The Mass Twisted Scripture

The first reading for the Mass on the Feast of the Assumption is taken from the book of the Apocalypse/Revelation. Rev11:19a, 12:1-6, 10a

Talking with a protestant friend who was at mass the complaint was made about verses being missed out, and how that changed the meaning of the passage. Without verses 7-9 and verses 10b-11 the meaning of the passage cannot be sensibly fathomed.

Now, I know that it could be said that the editing happened to put the emphasis firmly on Mary, but looking at the passage it does seem that missing out verses changes the meaning. Therefore I could only agree with my friend.

Salvation and power in the missal reading comes when the child is taken up to God and the woman flees to the desert. In the Bible it is very different.

In the unedited Bible we read before verse 10 (of the war in heaven and Satan and the demons being cast down. Only after the war in heaven does a voice say “now have salvation and power come…” And possibly worse than that, the missal stops part way through the words the voice from heaven speaks.

The full speech is as follows: Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death. Therefore, rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them. But woe to you, earth and sea, for the Devil has come down to you in great fury, for he knows he has but a short time.”

Adding in the missing verses does indeed completely change the meaning of verse ten. The loud voice does not follow verse 6. It follows verse 9. And it continues - giving reasons for the victory in verses 10b-11. By missing out verses and forcing the focus to Mary isn’t the true meaning getting lost?

What can I say to my friend that can possibly justify the public reading of Scripture omitting verses in such a way that changes the meaning drastically? I can’t find an answer myself as it makes me cringe when the missal readings do things like this.

For this reason I prefer in private study to read the missal readings in a Bible - and to read them in a Bible before attending mass. Obviously some priests don’t. I was at mass on 2nd August. In the first missal reading Miriam ends up leprous. The priest said in his homily that he did not know whether Miriam got healed of this. Didn’t that priest know his Bible? Hadn’t he bothered to look at the passage in context and see her healed in the next few verses? Or worse, did he know really and fibbed in the homily? It didn’t inspire much confidence.

I am just going to bump this to the top, I don’t have time to look this up, but I am sure someone else can clarify your issue with this. If not submit it to, ask an apologist. :slight_smile:
(this might have something to do with typology)
God Bless
Scylla

Hi Asteroid,

Now ya know why Catholics read the Bible.

Revelation 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple, and there were lightnings, and voices, and an earthquake, and great hail. Chapter 12 Keep in mind that the chapter and verse breaks are not inspired (in some cases seem highly uninspired) and weren’t even added until about the 13th century (if I heard right).

Note the comment from the Douay-Rheims Challoner version;
*
1 “A woman”… The church of God. It may also, by allusion, be applied to our blessed Lady. The church is clothed with the sun, that is, with Christ: she hath the moon, that is, the changeable things of the world, under her feet: and the twelve stars with which she is crowned, are the twelve apostles: she is in labour and pain, whilst she brings forth her children, and Christ in them, in the midst of afflictions and persecutions.*

This tract on The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption may also help some.

Personally I can see the allusion to the Blessed Virgin as well; recognizing that scripture sometimes has multiple meanings and fulfillments (as any Christian knows). The fact that the passage also identifies the woman as the one who births the child who will rule the nations with a rod of iron seems to allude to the Blessed Virgin as well does it not?

As for your friend, I suggest that you point out that the readings were for this specific feast and that this is no worse :rolleyes: than what many preachers do in their texts for sermons, especially where the context supports a Catholic belief.

Pax tecum,

I’m giving another bump.

I too will let others do a much better job than I could.

Does it trouble you protestant friend that in the time of Jesus, there was no room for Mary at the Inn? No house would keep her.

A house is a biblical symbol for a church.

Today the residue of lutheranism slams the door on Mary, literally telling her there’s no room in their house for her either.

God have mercy on their souls.

