Lectionary 27 B

Citations all over the place this week. Only the Apology and The Smalcald Articles are left out of the fun! We also have a lot from Article 8 of the Formula as we ponder the two natures of Jesus. And there’s even reason to talk about the difference between the Septuagint and Hebrew scriptures, what difference one pronoun can make, and the Vulgate.

Genesis 2:18-24

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.”
— Genesis 2:18

Verse 18 is quoted in The Augsburg Confession, Article 27: Vows (AC 27.20) as part of the biblical argument that ordination does not demand celibacy, but indeed quite the opposite. If you are not blessed with the gift of celibacy, you should get married.

Verse 18 is also cited along with verses 21 thru 24 below in The Small Catechism, Marriage Booklet (8.10) as part of the reading that starts the worship portion of the rite of marriage.

So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
    for out of Man this one was taken.”
Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.
— Genesis 2:21-24

Verses 21 thru 24 are cited along with verse 18 above in The Small Catechism, Marriage Booklet (8.10) as part of the reading that starts the worship portion of the rite of marriage.

Verse 23 is cited through editorial insert in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 8: Person of Christ (SD 8.78) in a place where the Vulgate version of Ephesians 5:30 is quoted, which references this verse. The argument in this section of the Solid Declaration is that Jesus is as really present as possible in the Church both as divine and human for we are bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.

Verse 24 is cited in a footnote to The Large Catechism, The First Part: The Ten Commandments, The Sixth Commandment (LC 1.200, n. 99) as a simple reference for why adultery is forbidden—your spouse is as near to you as someone else can be.

Psalm 8

Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger.
— Psalm 8:2

…all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field…
— Psalm 8:7

Verses 2 and 8 are cited through editorial insert in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 8: Person of Christ (SD 8.27) along with several other citations showing that the risen and ascended Jesus works outside of time and place through the prophets and apostles as testified by the signs made possible through Jesus.

I have to be honest that I don’t understand these two citations. I think this is a typo and should reference Psalm 18. But that’s just my own puzzlement. That being said, this same section cites Zechariah 9:19 and there is no such verse, so maybe that’s the stray 1.

Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12

But to which of the angels has he ever said,
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?
— Hebrews 1:3

Chapter 1, verse 3 is quoted in the  Formula of Concord , Solid Declaration, Article 8: The Person of Christ (SD 8.74) as reference to Jesus' power because he is the only one who "has received all knowledge and all might, in fact and in truth" (SD 8.74).

“You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned them with glory and honor,
subjecting all things under their feet.”
Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them…
— Hebrews 2:7-8

Chapter 2, verses 7 and 8 are quoted in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 8: Person of Christ (SD 8.70) along with several other passages of scripture to lift up the unique reality of the union of the divine and human natures in Jesus.

It is worth noting this passage in the Formula quotes the Septuagint version of the Psalm 8, which presents a third person, masculine, singular object (him) rather than a third person, plural object (them). The New Revised Standard Version, which is quoted above, uses the version of Psalm 8 found in the Hebrew version for both Psalm 8 and here at the citation, which uses the third person, plural object (them). With the Septuagint version, both Psalm 8 and these verses become about Jesus’ unique nature. Jesus, in his early ministry, was lower than the angels, but he is also the one through whom all things were made. Therefore, Jesus has unique authority over all created things.

Chapter 2, verse 8 is cited earlier (SD 8.55) in a string of citations listing off attributes of Jesus’ divine nature to make the point that these attributes are “imparted” to his human nature rather than created for a human who then becomes divine. If you like the grammatical torture of proper theological statements about Jesus: Because God is outside of time, Jesus is always been both divine and human. (Apologies to all English teachers.)

Mark 10:2-16

Some Pharisees came, and to test [Jesus] they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
— Mark 10:2-12

Verses 2 thru 12 are cited in a footnote to The Large Catechism, The First Part: The Ten Commandments, The Ninth and Tenth Commandment (LC 1.205, n. 122) with several other passages. In Luther’s optimism, he hoped that divorce was not common among the Reformers. There are other issues that break these commandments, but divorce, he is confident, is not one.

Verse 11 is cited in a footnote to Treatise on the Power and Primacy (Tr 78, n. 69) with it’s gospel parallels to state that remarriage after divorce is not a sin for the innocent party. This is just one point in a long list of human traditions and laws that Luther deemed unjust, especially as exercised by bishops.

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
— Mark 10:13-16

Verses 13 thru 16 are quoted in The Small Catechism, Baptismal Booklet (SC 9.15-16) after the prebaptismal exorcism (not the renunciations, but an actual exorcism) as an explanation of why we baptize infants and children.


The First Reading and the Gospel Reading obviously go together, as do the Psalm and Second Reading, since the later quotes the former in each case. But how do these two groups fit together? I think the connection hinges on how you read Psalm 8 and Hebrews 2. Are these readings talking about Jesus, all humanity, or both? I’m going to let you wrestle with this question, but encourage you to go ask a child what the connection is between marriage and authority for Christians.