Differences with Other Canons
ISTM that up until the Second Vatican Council, the numbering of the Roman Catholic editions of the psalter was that of the Septuagint. I'm fairly sure the Vulgate and preconciliar prayerbooks list the Miserere as Psalm L. The shift in numbering is a reflection of the increased participation of Roman Catholics in critical textual scholarship, which was until the middle of the twentieth century dominated by Protestants. (I personally lament this and similar well-intentioned but confusing and misguided shifts in numbering the psalter by Orthodox Christians.)
- Any chance you could cite some sources for this? I'd be interested to see this -- I was unaware that the RCC had changed its numbering. The Coverdale and 1611 KJV Psalters (which, though Protestant, pre-date modern textual criticism) I have both have the Miserere mei as Psalm 51 (i.e., the MT numbering). This Douay-Rheims has it as 50, though. --Rdr. Andrew 21:50, 19 Jan 2005 (CST)
- The Coverdale and the KJV are going to follow Luther's mistake, if I may be so bold, because they arise from the Reformation. However, you are right to note that the Douay-Rheims has the traditional numbering. The part that textual criticism plays (for the recent change in Roman Catholic scholarship) is this: the premise that the Hebrew text (ie, the MT) is somehow normative because Judaism was primary and foundational for early Christianity. Again, this premise reflects the essentially Protestant origin of textual criticism.
- I must once again lament that my once magnificent library is a shell of its former glory, and most of what remains resides in my priest's study at my parish in Kentucky. Not very accessible for me in Connecticut. I'll see if I can rustle up a source or two. --Basil 20:47, 20 Jan 2005 (CST)
- *A pre-conciliar Lauds from the Roman Breviary (there is a translation of the entire text following; bottom of page) Note the use of Miserere numbered as 50.
- *1911 Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Psalter Includes a discussion of the numbering. It follows the Hebrew, though the Vulgate and Catholic liturgy of the time follow the traditional Septuagint numbering.
- These both confirm my statement about the preconciliar numbering and disconfirms my statement about when and how the shift was made. I'm sure I read it somewhere. Perhaps in the massive New Jerome Biblical Commentary ISBN 0138598363 (It's in the aforementioned priest's study.) It is also quite possible that I have the dates confused on when Roman Catholic scholars began to take a more active role in textual criticism.
- Regardless, I think the following would probably be accurate: Traditionally, Roman Catholics used the numbering of the Latin Vulgate, which follows the Septuagint. However, since the Second Vatican Council, Roman Catholic publications, including Catholic Bibles and liturgical texts, have used the numbering found in the Masoretic text.
- Before the Council, the Douay-Rheims was the only official English translation, and the Liturgy was in Latin, so it naturally followed the Vulgate numbering. --Basil 21:41, 20 Jan 2005 (CST)
- All very interesting. I incorporated the changes you suggested. In the future, my opinion is that you should feel free to go ahead and make the changes, and then note the reasons in the Talk page if you feel they might be unclear. If debate needs to occur, then it can proceed from there. --Rdr. Andrew 06:30, 21 Jan 2005 (CST)
- Normally, that would be my course of action, but sometimes I want to see where others are coming from first. Perhaps they are working from a source I'm unfamiliar with? OTOH, I'm still getting used to the wiki model in some ways. --Basil 20:41, 21 Jan 2005 (CST)
I think it is a bit much to say "the Masoretes were putting together their anti-Christian canon." It strikes me as an anti-Jewish remark! Textual revision reflected changes in Hebrew theology (e.g., the dramatic shift the Deuteronomic reform, the differing theologies of the First and Second Temples, etc.) and not simply an attack on Christian theology. --Fr Lev 08:11, May 12, 2007 (PDT)