King, Kingdom, Kingship are the words for these readings.

 

Daniel 7:13-14

 

Scholars surmise that the section in Revelation used in these readings draws from this section in Daniel.[1]

 

verse 13b                   one like a Son of man coming,

                                                on the clouds of heaven;

verse 13c                   when he reached the Ancient One

                                                and was presented before him

verse 14                     the one like a Son of Man received dominion, glory, and kingship

                                                all peoples, nations, and languages serve him.

                                    His dominion is an everlasting dominion

                                                that shall not be taken away,

                                                his kingship shall not be destroyed.

 

verses 13c and 14a

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):                 et usque ad Antiquum dierum pervenit … et data sun ei potestas et honor et regnum

 

Questions about translations often arise from the Vulgate. Antiquum dierum does not look like Ancient One. The translation that seems best is most venerable from the New Jerusalem. Since son of man has a special meaning in Mark, the Gospel for the liturgical Cycle B, that Jerome used a pronoun becomes a concern when the Lectionary repeated the noun. The pronoun seems better. Any Mark-like emphasis from the Lectionary seems misplaced.

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         and he came even to the Ancient of days … And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom

 

King James (1611):                         and came to the Ancient of days … And there was given him dominion and glory, and a kingdom

 

Jerusalem (1966):                            he came to the one of great age…On him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship

 

New American (1970):                    when he reached the Ancient one…He received dominion, glory, and kingship

 

New Jerusalem (1985):                  He came to the One most venerable…On him was conferred rule, honour and kingship

 

Psalm 93:1, 1-2, 5

 

This psalm, a royal psalm, dates from the time of the monarchy. A scholar explains,

 

Despite the role that David’s historical conquests may have played in the elevation of Yahweh to imperial rank, with very few exceptions it is not those historical victories but the primeval mythological victories that provide the primary religious language for praising Yahweh as king (Psalms 93:1-3; 95:4-5; 96:5, 10).… the habitable world (Psalm 24:1-2) and God’s throne itself rest upon the subdued waters of chaos (Psalm 29:10; 93:1-4).[2]

 

This Psalm is also available in #16 Antiphons and Psalms in Funerals at #5.

 

verse 1a(Rx) The Lord is king: he is robed in majesty

 

verse 1           The LORD is king, in splendor robed

                                    robed is the LORD and girt about with strength

 

Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P. writes that Psalm 93 shows God bringing order out of the chaos of the cosmos, thereby being king. Stuhlmueller also offers his own translation of this Psalm. First some verses not used in the Lectionary:

 

verses 3-5      The floods have lifted up, O LORD,

                                    the floods have lifted up their voice;

                                    the floods have lifted up their roaring,

                        More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters,

                                    more majestic than the waves of the sea,

                                    majestic on high is the LORD![3]

 

Stuhlmueller translates verse 1:

 

The LORD is king, he is robed in majesty; / the LORD is robed, he is girded with strength.[4]

 

For verse 5, Stuhlmueller has:

 

Your decrees are very sure;

            Holiness befits your house,

            O LORD, forevermore

 

The Lectionary has:

 

verse 5           Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed;

                                    holiness befits your house,

                                    O LORD, for length of days.

 

Stuhlmueller concludes, “In this final verse the psalmist offers a word of confidence about God’s Law and God’s house, and reaffirms the basic meaning of the sacred Hebrew name for God, YHWH: the one who is always there with you.” In a footnote, Stuhlmueller offers a grammatical explanation about what “to be” or “to be present” means. “I am who am” can also be translated, “I will be who I will be” in the sense of action in progress.[5]

 

Revelation 1:5-8

 

John, the author of Revelation, goes through some literary gyrations to identify the Faithful with himself in the use of the first person pronoun, us.[6]

 

verse 5           Jesus Christ is the faithful witness,

                                    the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.

                        To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood

verse 6                       who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father,

                                    to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen

 

verse 7           … Yes. Amen

 

verses 6 and 7

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):                 et fecit nos regnum Etiam, amen.

 

This is the key to all the readings. Jerome seems to write that the Faithful are the kingdom and that seems the better understanding. What rules the Faithful, how the Faithful set their personal priorities, explains the purpose of the life of Jesus. Saint Augustine (354-430) writes, “But whoever is born again of Christ, has become a kingdom that is no longer of this world.”[7]

 

Translating etiam as yes, is unusual, yet proper. The sense of indeed or all right, even yes, is also legitimate.

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         and made us to be a kingdom Amen.

 

King James (1611):                         and hath made us kings Amen.

 

Jerusalem (1966):                            and made us a line of kings Amen.

 

New American (1970):                    who has made us into a kingdom Yes. Amen.

 

New Jerusalem (1985):                  and made us a kingdom of Priests … Amen.

 

Mark 11:9, 10

 

verse 10         Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!

 

John 18:33b-37

 

This section of John, Chapters 18-20, is a seventh sign, the lifting up of Jesus in death and resurrection, a sign parallel with the Egyptians escaping through the Red Sea.[8] This section is also part of the very positive and more inclusive Book of Glory, 13:1—20:31.[9]

 

verse 33b       Pilate said to Jesus,

                                    “Are you the King of the Jews?”

