Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Peter & Paul


Gospel Mt. 16: 13-19

Introduction to the Mass:

The Gospel (Mt. 16-19) makes the Primacy of Peter is prominent but, in fact, Jesus makes the small word (Kago) ‘ALSO’ focal. Mat 16:18 - And I also say unto thee (k'agō de soi legō). “The emphasis is not on ‘Thou art Peter’ over against ‘Thou art the Christ,’ but on Kagō: ‘The Father hath revealed to thee one truth, and I also tell you another” (McNeile).

Jesus, But who do you say that I am?

Then Peter uttered that theological pronouncement:

The Night Reading was put it very elegantly:

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

What was the Saviour's reply? Blessed are you, Simon bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you. In other words, "It was not by remaining in your body of flesh and blood that you received this revelation about me; you had to be entirely outside the world of the senses to be initiated into the divine mysteries."

Bishop Theophane twins Peter here with in these words:

“In the same way, when Paul said that he had been raised to the third heaven and had heard words too sacred to tell, he had no need of bodily awareness when contemplating spiritual truths. As he himself declared: Whether in the body or out of the body I do not know.”

It is a fine lesson to us to keep on the same spiritual focus, as we begin the Mass.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Night Reading:

From a homily by Theophanes Cerameus (Horn. LV: PG 132,960-965)

Theophane Cerameus (12thcent), comes from the ancient colonies Greek colonies of Sicily and Southern Italy. He was Archbishop of Rossano Southern Italy from 1129-1152. His sermons written in Greek were outstanding for the time, being remarkable especially for their simplicity and oratorical skill. (A Word in Season, Monastic Lectionary, 3 contributionsin this ‘anthology’, §65, §100 §150,).

But who do you say that I am? It is as though the Lord said: "The general opinion is clearly much divided and uncertain, but since you have known me for such a long time, what is your judgment in the matter?" The rest of the disciples were lost for an answer; some perhaps were undecided, while others feared to seem rash. It was Peter, their leader, who became the spokesman for his companions. Transcending in thought the world of perception, he flew through the air to the heavens above, leaving the stars behind him and reaching further than the highest sphere. So he arrived in the spirit world, crossed the fiery rivers of the seraphim, and was taught by the Father about the nobility of his only-begotten Son. Then he uttered that theological pronouncement: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

What was the Saviour's reply? Blessed are you, Simon bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you. In other words, "It was not by remaining in your body of flesh and blood that you received this revelation about me; you had to be entirely outside the world of the senses to be initiated into the divine mysteries." In the same way, when Paul said that he had been raised to the third heaven and had heard words too sacred to tell, he had no need of bodily awareness when contemplating spiritual truths. As he himself declared: Whether in the body or out of the body I do not know.

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church. "Because you are Peter," our Lord said, "you will be­come the rock of faith, the foundation stone of the Church, and the principal means for its spiritual construction. On this confession of yours that I am both Son of God and Son of Man the Church's foundation stone will be laid; for such a foundation provides a secure basis on which to build the remaining doctrines."

And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The gates of hell which will not prevail against the Church are no doubt the tyrants who persecute it, and the founders of heresies. They are called the gates of hell figuratively because they drag their followers toward the snares of hell.

And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. The Lord did not say "I give you now," but "I will give you," foretelling what would happen after the resurrection. It was then that he granted Peter the grace of the Holy Spirit and the power of binding and loosing, and appointed him to be shepherd of his human flock. But what are the keys, and of what kind of door is Peter appointed the guardian? Christ is the door, as he himself declared; and the key to that door is faith, the faith which he entrusted to his chief disciple.

The Lord has given the keys to Peter and his successors, then, to keep the door to the kingdom of heaven inaccessible to heretics and impenetrable by them, but easy for the faithful to enter, thus confirming his declaration: Without being born of water and the Spirit no one can enter the kingdom of heaven. The opponents and enemies of the faith are called the gates of hell, but the Lord Emmanuel is called the door and gateway to the kingdom of heaven, and he eagerly calls out to everyone:

Whoever enters through me will be saved and Enter through the narrow gate and shun the wide streets that lead to hell.

