Lectionary Reading Introduction

This site provides something different: many sites and books provide a brief summary of the reading - so that people read out or have in their pew sheet an outline of what they are about to hear. They are told beforehand what to expect. Does this not limit what they hear the Spirit address them? This site provides something different - often one cannot appreciate what is being read because there is no context provided. This site provides the context, the frame of the reading about to be heard. It could be used as an introduction, printed on a pew sheet (acknowledged, of course), or adapted in other ways. This is an experimental venture and I will see how useful it appears.

Acts 2:42-47 (RC)

Luke presents an idealised image of the first Christian community.

Acts 2:14a, 22-32 (RCL)

The underlying context is the responsorial psalm which follows (Ps 16). A simple comparison with the (Hebrew) original Psalm 16:8 "I keep the LORD always before me" has become in the Septuagint Greek version "I saw the Lord always before me" - highlighting the belief in an afterlife that was well developed by the time of the Hellenistic period.

1 Peter 1:3-9

This letter is presented as coming from the hands of Peter (1:1), Silvanus (5:12), and Mark (5:13). It is addressed to five areas in Asia Minor which approximated the Roman provinces in which being strangers was the reality of the context in which the original readers found themselves. It is writeen from "Babylon" - the term regularly used by Jewish and Christian writers for Rome after 70CE and the destruction of the temple. The letter is deeply inspired by baptismal thought and practice. Peter's actual hand in this letter is now disputed.

John 20:19-31

Locked doors speaks more deeply of the context to which this gopel addresses itself after 90CE with the increasing hostility against the followers of Jesus. Thomas (from Hebrew "to'am" - the twin), in Greek "Didymus" possibly refers to an "other Judas" (Acts of Thomas) - the nickname distinguishing him in the common use of the name "Judas". His attitude fits in with the character met in Jn 11:7, 16; 14:5.
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