Sometimes I just do not have anything to say about the Scripture scholarship.  Well, I do not want to give up, so I keep trying.

The readings for this Sunday are suited for the Faithful who have trouble getting along.  I mean everyone seems left out of some human relationships.  The temptation is to retaliate by excluding others from our social relationships.  These readings are about overcoming that temptation to exclude others from ourselves.

Exodus tells the Faithful, you shall not wrong any widow or orphan, whatever the disability.  The message of the Word is to include everyone, especially those who have to struggle harder to get along.  And if the Faithful are among those who have to struggle harder, they are still not to retaliate.  Sacred Scripture leaves retaliation to God alone.

Psalm 18 expresses a need to be safe from my enemies, that is, those who are excluding me from places I feel I need to be.  David had such problems as he developed his kingship.  Paul notes that the Thessalonians turned to God from idols, meaning that the Faithful should be open to and not exclude anyone, including non-believers.  As Matthew puts it, love your neighbor as yourself.  These readings are suited for the Black Catholic Apostolate.  Racial discrimination tends to exclude people from where they need to be in order to exercise their best talents.

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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.

Exodus 22:20-26

Exodus 22:25

Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy[1]

Barker explains that Exodus 22:25, about not keeping a cloak as a pledge overnight, means that it was forbidden for Jews to charge interest to fellow Jews (Exod. 22:25) …” With Shakespeare’s Shylock, it is well known that Jews were able to charge Christians.

Psalm 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51

Psalm 18

Richard J. Dillon, "The Benedictus in Micro- and Macrocontext"[2]

Dillon observes that Psalm 18 is about thanksgiving to the Lord for delivering David from his enemies.

 


1 Thessalonians 1:5c-10

1 Thess 1:3—2:2

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.[3]

The Alands identify a Third Century papyrus at the Instituto Papirologico in Florence, with these verses. I think I need to become accustomed to the fact that the printing press allows the Faithful to forget how the Word was preserved for centuries.

 

1 Thess 1:2-10

John Clabeaux, review of Colin R. Nicholl, From Hope to Despair in Thessalonica: Situating 1 and 2 Thessalonians[4]

Nichol argues well that Paul is reassuring the Thessalonians, you became a model for all believers.  The Thessalonians were worried that they were dying before the risen Christ had returned.

 

1 Thess 1:6

Jerry L. Sumney, "`I Fill Up What Is Lacking in the Afflictions of Christ': Paul's Vicarious Suffering in Colossians"[5]

Sumney argues that Paul uses his sufferings as evidence of his genuineness.

 

1 Thess 1:6

Zeba A. Crook, review of Robert L. Plummer, Paul’s Understanding of the Church’s Mission: Did the Apostle Paul Expect Early Christian Communities to Evangelize?[6]

Plummer does not convince Crook that Paul expected the early Christian communities to evangelize.  I do not remember ever reading a more damaging review than this. Crook writes, “Regardless of whether the fault for such careless scholarship lies with the author, the seminary [Southern Baptist Theological Seminary] that approved of a dissertation like this, or the publisher [Paternoster Biblical Monographs], a disservice has been done to biblical studies.  Unfortunately my index does not record publishers to check what other books may be contaminated by the publisher, Paternoster Biblical Monographs.  I do remember that company as a reasonably frequent publisher.  From 1972 to 2010 the Catholic Biblical Quarterly reviewed eighty-three books from Paternoster.[7]

 

1 Thess 1:6

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

Siegman associates  receiving the word in great affliction with the parable of the sower, sowing seed upon rocky ground and then not surviving tribulation or persecution.

 

1 Thess 1:9-10

Mark J. Goodwin, “Hosea and `the Son of the Living God’ in Matthew 16:16b”[9]

Goodwin argues that the early Christians connected the living God with the Resurrection and the sonship of Jesus, to the extent that Paul used the connection as basic to his preaching.

 

1 Thess 1:9

Veronica Koperski, S.F.C.C., review of Edwin D. Freed, The Apostle Paul and His Letters[10]

Koperski concludes, “… I am hesitant to recommend it [the book Freed wrote] to any reader who lacks access to alternative views.”  In other words, the book is not scholarly.

 

 

1 Thess 1:10

Hendrikus Boers, “2 Corinthians 5:14--6:2: A Fragment of Pauline Christology”[11]

The death of Christ, raised from the dead is foundational to the thinking of Paul.

