Readings

First Reading:                    Isaiah 58:7-10

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 112:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 (4a)

Second Reading:               1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Alleluia:                             John 8:12

Gospel:                             Matthew 5:13-16

 

Commentary

This Sunday, the Responsorial Antiphon is “The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.”  This means that when one loves God, everything else falls into place.  I worry that modern education is not teaching students to love God.  No one goes to college in order to find the Creator in the midst of the creation studied.  I suspect the main reason for this divorce of reality from critical thinking is that the teaching Magisterium of the Church is afraid to think beyond boundaries set by the clerical culture of the Vatican.  I mean that Catholicism influences and intersects with all other institutional religion.  I mean that this unreasonable fear of making a mistake by engaging empirical science accounts for why Europe is more secular than Christian.

Isaiah 58:7 lifts up another troubling problem.  Isaiah 58:7 directs the Faithful to “Share your bread with the hungry …”  The secular state, with its welfare programs is doing this much more than religious organizations.  In full context, Isaiah 58:7-10 is part of a larger scenario extending from Isaiah 59:15b to 63:61.  That larger scenario is an indictment of Israel, similar to the indictment I poise to the institutional Church for lack of feeding those hungering not just for material things but also for the use of critical thinking in religion.  The Commonwealth of Virginia used to pay me to teach that no man, woman, or child is safe so long as the General Assembly is in session.  Far be it from the institutional Church to permit such temerity toward its human lawmakers.  

1 Corinthians proclaims that Christianity manifests the very power of God, beyond the use of reason.  1 Corinthians is referring to using reason to understand the presence of God through miracles; rather than through nature directly.  Miracles are exceptions to the general laws of nature.  Miracles can lead the Faithful to God.  The more ordinary way, however, is through the ordinary way in which nature operates, for example through education.  The way nature operates invites the observer to contemplate the Operator. 

Matthew likes miracles.  In this reading, however, Matthew 5:14 tells the Faithful, “You are the light of the world.”  Matthew means that loving neighbors keeps everything in focus.  Loving neighbors requires a certain amount of self-development in order to have something of value to offer.  For most people, this means self-application to get as much education as possible, whether formal or informal.

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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.

 

Isaiah 58:7-10

Isa 58:7

Edwin C. Hostetter, review of Mark Gray, Rhetoric and Social Justice in Isaiah[1]

Rating this study as “worthwhile and engaging,” Hostetter reports that

 

G. views rhetoric not merely as an embellishment but as substance, so that genuinely information communication comes from how something is said as well as from what is said.  Part of the close reading technique involves explication of key words and phrases:  for example, proclaiming the connotation of basar in Isa 58:7 to be humans broadly instead of Israelites narrowly.

 

Isaiah 58:7:  “Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked [I guess naked is basar][2] when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own.”

 

Isaiah 58:8-14

Matthew J. Lynch, "Zion's Warrior and the Nations: Isaiah 59:15b—63:6 in Isaiah's Zion Traditions"[3]

Lynch argues that the Lectionary passage is a respite from an otherwise dark and  gloomy lament over the future of Israel.  Lynch offers a slightly different translation of verse 10.  “If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your lights shall rise (…) in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.”  The Lectionary has, “If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday.”  I think Lynch makes the verse more meaningful because, he makes it more personal.

 

Isa 56:9—59:21

William H. Irwin, C.S.B., review of Burkard M. Zapff, Jesaia 56—66[4]

Irwin reports that Zapff places the Lectionary readings in context, “the indictment of Isa 56:9—59:21.”  Zapff argues that here, the scribes of Second Isaiah are adding to the prophecies of First Isaiah.  The scribes are continuing First Isaiah, rather than fragmenting First Isaiah with new independent and oral material.  Irwin approves this approach, which happens to be in accord with what I have always felt to be the case.

