The readings for this Sunday are about not placing too much store in the goods of this life, including understanding the spiritual life.  The antiphon, I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life is about the transition from temporal to eternal life.  Sometimes the Faithful are so blinded that they do not see their own sins.  This is especially true in matters like racial prejudice.  Despite the lack of spiritual insight, the Psalmist is still hopeful, with another view.  As the 23rd Psalmist puts it, The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Philippians is about accepting whatever life circumstances afford, without taking whatever happens too seriously.  As the Alleluia verse related to Ephesians puts it in the liturgy today, May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts.  The Gospel is about Faith in the midst of uncertainty in this life.  Enjoying retirement, I already feel a little taste of what Isaiah 25:8 describes as The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from every face. Many times tears were close to the surface when I feared losing my job.

 

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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.

Isaiah 25:6-10A

The Church uses this passage for funerals.[1]

 

Isa 25:8

J. Gerald Janzen, "Qohelet on Life `Under the Sun'"[2]

Jansen writes, “It is, of course, one of the fundamental features of liturgical experience that its participants engage, or are engaged by, time and eternity in ways distinct from their profane experience.”  That is the meaning of Isaiah 25:8, … he will destroy death forever

 


Isa 25:10-12

Paul Lawrence, The IVP Atlas of Bible History[3]

Lawrence furnishes a map that locates Moab, perhaps the mountain in verse 11a. Moab is in the desert east of the southern end of the Dead Sea, in what would be present-day Jordan.

 

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

The Church uses this Psalm repeatedly both at funerals[4] and at visits to the sick.[5]

 

To my bewilderment (because I lack a copy) and delight, the Septuagint Old Testament is now partially online.[6]  The history of the manuscript is as follows.  Sometime between 1844[7] and 1859,[8] Constantin von Tischendorf (1815-1874) discovered the manuscript of the New Testament and part of the First Testament in the monastery of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai.

During his lifetime, Tischendorf knew of sixty-nine uncials. Uncial Bibles were written in Greek.  The Mount Sinai manuscript is an uncial.  An uncial is a Latin or Greek manuscript written in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries in capital letters.[9]

Codex Sinaiticus, the technical name for the Mount Sinai manuscript, was written sometime between 320 and 350,[10] that is during and after Emperor Constantine (275-337),[11] who probably influenced what was set down.  By 1988, including Codex Sinaiticus, ninety-six uncials were known, as well as 2,812 minuscules (written in lower case letters).[12]

Codex Vaticanus was unveiled later than Codex Sinaiticus, but was probably written slightly earlier.[13]  Codex Vaticanus appears in the earliest catalog, 1475, of the Vatican Library.  The problem is that the Vatican would not let scholars examine it in detail until publication in 1889.[14]

The problem was that the Vatican was using the Greek produced by Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536).[15]  Erasmus produced the first edition of the Greek New Testament, known as Textus Receptus.[16]  The Textus Receptus was the standard Greek used in the West from the Sixteenth to the end of the Nineteenth Centuries.  This was the basic Greek used for the King James and Douay-Rheims Versions of the New Testament.  Erasmus had only used six manuscripts in what he threw together, as Erasmus himself put it.[17]  Erasmus did not have the Sinai Codex.

The term Majority Text refers to what is used in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Textus Receptus is based on the Majority Text.[18]  To survive, these European texts were written on vellum, that is, animal skins.  It would take a whole herd of animals to do the New Testament.  Scholars like to look at African parchment, which dates earlier and, because made of far less expensive reeds, is easier to obtain.  The merged result is the eclectic Greek, used for these presentations.

All of the above gets us to the 23rd Psalm, which is available online in the Codex Sinaiticus.[19]  I am able to read the typeset Greek but not the photocopy of the original manuscript.  I am thrilled to have gotten this far. Perhaps I will be able to understand the photocopy later.  At least I have the Greek version, the Septuagint, of some parts of the First Testament.  Prior to this, I had no access to that Greek.

 

Psalm 23:5

Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy[20]

From what Barker says about You spread the table before me, I take a Eucharistic understanding.

 

Philippians 4:12-11, 19-20

Phil 4:10-20

Basil S. Davis, "Severianus of Gabala and Galatians 6:6-10"[21]

Davis writes, “It is not inconceivable that Paul should have demanded `pupils’ to `reward or pay their teachers.’”  Davis goes on, “So J. B. Lightfoot cites several passages … [including Phil 4:10-20] to show that `the obligation of the hearers of the word to support the ministers of the word is again and again insisted upon by St. Paul.’”

 

cf. Ephesians 1:17-18

 


Matthew 22:1-14

Matthew 22:10 has a difficulty with a word for wedding which does not appear in the Lectionary.

 

Matthew 22:10

Lectionary (1998)                         … and the hall was filled

 

The Vulgate (circa 410)                … et impletae sunt nuptiae discumbentium.

