tisdag 22 april 2014

Would Sunday Laws Forbit Sabbath Keepers to Buy and Sell?

1) Great Bishop of Geneva! Would Sunday Laws Forbit Sabbath Keepers to Buy and Sell?, 2) New blog on the kid John Cornwell's Incompetent Fan Club Claims Vatican went Nazi

Since my dad has been a Seventh Day Adventist, and since I am a Catholic and in favour of Sunday laws, I can hardly avoid the question.

In the Middle Ages, there were of course Jews who kept the Sabbath living in pretty many towns. Even if they were expelled from one town or even country (like Pope St Pius V expelled them from the Papal States in 1569, I just learned, and gave them 90 days to comply - when I think 100 km or 65 miles would have been enough to be outside its then borders) there were other countries receiving them, and so there were always Sabbath keepers - if they like to call themselves such - among Catholics who reckon the Resurrection as a New Creation and therefore as superceding the Sabbath.

If EVERY businessman without ANY exception were required to close on Sunday and be open all other days, then indeed a Jewish or Seventh Day Adventist business owner would be in trouble.

That was not the case in the Middle Ages. Typically this or that trade would be reserved to guilds, every guild was Christian - as in Catholic (up to Reformation) - but every town decided which trades that applied to and so in every town which had Jews, there could be a trade or two or three where they could perhaps even do business on Sunday - within their part of the town* - but certainly close on the Sabbath. They cannot say that doing business on every non-Sabbath day is required, even if they think working every non-Sabbath day is required. There are works that can be done at home.

So, no, going back to the Medieval system would not be what a Sabbath keeper could in any justice or with any plausibility construe as a fulfilment of Revelation 13:17.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
UL of Nanterre
Easter Tuesday

* As in Carpentras, where a certain man was bishop before he became Pope Julius II. Be it noted that his enmity against the French was not inconsistent, since Carpentras in his time did not yet belong to France.

söndag 20 april 2014

Whom did Christ call "that fox"?

Herod. John Foxe was indeed not himself a Church persecuting tyrant, but he served such, like Elisabeth Tudor. In the continuation his work served other such, like Cromwell, like William of Orange.

His Book of Martyrs is held forth as a Historical Resource at "studylight".

Historical Writings
Books by 'John Foxe'

The Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe, is an account of Christian martyrs throughout Western history from the first century through the early sixteenth centuries, emphasising the sufferings of English Protestants and proto-Protestants from the fourteenth century through the reign of Mary I. First published in 1563 by the Protestant John Day, the book was lavishly produced and illustrated with many woodcuts and was the largest publishing project undertaken in Britain up to that time. Commonly known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs, one fuller title of the work is Actes and Monuments of these Latter and Perillous Days, Touching Matters of the Church. Widely owned and read by English Puritans, the book helped mould British popular opinion about the nature of Catholicism for several centuries.

Indeed I think so much that the present edition* is not that of John Foxe himself. It contains the Affaire Calas in chapter 4. And John Calas or Jean Calas was executed by "vile garrote" (strangulation) in 1762.

Foxe's Book of Martyrs
by 'John Foxe'
Chapter 4 — Papal Persecutions, p. 7

Martyrdom of John Calas

We pass over many other individual maretyrdoms to insert that of John Calas, which took place as recently as 1761, and is an indubitable proof of the bigotry of popery, and shows that neither experience nor improvement can root out the inveterate prejudices of the Roman Catholics, or render them less cruel or inexorable to Protestants.


Seeing my own father is a believer in Foxe's Book of Martyrs, and seeing he is very upset even twenty years later at my Catholic conversion, and seeing he seems to encourage Protestants both here in Paris - far away from his own Sweden - and world wide where I get contacts on the internet to regard me as a madman or a drunkard, and seeing this has ruined my life up to this day, I am not quite sure that Jean Calas was innocent of murdering his son, after another one had already converted to Catholicism, by being disgusted at having two sons convert. Protestant prejudice against Catholicism can be cruel and persistent.

Back to the chapter 4 of "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" (edition nth with very many additions).

Before that, there has been an account of St Bartholomew's Massacre, of Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, but the Calas affaire goes on to the end of page 9 / last of a chapter belonging to a book with a first edition in 1563.

I think it is a safe bet that this is NOT from the first edition. Studylight does not give us any details of what edition they are using. It is very clearly one into which additions have been made after John Foxe, by editors who may or may not have been named in the book itself, but who remain unnamed on the site "studylight" where I have also been accessing John Calvin's comments.

The most part of the chapter 4 is concerned with French Catholicism vs Huguenots. St Bartholomew's Massacre begins at the bottom of page 2. I find it a pretty safe bet, the edition we deal with is heavily inspired by Huguenot emigrants who got a refuge in England and perhaps already then in the Thirteen Colonies - or such of them as were already extant by the time when Louis XIV revoked it and the ensuing years.

BUT, before that we are dealing with some heavily erroneous stuff which can very well be by Foxe himself.

Popery having brought various innovations into the Church, and overspread the Christian world with darkness and superstition, some few, who plainly perceived the pernicious tendency of such errors, determined to show the light of the Gospel in its real purity, and to disperse those clouds which artful priests had raised about it, in order to blind the people, and obscure its real brightness.

The principal among these was Berengarius, who, about the year 1000, boldly preached Gospel truths, according to their primitive purity.

Where in Christendom was the Real Presence of the Sacrament NOT believed by the time of Berengarius? The question is relevant due to Matthew 28.

One sect in Armenia, the Tondrakians, had denied it, and in their time the Armenian Schismatics or Heretics, known as Armenian Apostolic Church, still uphled this, since they condemned Tondrakians for denying it. Be it noted that on some few points Tondrakians were right about certain things. A baptism is valid even if performed by a layman without subsequent immediate chrismation. Which that condemnation by the Armenian Church denied. Even they were unheard of before the 7th or perhaps 6th Century, as far as I know.

But apart from Tondrakians, no one was denying the Real Presence in Berangarius' time, nor did he himself continue to do so.

