Removing Anti-Jewish Polemic: from our Christian Lectionaries: A Proposal -- by Norman A. Beck
I. Defamatory Anti-Jewish Polemic in Christian Lectionaries
During the past few decades, increasing numbers of mature Christians who read and study the specifically Christian New Testament texts critically have become painfully aware of the supersessionistic and vicious, defamatory anti-Jewish polemic that is included in some of these texts. Although many Jews have been aware of these texts throughout the history of Christianity, most Christians have been insensitive to the nature of these texts and to the damage that these texts and the use of these texts have done to Jews throughout the history of Christianity and especially since the fourth century of the common era when mainline Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire.1
Our concern in this section of the present study is focused on the inclusion of these religiously racist defamatory anti-Jewish texts in our Christian lectionaries. We shall examine specific lectionaries here to document the extent of inclusion of defamatory anti-Jewish texts, focusing primarily on the so-called "historic pericopes" in the form in which they were used by the majority of Christians prior to 1969, in the Lectionary for Mass as it was used by Roman Catholic Christians during the mid-1980s, on the Lutheran adaptations of the Lectionary for Mass that are included in the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), and on the Revised Common Lectionary published by the Consultation on Common Texts in 1992.
The data base that will be used in this examination of these lectionaries will be the specific texts identified as most problematic in my two Mature Christianity books (see footnote) and particularly the texts relegated to small-print form with explanations in the prefaces and footnotes in my The New Testament: A New Translation and Redaction, Fairway Press (the academic subsidiary of CSS Publishing), Lima, Ohio, 2001. For the convenience of the reader of the present study, I am listing these most problematic texts here. They are present in six of the twenty-seven documents that comprise our New Testament. In addition, I have identified the instances in which all or portions of these texts are included in major lectionary series, according to the following code:
H The "Historic Pericopes"
M The Roman Catholic Lectionary for Mass as used during the 1980s
L Lutheran adaptations of the Lectionary for Mass, printed in the Lutheran Book of Worship
R The Revised Common Lectionary, 1992
In the seven letters written by the Apostle Paul and available to us as redacted by other early Christians after Paul had been killed by zealous advocates of Roman Civil Religion and in the six Pseudo-Pauline and Deutero-Pauline epistles, there are only four verses (1 Thessalonians 2:13-16) of virulent anti-Jewish polemic. These verses are a vicious condemnation of the Jews for killing the Lord Jesus and the prophets and a celebration of the suffering of the Jews now that the "wrath of God" has come upon them, almost certainly an interpolation into Paul's letter thirty years or more after the death of Paul, perhaps by the writer of the Acts of the Apostles or by some other early Christian influenced heavily by the Acts of the Apostles.
In the Gospel According to Mark, there are approximately 40 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish polemic. They are as follows:
MR 3:6 The Pharisees are said to have begun to plan to destroy Jesus
MLR 7:6-13 Condemnation of the Pharisees for rejecting the commandments 8:15 Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees
MLR 10:2-5 The Pharisees are said to be hard-hearted
14:55-65 The chief priests and council condemn Jesus as deserving death
MLR 15:1-15 The crowd demands that Jesus, not Barabbas, be crucified.
In the Gospel According to Matthew, there are approximately 80 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish polemic:
MLR 3:7c The Pharisees and Sadducees are called poisonous snakes
12:34a The Pharisees are called evil poisonous snakes
15:3-9 Condemnation of the Pharisees for rejecting the
15:12-14 The Pharisees are called blind guides leading the blind
16:6 Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees
19:3-9 The Pharisees are said to be hard-hearted
19:28 The disciples of Jesus will judge the twelve tribes of Israel
HMLR 22:18c The Pharisees are called hypocrites
23:13-36 The scribes and Pharisees are repeatedly vilified as hypocrites 23:38 The house of Jerusalem is to be forsaken and desolate
MLR 26:59-68 The chief priests and council condemn Jesus as deserving death
MLR 27:1-26 The people demand that Jesus, not Barabbas, be crucified
MLR 27:62-66 The chief priests and Pharisees request a guard at Jesus' tomb
LR 28:4 The guards tremble and become like dead when the angel appears
28:11-15 The chief priest bribe the guards to lie about their actions.
