This is a good Sunday for the Faithful to focus on  truth. I am struck by how the tiny whispering sound in 1 Kings 19:12, is the truth standing forth against the politics earlier expressed in the crushing rocks, earthquake, and fire.  Psalm 85 mentions truth twice, in verses 11 and 12.  Kindness and truth shall meet … Truth shall spring out of the earth.  The Psalmist is associating truth with justice, an association paramount to all suffering from unjust discrimination.  Romans 9:1 also mentions truth, I speak the truth. Paul is calling upon the Holy Spirit to testify on his behalf.  Paul is taking an oath that he is telling the truth.  The reading in Matthew ends with, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”  I pray for preaching that recognizes the need to search for truth in order to pierce the veil of face-saving politics.

 

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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 scholarly details.

1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a

1 Kings 19:1-12

Michael W. Duggan, review of Alviero Niccacci, OFM, and Roberto Tadiello, OFM CAPP, Il libro di Giona: Analisi del testo ebraico e del racconto[1]

In writing a book on Jonah, Tadiello notes that 1 Kings 19:1-12 is about such a rejection of Elijah that had provoked his death wish.

 

1 Kings 19:12

Harry Fleddermann, "`And He Wanted to Pass by Them’ (Mark 6:48C)”[2]

Fleddermann looks to 1 Kings 19:12 to explain that God presents himself with elusiveness, meaning that God cannot be controlled.  The phrase, “and he wanted to pass by them” refers to the miracle in Mark where Jesus is walking on the water.

 


Psalm 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14

Psalm 85:10

Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy[3]

Barker is more opaque than usual.  I do not understand what she is trying to say.  The reason for entering Psalm 85:10 is a reference in the index to Baker.  While her index identifies verse 10, page 191 does not specify that verse.  She does, however, mention Psalm 85.

 

Romans 9:1-5

Rom 9:1-9

Craig A. Evans, review of Brian J. Abasciano Paul’s use of the Old Testament in Romans 9:1-9[4]

Evans and Abasciano cite Romans 9:1-5 as key to understanding Pauline theology.  Evans writes that “Gentiles are incorporated into the membership of the people of God, [which] is a continuation of the sacred narrative of Israel.”  Evans finds Abasciano convincing.

 

Rom 9:1—11:36

Brendan Byrne, S.J., “The Problem of Nomos and the Relationship with Judaism in Romans”[5]

Byrne argues that the new law of love is inclusive of everyone.

 

Rom 9:1-4

Charles H. Cosgrove, "Did Paul Value Ethnicity?"[6]

Cosgrove offers a comparative translation of Romans :1-4.  What follows is an interlinear exercise for comparative purposes.

 

Cosgrove:     I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience

Lectionary     I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie; my conscience

 

Cosgrove:     bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—I have great

Lectionary     joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness that I have great

 

Cosgrove:     sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I

Lectionary     sorrow and constant anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I

 

Cosgrove:     myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own

Lectionary     myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own

 

Cosgrove:     people, my kindred according to the flesh. They are Israelites. …

Lectionary     people, my kindred according to the flesh. They are Israelites; …

 

Both Cosgrove and the Lectionary capitalize Holy Spirit, although the Greek does not. The answer to the question, “Did Paul value ethnicity?” is, “Yes, he did.”

 

Rom 9:1-4

Calvin J. Roetzel, review of John G. Lewis, Looking for Life: The Role of `Theo-Ethical Reasoning’ in Paul’s Religion[7]

Lewis has written a book about the conflict between truth and face-saving politics, without, however, resolving the conflict. The truth is that the Israelites are the Chosen People; the politics is that the Israelites are not accepting the promises made to them in the person of Jesus Christ.

 

Rom 9:5

Frank J. Matera, review of Gordon D. Fee, Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study[8]

Fee argues that it is through Paul that the Gentiles learn that God is their Father, as well as the Jews.  Fee innovates in pointing out that Paul relies in the Septuagint to refer to God as Lord (Kyrios).  Fee corrects a potential misunderstanding of Romans 9:5, the Christ, who is over all, God blessed forever.  God refers to the Father, not Christ.  The Bishops do not include Romans 9:5 in their Catechism (below) and, so, avoid contrasting how Paul prayed, with how Jesus taught the Faithful to pray.  Fee “highlights how prayer and devotion to Christ play a significant role in Pauline Christology.”