Catholic Encyclopedia* > B > Berengarius of Tours

The imprisonment, however, did not last long. The Bishop of Angers, Eusebius Bruno, was his disciple and supporter, and the Count of Anjou, Geoffrey Martel, his protector. The following year, by order of Henry I, a national synod was held in Paris to judge Berengarius and Eusebius Bruno; neither was present, and both were condemned. At the Council of Tours (1055), presided over by the papal legate Hildebrand, Berengarius signed a profession of faith wherein he confessed that after consecration the bread and wine are truly the body and blood of Christ. At another council held in Rome in 1059, Berengarius was present, retracted his opinions, and signed a formula of faith, drawn up by Cardinal Humbert, affirming the real and sensible presence of the true body of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. (Mansi, XIX, 900.) On his return, however, Berengarius attacked this formula. Eusebius Bruno abandoned him, and the Count of Anjou, Geoffrey the Bearded, vigorously opposed him. Berengarius appealed to Pope Alexander II, who, though he intervened in his behalf, asked him to renounce his erroneous opinions. This Berengarius contemptuously refused to do. He then wrote his De Sacrâ Coenâ adversus Lanfrancum Liber Posterior, the first book of which — now lost — had been written against the Council of Rome held in 1059. He was again condemned in the Councils of Poitiers (1075), and of St. Maixeut (1076), and in 1078, by order of Pope Gregory VII, he came to Rome, and in a council held in St. John Lateran signed a profession of faith affirming the conversion of the bread into the body of Christ, born of the Virgin Mary. The following year, in a council held in the same place Berengarius signed a formula affirming the same doctrine in a more explicit way. Gregory VII then recommended him to the bishops of Tours and Angers, forbidding that any penalty should be inflicted on him or that anyone should call him a heretic. Berengarius, on his return, again attacked the formula he had signed, but as a consequence of the Council of Bordeaux (1080) he made a final retraction. He then retired into solitude on the island of St. Cosme, where he died, in union with the Church.

However, this may have been hidden from Foxe, and the allegation he founded a sect of Berangarians rather than having Eusebius Bruno for sole supporter, more or less, may have come from Catholic sources unduly alarmed of heresies spreading:

According to some of their contemporaries, Berengarius held erroneous opinions about the spiritual power, marriage, the baptism of children, and other points of doctrine. (Bernold of Constance, De Berengerii haeresiarchae damnatione multiplici in P.L., CXLIX, 1456; Guitmond, De Corporis et Sanguinis Christi veritate in Eucharistiâ, P.L., CXLIX, 1429, 1480.) But Berengarius's fundamental doctrine concerns the Holy Eucharist.

I first though Bernold of Constance lived in the fifteenth Century, but no, he was a contemporary, thouugh his works were published centuries later in print:*

Catholic Encyclopedia > B > Bernold of Constance

Historian and theologian, b. in Swabia about 1054; d. at Schaffhausen, 16 September, 1100. [...] His name has ever been associated with the reforms of Gregory VII. The seventeen tracts that have reached us are mostly apologies for the pope's policy, or vindications of men who advocated or enforced it in Germany. Chief among these are: "De prohibendâ sacerdotum incontinentiâ", written against the married clergy; "De damnatione schismaticorum", wherein he justified the pope's condemnation of that abuse; "Apologeticus super excommunicationem Gregorii VII", a defence of the pope's excommunication of Henry IV and his partisans. Bernold is the author of a chronicle (Mon. Germ. Hist., Script., V) which is still highly esteemed.

Now, back to Foxe:

Many, from conviction, assented to his doctrine, and were, on that account, called Berengarians. To Berengarius succeeded Peer Bruis, who preached at Toulouse, under the protection of an earl, named Hildephonsus; and the whole tenets of the reformers, with the reasons of their separation from the Church of Rome, were published in a book written by Bruis, under the title of "Antichrist."

Maybe Foxe had read a book "by Peter de Bruis" which he saw entitled as "Antichrist", but I am not sure of the authorship. Besides, Peter de Bruis was living in a century where book publishing was a bit trickier than it became later, since printing with moveable types in the Latin alphabet** was not yet invented. Books were copied by hand.

I suspect that Reformers were challenged about the tenets of Reformed Religion being innovations - or that much I know, I need not suspect it - and then (this being what I suspect) certain works containing theologemes from Luther, Calvin, Beza, Zwingli and others were being forged under names such as "Antichrist by Peer de Bruis" or "The Wicket by Wycliffe". Before the printing press, book printing was so much less of an issue.

Actually, before the printing press, book publishing was so much less of an issue and book printing not an issue at all.***

Book copying en masse was not done by one or two men with machinery, but by several men - often University Students - who were sworn to obedience to the Bishop under whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction the university lay. And these in turn were not in existance before Pope Alexander III on Third Lateran Council enjoined the duty of Bishops to hold Cathedral schools. After the lifetime of Peter of Bruis.

I had been speculating that the method used by universities like Sorbonne in the times of St Albert or St Thomas, St Bonaventura and Bishop Stephen II Tempier (all of whom I respect, including the bishop who is not a canonised saint) could have been invented earlier by monasteries.

Here I find the common opinion very useful for my cause, even if it is true that I am a very great fan of books and access to them and that the society before, Catholic and Christian though it was, may have been cumbersome to my habits of reading. In the time of Peter de Bruis, there was no possibility of making a great impact by publishing a book.

He did make a great impact by making a bonfire of crosses. He made such a great impact on the Catholic population there that they resorted to lynching him by letting him join the crosses on his bonfire. It may be noted, first of all, that to them as well as to Church men, Peter de Bruis was acting like an enemy to the Holy Cross of Our Lord - and I subscribe to the judgement - and then that the Church men did not take any initiative to burn him, since burning heretics was simply not done. Peter de Bruis was the first in the West.

A bit earlier, a Basileus of New Rome (at the Bosphorus, a k a Constantinople, more recently Istanbul) had also burned a heretic. Alexius Comnenus had burned Basilius the Physician. Now, nobody in Foxe's book of Martyrs mentions Basilius the Physician or Alexius Comnenus - any more than Tondrakians. By this token you may guess the Reformers were not using Tondrakians or Basil the Physician as precedents for Reformed theology. And he was not reformed. Of Genesis 1:1 he would not have believed the words "and Earth" - and of the creator of earth in his book, he did not believe he was God, nor that it was in the beginning, nor that he also created Heaven.°

But by the Fourth Lateran Council, under Innocent III, there was such a horror at mainly Albigensians - that is people agreeing with Basil the Physician - that the Church did after all agree to the burning of relapsed and of pertinacious heretics. This was not so at the time of Berengarius. If it had been he would have been burned for renewing his heresies after the first recantation.

Be it noted that though Albigensians were not encouraging violence as personal behaviour, neither did they consider the human life as sacred. If you know the Kali sect, the Thuggees, with whom English colonial powers had some trouble, and their tenet they were doing the victims a favour by sacrificing them to Kali, you may guess a little what attitude to death - if not to violent killing - the Albigensians had. Suicide by starvation was one of their "Sacraments" or "Sacramentals." I was in prison invited to a hunger strike, I refused to participate. The one who took or tried to take the initiative had, since his crime, converted to Evangelical Pentecostal Christian practise. To me, a Catholic, a hunger strike is far too much like the Albigensian Endura.°° But among Albigensians there was this further thing, making it worse than a hunger strike, that a person on hunger strike might count on prison guards forcing food into him. An Albigensian agreeing to Endura might be helped the other way round, by his Albigensian surroundings: he was prevented from taking food or water. They also procured abortions.