In the Gospel According to Luke, there are approximately 60 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish polemic:
LR 3:7c The multitudes are called poisonous snakes
MLR 4:28-30 The members of the synagogue in Nazareth try to kill Jesus
7:30 The Pharisees are said to have rejected the purposes of God
11:39-54 The Pharisees and Torah scholars are repeatedly condemned
12:1b Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy
13:14-17 The ruler of the synagogue is condemned as a hypocrite
LR 13:35a The house of Jerusalem is to be forsaken
LR 22:63-71 The chief priests and council condemn Jesus as deserving death
LR 23:1-25 The people demand that Jesus, not Barabbas, be crucified.
In the Gospel According to John, there are approximately 130 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish polemic:
5:16-18 The Jews are said to have persecuted Jesus and wanted to kill him
5:37b-47 It is said that God's word and God's love is not in the Jews
7:19-24 It is said that none of the Jews do (what is written in) the Torah
7:28d It is said that the Jews do not know the One who has sent Jesus
8:13-28 It is said that the Pharisees know neither Jesus nor the Father
H 8:37-59 The Jews are said to be descendants of their father, the Devil
MLR 9:13-41 The Pharisees and other Jews are condemned as guilty
MLR 10:8 The Jews are said to be thieves and robbers
10:10a The Jews are depicted as those who steal and kill and destroy
10:31-39 The Jews are said to have picked up stones to throw at Jesus
L 11:53 It is said that the Jews realized that they would have to kill Jesus
11:57 It is said that the chief priests and Pharisees wanted to seize Jesus
12:10 It is said that the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus and Jesus
12:36b-43 It is said that most Jews loved the praise of men more than of God
H 16:2-4 (The Jews who) kill Jesus' disciples will think they are serving God
HMLR 18:28-32 The Jews are said to have demanded that Pilate sentence Jesus to death
HMLR 18:38b-40 The Jews are said to be demanding that Jesus, not Barabbas, be crucified
HMLR 19:4-16 The Jews are depicted as insisting to Pilate that Jesus be crucified.
In the Acts of the Apostles there are approximately 140 verses of defamatory anti-Jewish polemic, included in 20 of the 28 chapters of that document:
MLR 2:23b Peter tells the men of Israel that they crucified Jesus
MLR 2:36b Again Peter tells the men of Israel that they crucified Jesus
MLR 3:13b-15a Peter tells the men of Israel that they killed the originator of life
MLR 4:10a Again Peter tells the men of Israel that they killed Jesus
MLR 5:30b Peter tells the members of the Jewish council that they killed Jesus
6:11-14 Some Jews are said to have brought false accusations against Stephen
MLR 7:51-60 Stephen shown as condemning the Jews for betraying and killing Jesus
LR 9:1-2 Paul is depicted as planning the arrest of disciples of Jesus
9:23-25 Jews are said to have plotted to kill Paul
9:29b Jewish Hellenists are also said to have tried to kill Paul
12:1-3a It is said that the Jews were pleased when Herod killed James
12:3b-4 Herod is said to have seized Peter also to please the Jews
12:11 Peter is said to have realized that the Jews wanted to kill him
13:10-11 Paul is said to have condemned the Jew Elymas as a son of the Devil
L 13:28-29a It is said that the Jews had asked Pilate to crucify Jesus
13:39d It is said that Jews cannot be forgiven by means of the Torah
ML 13:45-46 Jews are said to have spoken against Paul
ML 13:50-51 Jews are said to have encouraged persecution of Paul and Barnabas
14:1-6 Many Jews opposing Paul and Barnabas and attempting to stone them
14:19-20 Jews are said to have stoned Paul, thinking that they had killed him
L 17:5-9 Jews are said to have incited a riot, looking for Paul and Silas
L 17:13 Jews are said to have stirred up turmoil against Paul
18:6 Paul said to have told the Jews, "Your blood will be on your own heads!"
18:12-17 Jews are said to have brought accusations against Paul
19:13-19 Jewish exorcists are shown to be condemned
21:27-36 Jews are depicted as seizing Paul and as trying to kill him
22:4-5 Paul says that when he was a Jew he had persecuted Christians
23:2-5 Paul is said to have condemned the chief priest for striking Paul
23:12-22 Jews are said to have plotted to eat nothing until they kill Paul
23:27-30 Paul is said to have been nearly killed by the Jews
24:9 The Jews are said to have accused Paul of many crimes
25:2-5 Jews are said to have plotted to kill Paul
25:7-11 Jews are said to have continued to bring accusations against Paul
25:15-21 Jews are said to have spoken repeatedly against Paul
25:24 All Jews are said to have shouted that Paul must be killed
26:21 The Jews are said to have seized Paul and tried to kill him
28:25-28 Paul is said to have condemned the Jews for never understanding God.
