Confraternity Bible: New Testament and Supplemental Commentary

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Supplemental Commentary:

Title Page:


Prepared by


under the patronage of


The Catholic Biblical Association, 1942


Copyright page:


Rt. Rev. Msgr. Henry J. Grimmelsman, S.T.D.
Rev. John F. Mc Connell, M.M., S.T.L., S.S.L.
Rev. Joseph J. Tennant, S.T.D., S.S.L.

+Edwin V. O'Hara, Bishop
Kansas City, Missouri
Feast of the Assumption, 1942

"The parts of the text of the New Testament contained in this book are reproduced by license of Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C., the owner of the copyright of 'The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ---a Revision of the Challoner-Rheims Version'."

Used with its permission.  All rights reserved.

The text of the Commentary and all other material is copyright, 1942, by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

International Copyright under International Copyright Union
All Rights Reserved under Pan-American Copyright Convention

Second Printing

Printed in the United States of America




The revision of the Challoner-Rheims New Testament has now been published as the Confraternity Edition. Our experience made us appreciate the real need of a text of the Scriptures which could be readily understood by the average Catholic reader. From the outset it was acknowledged by all that even the clearest version of the Bible must fail to eliminate all difficulties, some of which are inherent in the profound spiritual teachings of the Scriptures, that at times seem to exceed the power of human reason. Certain obscurities in the Bible are of human origin, resulting from an ancient manner of writing history, or from oriental modes of thought, or more generally from the unfamiliar or even lost culture that served as a background for the sacred books.

To aid the reader of the Scriptures, each collaborator working on the revision of the New Testament was asked to revise a portion of the text, and, at the same time, to prepare a simple commentary on it. At first it was hoped that the revised Confraternity Edition and its Commentary would be published simultaneously. But many modifications adopted by the editors made it advisable to postpone the publication of the Commentary.

The revised text has now been very widely circulated. The Commentary, therefore, will be all the more welcome to those readers in whom a new and livelier interest in the New Testament has been awakened. Since the Episcopal Committee of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine urged the publication of the Commentary and the Scriptural collaborators gave assurance of their co-operation, the Catholic Biblical Association entrusted the publication of this Commentary to a committee of its members.

This Commentary, which is intended as a supplement to the Confraternity Edition of the New Testament, presupposes that the reader has the revised edition before him. The same logical order as indicated by the marginal headings of the Confraternity Edition is followed. The Commentary bases its explanation on the revised text and often makes reference to its footnotes.

This Commentary has in view the needs of the average person who reads the New Testament in English and of organized lay members of Scripture discussion clubs. By clarifying certain difficult passages it makes possible a fuller appreciation of the divine message. The purpose of this simple Commentary excludes an extensive discussion of difficulties, a thorough consideration of controversial questions, and lengthy citations of the opinions of different schools. Citation of modern scholarship is restricted to Catholic authors who have written in English. A bibliography of such works is provided for the convenience of those who may desire to pursue an investigation beyond the limits of this Commentary. The authors cited in this bibliography indicate the vast Catholic literature on the New Testament.

Every effort has been made to avoid repetition. Thus, in dealing with the Synoptic Gospels the parallels are explained but once, that is, on their first occurrence. An event, for example, which is found in all three Gospels is explained in Matthew and merely mentioned in the others, unless fresh details in the other Gospels call for attention. This is also true when a subject is found more than once in other books, for example, in Ephesians and Colossians.

Since the Commentary is intended for the non-professional reader, only translated citations from the Latin or Greek texts are given.

The typographical norms are in nearly every respect those of the Confraternity Edition of the New Testament. The bold face headings, the verse numbers, and the spelling are those of the revised text. Thus, Prophet and Gospel, when capitalized, refer to the canonical books; otherwise, prophet indicates an individual, and gospel means the New Testament message. Church, when capitalized, is to be understood of the Church universal; otherwise, church signifies a local group of Christians, as the church at Corinth or Ephesus. Both the revised text and the Commentary follow the traditional order of the books. By way of exception, the Epistles of the Captivity are grouped together in the Commentary because they are so closely related historically. The enumeration of the Psalms is that of the Vulgate.

With one or other exception, each part of this Commentary was written by the same author who revised the corresponding book of the New Testament. The nature of this work, however, and the desire for uniformity called for more than customary intervention on the parts of the editors. The use of technical terms, as a rule, has been avoided. The style and general manner of expression of the various writers have to some extent been altered. In some matters of little moment divergent views of individual commentators have been harmonized.

This effort is particularly evident in the chronology adopted in the Commentary. It is largely conventional, taking the view that the public ministry of our Lord extended over three years. Similarly, uniform dates are given for the missionary journeys of St. Paul, with the year 63 A. D. being accepted as the end of his first Roman imprisonment. All parts of the Commentary have been made to agree with this chronology. The individual authors, therefore, are not necessarily responsible for the dates given in their portion of the work.

In another important matter the editors prevailed. They desired to limit the Commentary to one volume, which made it necessary to abridge the work of the individual writers, who previously had consented to this abridgment. The editors consequently share the responsibility for the separate parts of the Commentary to the extent of their intervention, and they take this occasion to express to the authors appreciation for their generous co-operation.

An expression of gratitude is due the members of the Episcopal Committee of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine for their encouragement and support.

E. H. Donze, S. M.
L. Hartman, C. SS. R.
W. L. Newton
C. H. Pickar, O. S. A.
W. S. Reilly, S. S.