Stephen Harding Bible 2

St. Stephen Harding

St. Stephen also brought his practicality to his scholarship. He made the first revision of the Cistercian Breviary in an attempt to clean up corruptions that had crept into Medieval chant and also produced a new translation of the Vulgate by consulting the most ancient texts available and by conferring with rabbis on the trickier points of some Hebrew passages. The Bible is considered a treasure of illumination and shows the workmanship that made the scriptorium of Citeaux famous in its early days before complex illumination was curtailed under the influence of St. Bernard. Pragmatism is often less hostile to beauty than is idealism, as we learned again in the 20th Century with the rise of Modernism in architecture and the downfall of the Liturgical Movement.

Exordium - Unit 2 - The Founders, C: STEPHEN,
by Michael Casey ocso Tarrawarra 1998

(The Stephen Harding Bible) p.63, His (St. Stephen Harding) rejection of the tendency to adapt the text so as to point towards the current patristic interpretation led him to consult Jewish experts in order to arrive at an authentic reading. "Despite serious limits from the viewpoint of modem textual criticism, a sure finesse of mind can be recognised in Stephen. His method seems to us correct, pertinent and precise" (M. Cauwe, p. 443).

Consultation of Jewish Experts

The Benedictine Siegbert of Gembloux, teaching at Metz about 1070 consulted with Jewish scholars with a view to establishing a more authentic text. The Cistercian Nicholas Maniacoria of Trois-Fontaines, although a Hebraist, likewise consulted the rabbis. He produced his own revision of the Bible based on the Paris text (although the original is lost), with the program of removing additions (especially from the Old Testament) and restoring original readings and arbitrarily deleted texts. In his Libel/us de corruptione et correptione Psalmorum, written about 1145, he also questions the principle that the longer text is automatically better.

The greatest weakness in Stephen's work was that it did not go far enough. Although he consulted rabbis, it was not with the goal of producing a text of the Old Testament that most­faithfully reflected the Hebrew original. The Books of Kings were singled out in the Monitum as specially needing expurgation. Stephen's goal was to decide between conflicting readings so as to be faithful to St Jerome's work of translation and to produce a more accurate text without too far disturbing the "biblical memories" of the monks accustomed to the ordinary text.

The result was a version of the Vulgate which although not widely circulated has been judged the most accurate until the revisions of Clement VIII in 1592. Today it is cherished mainly for the high quality of its artwork. Historically it is interesting as an attempt to arrive at a better text, but it never attained any currency - even among the Cistercians.

What does the "Stephen Harding Bible" mean for us?

For the Cistercian monk [and nun] today the underlying process involved in the production of this Bible can serve as an example. It demonstrates that in every monastic life that wants to be authentic, attention to the signs of the times and serious study are in harmony with prayerful meditation on the Word

Matthieu Cauwe, p. 444.

CAUWE Mattieu, "La Bible d'Étienne Harding; pricipes de critique textuelle me en oeuvre aux de Samuel," Revue Bénédictine 101.3-4(1991), pp. 322-341.

A similar process - involving travelling and consultation - was undertaken in order to arrive at the most authoritative texts for the liturgy. This involved sending to Metz believed to have the most "authentic" traditions of Gregorian Chant and to Milan to establish which hymns could truly be ascribed to St Ambrose and could, therefore be safely used when St Benedict prescribed "ambrosian hymns". …

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


« Back to “The Achievement of Anglo-Saxon Draftsmen”

Opening to the Gospel of John and the Punishment of Arius

From the Bible of Stephen Harding

Cîteaux, France; 1109

Bibliothèque Municipale, Dijon, MS 15

The striking fusion of line and painted color that is a hallmark of many of the finest decorated manuscripts from the monastery at Cîteaux, near Dijon, has long been attributed to the influence of Stephen Harding, an Englishman, who became its third abbot. The work is part of a multivolume Bible created at Cîteaux during Harding’s leadership. It was meant to be a standard scholarly work confirmed against original texts for accuracy. Line drawings in the manuscript are both fanciful interpretations of the accompanying text and reflections of theological debates conducted at the monastery. Here, a centaur’s body curves to form the opening letters of the holy words, an elegant nod to the classical world. Another illustration depicts the punishment of the heretic Arius, whose eyes are picked out by an eagle representing the textual authority of John.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages

Through August 23, 2009

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth Avenue, New York City


When the Cistercian abbot Stephen Harding

commissioned an illuminated bible in 1109, he wanted to ensure its accuracy. So he did what any good scholar (but very few medieval Church leaders) would do; he sought rabbinic counsel so that he could have access to the original Hebrew.
The so-called St. Stephen's Bible, which can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's current exhibit, Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages, represents a rare collaboration of rabbinic and Christian scholarship.