 

 

1 Thess 1:10

Lisa Sowle Cahill, "Quaestio Disputata: The Atonement Paradigm: Does it Still Have Explanatory Value?"[12]

Cahill asserts, “Nowhere in the New Testament does forgiveness depend on punishment or retribution.”  Paul simply writes, Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath.

 

 

1 Thess 1:9

Charles H. Cosgrove, "Did Paul Value Ethnicity?"[13]

Cosgrove argues that Paul did not value ethnicity, … despite, how you turned to God from idols … Paul regards gentiles and Jews “on equivalent, although perhaps not identical, moral planes under God’s judgment (Rom 1:18—3:20).”

 

John 14:23

 

Matthew 22:34-40

Matthew 22:34-40

The Church makes this passage from Matthew available for visits to the sick.[14]

 

Matt 21:23—24:2

Terence J. Keegan, O.P., “Introductory Formulae for Matthean Discourses”[15]

Keegan explains how to view the presentation of Matthew as a topical rather than chronological presentation.

 

Matthew 22:37-38

Christopher Grasso, A Speaking Aristocracy: Transforming Public Discourse in Eighteenth-Century Connecticut[16]

In 1756, Ezra Stiles, who became President of Yale University twenty years later, in 1777, preached on these verses about loving God.  The question in his mind was the relationship between grace and reason.  As Grasso words it, “The sentimentalist philosopher cultivating his moral sense and the Christian growing in grace and preparing for glory in the next world seemed to be on the same path.”

As a retired college professor, I do not see it that way.  am more inclined to see grace as essential for loving God, whether by reason or by Faith.

 

 

Matthew 22:37-39

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults[17]

The Bishops present the New Testament law as if it were unrelated to the Jewish Shema of Deut 6:4-9; 11:13-21, and Numbers 15:37-41. The Bishops write, “Jesus taught …” implying that that is not what the Jewish religion taught first about loving neighbors.  Shema is not in the index.

 

Matthew 22:37

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults[18]

The Bishops conflate and confuse the first and the greatest of the Commandments, when they write, “Jesus made the love of God the first of the two greatest Commandments: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mt. 22:37).”  And, then, place that quotation in Chapter 25. “First Commandment: Believe in the True God.” The Bishops are confusing belief in God with love of God.  The Bishops are also presenting the two Commandments as of the same rank, but that is not what Jesus said, about the second Commandment.  Jesus said, “This is the greatest and the first commandment.  The second is like it: …”  Sloppy scholarship, again.

 

Matthew 22:39

The Greek apparatus questions verse 39.  What the apparatus questions is what I would translate as indeed.  The apparatus is not sure indeed  is sufficiently present in the manuscripts to be included in translations.

 


 

Matthew 22:39

Lectionary (1998)                         The second is like it:

The Vulgate (circa 410)                Secundum autem simile est huic:

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610)         And the second is like to this:

King James (1611)                       And the second is like unto it,

Catholic RSV (1969)                    And a second is like it,

New American (NAB) (1970)        The second is like it:

New Jerusalem (1985)                 The second resembles it:

 

I like the idea of indeed. —Indeed, the second is like it, following the autem of Saint Jerome.  Jesus was only asked for the greatest commandment, but he added a second, indeed.

 

Matt 22:40

Boris Repschinski, review of Peter Fiedler, Das Matthausevangelium[19]

Fiedler argues that the whole law and the prophets means that Matthew is aiming his Gospel at the Jews.

 

Matt 22:40

Paul Lawrence, The IVP Atlas of Bible History[20]

Lawrence explains, “The Old Testament itself consists of three main parts, called the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings in Jewish terminology. …  In the Christian Bible the order of the historical books is somewhat more chronological. The wisdom literature is placed after the histories, with the prophets at the end.”  The law is found in the histories.

 

 



[1] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003, 40.

 

[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 3 (July 2006) 459.

 

[3] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 189.

 

[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 1 (July 2008) 165.

 

[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 4 (October 2006) 666.

 

[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (July 2007) 828-829.

 

[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 6 (July 1961) 167.

 

[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 2 (April 2005) 280.

 

[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 1 (January 2006) 143.

 

[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 3 (July 2002) 537 and 546.

 

[12] Theological Studies, Vol. 68, No. 2 (June 2007) 428.

 

[13] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 277.

 

[14] 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) 305.

 

[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 3 (July 1982) 422.

 

[16] Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999, 240.

 

[17] Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006, 309.

 

[18] Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006, 343.

 

[19] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3 (July 2007) 579.

 

[20] Downers Grove, Illinois,  InterVarsity Press, 2006 13.