Picking up on what Church Militant cited–that the verses were chosen for this particular feast. The other verses are read in full as the Scripture readings are rotated through a 3 year cycle. The Church is fully aware of what the other verses say and the context in which the verses chosen for this feast are. Emphasis is placed on Mary because today is one of her feast days, which is only appropriate. This same passage is cited in total for other feasts and other Sunday Masses as they are deemed useful for the occasion, so they are not being neglected or ignored.

It’s funny how Catholics are accused of being forbidden to interpret scripture (when they aren’t being accused of being forbidden to read it altogether), yet we find so many non-Catholics saying such-and-such passage means this and nothing else! :rolleyes:

Scott

The answer to your friend’s concern is to point out to them that, unlike Protestant services, the Catholic Mass is not a glorified Bible Study. The readings are selected to enable the homilist to focus on a central theme, in this case on the Assumption of Mary. If he can expound on the Scriptures to place the events related in context, so much the better. But again, that is not the primary goal during Mass.

Having said that, since Mass is NOT a Bible study, Catholics needs to get off their individual derriers and dig into the Scriptures so that they know them backwards and forwards. This needs to be encouraged from the pulpit, and facilitated in our parishes and dioceses. The practice of many, where the only time they hear the Scriptures is once a week at Sunday Mass is inexcusable, especially in our day when there are SO MANY good CATHOLIC Bible study resources. Don’t have a Catholic Bible study in your area?–START ONE!

Yes, the verses were made to fit the focus of the Assumption.

My friend though finds it hard to agree with “this is the word of the Lord” when missing verses alter the meaning of a passage of scripture.

These days it doesn’t matter much since we are all encouraged to read the Bible - before Vatican II it would have mattered far more. Today if we haven’t read the chapter for ourselves and prepared for mass in part by looking at the readings we are at fault ourselves.

It’s a shame that some priests (like the one I came across 2 weeks ago) don’t do this and so don’t pass a good example on to the laity.

Unfortunately there isn’t a Catholic Bible study group in this town. There is a discussion group for students but not for anyone else. That’s one of the things I will be discussing with our priest at the start of September - my daughter will be starting school full time so there will be plenty of time to run or assist with a group.

Hopefully our priest won’t be like one near where we used to live. I was a baptist then and we had wonderful studies. We had a catholic attending the studies. She had asked her priest about bible studies and was told that such things were not desirable.

[quote=asteroid]The first reading for the Mass on the Feast of the Assumption is taken from the book of the Apocalypse/Revelation. Rev11:19a, 12:1-6, 10a

Talking with a protestant friend who was at mass the complaint was made about verses being missed out, and how that changed the meaning of the passage. Without verses 7-9 and verses 10b-11 the meaning of the passage cannot be sensibly fathomed.

Now, I know that it could be said that the editing happened to put the emphasis firmly on Mary, but looking at the passage it does seem that missing out verses changes the meaning. Therefore I could only agree with my friend.

Salvation and power in the missal reading comes when the child is taken up to God and the woman flees to the desert. In the Bible it is very different.

In the unedited Bible we read before verse 10 (of the war in heaven and Satan and the demons being cast down. Only after the war in heaven does a voice say “now have salvation and power come…” And possibly worse than that, the missal stops part way through the words the voice from heaven speaks.

The full speech is as follows: Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death. Therefore, rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them. But woe to you, earth and sea, for the Devil has come down to you in great fury, for he knows he has but a short time.”

Adding in the missing verses does indeed completely change the meaning of verse ten. The loud voice does not follow verse 6. It follows verse 9. And it continues - giving reasons for the victory in verses 10b-11. By missing out verses and forcing the focus to Mary isn’t the true meaning getting lost?

What can I say to my friend that can possibly justify the public reading of Scripture omitting verses in such a way that changes the meaning drastically? I can’t find an answer myself as it makes me cringe when the missal readings do things like this.