Unfortunately, the exhibit missed the opportunity to show whether any of the illuminations in the 12th-century manuscript actually reflect rabbinic biblical interpretations. The only page from the bible that appears in the exhibit is the opening page to the Gospel of John, which shows a giant eagle clawing out the eye of the third-century heretic Arius.
It is hard to imagine the rabbis would have had much insight for the Cîteaux monastic community on New Testament passages, though it is worth noting that certain books from Christian scripture, like the book of Matthew, were rumored to have been composed originally in Hebrew. There is thus a remote possibility that rabbinic wisdom might have been relevant even for New Testament passages.

Monday, 28 June 2010


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Donald Nunraw ....
To: William J ...
Sent: Mon, 28 June, 2010 12:56:50

Hi, William,

It is a great backup, as you suggested my “SEEKING”, of the missing Versus Lk. 9:55,56.

You have got to such ample resources.

Many thanks,

The openings on the Net are inexhaustible.

Your reference to the Amplified Bible is also amazing.

My first test run proves the ‘amplitude’ of the AMP in just this case.

And now having ‘gone into temptation’, at your prompting, I have downloaded the ON-LINE Amplified Bible.


Amplified Bible installed on e-Sword Net

Luk 9:53 But [the people] would not welcome or receive or accept Him, because His face was [set as if He was] going to Jerusalem .

Luk 9:54 And when His disciples James and John observed this, they said, Lord, do You wish us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did ? [II Kings 1:9-16.]

Luk 9:55 But He turned and rebuked and severely censured them. He said, You do not know of what sort of spirit you are,

Luk 9:56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them [from the penalty of eternal death]. And they journeyed on to another village

All the challenges in hand.

First awaiting is the story of the Stephen Harding Bible.

I hope you are flourishing in the peak of summer heat.

God less.

Yours ..


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: William J

To: Donald Nunraw

Sent: Sun, 27 June, 2010 14:15:38
Subject: Re: LUKE 9: 55,56 R Knox and the missing verses!

Dear Father Donald,

Thank you for this gem that you placed in my hand which has quite thrilled me, missing sections of verses in the traditional translations which are brought into the sunlight in R Knox's translation! At best these can only be seen in shaded footnotes elsewhere, or in tantalizing sunrays on some web resources:

R Knox: Luke 9 [55]: But he turned and rebuked them, "You do not understand", he said, "what spirit it is you share. [56] The Son of Man has come to save men's lives, not to destroy them." And so they passed on to another village.

I have found this which tempts further investigation: http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/jamieson-fausset-brown/luke/luke-9.html

55, 56. know not what . . . spirit--The thing ye demand, though in keeping with the legal, is unsuited to the genius of the evangelical dispensation. The sparks of unholy indignation would seize readily enough on this example of Elias, though our Lord's rebuke (as is plain from Luke 9:56) is directed to the principle involved rather than the animal heat which doubtless prompted the reference. "It is a golden sentence of Tillotson, Let us never do anything for religion which is contrary to religion" [Webster and Wilkinson].

And from an absolute treasure-house link you gave us! : http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea-Luke9.php

AMBROSE; But the Lord is not moved against them, that He might show that perfect virtue has no feeling of revenge, nor is there any anger where there is fullness of love. For weakness must not be thrust out; but assisted. Let indignation be far from the religious, let the high-souled have no desire of vengeance. Hence it follows, But he turned and rebuked them, and said, you know not what manner of spirit you are of.

