Saturday, September 29, 2007

Latin Bible of the Week

Long ago I set myself the task of reading the Vulgate, preferably directly from the manuscripts. I try to do a chapter a week, in part to keep Latin fresh when I'm not otherwise working in it, as well as just trying to get to know the book and style of Latin that influenced the medieval period so heavily. I'm not always consistent or successful in making the time to do a chapter a week, but today I did. I started a month or so back on the book of Sirach, aka Ecclesiasticus in part because I've not ever read all of it in English much less anything else, and I've a new appreciation for wisdom literature. So here is today's reading:

1 fili accedens seruituti Dei sta in iustitia et timore et praepara animam tuam ad temptationem
2 deprime cor tuum et sustine declina aurem et excipe uerba intellectus et ne festines in tempus obductionis
3 sustine sustentationes Dei coniungere Deo et sustine ut crescat in nouissimo uita tua
4 omne quod tibi adplicitum fuerit accipe et in dolore sustine et in humilitate tua habe patientiam
5 quoniam in igne probatur aurum et argentum homines uero receptibiles in camino humiliationis
6 crede Deo et recuperabit te et dirige uiam tuam et spera in illum serua timorem illius et in illo ueteresce
7 metuentes Deum sustinete misericordiam eius et non deflectatis ab illo ne cadatis
8 qui timetis Deum credite illi et non euacuabitur merces uestra
9 qui timetis Deum sperate in illum et in oblectatione ueniet uobis misericordia
10 qui timetis Deum diligite illum et inluminabuntur corda uestra
11 respicite filii nationes hominum et scitote quis sperauit in Dominum et confusus est
12 permansit in mandatis eius et derelictus est et quis inuocauit illum et despexit illum
13 quoniam pius et misericors Deus et remittit in tempore tribulationis peccata omnibus exquirentibus se in ueritate
14 uae duplici corde et labiis scelestis et manibus malefacientibus et peccatori terram ingredienti duabus uiis
15 uae dissolutis corde qui non credunt Deo ideo non protegentur ab eo
16 uae his qui perdiderunt sustinentiam qui dereliquerunt uias rectas et deuerterunt in uias prauas
17 et quid facietis cum inspicere coeperit Deus
18 qui timent Dominum non erunt incredibiles uerbo illius et qui diligunt illum conseruabunt uiam illius
19 qui timent Dominum inquirent quae beneplacita sunt illi et qui diligunt eum replebuntur lege ipsius
20 qui timent Dominum parabunt corda sua et in conspectu illius sanctificabunt animas suas
21 qui timent Dominum custodiunt mandata illius et patientiam habebunt usque ad inspectionem illius
22 dicentes si paenitentiam non egerimus incidemus in Dei manus et non in manus hominum
23 secundum enim magnitudinem illius sic et misericordia ipsius cum ipso

Vetus Latina

This group has placed an excellent edition of the VL of John's gospel online.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mind the Gap

Aelfric in the Letter to Sigeweard fits things into the typical "ages of the world", identifying 8. He traces in two places Christ's birth in the sixth age of the world, but his final comment on the ages traces the sixth age as BEGINNING at the Ascension and proceeding to Judgement Day. There seems to be an uncertainty about what to do with Jesus' lifetime: does the Incarnation mark a new age, or is it part of the old one and the Ascension mark the beginning of the new? Alefric seems unsure....

Carnivalesque XXXI

Carnivalesque XXXI's roundup of blog entries of note is up at Tiruncula

Friday, September 21, 2007

Matthew: Anti-Pauline Sentiments

This began as a) reading a new article by David Sims in the latest New Testament Studies on Matthew 7 as specifically anti-Pauline. The bloggers at Deinde offered a response to the article, which I had read a couple days before running into the blog. I posted the following comments on the E-Matthew list:

Deinde has a 2 part post on Daniel Sims' latest article. I just read
this over the weekend, but I'm one of those who while perhaps not
going quite as far as Sims think that it is hard to read Matthew as
pro-Pauline or reconcile some of Matthew's statements with Paul. The
post is interesting in that it seeks to disprove Sims central thesis,
that Matthew is writing directly against Paul and not those who have
distorted Paul. IN my view though, the blogger raises some good
issues, but in the end doesn't assail Sims position. For example, one
objection is that Paul like Matthew has the.....

I didn't quite finish it, but continued in another post....
First, this assumes that some points of agreement must mean that
there can not be significant points of disagreement.

Second, most of the passages to which he points, save one, don't seem
to me to address the issue the blogger desires: none of them are the
defense of Torah or statements about its usefulness. So even if
"Matthew" has read Paul's letter to the Romans, which in itself is
doubtful, those passages are not going to warm the cockles of
Matthew's heart. Even the passage in Romans 13 which Deinde (a team
of bloggers, not sure who did that entry), points out is an
agreement between Matthew and Paul (Paul's recitation of the
"commandments" of which the greatest is love of neighbor as self)
does not set these in the context of observing the Torah as Torah--in
fact this proto-"love and do as you please" may in fact be read as
"set aside the Torah IF you "love" for love fulfills the Torah (or
"love is all you need" from the Boys from Liverpool). So rather than
affirm Matthew's view of the Law, the statements in Rom 13:8-10 might
despite their verbal similarity mean opposite things.

Third, even if Paul and Matthew agree on the point of "love your
neighbor as yourself" as the greatest commandment, it might be noted
that so do the Pharisees. Yet, one can hardly claim that such
agreement with the Pharisees means that these Pharisees, Matthew, and
Paul have no sources of rather significant disagreement with one

Fourth and lastly, I think the blogger at Deinde has forgotten or at
least overlooked passages like Acts 21: 20-21 and further 21:28. The
charge against Paul as preaching AGAINST the Torah seems not only a
very real one, but Luke takes some pains to illustrate a) the
Jerusalem churches' full blessing and acceptance of Paul's message to
the Gentiles [note though that he does not here mention James or any
other leader] and b) that he subsequently presents Paul as an
observant Jew well versed in the Torah and "pirke avoth" to borrow a
title. Luke, writing at least Acts after Matthew, is well aware of
the attacks on Paul and the perception of Paul, not Paul's followers
who are at issue here, but Paul himself. Such a testimony I think
underscores the veracity of Sims reading of Matthew 7.

Just to add a few points too: Matthew's Jesus deals with other Jewish groups. In the Sermon on the Mount there are several statements criticizing the practices and positions of Pharisees, Sadduceess, and perhaps even "Essenes", at least positions taken by the Qumran community. And we know from the NT itself that all is not peaceful and unified in the early CHristian movement and that the writers of the NT documents made no bones about criticizing those with whom they disagreed, including the famed disagreement between Peter and Paul recorded in Galatians. Should it then be a surprise if Matthew while criticizing other non-Christian Jewish groups in the gospel should not also be taking to task other Christians who have gone awry from his point of view? Rhetorical question....of course it shouldn't.