It is thus not any outbreak of personal instability within an otehrwise totally non-violent sect, but rather a thing not usually encouraged but not impossible to expect either, when Albigensians murdered a Papal legate, an act which propelled the "Albigensian crusade" (or Crusade against the Albigensians).

Here is how Foxe treats the event (yes, this passage is very probably from the original edition or one during his own lifetime - with an addition in later ones):

The Albigenses were a people of the reformed religion, who inhabited the country of Albi. They were condemned on the score of religion in the Council of Lateran, by order of Pope Alexander III. Nevertheless, they increased so prodigiously, that many cities were inhabited by persons only of their persuasion, and several eminent noblemen embraced their doctrines. Among the latter were Raymond, earl of Toulouse, Raymond, earl of Foix, the earl of Beziers, etc.

A friar, named Peter, having been murdered in the dominions of the earl of Toulouse, the pope made the murder a pretense to persecute that nobleman and his subjects. To effect this, he sent persons throughout all Europe, in order to raise forces to act coercively against the Albigenses, and promised paradise to all that would come to this war, which he termed a Holy War, and bear arms for forty days. The same indulgences were likewise held out to all who entered themselves for the purpose as to such as engaged in crusades to the Holy Land. The brave earl defended Toulouse and other places with the most heroic bravery and various success against the pope's legates and Simon, earl of Montfort, a bigoted Catholic nobleman. Unable to subdue the earl of Toulouse openly, the king of France, and the queen mother, and three archbishops raised another formidable army, and had the art to persuade the earl of Toulouse to come to a conference, when he was treacherously seized upon, made a prisoner, forced to appear barefooted and bareheaded before his enemies, and compelled to subscribe an abject recantation. This was followed by a severe persecution against the Albigenses; and express orders that the laity should not be permitted to read the sacred Scriptures. In the year 1620 also, the persecution against the Albigenses was very severe. In 1648 a heavy persecution raged throughout Lithuania and Poland. The cruelty of the Cossacks was so excessive that the Tartars themselves were ashamed of their barbarities. Among others who suffered was the Rev. Adrian Chalinski, who was roasted alive by a slow fire, and whose sufferings and mode of death may depict the horrors which the professors of Christianity have endured from the enemies of the Redeemer.

The Albigensians were very much not of the Reformed Religion, since they were very much not believing Genesis 1:1.

They were not condemned on the score of religious discord alone, but because of their horrendous acts.

Simon of Montfort was not a bigot for heading the Crusade, nor was St Leopold Duke of Austria a bigot for joining it. Which he did.

And the sects in Poland and Lithuania may have or not have included people calling themselves Albigensians, but were very much not the original evil thing which the Medieval Inquisition along with Crusaders like Simon of Montfort and St Leopold of Austria stamped out. Be it noted, usually not by killing, but by conversion.

Here is one corrective to the false impression given in this site of "studylight":

The Night's Dark Shade
by Elena Maria Vidal(Author)

Here is another one:

The Name of the Rose: including the Author's Postscript– September 28, 1994
by Umberto Eco(Author), William Weaver(Translator)

It may be added that 1994 was not the first edition, I read an earlier one in 1984. It dramatically changed my view of the Inquisition, which up to then I had regarded as a diabolical and at least unbiblical aberration. I had not known what Albigensians were till I read it. My mother had in a Bible school been taught the lie (from Foxe) that they were Bible believing Christians.

Since I was even previous to this pro-Catholic (with reservations precisely on Inquisition), and anti-Reformation (since I knew the Reformation was very bloody and Church Persecuting business), this discovery made me decide to become Catholic.

A little later I came across a sweet passage in a novel by Chesterton, the first I ever read by him, in German translation:


Looking for the quote I come across this one:

"That has been defended economically," said Braintree, with restraint. "One authority has pointed out that the best trades are paid equally already."

"Karl Marx, I suppose," said the expert, testily.

"No, John Ruskin," replied the other. "One of your Victorian giants." Then he added, "But the text and title of the book were not by John Ruskin, but by Jesus Christ; who had not, alas, the privilege of being a Victorian."

Here, rather, the one I was looking for:

"You think he was affected by the Albigensian doctrines?" inquired the librarian, earnestly and almost eagerly. "It is true, of course, that the seat of the heresy was in the south and a great many of the troubadours seemed to have been in that or similar philosophical movements."

"His movements are philosophical all right," said Archer. "I like my movements to be a little less philosophical when I'm making love to a girl on the stage. It's almost as if she really meant him to be shilly-shallying instead of popping the question."

"The question of avoiding marriage seems to have been essential in the heresy," said Herne. "I notice that in the records of men returning to orthodoxy after the Crusade of Montford and Dominic, there is the repeated entry iit in matrimonium. It would certainly be interesting to play the part as that of some such semi-oriental pessimist and idealist; a man who feels the flesh to be dishonour to the spirit, even in its most lovable and lawful form. Nothing of that comes out very clearly in the lines Miss Ashley has given me to say; but perhaps your part makes the point a little clearer."

"I think he's a long time coming to the point," replied Archer. "Gives a romantic actor no scope at all."

"I'm afraid I don't know anything about any sort of acting," said the librarian, sadly. "It's lucky you've only given me a few lines in the play."

He paused a moment, and Julian Archer looked at him with an almost absent-minded pity, as he murmured that it would be all right on the night. For Archer, with all his highly practical savoir faire, was not the man to feel the most subtle changes in the social climate; and he still regarded the librarian more or less as a sort of odd footman or stable-boy brought in by sheer necessity, merely to say, "My lord, the carriage waits." Preoccupied always by his own practical energies, he took no notice of the man's maunderings about his own hobby of old books, and was only faintly conscious that the man was maundering still.

"But I can't help thinking," the librarian was continuing, in his low meditative voice, "that it might give rather an interesting scope for a romantic actor to act exactly that sort of high and yet hollow romance. There is a kind of dance that expresses contempt for the body. You can see it running like a pattern through any number of Asiatic traceries and arabesques. That dance was the dance of the Albigensian troubadours; and it was a dance of death. For that spirit can scorn the body in either of two ways; mutilating it like a fakir or pampering it like a sultan; but never doing it honour. Surely it will be rather interesting for you to interpret bitter hedonism, the high and wild cries, the horns and hootings of the old heathen revel, along with the underlying pessimism."

"I feel the underlying pessimism all right," answered Archer, "when Trelawney won't come to rehearsals and Olive Ashley will only fidget about with her potty little paints."

He lowered his voice a little hastily with the last words, for he realised for the first time that the lady in question was sitting at the other end of the library, with her back to him, bent over books and fidgeting away as described. She had not apparently heard him; in any case she did not turn round, and Julian Archer continued in the same tone of cheerful grumbling.

