Orthoscopy
Newsletter #14
Deacon Joe Hulway
November 2, 2009
Jesus Asked:
“Τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί, γύναι; οὔπω ἥκει ἡ ὥρα μου.”
(Jn. 2:4)
We often have a lot of questions we would like to ask Jesus, but in the gospels we can also reflect on a lot of the questions that Jesus asks
of others, and indirectly of us. In this newsletter, I have posted the question of Jesus in the original Greek. I did this to highlight how various
Bible translations can give us different perspectives on the same verse; and how sometimes this can result in misunderstandings and
conflicts. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church established the canon of the Bible around the end of the 4th century. At
the same time, because of divergent translations in existence, Pope Damasus commissioned St. Jerome with the task of translating the
entire Bible from its original languages into Latin, the official language of the Church. This is how St. Jerome translated Jesus’ question:

    “Quid mihi et tibi, mulier?”

For those, like me, who know neither Greek nor Latin, here is the Douay Rheims translation which claims to be true to the Latin Vulgate:

    “Woman, what is that to me and to thee?”

Now you finally know we are dealing with the question that Jesus asked His mother at the wedding feast at Cana. Here is a list of other
common translations of the same question from John 2:4:

    “Woman, how does your concern affect me?” New American Bible; currently used by the Catholic Church for our liturgies in the
    United States

    “Woman, what do you want from me?” New Jerusalem Bible; currently used by the Catholic Church in Canada

    “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me?” New Revised Standard Version; preferred by many Catholic Bible scholars

    “Woman, what have I to do with thee?” King James Version

    “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me?” New King James Version

    “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” New International Version

    "What are you and I to do about it, ma’am?" Cotton Patch Gospel Version. Not a true translation but an interesting modern day,
    paraphrasing of selected portions of the New Testament. If you haven't seen it,  want a few laughs, and want to find out how Jesus
    was born in Gainesville, Georgia, check it out online at: http://rockhay.tripod.com/cottonpatch/index.htm

We can see that all these translations give slightly different nuances to the same question asked by Jesus. It’s a reminder for us to be
careful when we read our own particular Bible, lest we read too much into a particular word or expression. Jesus spoke in Aramaic two
thousand years ago, but His words were written down in Greek. And now we deal with multiple translations, and translations of
translations. It is hard enough to properly understand words written in English several hundred years ago. When I read a book by G.K.
Chesterton written only a hundred years ago, for example, I am very dependent on footnotes to help me understand some of his points.
Even though he wrote in English, the English of his time and country is very different than what I experience in the United States today. As a
Catholic, I am comforted that I can rely on the teachings of the Early Church Fathers. Their theological studies in the first centuries, had a
much better opportunity of capturing the true meanings of Christ’s words and His teachings.

The Holy Spirit speaks to each one of us as we read Sacred Scriptures, no matter which translation, and guides us to wisdom for our
personal spiritual growth. But to build our own theology based on our personal interpretation of divergent translations of texts recorded two
thousand years ago, does not seem to be prudent. God reveals Himself to us through Sacred Scriptures, but also through two thousand
years of continuous Tradition that helps to clearly communicate God’s message to us today, and which helps open the eyes and ears of
our faith. Let us not be quick to discard this Tradition that complements, but does not replace, our study of Sacred Scripture.

Getting back to our question at hand. I cannot be sure of Jesus' exact words. I do not know his facial expressions, his tone of voice, or his
body language that accompanied his words, So I can examine multiple texts and pray to the Holy Spirit and try to determine how Jesus is
speaking to me today. It may be different for you. It may be different for me tomorrow. For now, I will stick with the NAB translation: "How
does your concern affect me?" And I can reflect on why Jesus would be affected or concerned by all my prayers, all the needs and wants
that I bring to him each day. But then I am comforted when I read, or should I say pray, the rest of the Cana story and see that Jesus, despite
his question, responded to his mother's wishes. Jesus will respond to our requests as well when we bring them in good faith, and
especially when we bring them out of concern for others as our Blessed Mother did. Mary interceded for the family at the wedding feast. She
will intercede for us as well. And Jesus will not refuse his mother.
What’s New?
Another two months have passed since the last newsletter. Once again I have missed my goal of monthly publication. Once again I had
good intentions. I started thinking about the newsletter during the last week of September, but then I received an email from my publisher
with the first edit suggestions on the book and I got side-tracked with review and changes. You can read more about that experience in the
last section of the newsletter.

It has been a busy two months. Some activities were fun and exciting like apple picking, wine bottling and wine making, baptisms of two
grandchildren, and walks at nature centers with grandchildren. Other were not so much fun like spreading fifteen yards of topsoil/compost
mix on the yard for seeding bare spots and over-seeding thin spots, drywalling and painting the back hall and half bath, or having our well
pump replaced when we were suddenly without water.

But while the last two months have been very eventful, there is really not too much new. There are no new directions or significant changes
in my life. This can be, at the same time, comforting and disconcerting. Have I sneaked back to the merry-go-round? (For those who do not
understand this reference see
http://www.orthoscopy.net/aboutus.html) And so, for me, now is a time of renewed discernment about what I
am supposed to be doing next, or doing with increase intensity. Once again I ask for your prayers.
Homilies and Bulletin Articles
There are nine new homilies posted at the website.

Journey to Sainthood
All Saints Day
November 1, 2009

Ask for Clear Vision
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 25, 2009

True God and True Man
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 18, 2009

Sharpest of Two-Edged Swords
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 11, 2009

Let Jesus' Spirit Soften Your Heart
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 4, 2009

Whoever Is Not Against Us Is for Us
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 27, 2009

Charitable Words
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 20, 2009

Charitable Works
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 13, 2009

Ephphatha!--Be Opened!
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 6, 2009
Status of the Book
My patience is being tested. Editing has been slow and painful. I waited during the entire month of August while the book was in copy
editing for grammatical review. It was then submitted to conceptual editing and I once again waited during the month of September. At the
end of September, I received a marked up copy from the conceptual editor. I scanned it quickly and found only a couple of comments and
suggestions for consideration. I thought everything was going to be easy to change, but as I started to make my changes, I found a lot of
things that the copy editor changed without notifying me. Some were appropriate, but many were not. And so I had to go over the entire text
several times to mark it up to try to resolve these issues. It took a great deal of time. (I'm using it as my official excuse for not putting out an
October newsletter.) I sent my changes/corrections back to the editor on October 9th and just received his revised version back on Saturday
for final review and approval so that it can be sent to the layout department. I scanned over it quickly and already have found a few issues
that weren't corrected properly. It's getting a little frustrating, but I'll keeping plugging along and eventually everything will come out according
to God's plans.