Friday, February 8, 2013

Sunday Knox: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Knox Bible:

"Here, brethren, is an account of the gospel I preached to you. It was this that was handed on to you; upon this your faith rests; through this (if you keep in mind the tenor of its preaching) you are in the way of salvation; unless indeed your belief was ill founded.  The chief message I handed on to you, as it was handed on to me, was that Christ, as the scriptures had foretold, died for our sins; that he was buried, and then, as the scriptures had foretold, rose again on the third day.  That he was seen by Cephas, then by the eleven apostles, and afterwards by more than five hundred of the brethren at once, most of whom are alive at this day, though some have gone to their rest. Then he was seen by James, then by all the apostles; and last of all, I too saw him, like the last child, that comes to birth unexpectedly.  Of all the apostles, I am the least; nay, I am not fit to be called an apostle, since there was a time when I persecuted the church of God; only, by God’s grace, I am what I am, and the grace he has shewn me has not been without fruit; I have worked harder than all of them, or rather, it was not I, but the grace of God working with me.  That is our preaching, mine or theirs as you will; that is the faith which has come to you."

Knox Footnotes:

  1. I Corinthians 15:2 ‘Unless indeed your belief was ill founded’; some commentators take this as meaning ‘Unless your belief has been ineffectual’, i.e. ‘has not succeeded in forming a true Christian character’.
  2. I Corinthians 15:8 St Paul compares himself to a child born prematurely; hence it is difficult to see how there can be any allusion to the comparative lateness of our Lord’s appearance to him. He seems to be thinking rather of the sudden, catastrophic manner in which grace came to him. Others think that he compares himself out of humility, to a child born physically weak.


"Now I am reminding you, brothers (and sisters), of the gospel I preached to you,which you indeed received and in which you also stand. Through it you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures; that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. After that, Christ appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. After that he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me. For I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me. Therefore, whether it be I or they, so we preach and so you believed."

NABRE Notes:

* [15:111] Paul recalls the tradition (1 Cor 15:37), which he can presuppose as common ground and which provides a starting point for his argument. This is the fundamental content of all Christian preaching and belief (1 Cor 15:12, 11).

* [15:37] The language by which Paul expresses the essence of the “gospel” (1 Cor 15:1) is not his own but is drawn from older credal formulas. This credo highlights Jesus’ death for our sins (confirmed by his burial) and Jesus’ resurrection (confirmed by his appearances) and presents both of them as fulfillment of prophecy. In accordance with the scriptures: conformity of Jesus’ passion with the scriptures is asserted in Mt 16:1; Lk 24:2527, 32, 4446. Application of some Old Testament texts (Ps 2:7; 16:811) to his resurrection is illustrated by Acts 2:2731; 13:2939; and Is 52:1353:12 and Hos 6:2 may also have been envisaged.

* [15:911] A persecutor may have appeared disqualified (ouk…hikanos) from apostleship, but in fact God’s grace has qualified him. Cf. the remarks in 2 Corinthians about his qualifications (2 Cor 2:16; 3:5) and his greater labors (2 Cor 11:23). These verses are parenthetical, but a nerve has been touched (the references to his abnormal birth and his activity as a persecutor may echo taunts from Paul’s opponents), and he is instinctively moved to self-defense.


Biblical Catholic said...

In this passage, the Knox seems strangely redundant, it sounds like it's repeating the same idea over and over almost reminds me of Monty Python and the Holy Grail 'Count to is to three you shall, and the number of your counting shall be three, to two you shall not count, excepting on the way to three, counting to four is right out'

The NAB is superior here in the first few verses because it sounds less repetitive

Anonymous said...

All translations, in a sense, are commentaries on the original language texts. The Knox bible, to me,is a wonderful accomplishment in commentary by a single author. However, I would locate it in my book shelf containing studies that have titles like: "the Bible as literature." Why did Knox use "as the scriptures foretold" when nearly every translation states it as "accortding to scripture." It sounds better, but it is subtley different in meaning. By the way, I enjoy these comparisons.

Biblical Catholic said...

Well keep in mind Knox is translating the Latin, not the Greek, so a lot of his more distinctive renderings are due to the fact that the Latin and the Greek or Hebrew are different.