 

verse 36         Jesus answered, “My Kingdom does not belong to this world,

                        If my kingdom did belong to this world,

                                    my attendants would be fighting

                                    to keep me from being handed over to the Jews,

                        But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”

verse 37         So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?”

                        Jesus answered, “You say I am a king.

                        For this I was born and for this I came into the world,

                                    To testify to the truth.

                        Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

 

verses 36 and 37d

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):                 Respondit Iesus: “Regnum meum non est de mundo hoc; si ex hoc mundo esset regnum meum, ministri mei decertarent, ut not tradere Iudaeis; nunc autem meum regnum not est hinc.”…omnis, quo est ex veritate

 

The meaning of kingdom or regnum is explained above in Revelation. The world or mundo is that the sense of cosmos comes in three versions, neutral, as here, and negative, as in worldly, and positive, as in go out into the whole world.[10] Counter-cultural preaching, preaching seems to exempt Catholics from civic responsibilities and unremittingly and inappropriately embarrass elected Catholic officials.

 

Confronted with a shaken Magisterium, the educated Faithful have a vocation to search for the truth in the face of countervailing politics. Such vocation objects to a “pray, pay, and obey” Catholicism. This translation about openness to truth, not to be heard preached from the altar, does hearten the Faithful, forced to think for themselves in the formation of their own conscience, especially as related to human sexuality. Saint Augustine writes, “That He (Jesus) said: `Everyone that is of the truth, refers to the grace by which He calls us according to His purpose.’”[11]

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my followers would have fought that I might not be delivered to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” … Everyone who is of the truth

 

King James (1611):                         Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now[sic] is my kingdom not from hence .… Every one that is of the truth

 

Jerusalem (1966):                            Jesus replied, “Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.” … and all who are on the side of truth

 

New American (1970):                    Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants (would) be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”… everyone who belongs to the truth

 

New Jerusalem (1985):                  Jesus replied, “Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. As it is, my kingdom does not belong here.”…all who are on the side of truth

 

Pilate does not even know what truth is. For Pilate only politics matters. Saint John Chrysostom (354-407) addresses the matter of Pilate honoring the truth. Chrysostom points out that Jesus “dissolves the fear in Pilate’s mind that He is aiming at royal power.”[12]  Just as Pilate had a vocation that required him to heed truth, so do the Faithful.

 

The end of the liturgical year focuses on priorities. Kingdoms set priorities. The issue rests in the secrets of the soul, secrets modern psychology reveals of which the soul itself is often unaware. This means that the setting of priorities merits frequent reexamination.

 

Daniel is an expression of hope, fundamentally that the messiah, Jesus, will participate in setting the priorities of the Faithful. The psalm, recognizing the mighty power of God over the cosmos, invites the Faithful to praise God for God’s own purposes. Revelation recognizes the kingdom within the hearts of the Faithful as the very heart of the religious experience. Finally, John ties in the Cross with purpose, sets truth within a context of politics, with a type of gentle smile towards the vicissitudes of life.

 

For more on sources, besides the footnotes, see the Appendix file.



[1] Dennis Hamm, S.J., “The Tamid Service in Luke-Acts: The Cultic Background behind Luke’s Theology of Worship (Luke 1:5-25; 18:9-14; 24:50-53; Acts 3:1; 10:3, 30),” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 2 (April 2003) 229. Also see Sue Gillingham, “From Liturgy to Prophecy: The Use of Psalmody in Second Temple Judaism,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 3 (July 2002) 486.

[2] J.J.M. Roberts, “The Enthronement of Yhwh and David: The Abiding Theological Significance of the Kingship Language of the Psalms,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 4 (October 2002) 677, 679, 680.

 

[3] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599 31.

 

[4] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599 64

 

[5] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599 65 footnote 5.

 

[6] François Bovon, “John’s Self-presentation in Revelation 1:9-10,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 4 (October 2000) 689.

 

[7] Exposition from the Catena Aurea, Augustine: The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: A Manual of Preaching, Spiritual Reading and Meditation: Volume Four: From the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost to the Twenty-fourth and Last Sunday after Pentecost, tr. and ed. M. F. Toal, D.D. (P.O. Box 612, Swedesboro, NJ 08085: Preservation Press, 1996) 447.

 

[8] Douglas K. Clark, “Signs in Wisdom and John,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 2 (April 1983) 205 and 208.

 

[9] Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., “Raymond Brown’s New Introduction to the Gospel of John: A Presentation—And Some Questions,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1 (January 2003) 11.

[10] Stanley B. Marrow, “KosmoV in John, the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (January 2002), 96-97.

 

[11] Exposition from the Catena Aurea, Augustine: The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: A Manual of Preaching, Spiritual Reading and Meditation: Volume Four: From the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost to the Twenty-fourth and Last Sunday after Pentecost, tr. and ed. M. F. Toal, D.D. (P.O. Box 612, Swedesboro, NJ 08085: Preservation Press, 1996) 449.

 

[12] Exposition from the Catena Aurea, Chrysostom: The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: A Manual of Preaching, Spiritual Reading and Meditation: Volume Four: From the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost to the Twenty-fourth and Last Sunday after Pentecost, tr. and ed. M. F. Toal, D.D. (P.O. Box 612, Swedesboro, NJ 08085: Preservation Press, 1996) 447.