"I don't suppose you have much experience of what really grips an audience," he said. "Of course, nobody supposes it won't go off all right in one sense. Nobody's likely to give us the bird--"

"Give us what bird?" asked Mr. Herne, with mild interest.

I may add, since Chesterton's day, the idea that Troubadours were inspired by Albigensian ideology has been discredited.

But what stands its ground through the times of Umberto Eco and - much later - Elena Maria Vidal is that Foxe is very discredited in believing Albigensians were Reformed or otherwise in any way Bible Believing Christians.°°°

If someone will ask me if I take the word of three mere novelists over that of Foxe, who was a Church historian, and very respected such among Protestants, I answer definitely yes. He was not a Church Historian from the Tradition of the Church, and the learning he gathered about his matter has since then been very much bypassed. I prefer three novelists who have done their research# to a hack historian who has not done such. I prefer talent neglected to incompetence (that is the best word I can use for Foxe) vaunted and lifted up to the skies.

I respect Kent Hovind when it comes to research he has done about dragons and thunderbirds and other critters that could very well be post-Flood dinosaurs. But when he gets to subjects like Church History, it is a pity he trusts Foxe, and it is a pity he is a friend of the infamous Jack Chick who does so too and on top of that trust men like Avro Manhattan and Hochhuth. It is a pity also that Romanides studied at Harvard, where he got a very lopsided view of Catholic history. But I do respect him for saying Aeneas spoke Greek when he came to Italy. If it is Mycenean Greek and not Koiné he meant. Though in my opinion it could also very well be Hittite, Aramaic, Phenician, perhaps even Etruscan or Sumerian.

I can believe the historical myths or rather legends from mythology. But I cannot believe the mythology of Foxe.## Soyons anti ces mythes. Let's be against such myths, even if that be seen as an Antisemite stand. For part of Jewry also eagerly looks to Avro Manhattan. And perhaps also that Foxe.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
Easter Day

* Speaking of editions, the one I use of Catholic Encyclopedia is the following:

The Catholic Encyclopedia

** Whenever Chinese or Koreans invented their printing, that is of no concern to Peter of Bruis.

*** Thanks to Kent Hovind for lesson in efficient use of misstatements!

° With the Protestants, we Catholics start disagreeing from chapters 3 and 4 of Genesis onward. What was the fall? Did Cain have free will or was he predestined to kill Abel? But with Basil the Physician, the disagreement starts in Genesis 1:1, and therefore we see even Protestants as far more Christian in doctrine than him or other Manichaeans.

°° I have seen the provençal word enduro - Mistralian spelling of same word - used of a motor bike race. I am not into motor bike races either, out of personal taste, but at least they are not sins of suicide. If you tend to think of IRA members as hunger striking, well, IRA of the 1970's was not exactly a fully Catholic organisation, although it was an organisation recruiting among usually not so practising persons of the Catholic confession, since the two religions are there also two ethnicities fighting about the same land (or previously so, up to the famous Good Friday agreement some time ago). Even so, their cause struck me as more just than the Ulster Scots cause, even previously to reading Umberto Eco.

°°° Wonder if BBC had been used as abbreviation for Bible Believing Christians before it became acronym for British BroadCasting (network). Or was it British Broadcasting Company? Either way, Albigensians were not BBC in the other sense - nor in the current one.

# Among these, Umberto Eco is not even a Catholic believer, as far as I know. Meaning that unlike Chesterton and Vidal, he has no bias in favour of the Inquisitors. The Protestants who respect Foxe do not include High Church men like Newman, before his conversion and I think C. S. Lewis knew very much more about the Middle Ages than was usual for his background in Belfast, and so he knew Foxe had at least not spoken the truth about Albigensians.

## Shall I even bother to mention that in chapter 5 he makes St Dominic more or less an Inquisitor and nothing else. A man of prayer, one who spent nights in waking prayer liek St Patrick and Our Lord Jesus Christ, not mentioned. A preacher, not mentioned, or barely. Just that he was connected to the Inquisition insofar as Dominicans and Franciscans became the most usually employed ones. And no, St Joan of Arc was not tried by these.

torsdag 10 april 2014

Answering "Why the Jews are Not the Enemies of the Church"

Why the Jews Are Not the Enemies of the Church
March 6, 2014 By Dr. John Lamont

"One such attack maintains that the Jews are enemies of the Church in virtue of their religious beliefs. The religious beliefs in question are those of Rabbinic Judaism, which has been the dominant form of Jewish religious belief for the past two millennia. Rabbinic Judaism developed as a result of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70, which removed the center of Jewish religious life. Some replacement for the Temple was required if Jewish religious existence was to continue. In the century or so after the destruction of the Temple, the study and observance of the Jewish Law was developed as this replacement."

There is a replacement. It is the Temple that tore down itself and raised itself in three days. It is present in the Eucharist. It is the live body of a Jew who never broke one iod of the law in his eartly life. SO, accepting rabbinic Judaism involves rejecting that Catholicism is the correct replacement.

And it even does so at a pretty basic level.

"The reason why Rabbinic Jews are not enemies of the Church can be put briefly. Such Jews do not seek to convert Christians to Judaism, or to prevent non-Jewish Christians from exercising their faith. They only refuse to become Christians themselves, which does not suffice to make them “enemies” of the Church.

This can be seen by contrasting Rabbinic Jews with Muslims."

Hang on a second. What if a Jew becomes a Catholic? Have they never ever done anything to either prevent or revenge conversions? I would NOT believe that to be completely factual, no.

Or what if good relations (such as sometimes occur) between Catholics and Jews lead to some of the latter becoming Catholics, will the other ones not try to stop the bleeding? I mean they see that as a bleeding of the Jewish community.

Or if someone had a grandfather or greatgrandfather who was Jewish but became Christian, will they not see this as him being past the cursed generations and "offering him a chance" to join Judaism again? I somehow think they will and sometimes they do not take no for an answer either the first or the second time.

And what about avoiding parts of their Community becoming Catholics, will they never ever lie about the Catholic Church or "honestly" believe the most denigrating lie available about it? I think sometimes they will.

"These passages [St. Peter’s statements as recorded in Acts 2:22-23 and Acts 7:52-53, and on St. Paul’s statement in 1 Thess 2:14-16, as Lamont mentioned after Bishop Fellay previously] cannot, however, be understood as applying to all Jews. The statements of St. Peter condemn those Jews who were themselves personally involved and responsible for the death of Christ in bringing about his crucifixion."

As if any subsequent generation of Jews distanced themselves from these?

