Reflecting on First Corinthians for the Third Sunday of Lent

From First Corinthians by George T. Montague, SM, commenting on First Corinthians 1:22-23:

The tendency of the Jews who opposed the ministry of Jesus and that of Paul (compare Matt 12:3842; Luke 11:2932), was to demand signs, miracles or spectacular deeds of power, and Greeks look for wisdom, something that will captivate but not disturb the cultured mind. Paul here shows his grasp of the psychology of both cultures, which made him an apt instrument for reaching both, but he does so by proclaiming something that goes counter to, because it goes beyond, the natural tastes of each: Christ crucified. Jews indeed looked for a Messiah, but the fact that Jesus died on the cross proved that he was not the glorious liberator they desired. For them, the cross was a stumbling block, an obstacle to faith.

The Greek understanding of time and history was not eschatological: it did not have a conception of a goal toward which history was moving. . . . A founder who stands the world’s values on its head by going to death on a cross–the fate of the criminal dregs of humanity–would indeed have no chance of winning the Greek, even less by claiming that the cross was followed by the resurrection of the body. As for the Jewish critic, the apparent failure of one who claimed to be the Messiah was proof that he was not. That is why it takes a special grace, a divine call, to read in the cross more than stupidity and weakness.

© 2011 George T. Montague, SM and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.



Filed under First Corinthians, From the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, George T. Montague, Lectionary

2 responses to “Reflecting on First Corinthians for the Third Sunday of Lent

  1. The problem is not a wrong translation -as they say- but the unbeliever Jewish changed the texts of many prophets to prevent people from believing in Jesus as the Christ, as the saints of the earliest centuries said, like Justin and Irenaeus.
    The true Hebraic word is maid or girl, and that word would not be said for a grown up women, but only if she is a virgin, and there are many examples for that in the OT, like Gen 24: 14, 43 and many other verses.
    The 72 elders were not wrong, they understood the text very well and translated it very well.
    And all the Jewish accepted it, without any objection, for many centuries.

    Only the unbelievers started to refuse it after seeing the people believing in Jesus as The Christ, and started to make reasons for their refusal, by making false changes.

  2. Trusting in the unbelievers was the start of all problems, like with Origen and Luther, both of them trusted the unbelieving Jewish and became pupils to them, first to learn Hebraic language and afterwards they followed them in their changes in OT.

    All who trust the unbelievers, become like them.

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