These readings are about
This section lists the various Biblical calls to prophecy. The movement is from Abraham, to Moses, to David, who is more important, because he accomplished the more extraordinary miracles. Jesus turns the tables, to proclaim the wonder of being the least in the Kingdom of God. Jesus, then, must be this “least” and the Faithful are to follow, likewise. History is taking a new direction.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 71:1-5, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17 (cf. 15 a)
Methods for Studying and Praying the Psalms
First Principle “Today” Has Its Own
Second Principle Read the Text of the Psalm
Third Principle: Read the Text with Imagination
Fourth Principle: Read the Psalms According to Its Key Words
Fifth Principle: Read the Psalm with Other Parallel Passages
Key or identical words also show up in another way, namely, when phrases or lines of a psalm are quoted elsewhere in the Bible. Often this is a matter of New Testament writers using an Old Testament passage, but not always. [The Fourth Principle is to read the psalms according to its key words.] Job 7:17 seems to be alluding to Ps 8:4; another link occurs between Jer 1:5 and Ps 22:9-10 [The Lectionary uses verse 9 Palm Sunday.] as well as between Ps 51:3-4 and Isa 59:12-13. In fact, some psalms, like Psalm 143, are filigrees of biblical passages. As already noted in Chapter 1 of this book, more psalms are repeated in part or in their entirety elsewhere in the book of psalms: Psalms 14 and 53 are almost identical; Psalm 70 is repeated at the end of Psalm 40; Psalm 108 consists of Pss 57:7-10 and 60:6-12. This is not a matter of repetition, however, as a new setting is always provided. Another word for this phenomenon, instead of repetition is “parallel places.” That phrase provides readers and listeners with the rubric in this study of the fifth principle for interpreting psalms.
Most English translations of the Bible supply cross-references to other parts of the Bible—as the New Jerusalem Bible does handily in the margins or the New American Bible does toward the bottom of each page. These citations draw attention to the way that the Bible interprets the Bible.
In quoting an earlier part of the Bible, the new inspired author is not a literalist or a modern scholar of critical-historical bent. In fact, when Eph 4:8 reads a passage from Ps 68:18, the author goes so far as to reverse the meaning, as the following lines manifest.
Ps 68:18 Eph 4:8
You ascended the high mount, When he ascended on high he made
Leading captives in your train, captivity itself a captive;
And receiving gifts from people. He gave gifts to his people.
author of Ps 68:18 was most probably referring to
If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and all that is in it is mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bull,
or drink the blood of goats?
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving
and pay your vows to the Most High (Ps 50:12-14).
In the ancient Israelite worldview, God was seen as being supremely independent. Lest the sovereignty of God be misunderstood and compromised, teachers of a later age read the psalm similarly to the New Testament—only with a different interpretation. The rabbis explained that Moses was the one who “ascended on high,” namely Mount Sinai, where God gave him the gift of the Law and covenant. The epistle to the Ephesians develops the application still further, this time about Jesus who died, was buried, rose to God, and sent the gift of the Holy Spirit. This same Holy Spirit lavished upon the Church the many ministries for service:
The Bible, even when written down, never remained a dead letter but lived with the growing religious sense and the pastoral needs of the people of God. It was being interpreted within a living tradition. This brief study of Ps 68:18 and Eph 4:8 exemplifies what Christians mean in stating that the Bible is to be interpreted within the believing community. It is not that the community members declare the Bible to be incorrect and so change it. Rather, like the rabbis of pre-Christian times, there is a recognition that a text can give a wrong meaning or be misinterpreted in the new setting of a later age. The Bible is always in need of elucidation through prayer, research, study, and teaching. This short diversion with Psalm 68, with its radical change of meaning in the rabbis and in the New Testament, helps illustrate the principle of interpretation being discussed.
now to Psalm 95, one discovers that verses 7b-11 enrich the epistle to the
Hebrews. The author of this heavily
theological document—also a liturgical work of art—draws upon many Old
Testament passages to show how Jesus, like ancient Israel, followed a long
journey. Jesus, the eternal word, came
from heaven to earth and returned to heaven in magnificent glory (ch. 1). Jesus came on earth as a compassionate high
priest, and calls us to be with him and so enter with him into our eternal rest
(chs. 2—4). Jesus, priest according to
the eternal order of Melchizedek, enters the heavenly sanctuary to bring about
the perfection of the old in the glory of the new covenant and to purify all
people by his blood in a new feast of Yom Kippur or Atonement (chs. 5—10). The epistle ends with a journey across the Old
Testament in the company of its saints and heroes (chs. 11—12), ending with the
final journey of
then, is the major motif in both Psalm 95 and the epistle to the Hebrews. Psalm 95 blends a liturgical journey (vv.
The epistle to the Hebrews is quite dense; it compresses rich biblical allusions in every single section. Typical too of a classical rabbinical style, the author of the book of Hebrews joins distant biblical passages because of a word like “today” and “rest” (Hebrews 3—4). Just as God rested on the seventh day after creating the universe, all creation is being called to enter into a heavenly rest today. No previous moment of rest adequately fulfilled God’s plans, not even, says Hebrews, when Joshua led Israel into the Promised Land (Josh 22:1-6). Joshua realized that Israel might sin and be driven off the land (Josh 23:14-16). The epistle focuses on our eternal rest with Jesus, in God:
… Again he sets a certain day—“today”—saying
“Today, if you hear his voice,
Do not harden your hearts,”
So then, a Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs (Heb 4:7, 9-11).
The New Testament work, as the text suggests, dwelt long on two key words in Psalm 95, namely “today” and “rest.” It drew listeners and readers far along in their journey with Jesus, the compassionate high priest, through the struggles of his life, even death, into our heavenly rest. One cannot absorb such teaching quickly. Just as the text of the psalm—according to our second principle—requires an attentive, prayerful reading, so does a New Testament work like the epistle to the Hebrews.
Sixth Principle: Read the Psalms according to the Liturgy and Classic Spiritual Writers
Seventh Principle: Consult Commentaries
1 Corinthians 12
Mentions the old German theological issue about whether charisms are offices.
1 Corinthians 13
Concludes that 1 Corinthians is Pauline. Corley divides his argument into six parts: I. Genre; II. Vocabulary; III. Content and Ideas; IV. Stylistic Features; V. Use in Christian Texts prior to A.D. 150; VI. Conclusion.
In the temple
Exegetes protect the virginity of
Luke 4:23-24, 27
I would appreciate suggestions you may have for improving the changed format. Thank you. For more on sources see the Appendix file. Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes.
Documentation for this consists of the memory of
 the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 1 (January 2004) 59, 66-69.
 the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 1 (January 2000) 48, 53
 the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 231, 239.
 the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 4 (October 2004) 595.
 the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 2 (April 2004) 256-274.
 the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1 (January 2003) 85 ff.
 the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 2 (April 1994) 283.