Thus far I have posted replies on Karl Keating's facebook wall. [Two of these have "disappeared". I e I could still copy it, but next time I log in it won't be there.*] Now I continue:

Honour thy Father and thy Mother. This means generally speaking approving of what they do. When their lives are not possible to approve, under Old Testament and also later among Rabbinic Jews, their generation of iniquity is not counted. In the genealogy of Christ legally, as legal child of St Joseph, St Matthew omits three generations starting with the husband and ending in the grandson of the impious woman Athaliah.

To certain Jews, this is basically how I should treat certain Christian generations. To me, that is how Jews SHOULD treat the generations who crucified Our Lord, who persecuted Christians by lynching first and by denunciations to Nero's and Domitian's henchmen later. They. Do. Not. Many have no doubt not thought the question through. But those who have and remain Jews, well, it is safe to say they approve in principle of this. If they are really Christian friendly, they may say "well, maybe it was a bit harsh". But they do not count the generations who killed St Stephen and St Polycarp as rebels against their fathers and misleaders of their children. Which. They. Were.

"Denial of Christ’s divinity and messianic status was not, and could not have been, the center of Rabbinic Judaism, because the founders of Rabbinic Judaism had little contact with Christians, and knew very little about them. When the Mishnah was completed in 200 A.D., Christians were still a small, illegal community with no profile in the Roman Empire. They lived predominantly in the Greek-speaking cities of the Empire, and used Greek as their language of communication. The founders of Rabbinic Judaism wrote in Hebrew and Aramaic, generally had little or no knowledge of Greek, and took little part in the life of the Hellenistic cities where the Christians were active. They were not seriously confronted with the Christian message, and were not concerned with it. The Jewish communities that were active in opposing Christians, and that were referred to by St. Paul in the passage quoted above, had been almost totally destroyed by the Romans in their suppression of the Jewish revolts in Palestine, Alexandria, Cyprus, and Cyrene between 70 and 136 A.D. – which killed between 90 and 100% of the Jewish populations in those areas."

Nice try, but not likely. Not likely at all that ALL the Jews who opposed Christians were speaking Greek since it involved Palestinian Jews. Not likely at all that ALL the Jews who opposed Christians were destroyed in the Roman suppressions of Jewish revolts.

The Palestinian Jews were speaking Aramaic and probably in connexion with other groups of Jews speaking Aramaic. Including the factual founders of Rabbinism. Before they were possibly all killed off by Romans.

By the way, if they were, then the inheritors of Palestinian Jewry of 1:st Century are those Christians of Jewish, Samarian and Galilean origin who fled to Pella from the Romans and returned. In other words, the Christian Palestinians.

Not at all likely either that the only Jews who were persecuting Christians were those that were in Palestine, Alexandria, Cyprus and Cyrene. Though, I must admit for this thesis, after the martyrdom of St Polycarp, Jewish involvement in the Roman persecution seems to cease for some while.

This is why there are very few references to Christ and Christianity in the Talmud, and those references that exist are brief and inaccurate. They are scurrilous and abusive, but they make no reference to Christ’s claims to divinity or messianic status, and it seems unlikely that the authors of the Mishnah knew about these claims.

In a month's time or two, will Lawrence Krauss remember ANYTHING about a film called The Principle? His reference to Sungenis' and DeLano's claims he was filmed knowing what he was doing are already getting scurrilous and abusive. Now, he is an Atheist, but he belongs, insofar as longranging family traditions are concerned, to that community. Could there be, through Rabbinic Judaism, a certain kind of connexion to Mishnahic authors and their relation to Christianity?

It seems certain that they would have denounced Christ’s claims if they had heard of them. There would have been no obstacles to their doing so, since the Christians were still an illegal and persecuted group, who could not have posed any sort of threat.

There is no OBSTACLE to Lawrence Krauss suing Stellar Motion Pictures either. The three persons involved are not exactly a physical threat to him, nor bound up with the administration and able to harrass him for it. The kind of risk there is, is the risk he amdits wanting to avoid: the risk of these getting attention to their claims. And the exact nature of these claims (Karl Keating seemed to think The Principle was mainly about the Church condemning Galileo and not really retracting that, while it is rather about the contrast between Copernican Principle and its status in Scientific Community with the lack of empiric back up for it). And the evidence for these exact claims being true (like the footage - Rick DeLano claims he has five hours with Krauss).

In the days when Apostles were daily making miracles, would not a community trying to keep their flock outside the Apostolic Church show some kind of discretion? Well, look at Krauss' tactics now!

The claim that Rabbinic Jews work to deny the doctrine of the divinity of Christ is, therefore, misleading. They deny it themselves, and seek to prevent Jews from accepting it, but they do not work to make non-Jews deny it, and do not work to prevent Gentiles from accepting it. Nor do they seek to destroy the Church in order to oppose it.

That is really and truly different from Jew to Jew. There are those who say they would prefer all Gentiles to be Noahides (i e accepting the Noahidic commands and accepting Jews as a kind of priesthood among them, not unlike how Jews treat Levites among themselves or Levites and Jews treat Cohanim). There are those who state they would prefer each Gentile nation to keep its ancestral gods as long as they will not be Noahides. There are those who, when not being convinced Judaism is religiously superior to Christianity, will opt for Atheism to avoid the problem such a question would pose to them. And there are plenty who, while full of goodwill to a Christian will prefer if he is Protestant rather than Catholic or Orthodox, because these Churches DO claim, in a way that rivals Jewish claims, to be the People of God. Mostly Protestant confessions do not. The Covenanters who did were much more Rabbinic Jewish than the Anglo-Catholic and Roman Catholic adversaries of their ideal. Indeed, Shylock in Shakespear is likely to be a Puritan rathern than a real Jew in certain aspects. Especially his dislike for Venetian Carnival. Shakespear was in an England which alas had Puritans, but not Jews. And if someone is Catholic or Orthodox, and they care at all about him, it is likely they prefer him to be the Vatican II kind or the Neohimerite kind, rather than a Sedevacantist or a Palaeohimerite.

The Jewish belief was that, with a few praiseworthy exceptions, adherence to religious error was in the nature of Gentiles.

Especially so after failed rebellions and even later after seeing Christianity in power, right?

The idea of getting Gentiles, as a whole, to reject religious error was thus considered unfeasible, and prior to the coming of Christ, was never entertained by any Jews.

Not even by the Prophet Malachi?

1:11 For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts.

I think Dr. John Lamont ought to think again. He should not take Rabbinic Jewish words for what Jews previous to Christ thought. Indeed, he should not take the words of Rabbinic Jews about how marginal the Christians were in the Roman Empire either when Judaism was being rebuilt without the Temple.