THEOPHYL; The Lord blames them, not for following the example of the holy Prophet, but for their ignorance in taking vengeance while they were yet inexperienced, perceiving that they did not desire correction from love, but vengeance from hatred. After that He had taught them what it was to love their neighbor as themselves, and the Holy Ghost also had been infused into them, there were not lacking these punishments, though far less frequent than in the Old Testament, because the Son of man came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them. As if He said, And do you therefore who are sealed with His Spirit, imitate also His actions, now determining charitably, hereafter judging justly.

Lastly, the Amplified Bible (,,, ,,,l): http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+9&version=AMP#fen-AMP-25355t

55But He turned and rebuked and severely censured them. [t]He said, You do not know of what sort of spirit you are, 56For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them [u][from the penalty of eternal death]. [References: [t]Some manuscripts add this to verse 55 and continue into verse 56. [u] Hermann Cremer, Biblico-Theological Lexicon.

I find that the inclusion of these words missing from these verses changes the rebuke from outward censure to interior correction. And for us, a valuable lesson included in the text from which we may learn.

That has been a fascinating discovery, thank you for alerting me to it!

in Our Lord,


Sunday, 27 June 2010

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Stephen Harding Bible - we need to learn and add more

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 9:51-62.

Stephen Harding Bible and Ronald Knox Bible

Beginning the Mass we gave thought to the Gospel reading of Jesus’ private journey to Jerusalem through Samaria with his 72 Disciples.

The Samaritans turn against him because his face is turned to Jerusalem.

And James and John were angry and prompt Jesus to have fire fall on them.

In this Reading there are lines or phrases missing.

The first Cistercians were enthusiastic and would travel the ends to get most correct and authoritative texts of the Scriptures and the Liturgy.

What is called is, “The Stephen Harding BIBLE”. Abbot Stephen, the third of the three Cistercian Founders, is the good example to demonstrate the best of the authentic and genuine works.

Regarding the missing words in the Gospel today, Stephen’s Bible, i.e. that of Abbot Stephen of the New Monastery, Citeaux, is included among the ancient authorities.

It is also reassuring in the translation of Ronald Knox. In fact his version is a lovely quotation.

Jesus rebuked James and John and then the precious words: You do not understand, he said, what spirit it is you share. The Son of Man has come to save men's lives, not to destroy them. And so they passed on to another village.

+ + +

COMPARE Translations

Luke 9:55-56:

(KJV+) But1161 he turned,4762 and rebuked2008 them,846 and2532 said,2036 Ye know1492 not3756 what manner3634 of spirit4151 ye5210 are2075 of.

(KJV+) For1063 the3588 Son5207 of man444 is not3756 come2064 to destroy622 men's444 lives,5590 but235 to save4982 them. And2532 they went4198 to1519 another2087 village.2968

Catholic Versions

(DRB) And turning, he rebuked them, saying: you know not of what spirit you are.

Luk 9:56 The Son of man came not to destroy souls, but to save. And they went into another town.

(NAB) and they journeyed to another village.

(NJB) and they went on to another village.

(NRSV) Then they went on to another village.

(RSV) And they went on to another village. (See footnote)

(Vulgate) et abierunt in aliud castellum (not Clementine)

Ronald Knox NT (‘you’ version)

Luk 9:52 But the Samaritans refused to receive him, because his journey was in the direction of Jerusalem.

Luk 9:54 When they found this, two of his disciples, James and John, asked him, Lord, would you have us bid fire come down from heaven, and consume them?

Luk 9:55 But he turned and rebuked them, You do not understand, he said, what spirit it is you share.

Luk 9:56 The Son of Man has come to save men's lives, not to destroy them. And so they passed on to another village.