 

Psalm 112:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 (4a)

Psalm 112:1

Lloyd M. Barré, “Halelu yah: A Broken Inclusion”[5]

When scholars examine differences between the Hebrew and Greek First Testaments, they identify a freedom moving the alleluia verses around.  The Septuagint (Greek) moves the alleluia from the end of Psalm 111 to the beginning of Psalm 112.

 

Psalm 112

Anthony R. Ceresko, O.S.F.S., "Endings and Beginnings: Alphabetic Thinking and the Shaping of Psalms 106 and 150"[6]

Ceresko identifies Psalm 112 as a rational acrostic Psalm, rather than an emotional Psalm.

 

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

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 is found.[7]  With this material, I am trying to lay a foundation for developing Biblical themes the next time through the Cycles.

 

Verse 1         1 Corinthians 4:13; 1 Corinthians1:17 (I do not understand why chapter 4 comes before chapter 1); 2 Corinthians 1:12, 11:6-142!

Verse 2        

Verse 3         1 Corinthians 1:23; Galatians 6:14; 2 Corinthians 10:10; 11:30; Galatians 4:13.

Verse 4         1 Corinthians 1:1!; 1 Corinthians 4:20; Matthew 10:20!; 2 Corinthians 6:7; Romans 1:16!.

Verse 5         Romans 15:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; Ephesians 1:16; 1 Peter 1:5.

 

Through Reading 70A, January 30, 2011, I designed these notes on the availability of manuscripts to make the point that uncertainty exists as to exactly what Greek to use for the purposes of translation.  From January 30 onward, I began offering manuscript availability to lay background for examining Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology,[8] which I purchased based on the review in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.[9]  I do not anticipate using Translating for several months.

 

1 Cor 1:17—2:16

George T. Montague, S.M., review of Ian W. Scott, Paul’s Way of Knowing: Story, Experience, and the Spirit[10]

Montague reports that Scott uses 1 Cor 1:17—2:16 to use reason in explaining the faith.  Montague goes on, “S. examines Paul’s knowledge as immediate experience, as personal relationship, and as personal recognition of authority or merit.  Knowledge of Christ, like the OT knowledge of God is not mere new beliefs but devotion, worship and obedience (p. 155).”

 

1 Cor 2:1-16

Yung Suk Kim, review of Sion Kim, Christ and Caesar: The Gospel and the Roman Empire in the Writings of Paul and Luke[11]

Yung Suk reports that Sion argues “Christ crucified as a central topic of Paul’s gospel (1 Cor 2:2), can be understood as counter-imperial.  So one can hardly ignore the political implications of Christ crucified … “ as Sion tries to do. 

 

1 Cor 2:1-4

Maria Pascuzzi, “Baptism-based Allegiance and the Divisions in Corinth:  A Reexamination of 1 Corinthians 1:13-17”[12]

Pascuzzi argues that Paul and Apollo were contemporary preachers and that Paul wanted no part of competing with Apollo.  Paul presents himself as an evangelizer rather than a baptizer.  Pascuzzi argues that Paul really is as bad as Paul claims to be.  Even worse, “that Paul chose to finance his own ministry by manual labor probably reinforced the idea that he was a second-rate preacher as well as raised doubts about his apostolic identity.”  Apollos succeeded Paul in Corinth. 

To my disappointment, Pascuzzi does not reference John Fotopoulos, quoted below and appearing four years earlier.

 

1 Cor 2:2

Donald A. Hagner, review of P. J. Williams, Andrew D. Clarke, Peter M. Head, and David Instone-Brewer (eds.), The New Testament in Its First Century Setting: Essays on Context and background in  Honour of B. W. Winter on His 65th Birthday[13]

Hanger reports that the scholars in this book focus on what most intrigues contemporary scholars, namely what happened in the first centuries of Christianity.  Conrad Gempf, “Before Paul Arrived in Corinth:  The Mission Strategies in 1 Corinthians 2:2 [used here] and Acts 17 (pp. 126-42)” is the key article pertinent to this Sunday.