But this idea of Gentile nature clinging to religious error IS an incentive to such Jews as regard Christianity as their enemy (and they DO exist) to prefer seeing Gentiles in Non-Christian religious errors, such as both they and we Christians would regard as erroneous, to seeing them as Christians. Therefore there is a drive among Jews to make Gentiles apostasise. To be somewhat fair to them, our prophecies might seem to indicate that their conversion and return to grace will come about in the times when Gentiles apostatise from Christian truth.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Hezekiel

* I reposted, will see if they stay and are answered. So far, they are still on his wall.


Noteworthy and not to be rejected are these paragraphs on the Talmud:

This is not the judgement of Catholic theology or of the Magisterium of the Church. The Church had little awareness of the Talmud until the 13th century, when she intensified her efforts to convert Jews. The accusation that the Talmud was immoral and anti-Christian, through and through, originated largely with Jewish converts to Christianity of this period, such as Nicholas Donin. One may guess that these converts were influenced in these accusations by a reaction against their former religious position, and by feeling a need to prove their loyalty to Christianity. The inaccuracy of these accusations made them ineffective for missionary purposes, which, in turn, led to Catholic theologians making a thorough study of the Talmud. The most authoritative Catholic work resulting from this study was the “Pugio Fidei,” a magisterial attack on Rabbinic Judaism and Islam written by the Dominican, Raymond Martin. This attack dismissed the claim that the entire Mishnah was received by Moses on Mount Sinai as absurd, but did not reject all the contents of the Talmud. Instead, Fr. Martin accepted that some of the Talmud really did pass on an oral tradition received by Moses, and argued that this genuine tradition proved the truth of Christianity; the rest of the Talmud he dismissed as human invention.

The general principle that the Talmud is a mixture of good, bad, and indifferent elements, rather than a work that should be entirely rejected, is thus the most authoritative position among Catholic theologians, and can easily be seen to be correct by a consideration of its text. The tractate on the “Wisdom of the Fathers,” for example, which contains a number of ethical and religious teachings from rabbis who mostly lived before the time of Christ, obviously contains valuable elements. The fact that this important Talmudic text largely predates Christ, shows the falsity of the claim that the main idea of Rabbinic Judaism is the rejection of Christ’s messianic dignity.

This principle conforms to the judgment of the Church on the Talmud. When the Talmud was burnt in Paris at the instigation of Nicholas Donin, French Jews appealed to the Pope, who judged that it could be permitted, if it was expurgated of any anti-Christian remarks. A similar judgement was made by the Council of Trent. A commission of Jews approached the Council to request that it rule that the Talmud could be printed. The Council passed their request on to the Congregation for the Index, which again ruled that it could be printed if any anti-Christian statements were removed. This evaluation of the Talmud was more positive than that given to the works of Luther, Calvin, Peter Abelard’s Introduction to Theology, and Samuel Richardson’s Pamela – all of which were banned in their entirety by the Church.

However, this does not detract from the fact that the bad is there, in editions of Talmud which are not subjected to the restrictions of the Church. Nor do I agree that the tractate on pre-Christian rabbis shows the falsity of the claim that the main idea of Rabbinic Judaism is the rejection of Christ's messianic dignity. It is as much and as little the main idea of Rabbinic Judaism as rejection of Masses for the Dead and of Purgatory are the main idea of Lutheranism. They cannot be the main idea in any religion as lived, but they can very well be the main idea in the origin of a community as distinct from one other community, or in other words, the main idea of a specific polemic issue./HGL

Update: Whether a Jew not Christian worships the true God because of the Torah, or a false "god" because of Talmud or Kabbalah, is as I suppose known to God alone. If he converts, one may hope he was already loving the true God before conversion. If not ... one more thing:

The general principle that the Talmud is a mixture of good, bad, and indifferent elements, rather than a work that should be entirely rejected, is thus the most authoritative position among Catholic theologians, and can easily be seen to be correct by a consideration of its text.

A Christian trusting Gospel and Tradition is in a position to cherrypick the good from the bad in the Talmud. A Jew reading Torah through the Talmud is not. And since the Torah is entirely good in itself, while the Talmud is not, he will sometimes be reading the good through the bad. A risky business.

Sorry I didn't say this yesterday, but I was, to say the least, tired.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
Pope St Leo I, the Great

torsdag 3 april 2014

Mark Shea's Understanding of Scripture

1) Creation vs. Evolution : If some pseudo-orthodox thinks Patristic and Literal interpretation of Genesis are incompatible ..., 2) CMI on Allegorical Method - Answered, 3) Literal Sense vs Literalistic Approach, Allegoric Sense vs Figurative Approach, 4) Great Bishop of Geneva! : Congratulating Lita Cosner on agreeing basically with StThomas Aquinas, 5) Mark Shea's Understanding of Scripture, 6) HGL's F.B. writings : Neither Sungenis nor Palm is totally right on Psalm 18 (Sungenis is less off)

The Literal Sense of Scripture

A very good summing up, as far as it goes, or nearly so:

Scripture has what are known as different senses. That is, there are layers of meaning found in apparently simple sentences and images. ... Sometimes, the deeper sense of something can reveal a truth that takes your breath away, as when Jesus tells James and John that they shouldn't fight about who is to be at his right and left hand when he comes into his kingdom since only God can ordain this--and we finally see who has been reserved for that privileged position only when Jesus is crucified between two thieves.

But also:

The notion that Scripture has different senses is as old as Jesus himself. After all, it was he who said (Luke 24) that the whole Old Testament was actually about him. In other words, as St. Augustine said, the New Testament is hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is only fully revealed in the New.

That said, it is important to remember that the first and foundational sense of Scripture is the most obvious one: the literal sense. In other words, before we go looking for hidden meanings we have to pay attention to obvious ones.

Here too is very good, as far as it goes:

The key to understanding the literal sense of Scripture is to distinguish between the terms literal and literalistic. ... If I tell you, "My heart is broken" I have a definite meaning I'm trying to convey: I am deeply grieved. But I am not using literalistic language to convey that meaning. I don't mean "My cardiac tissue is torn." Same with the biblical authors. They employ all sorts of linguistic tricks of the trade--poetry, history, parable, hymn, fiction, reportage, myth, argumentation, legal codes, apocalyptic--to get their various points across. But however they express themselves, they all have a meaning they intend us to get. That meaning is what is meant by the literal sense of Scripture.

The point I would like to make is this is not something reserved for Catholic Modernists and Orthodox Modernists and Anglicans. Meaning those of the rather usual Modernist kind.

Lita Cosner and Jonathan Sarfati say the same thing when speaking about passages that were used against Galileo by St Robert Bellarmine in his friendly discussion with Galileo.

I would not agree. But I would agree this is a very apt thing to observe against the Skoptsi heresy who took "if your right eye is a scandal to thee, pluck it out" in a very literalistic way. Though not necessarily about eyes.

