Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Jerome (?) - More About Mark 1:2

Expand Messages
  • james_snapp_jr
    As a follow-up to the defense of in the prophets in Mark 1:2, here is a post-script about an additional piece of evidence that testifies to the solidity of
    Message 1 of 2 , May 14 6:28 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      As a follow-up to the defense of "in the prophets" in Mark 1:2, here is a post-script about an additional piece of evidence that testifies to the solidity of "in Isaiah the prophet" in the Latin texts, and to resistance to changing it for apologetic purposes.

      In Jerome's Letter to Pammochius (57), he mentions the difficulty in Mk. 1:2 but offers no solution. In his Commentary on Matthew, he mentions it again, and offers two possible solutions: (a) the name of Isaiah was added by a mistake of the copyists, or (b) Mark has made one citation out of diverse Scriptural testimonies, as Paul does in Romans 3.

      There is a third place where Jerome comments about this passage: Homily 75, "On the Beginning of the Gospel of St. Mark." This homily was one of a group of homilies that were embedded in a collection of works of Chrysostom, but the assiduous researcher Morin made a case that they are actually works of Jerome, and afaik Morin's view has not been overthrown. (The person who reviewed his presentation in the 1898 American Journal of Theology II seems to have been convinced very thoroughly.)

      So, working on the premise that Jerome produced this homily, let's take a look at its contents, relying on pages 121ff. of "The Homilies of St. Jerome - Volume 2 (60-96)" translated by Sister Marie Liguori Ewald, I. H. M. in the Fathers of the Church series. (I adjusted the text a little.)

      +++++++

      "'The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God' -
      And therefore, not the son of Joseph. The beginning of the Gospel is the end of the Law; the Law is ended and the Gospel begins.
      'As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, Behold, I send My messenger before you, who shall who shall prepare your way.' -

      'As it is written in Isaiah.' Now as far as I recall by going back in my mind and sifting carefully the Septuagint, as well as the Hebrew scrolls [how many people besides Jerome could say this?!], I have never been able to locate in Isaiah the prophet the words 'Behold, I send My messenger before you.' But I do find them written near the end of the prophecy of Malachi. Inasmuch as this statement is written at the end of Malachi's prophecy, on what basis does Mark the Evangelist assert here 'As it is written in Isaiah the prophet'?

      This author Mark is not to be lightly esteemed. In fact, the apostle Peter says in his letter, 'The church chosen together with you, greets you, and so does my son Mark.' O Apostle Peter, Mark, your son -- son not by the flesh but by the Spirit -- though informed in spiritual matters, is uninformed here, and credits to one prophet of Holy Scripture what is written by another: 'As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, Behold I send My messenger before you.'

      This is the very passage that the impious Porphyry, who has barfed out poison in his many writings against us, attacks in his fourteenth book. 'The Gospel-writers,' he claims, 'were men so ignorant, not only in secular matters but even regarding divine writings, that they cited the testimony of one prophet and attributed it to another.' That is what he hurls at us. Now, what shall we answer to him?

      I think, inspired by your prayers, that this is the answer:
      'As it is written in Isaiah.' - What is written in Isaiah the prophet? 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ready the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.' That is written in Isaiah; but there is a clearer explanation of this text in another prophet, and the evangelist is really saying that this is John the Baptist, of whom Malachi has also said, 'Behold, I send my messenger before you, who shall prepare your way.' The phrase, 'It is written' refers only to the following verse, 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.' To prove, furthermore, that John the Baptist was the messenger who was sent, Mark did not choose to recommend his own word, but to offer proof from the word of a prophet.'"

      +++++++

      So, if this Homily is genuinely the work of Jerome, it looks as if he was capable of expressing sometimes one view, and sometimes another, in writings just a few years apart. Here in Homily 75 he does not mention his suspicion that Isaiah's name might be an interpolation by copyists; he mentions the interpretive option exclusively.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.
    • Daniel Buck
      OnĀ Fri, May 14, 2010 9:28:44 AM james_snapp_jr wrote:
      Message 2 of 2 , May 14 9:11 AM
      • 0 Attachment

        On Fri, May 14, 2010 9:28:44 AM james_snapp_jr wrote:

        <<As a follow-up to the defense of "in the prophets" in Mark 1:2, here is a post-script about an additional piece of evidence that testifies to the solidity of "in Isaiah the prophet" in the Latin texts, and to resistance to changing it for apologetic purposes.

        In Jerome's Letter to Pammochius (57), he mentions the difficulty in Mk. 1:2 but offers no solution. In his Commentary on Matthew, he mentions it again, and offers two possible solutions: (a) the name of Isaiah was added by a mistake of the copyists, or (b) Mark has made one citation out of diverse Scriptural testimonies, as Paul does in Romans 3. >>

         

        Of course, extant copies of Psalm 13:3 in both the LXX and the Vulgate contain Romans 3:10-18's entire chain of citations. This raises the question as to whether the copies in  Jerome's day did.

         

        Daniel Buck


      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.