Tuesday, January 29, 2008

For my own bookmark:

“No two Septuagint codices contain the same apocrypha, and no uniform Septuagint ‘Bible’ was ever the subject of discussion in the patristic church. In view of these facts the Septuagint codices appear to have been originally intended more as service books than as a defined and normative canon of Scripture,” E. E. Ellis, The Old Testament in Early Christianity (Baker 1992), 34-35.

“As we have seen, manuscripts of anything like the capacity of Codex Alexandrinus were not used in the first centuries of the Christian era, and since, in the second century AD, the Jews seem largely to have discarded the Septuagint…there can be no real doubt that the comprehensive codices of the Septuagint, which start appearing in the fourth century AD, are all of Christian origin,” R. Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church (Eerdmans 1986), 382.

“Nor is there agreement between the codices which of the Apocrypha t include. Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus all include Tobit, Judith, Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, and integrate them into the body of the Old Testament, rather than appending them at the end; but Codex Vaticanus, unlike the other two, totally excludes the Books of Maccabees. Moreover, all three codices, according to Kenyon, were produced in Egypt, yet the contemporary Christian lists of the biblical books drawn up in Egypt by Athanasius and (very likely) pseudo-Athanasius are much more critical, excluding all apocryphal books from the canon, and putting them in a separate appendix. It seems, therefore, that the codices, with their less strict approach, do not reflect a definite canon so much as variable reading-habits; and the reading-habits would in the nature of the case be those of fourth and fifth-century Christians, which might not agree with those of first-century Jews,” ibid. 383.

“At this point we encounter the Greek Old Testament in the three great codices of the fourth and fifth centuries: Vaticanus, Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus…All exceeded the scope of the Hebrew Bible…In Vaticanus, however, all four of the books of Maccabees are missing and in Sinaiticus, 2 and 3 Macabees, as well as 1 Ezra, Baruch and Letter of Jeremiah—presumably only the result of lacunae in the text. Codex Alexandrinus, approximately one century younger, is, in contrast, much more extensive; it includes the LXX as we know it in Rahlfs’ edition, with all four books of Maccabees and the fourteen Odes appended to Psalms. The Odes also include the Prayer of Manasseh, previously attested only in the Syria Didaskalia and the Apostolic Constitutions,” M. Hengel, The Septuagint as Christian Scripture (Baker 2004), 57-58.

“It should be considered, further, that the Odes (sometimes varied in number), attested from the fifth century in all Greek Psalm manuscripts, contain three New Testament ‘psalms’: the Magnificat, the Benedictus, the Nunc Dimittis from Luke’s birth narrative, and the conclusion of the hymn that begins with the ‘Gloria in Excelsis.’ This underlines the fact that the LXX, although, itself consisting of a collection of Jewish documents, wishes to be a Christian book. The relative openness of the Old Treatment portion of these oldest codices also corresponds to that of its ‘New Testament’: Sinaiticus contains Barnabas and Hermas, Alexandrinus 1 and 2 Clement,” ibid. 59.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Digging up Relics

“The body of St. Padre Pio will be exhumed, studied and displayed for public veneration from mid-April to late September, said the archbishop who oversees the shrine where the saint is buried.

Archbishop Domenico D'Ambrosio, papal delegate for the shrine in San Giovanni Rotondo, announced Jan. 6 that he and the Capuchin friars of Padre Pio's community had decided it was important to verify the condition of the saint's body and find a way to ensure its preservation.

"It is my personal conviction and that of the confreres of St. Pio that we have an obligation to give the generations that will come after us the possibility of venerating and preserving in the best possible way the mortal remains of St. Pio," Archbishop D'Ambrosio said.

…In addition to marking the 40th anniversary of Padre Pio's death Sept. 23, 1968, the public veneration of his remains also will coincide with the 90th anniversary of the day on which he was believed to have received the stigmata, bloody wounds recalling the crucifixion wounds of Jesus.”

-Catholic News

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Pope on Mary

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI called on Christians to turn to Mary, the mother of God, for help in being true friends of Jesus and courageous builders of peace.

…He invited the faithful to "carefully consider the importance of the presence of Mary in the life of the church and in our own personal life" and prayed that Mary would help "make us more keenly aware of her maternal presence."

…The incarnation through Christ's birth is not a past event, the pope said; like the Magi and the poor shepherds of Bethlehem, today's men and women drawn to the Christ Child are "full of joy because God wanted to be the God who is with us and who has a mother who is our mother."

…"In fact, being totally with God, this woman is very close to us and helps us like a mother and like a sister," he said.

Mary is also the mother of the church, the pope said, which makes her the mother of "every one of us who are members of the mystical body of Christ."

Pope Benedict asked audience participants to trust in Mary and pray to her to "guide our steps" during the new year and "help us be authentic friends of her son and that way also (be) courageous builders of his kingdom in the world, the kingdom of peace and truth."

"Supported and comforted by the Virgin's protection, we too can contemplate with renewed vision the face of her son, Jesus, and more energetically follow the path of the good," he said.

-Catholic News