There is one thing however:

We have to, in short, understand what the human author was trying to say, the way in which he was trying to say it, and what is incidental to the assertion.

I quite agree with Lita, that no statement is merely incidental. Even what is incidental to main points is not incidental to the truth of the Bible.

Now we get to his grasp of Allegorical sense:

The Allegorical Sense of Scripture
(excerpted from Chapter 7 of Making Senses Out of Scripture)

As we mentioned in the last chapter, one of the standing temptations of the biblical student is to oversimplify by seizing on one truth and using it to discount other, equally important truths.

Here too I heartily agree. BUT, the next passage will signal my stance for a disagreement:

One such oversimplification consists of the habit some modern people have of exalting the primacy of the literal sense of Scripture into a flat denial of the possibility of any other senses of Scripture at all.

True, but very much less current than the oversimplification of people wanting to defend Scripture by exaggerating the estimates of what is incidental and resorting to the allegoric sense when the literal one will do just fine. As soon as you actually get at it.

This denial of a second sense in Scripture can lead to curious results, as a friend of mine discovered one evening watching one of those "Mysteries of the Bible" shows on TV. On the show were a couple of theologians eager to get their 15 minutes of fame on the tube. So rather than talk about the Faith, they obligingly told the camera that Jesus was not born of a virgin and based their claim on the allegation that St. Matthew misunderstood the prophet Isaiah.

The Literal Sense will do just fine. Isaiah very much did prophecy that Christ was to be born of a Virgin.

This statement may sound somewhat peculiar to some publics, but is nevertheless right. I will first let Mark Shea state the problem, before giving my solution:

It's like this, said the scholars: A couple of centuries after Isaiah wrote, the Hebrew Bible (including the book of Isaiah) was translated into Greek (since many Jews were spread over the Greek-speaking ancient world and were forgetting their Hebrew just as European immigrants to the United States forgot their Yiddish in an English-speaking culture). This Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (that is, the Old Testament) is called the Septuagint.

Now in the original Hebrew text of Isaiah 7:14 we read the prophecy that "the 'almah' shall conceive and bear a son, and you shall call his name 'Immanuel.'" "Almah" means in Hebrew "young woman" and refers to any young woman, virgin or not. But when the Jewish translators of the Septuagint translated Isaiah into Greek (decades before the birth of Christ), they did not translate the term as "young woman" but as "parthenos" which means "virgin." Later on, after Christ comes, St. Matthew is reading this Greek translation, not the original Hebrew when he declares of the Virgin Birth, "All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 'Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.'" But, said the TV theologians, we now know St. Matthew was mistaken to believe in the Virgin Birth since Isaiah did not say "virgin" but "young woman."

There is a problem in the statement:

"Almah" means in Hebrew "young woman" and refers to any young woman, virgin or not.

It is that we do not know that Almah has never had the exact meaning Virgin.

First of all, I do not know Hebrew, when discussing this earlier I was met with the assertion, as my memory recalls, that Almah is the word for young plus the - even to me obvious - feminine ending -ah. Then, even so, a word that etymologically means "young woman" need not therefore be referrable to just any young woman even not a virgin. This is not based on my expertise of Hebrew, which as just admitted does not exist. It is based instead of my knowledge of how meanings change.

Does Mark Shea know what the word "sad" etymologically means? I suspect a man whose blog is called "Catholic and Enjoying It", and who is often smiling, would think the word "sad" is less applicable to him than the word "glad".

I agree that Mark Shea is more glad than sorrowful. But the etymological meaning of "sad" is NOT sorrowful. It is a description of how Mark Shea feels after eating his favourite meals in the favourite quantities no quite allowed during Lent (be patient Shea! Easter is soon at hand and then there are 50 days without fasting!), and second meaning is how Mark Shea weighs on the scales. So, first meaning is "full" or "having eaten one's fill" (like German "satt"), and that is the etymology. Second meaning is "heavy". It is only FROM the second meaning heavy that you get a third meaning, like "serious" or "important" or "not negligible". And only from there do you get a FOURTH meaning of sorrowful, since our existence on earth is such that mirth is easier overlooked in its importance than sorrow. By the way, I mentioned that "having eaten one's fill" is in German "satt". As for "sorrow" it is in German "Sorge" or "Trauer" (hence "sorrowful" = "besorgt" / "traurig"), but rather with Trauer/traurig as real equivalent, "Sorge" and "besorgt" verging on "[having] something on one's mind" (in a sorrowful rather than merely pensive way). Swedish does not have the word "sad" in the first meaning, but uses "mätt" (a word related to meat, perhaps, and to Swedish "mat"="food"), however "sorrow" or "sadness" (modern sense) are "sorg". And "sorrowful" is "sorgesam".

So, proving that Almah etymologically means "young" and stands in the feminine noun form is not equal to proving it grammatically in Isaiah's Hebrew meant "young woman" and on top of that referred to any young woman, whether virgin or not. One can easily see how a word starting out to mean "young woman" can easily come to mean "virgin" - especially in a society expecting Virginity to be what young women did up to marriage. And especially if the word ceases to apply at marriage - like Miss becomes Mrs or Mademoiselle becomes Madame.

This is a first problem with the assertion that Isaiah - as the unstated logical conclusion would go - used a word meaning "young woman" rather than Virgin.

There is another problem: how do we know Isaiah wrote Almah? Well, the Masoretic text has, obviously, Almah. But the Septuagint (abbreviated LXX) was translated by Seventy translators (hence the name) and it translated the word as παρθενος, which means Virgin. And St Jerome had access to a Hebrew text, and he translated Virgo, which means virgin and is also the very same word. A traditional Catholic or Orthodox, if seeing a contradiction between LXX and Masoretic text, or between Vulgate and Masoretic text will tend to say that the Masoretic text has been deliberately corrupted by Jews.

And indeed after the Jews rejected Jesus, they had a real motive to corrupt precisely that passage. Either by changing the word or by changing the meaning of the word. Either the Hebrew word had been another word than Almah, and in that case they might have stamped copies using it as heretical and Christian and burnt them. Or Almah had had the meaning Virgin, and they had changed the meaning, which was so much easier as:

  • Hebrew was a study language so it could be manipulated by an élite if they controlled studies of it sufficiently centrally;
  • "Almah" had the etymological semantics appropriate for meaning "young woman."

There is actually a third solution. Suppose Almah means "young woman". Suppose it was the word in Isaiah from the start. Even so, it would automatically carry the meaning of "virgin", due to the Hebrew law. A young woman giving up her virginity was to be stoned. A young woman loosing it by rape was to be compensated. One option for her father being to demand the rapist marry her. In such a scenario, she could possibly be a young woman while conceiving, but not any more while giving birth. Nine months after loosing a virginity a Hebrew young lady was either married or stoned. And if Isaiah had meant that someone would conceive as a young woman though no longer virgin and give birth as married to the child's physical father, he would not have said that word "shall conceive and bear a son". He would have said "yes, a newly wed shall bear a son".