 

1 Cor 2:2

John Fotopoulos, "Arguments Concerning Food Offered to Idols: Corinthian Quotations and Pauline Refutations in a Rhetorical Partitio (1 Corinthians 8:1-9)”[14]

Fotopoulos argues differently from Pascuzzi, above.

 

Although Paul deprecates the use of human rhetoric and his own rhetorical skill in 1 Corinthians (1 Cor 17, 20; 2:1, 4 [both used here], 13; 4:20), Dale B Martin has argued that it was a common rhetorical device for orators to deprecate their own rhetorical ability in order to secure the goodwill of the audience and that by so doing in the Corinthian correspondence Paul was behaving precisely as a skilled orator.

 

Pascuzzi does not cite Dale B. Martin, The Corinthian Body (1995) either.

 

John 8:12

 

Matthew 5:13-16

 

Verse 13       Mark 9:50 f.

Verse 14       James 8:12!; Isaiah 2:2; Revelation 21:10 f.

Verse 15       Mark 4:21; Luke 8:16, 11:33!.

Verse 16       Ephesians 5:8 f., Philippians 2:15; James 15:8; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Philippians 1:11; 1 Peter 2:12.

 

Matt. 4:17—16:20   

Jack Dean Kingsbury, "Observations on the `Miracle Chapters’ of Matthew 8-9”[15]

Kingsbury argues that Matthew uses the miracles of Jesus to demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah.

 

Matt 5:3-13

Dino Dozzi, "`Thus Says the Lord' The Gospel in the Writings of Saint Francis"[16]

Dozzi traces Gospel citations in the writings of Saint Francis.  Francis loved the Beatitudes.  Dozzi counts verse 13 as belonging to the Beatitudes, though verse 13 is about being the salt of the earth, rather than a Beatitude.

 

Matt 5:13-16

Craig L. Blomberg, "Interpreting the Parables of Jesus: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?"[17]

Blomberg argues that most of the parables are written with more than one theme.  Blomberg recognizes that the salt of the earth and a city set on a mountain are not parables, but are often “included in studies of parables, and occasionally so labeled by the Gospels themselves.”  These Lectionary passages have only one theme each.

 

Matt 5:16                

Walter T. Wilson, “Seen in Secret:  Inconspicuous Piety and Alternative Subjectivity in Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18”[18]

Wilson argues that “One in fact should do good works such as almsgiving so that they will be seen by others, but this should be done in order to bring glory to God, not to oneself.”  That is the meaning of “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” Matthew 5:16.

 

a

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



[1] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (April 2007), 323.

 

[2] See “King James Bible: Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary”  at http://www.htmlbible.com/sacrednamebiblecom/kjvstrongs/STRHEB13.htm  # 1320 (accessed December 2, 2010).

 

[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (April 2008), 250, 259.

 

[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (October 2007), 804.

 

[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 2 (April 1983), 195-200.

 

[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 1 (January 2006), 34.

 

[7] Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum: Graece et Latine: Textum Graecum post Eberhard et Erwin Nestle communiter ediderunt Barbara et Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger: Textus Latinus Novae Vulgatae Bibliorum Sacrorum Editioni debetur: Utriusque textus apparatum criticum recensuerent et editionem novis curis elaboraverunt Barbara et Kurt Aland una cum Instituto Studiorum Textus Novi Testamenti Monasterii Westphaliae (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft 1999) Editio XXVII.

 

[8] Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.), (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009).

 

[9] Robert Hodgson, Jr. review of Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.), the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (April 2009) 877-878.

 

[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (July 2009), 656.

 

[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (July 2009), 648.

 

[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 4 (October 2009), 825.

 

[13] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 3 (July 2005), 555.

 

[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 4 (October 2005), 615-616.

 

[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 4 (October 1978), 565.

 

[16] Greyfriars Review, Vol. 18, Supplement (2004) 7.

 

[17] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 53, No. 1 (January 1991), 75.

 

[18] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 3 (July 2010), 478.