For this reason I prefer in private study to read the missal readings in a Bible - and to read them in a Bible before attending mass. Obviously some priests don’t. I was at mass on 2nd August. In the first missal reading Miriam ends up leprous. The priest said in his homily that he did not know whether Miriam got healed of this. Didn’t that priest know his Bible? Hadn’t he bothered to look at the passage in context and see her healed in the next few verses? Or worse, did he know really and fibbed in the homily? It didn’t inspire much confidence.
[/quote]

I agree that v10 should not have been put there because it leaves out too much info, but your friend doesnt have a case for there being no Scriptural support for that Assumption teaching. In fact I say that WHOLE chapter should have been read, that would be good and helpful.

The Church is not twisting Revelation 12 to fit the passage. Yes the woman is symbolic of the Church and Israel, but neither can give birth to a child; only a woman can. So Mary is included in the symbolism of Revelation 12.

[quote=Catholic Dude]I agree that v10 should not have been put there because it leaves out too much info, but your friend doesnt have a case for there being no Scriptural support for that Assumption teaching. In fact I say that WHOLE chapter should have been read, that would be good and helpful.
[/quote]

My friend wasn’t making that case at all.

Hi Asteroid,

Many Fathers, popes and theologians have applied these passages to Mary. There are good arguments in its favor.

But, whether you interpret the passages in a Marian sense or not does not really matter. Passages of the bible are often used in an “applied” sense with meaning they did not originally have. For example, you will find on a grave the quote '“I will go to my Father”. Now this is a quote from the bible that is meant exclusively for Christ. But is “applied” by analogy to a Christian who has died.

Examples from the liturgy are almost happening daily. For example the Introit for the feast of St Theresa of the Child Jesus(Oct. 3) has this passage :

Come from Lebanon, my bride, come from Lebanon, come. You wounded my heart, my sister, my bride, you wounded my heart.

This is from Canticle of Canticles, ch. 4, v. 8 and 9, with words being skipped. Exactly the same case as you mentioned. Now we know that these words were not spoken about St. Theresa, but, in a spiritual sense, about Israel. It is applied to St. Theresa.

So your friend should get the chip off his shoulder. Furthermore I don’t think it is a good idea for a Catholic to agree with someone who is challenging the Church. If you can’t explain it, say you’ll enquire about it (as you did).

Verbum

Let the protestant minister who has not taken a verse or passage of the Bible out of context cast the first stone.

This is not be true of all Protestant churches, but the ones I have been to chose their Scripture to fit the topic - i.e. 2-3 verses from 10-12 different places in the Bible; while we do not get the full Chapter or Book on a given Sunday, neither do they (and at least we get more in a row than they do) {how is that for a run-on sentence?}.

[quote=asteroid]Unfortunately there isn’t a Catholic Bible study group in this town. There is a discussion group for students but not for anyone else. That’s one of the things I will be discussing with our priest at the start of September - my daughter will be starting school full time so there will be plenty of time to run or assist with a group.

Hopefully our priest won’t be like one near where we used to live. I was a baptist then and we had wonderful studies. We had a catholic attending the studies. She had asked her priest about bible studies and was told that such things were not desirable.
[/quote]

Let me recommend Jeff Cavins’ “The Great Adventure” Bible study. If you want to go into greater depth, he did one on Matthew last year—I attended and thought it was very, very good. These are available on DVDs and videos and have workbooks that go with them, so if you can get your parish to foot the bill, you’re in business. Go for it!!

[quote=asteroid]Yes, the verses were made to fit the focus of the Assumption.My friend though finds it hard to agree with “this is the word of the Lord” when missing verses alter the meaning of a passage of scripture.
[/quote]

I thought our protestant brethren would be used to this. They use proof texts out of context on a regular basis. I am not being snide. I am just surprised.

[quote=asteroid]Hopefully our priest won’t be like one near where we used to live. I was a baptist then and we had wonderful studies. We had a catholic attending the studies. She had asked her priest about bible studies and was told that such things were not desirable.
[/quote]

Maybe he has had some experience with a group that had one or more “axe grinders” in it. I am all for bible study if someone in the group isn’t intent upon “saving” me.

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