This being so, we must conclude that Isaiah indeed literally prophecied the Virgin Birth.

But he did not literally prophecy that Jesus would be called Jesus? No, but Jesus is a synonym of Emmanuel.

Isaiah did literally prophecy that Cyrus would be called Cyrus. The prophecy was fulfilled through parents who did not know it. But parents must not be in a position to manipulate the prophecy by knowing it.

If we take a prophecy about quite another kind of guy, namely Antichrist, I think people whose parents have choosen names so that Hebrew or Greek sums of the letters shall add up to the number that is 18 times 37 or the 36:th triangular number, may be pretty safe. The name of Antichrist must add up either in a less obvious way (I have heard that Barack Hussein Obama does not add up to more than 501 - but each name has a meaning, their translations into English ... well, you see what I mean), or in a gematria not accessible at his birth (ASCII code was not around when I was born, and at that time - according to Padre Pio - Antichrist was already in the word, I hope I can add "also" - so someone's name adding p that way in ASCII code but his being born well before it was around may be a real sign, especially if no other names add up that way in ASCII code: and so far "Bergoglio" in block letters fits that, and "Pope Francis" is the only prominent such alive today).

If St Joseph had named the child Emmanuel, he would have been seen as manipulating the prophecy. He could be aware that Jesus by its meaning implied Emmanuel, but he had not choosen it himself, he had been ordered by the angel.

This brings us to a point where Mark Shea is wrong.

The first and most obvious point in the New Testament, as we saw in chapter 5, is that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. The apostles came to believe this, not because they saw the Virgin Birth, but because they saw the risen Christ. And the risen Christ, as we saw previously, is the one who did not come to abolish the law and the prophets but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17) and, after his resurrection, tells his disciples that "Moses and all the prophets" had written "concerning himself" (Luke 24:26-27). This is where the apostles get the idea that the whole life and ministry of Christ "fulfilled the Scriptures." So far so good.

What is not so good however is that it is easy for the modern reader to adopt a kind of "checklist" mentality about messianic prophecy, as though every first century Jew had an agreed-upon set of "Messianic Verses" in the Old Testament against which all messianic claimants were measured. Indeed, many books of Christian apologetics today lay out precisely this sort of schema:

Prophecy: Source Fulfillment
The Messiah must... In the Old Testament in the New Testament
Be the born in Bethlehem Micah 5:1 Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-7
Be adored by great persons Psalm 72:10-11 Matthew 2:1-11
Be sold for 30 pieces of silver Zechariah 11:12 Matthew 26:15

and so forth. One could easily get the impression that all a first century Jew had to do was follow Jesus around, ticking off prophecy fulfillments on his Old Testament Messianic Prophecy Checklist and he ought to have known everything that Jesus was going to do before he ever did it.


This is why nobody before these events says, "Why, it's plain from Scripture that the Messiah will be born of a virgin, rejected by the chief priests, handed over to Gentiles, crucified with thieves, risen, ascended, and that he will abrogate the circumcision demand for Gentiles as he breaks down the barrier between man and woman, slave and free, Jew and Gentile." Even the disciples themselves, close as they were to Jesus, make it clear they did not anticipate the crucifixion, much less the resurrection, one little bit-even when Jesus rubbed their noses in it (Mark 9:9-10). As John says, they did not understand from the Scripture that the Messiah had to rise from the dead, even while they were standing in the mouth of the empty tomb gawking at his graveclothes (John 20:1-10).

The problem is that the checklist did in fact exist. I do not know about a set list of items with a fixed order and all, that, but a Jew who had studied the Scriptures and waited for the Messiah would know what he was looking for. The shepherds were told and had probably no previous studies. I do not know what verbal prophecy their presence fulfilled, but they did so to speak stay in Bethlehem as colleagues to young David before he was a King. He too was a shepherd. So, their adoration fulfilled the words "dixit Dominus Domino meo" since to those that knew it, they were showing forth King David acknowledging the main character of that Psalm as not just his son (which is allegorically shown by the shepherds being obviously older than Jesus) but also his Lord.

But the shepherds didn't know. Nor did the disciples.

Even the disciples themselves, close as they were to Jesus, make it clear they did not anticipate the crucifixion, much less the resurrection, one little bit-even when Jesus rubbed their noses in it (Mark 9:9-10). As John says, they did not understand from the Scripture that the Messiah had to rise from the dead, even while they were standing in the mouth of the empty tomb gawking at his graveclothes (John 20:1-10).

They were chosen among people who had not studied. Galilean Fishermen would very obviously not know the checklist. Pharisees would know it far better than they. They would be ticking off occasion on occasion as they hoped for a discrepancy between Jesus' actions and the prophecies. And they would time after time be disappointed. And the disciples would simply not know all that was happening. Close as they were to Jesus. The one man with some real Hebrew letters among them was St Matthew. And he had been neglecting them for years on end as he was collecting taxes. Sts Paul and Barnabas would have known all this too, but they were not yet among the disciples.

So, though one prophecy was fulfilled in a way that was literally true but not literalistic - Jesus fulfilling Emmanuel - nevertheless the fulfilment of these prophecies (those on checklist) were literal fulfilments, but not allegorical fulfilments.

We get to allegory when Jesus explains ALL of the Old Testament as prophecy, not just the prophetic passages.

We get to allegory when David saying "the Lord said unto my Lord" is allegorically present in the shepherds of Bethlehem. We get to allegory when Jesus explains how Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac is a prophecy in very great allegorical detail of his own via Dolorosa. We get to allegory when the stars fighting from their orbits against Sisera are there again as the Sun goes dark over Calvary. We get to allegory when the fleece of Gideon is a prophecy of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But for the proper understanding of Isaiah 7:14, we can be satisfied with the letter.

Mark Shea does not quite miss that:

So, for instance, Hebrews 2:13 quotes Isaiah 8:18: "Here I am, and the children God has given me." In its literal sense, Isaiah is speaking about his own disciples with no hint of messianic intent behind these words. Yet the author of Hebrews sees Christ, far more than Isaiah, fulfilling the text. Why? Because Christ and his Church are, most fully, what Isaiah and his disciples were in a kind of foreshadow.

That indeed is what the Sensus Allegoricus is all about.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre, UL
Pope St Xystus I

Romae natalis beati Xysti Primi, Papae et Martyris; qui, temporibus Hadriani Imperatoris, summa cum laude rexit Ecclesiam, ac demum, sub Antonino Pio, ut sibi Christum lucrifaceret, libenter mortem sustinuit temporalem.