 

cf. Psalm 130:5

 

Matthew 14:22-33

Matthew 14:22

Without acknowledging the introduction is not in the original Greek, the Lectionary introduces verse 22 with “After he had fed the people.”  The Lectionary continues, “Jesus made the disciples get into a boat.”  The eclectic Greek has “Jesus immediately made the disciples get into a boat.”  The Greek footnotes indicate that a Fourth Century manuscript located in the British Library in London omits immediately.  That manuscript is one of the “great uncials.”  A uncial is a manuscript written in all capital letters.  My effort here is trying to understand the footnotes to the Greek manuscripts.

According to an unnamed source on the Internet, there are 5,309 hand-copied manuscripts of Sacred Scripture dating before the era of printing.  Majority Texts (Textus Receptus) are those that ninety-five percent of the manuscripts support.  The other five percent are Minority Texts.  As best I can tell, the Majority Texts support immediately.  So, my problem rests in trying to understand why the Lectionary does not include immediately.

I do not understand why the following unattributed comment appears on the Internet.  “Therefore when you hear or read of someone `correcting’ the King James Bible with `older’ or `more authoritative’ manuscripts, you are simply hearing someone trying to use a corrupted, pagan, Gnostic, Roman Catholic text to overthrow the God-honored text of the Protestant Reformation and the great revivals.”  The unattributed source is obviously anti-Catholic, but sifting the truth from the politics remains to be done.[9]

As I understand it, legitimate scholars, from whatever political persuasion they come, agree on the eclectic Nestle-Almond Greek text.  As a Roman Catholic examining the manuscripts, I do not understand the complaint.  I use the Roman Catholic Lectionary (1998), The Vulgate (circa 410), Douay-Rheims (1582-1610), King James (1611), Catholic RSV (1969), New American (NAB) (1970), New Jerusalem (1985) (which is Catholic). The web site uses 1881 as a watershed for new translations based on the Minority Texts.

 

Matthew 14:22

Lectionary (1998)                         After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat

 

The Vulgate (circa 410)                Et statim iussit discipulos ascendere in naviculam

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610)               And forthwith Jesus obliged his disciples to go up into the boat

 

King James (1611)                       And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship

 

Catholic RSV (1969)                    Then he made the disciples get into the boat

 

New American (NAB) (1970)              Then he made the disciples get into the boat

 

New Jerusalem (1985)                 And at once he made the disciples get into the boat

 

The differences are small matters.  Where small matters become major is at the point where the Magisterium pontificates on the natural law, which Sacred Scripture explains.  As it turns out, the Bishops have not agreed on a Bible from which to take all of the texts the Lectionary uses.

 

Matthew 14:23

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults[10]

The Bishops refer to this verse as a sign that Jesus “prayed for long periods of time.”  Nowhere do the Bishops recognize that the whole life of Jesus was a prayer, not limited to times of special concentration.  In Chapter 36, “Jesus Taught Us to Pray,” the Bishops identify the Our Father as “The Central Prayer of Scripture.”  It seems to me, that Jesus taught the Faithful how to pray, rather than simply to pray.

 

Matt. 14:31

John Paul Heil, “Ezekiel 34 and the Narrative Strategy of the Shepherd and Sheep Metaphor in Matthew”[11]

Heil highlights how Jesus chides his disciples for being “of little faith.”

 

After-Action Report

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Reading 94A, June 22, 2008

“Part III” above the double line refers to Part III of the Introduction to Nestle-Almond.  Nestle-Almond are the scholars responsible for determining which Greek is accepted for the eclectic Greek version of Sacred Scripture.  The full panoply of scholars receiving credit is in the long title, found in the footnote.

My guess is that there are only about 500 manuscripts remaining from the period between 500 and 1000 AD.  Some manuscripts do date before 500 AD.  The point is that differences among the manuscripts need sorting out, before deciding which Greek to use.  As best as I can tell, the Magisterium has not pontificated on which Greek is directly inspired.  The Magisterium has proclaimed that the Vulgate of Saint Jerome is directly inspired.  The Magisterium does not proclaim any direct inspiration for any English version of the Bible.

My approach to the Greek is changing.  Up to this point, my concern has focused on translations of the eclectic Greek.  My focus is changing toward the early manuscripts, some of which insert and other of which omit verses and parts of verses.  I intend to consider alternate versions of the original Greek manuscripts.  My intention is to keep the division of time I spend on the Greek and on scholarly articles divided as I have in the past.

 



[1] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2007) 127.

 

[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 3 (July1983)  390, 394.

 

[3] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003

 

[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2007) 139.

 

[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 2 (April 2000) 308.

 

[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 281, 282, 283, 289.

 

[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (April 2007) 366.

 

[8] Theological Studies, Vol. 69, No. 1 (March 2008) 193.

 

[10] Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006, 481.

 

[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 4 (October 1993) 704.