The Navarre Bible

Luke 54-56. Jesus corrects His disciples' desire for revenge, because it is out of keeping with the mission of the Messiah, who has come to save men, not destroy them (cf. Luk_19:10 ; Joh_12:47). The Apostles are gradually learning that zeal for the things of God should not be bitter or violent. "The Lord does everything in an admirable way [...]. He acts in this way to teach us that perfect virtue retains no desire for vengeance, and that where there is true charity there is no room for anger--in other words, that weakness should not be treated with harshness but should be helped. Indignation should be very far from holy souls, and desire for vengeance very far from great souls" (St. Ambrose, "Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc."). An RSV footnote after the word "rebuked" in verse 55 points out that other ancient authorities add "and He said `You do not know what manner of Spirit you are of; for the Son of Man came not to destroy men's lives but to save them'". These words appear in a considerable number of early Greek MSS and other versions and were included in the Clementine Vulgate; but they do not appear in the best and oldest Greek codexes and have not been included in the New Vulgate.\par

[Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries".

taken from The "Daily Word For Reflection" as a free service




Luke 9:55 -

But he turned (strapheis de). Second aorist passive participle of strephō, common verb, to turn round. Dramatic act. Some ancient MSS. have here: Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of (ouk oidate poiou pneumatos este). This sounds like Christ and may be a genuine saying though not a part of Luke’s Gospel. A smaller number of MSS. add also: For the Son of Man came not to destroy men’s lives, but to save them (Ho gar huios tou anthrōpou ouk ēlthen psuchas anthrōpōn apolesai alla sōsai), a saying reminding us of Mat_5:17; Luk_19:10. Certain it is that here Jesus rebuked the bitterness of James and John toward Samaritans as he had already chided John for his narrowness towards a fellow-worker in the kingdom.

[Robertson, Word Pictures]

Stephen Harding Bible

STEPHEN HARDING BIBLE and the Ronald Knox Bible.

Hi, William,

Many thanks for you COMMENT last evening.

This morning 5.15 am.


Red Flag to a bull – in good sense - or is it 'Sprat to catch a mackerel'.

The Gospel for today. Luke 9:51-62 the 'GAP'

Ronald Knox Bible Verses 55-56 do not include in the other modern versions.

Knox covers all Mss Variations.

See AV, KJV, Douai Rheims, and long before them, Stephen’s Bible, i.e. of Abbot Stephen of Citeaux includes .

Keep seeking.

Have a holy day.


Saturday, 26 June 2010


----- Forwarded Message ----

To: Donald Nunraw …
Sent: Sat, 26 June, 2010 19:24:08
Subject: Trying via BT web mail

Dear Father Donald,

I have so enjoyed your sermon on Saint John the Baptist. What a feast you prepared for your listeners, and us your Blog readers too, and what an honour you did your festal Saint!

St. Augustine bidding his listeners to listen, think, and become like unto Jesus within; the skilled learning of the shepherd boy John Brown illuminating The Baptist's hidden wisdom; the Harmony entries revealing his prominence in Scripture, confirming his status at the head of the Prophets; and those revelatory details, his the third birthday being recorded - and the significance of Midsummer! - and notably his being born without original sin (with the comment on the effect of the Sacrament of Baptism), followed by the fact of his precedence in the order of saints in the Canon.

And finally, the expression of Head - study, Heart - response, and Hands - practice: that describes Saint John's vocation, and may it be, our own. How you enhance for us the meaning of Lectio Divina.

A fascinating sermon, with so many aspects all drawing us closer to Saint John, who whilst being a thrilling figure, the Forerunner, otherwise remains remote. Your sermon makes us much more deeply aware, in appreciation, of his vocation.

Thank you Father for an unforgettable homily.

in Our Lord,


Thursday, 24 June 2010

John the Baptist

Thursday, 24 June 2010

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Mass: Last evening in the Sermon for the Solemnity we heard about St John of the Baptist according to the definition of the “Greatest of the Prophets”, lighting up the awareness of the john of the Scriptures.

At the Night Office St Augustine was on a different wavelength from the beginning of the Precursor already before birth, and then moves into the Bible Theology of the Incarnation, leading into mysticism of the Eternal Word.

The Liturgy provides a super-abundance of vision and vistas beyond our grasp.

Our prayer can be corresponding simplicity in a balance of head and heart and hands.

"I have proposed some matters for inquiry, and listed in advance some things that need to be discussed. I have introduced these points even if we are not up to examining all the twists and turns of such a great mystery, either for lack of capacity or for lack of time. You will be taught much better by the one who speaks in you even when I am not here; the one about whom you think loving thoughts, the one whom you have taken into your hearts and whose temple you have become." Augustine.