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610)          … and the marriage was filled

 

King James (1611)                       … and the wedding was furnished

 

Catholic RSV (1969)                    … so the wedding hall was filled

 

New American (NAB) (1970)         … and the hall was filled

 

New Jerusalem (1985)                 … and the wedding hall was filled

 

These translations make me feel as if I am beginning to understand the Greek apparatus.  It looks to me as if the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus agree with the Vulgate, Douay-Rheims, and King James.

 

Matthew 22:13

Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy[22]

Barker is concerned about life in the Second Temple.  With this in mind, she writes, “Only those who bore the mark like the temple priests were permitted to participate [in the holy of holies].  They were also described as clad in garments of glory, and, like the guest without a wedding garment at the great wedding feast, outsiders were cast out (Matt. 22:13).”

 

Matt 21:23—24:2

Terence J. Keegan, O.P., “Introductory Formulae for Matthean Discourses”[23]

Keegan is trying to group what belongs together in Matthew.  One suggestion is that Matthew 22:1-14, used today, is part of a larger section extending from 21:23 to 24:2.

 


Matt 22:1-14

Barbara E. Reid, O.P., review of Marianne Blickenstaff, `While the Bridegroom Is with Them’: Marriage, Family, Gender and Violence in the Gospel of Matthew[24]

Reid writes that the key insight of Blickenstaff is that the two parables unique to Matthew, the Wedding Feast (22:1-14) [used today] and the Ten Virgins (25:1-13) associate the bridegroom “not only with joy and celebration but also with separation and violence.”  The violent king does not symbolize the divine.  Blickenstaff “argues that violence is not a mark of the reign of God but is a result of human tyranny.”

 

Matt 22:1-14

Pheme Perkins, Luise Schottroff, The Parables of Jesus[25]

Important books are translated into English, as is this one.  Schottroff is a German feminist.  She does not offer a detailed commentary, but instead offers a new way of viewing the parables, without “both the obvious and the indirect anti-Judaism of most interpretations. …”  Schottroff asserts that the parable of the wedding banquet concerns Roman political violence.  The point of view that Schottroff takes is that “Parables hold up a mirror to the harsh realities of life for a populace that could barely survive economically.”

 

Matt 22:1-14

Todd E. Klutz, review of Richard L. Rohrbaugh, The New Testament in Cross-Cultural Perspective[26]

Rohrbaugh regards the great supper in the reading today as “warnings to the rich about their exploitation of the weak.”

 

Matt 22:1-10

Mark F. Whitters, "Jesus in the Footsteps of Jeremiah"[27]

Whitters contends that this parable, along with other Matthean passages, hints that Jesus is the Jeremiah to the nations, establishing a new covenant.

 


Matt 22:1-4

Edward F. Siegman, C.PP.S, "Teaching in Parables: (Mk 4:10-12; Lk 8:9-10; Mt 13:10-15)"[28]

Siegman observes that even half a century ago, “All scholars today stress the importance of the oral catechesis in the formation of Gospel traditions.”  This means that the Gospels were passed around orally, before being written down.  The point about the wedding feast is that Gentile Christians should not take their Faith for granted or they may find themselves outside the Church, like so many of the Jews.

 

Matt 22:6

Joseph Plevnik, "`The Eleven and Those with Them’ According to Luke”[29]

Plevnik compares the wedding feast in Matthew with that in Luke 14:20 ff., which the Sunday Lectionary does not use.  Plevnik thinks while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them is a secondary insertion, made by the early catechists.

 

 

After-Action Report

October 12, 2008

My friend, Marge Nocks has retired to a nursing home in Richmond and, therefore, is no longer able to share the ride with me to the Bethlehem Monastery of Poor Clares in Barhamsville, New Kent County, Virginia. Her comments had been the main source of these “After-Action Reports.” May all readers please keep Marge, her daughter, the Abbess, Mother Clare, and me in their prayers.

 



[1] N.a., International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by Authority of Pope Paul IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: Approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 210, 261.

 

[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 3 (July 2008) 474.

 

[3] Downers Grove, Illinois, InterVarsity Press, 2006, 105.

 

[4] N.a., International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by Authority of Pope Paul IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: Approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 143, 223, 253, 267.

 

[5] The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and Published by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum: Approved for use in the dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See: Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy: a Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1983) 171, 188, 323.

 

[6] National Catholic Reporter: The Independent News Source, Vol. 44, No. 25 (August 8, 2008) col. 1, page 4.

 

 

[12] 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. (Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989) 13.

 

[16] 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. (Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989) 4-6.

 

[17] 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. (Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989) 4.  http://www.answers.com/textus%20receptus 080817.

 

[20] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003, 90, 246, 248326 fn. 57.

 

[21] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (April 2007) 296.

 

[22] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003, 67.

 

[23] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 3 (July 982) 422.

 

[24] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 3 (July 2006) 533.

 

[25] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 4 (October 2006) 782.

 

[26] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (October 2007) 830.

 

[27] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 246.

 

[28] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 1 (January 1961) 180.

 

[29] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 2 (July 1978) 207.