assumed is made clear from what he confesses:  I am the life.  I am the truth (Jn 4:6).  I and the Father are one (Jn 10:30).


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



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.  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 6:1-7:


Verse 1         Acts 9:29, 11:20, cf. 4:35.

Verse 2         Exodus 18:17-23.

Verse 3         Numbers 27:16 LXX; Acts 16:2, 22:12; 1 Titus 3:7 f.; Acts 21:8, 7:55! Exodus 31:3; Acts 35:31.

Verse 4         Acts 2:42! Luke 1:2.

Verse 5         Acts 6 8 f., 7:59; 8:2; 11:19 f., 22:20, 7:55!, 8:5-40, 21:8, Revelation 2:6-15, 13:43!  There is difficult Greek at the words filled with faith.

Verse 6         Acts 8:17-19, 9:12, 17, 13:3, 19:6, 28:8; Matthew 9:18! 1 Titus 4:14, 5:22; 2 Titus 1:6; Hebrews 6:2; Numbers 27:18, 23, Deuteronomy 34:9.

Verse 7         Acts 12:20, 2:47; Romans 16:26!


Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in 1 Peter 2:4-9:


Verse 4         Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16; Matthew 21:42!

Verse 5         Ephesians 4:12! Matthew 16:18; Romans 12:1; Hebrews 13:15 f.  The Greek manuscripts are difficult at the words to God.

Verse 6         Isaiah 28:16; Romans 9:33.

Verse 7         Psalm 117:22 LXX; Matthew 21:42!

Verse 8         Isaiah 8:14; Romans 9:33; Matthew 16:42! 1 Peter 4:17.

Verse 9         Isaiah 43:20; Colossians 3:12; Exodus 19:6, 23:22 LXX; Revelation 1:6; Isaiah 43:21; Matthew 3:17; Isaiah 42:12; Acts 26:18; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:4; 2 Peter 1:3.


Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in John 14:1-12:


Verse 1         John 27, 12:44; Exodus 14:21.  (Marginalia for the Latin is far different.)

Verse 2         2 Corinthians 5:1.

Verse 3         John 18:28, 21:22, 12:32, 12:26! 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

Verse 4        

Verse 5         John 11:16! 13:36!

Verse 6         Hebrews 10:20, 11:25! Matthew 11:27; Romans 5:2.  The Greek manuscripts are difficult at the word Jesus.

Verse 7         Ephesians 3:12! John 8:19, 12:45.  The Greek manuscripts are difficult at the words If you know me, you will also know, and have seen him.

Verse 8         John 1:43!

Verse 9         Matthew 17:17 parallel; John 1:18! 12:45, 10:38!  The Greek manuscripts are difficult at the word Jesus.

Verse 10       John 8:28!

Verse 11       John 5:36!

Verse 12       John 1:50, 5:20, 16:28!





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.[22]


Acts 6:1-7

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.[23]

The Staatliche Museen in Berlin has a Fourth Century papyrus with Acts 6:1-6.  The Biblioteca Laurenziana in Florence has a Fifth Century parchment with Acts 6:7-15.



Anyone wanting a copy of these Personal Notes, please contact me at

[1] 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.


[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] N.a., “NABRE Bible Appears,” The Adoremus Bulletin, Vol. XVII, No. 1 Lent (March 2011) page 2, col. 1.


[4] Crosscurrents, Vol. 56, No. 2 (Summer 2006) 240.


[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (April 2008) 366-367.


[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 847-848.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 1 (April 2011) 176.


[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (April 2009) 56.


[9] Theological Studies, Vol. 67, No. 4 (December 2006) 859, 870.


[10] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 2009) 270.


[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3 (April 2007) 596.


[12] Theological Studies, Vol. 68, No. 1 (January 2007) 108.


[13] Theological Studies, Vol. 69, No. 4 (December 2008) 807-809.


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


[15] Greyfriars Review, Vol. 18, Supplement (2004) 28, 29.


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


[17] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (April 2009) 555.


[18] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 1 (January 2011) 8.


[19] Theological Studies, Vol. 69, No. 3 (September 2008) 685.


[20] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 1 93, 95.


[21] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 110.


[22] 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.


[23] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 96, 124.