A few observations may be helpful here in our analysis of the data provided above. By my calculations, the "historic pericopes" utilized approximately 4% of the Bible each year. Six "historic pericopes" texts include defamatory anti-Jewish polemic. Three of these six are in the passion account in the Gospel According to John read each year during the Good Friday services. The other three are in the question about paying taxes to Caesar text in Matthew 22:15-22, the John 8:46-59 discourse of disputation with the Jews, and the John 15:26--16:4 farewell discourse of the Johannine Jesus with his disciples. Fortunately, the John 8:46-59 discourse did not include the most severe condemnation in John 8:44, "You are descended from your father, the Devil!" The most problematic of the "historic pericope" texts are the use of the passion account in John and the John 8:46-59 discourse. It is noteworthy that the most problematic texts in the "historic pericopes" are from the Gospel According to John, a favorite within the "historic pericopes," as the selection of the Johannine form of the passion account indicates. Nevertheless, we can say that the "historic pericope" tradition did not deliberately select blatantly anti-Jewish texts. The tradition was not sensitive regarding this issue, but there was no attempt to select large numbers of defamatory anti-Jewish texts. Neither was there any special effort to avoid their use.
The Lectionary for Mass utilizes approximately 16% of the Bible over its three-year cycle of readings, including, of course, selections from the Earlier Testament. (If the selections chosen for saints' days and other festival observances are included, the percentage is somewhat larger than 16%. The Lectionary for Mass selections for saints' days and other festival observances are not included in the data above, however, because of the considerable diversity in the inclusion and use of these special observances within the various lectionary series.) Since there are approximately four times the text content in the Lectionary for Mass compared to the "historic pericopes," we might expect that there would be a larger number of blatantly anti-Jewish selections in the Lectionary for Mass than in the "historic pericopes," though not more than three times as many, since the Lectionary for Mass includes in each instance selections from the Earlier Testament. Also, we might expect that since the Second Vatican Council had approved Nostra Aetate, the Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, the Roman Catholic liturgical specialists who developed the Lectionary for Mass might have been sensitive to the issue of inclusion of defamatory anti-Jewish texts and avoided such texts in their selections.
We see, however, that compared to the six selections that are blatantly anti-Jewish in the "historic pericopes," there are twenty-three in the Lectionary for Mass. The only defamatory anti-Jewish texts that are in the "historic pericopes" that are not in the Lectionary for Mass are the John 8:46-59 and John 15:26--16:4 selections. There are 19 selections that are blatantly anti-Jewish in the Lectionary for Mass that were not in the "historic pericopes." The liturgical specialists who developed the Lectionary for Mass obviously did not apply the principles and the spirit of Nostra Aetate to their process of lectionary formation. They were particularly insensitive in their selections of virulently anti-Jewish texts from the Acts of the Apostles document, which they used instead of texts from the Earlier Testament all three years during the critically important Easter Season.
The Lutheran liturgists and the liturgists within the other Christian denominations who became interested in the Lectionary for Mass and in adopting it with modifications for their own use apparently had no concerns about the expanded use of defamatory anti-Jewish texts (twenty-three in the Lectionary for Mass compared to six in the "historic pericopes") either. In fact, the liturgists from my own Lutheran tradition added ten more viciously and blatantly anti-Jewish selections in the Lutheran three-year lectionary, as can be seen above. In only one instance, Mark 3:6, the Lutheran liturgists avoided an anti-Jewish text by using Mark 2:23-28 instead of the Mark 2:23-3:6 text of the Lectionary for Mass. In ten instances, our Lutheran liturgists made our Lutheran lectionary more anti-Jewish than the Roman Catholic Lectionary for Mass, as I noted in each instance in my three books of comments on the Common, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic lectionaries published by CSS Publishing, Lima, Ohio, more than fifteen years ago (Scripture Notes B (1984), Scripture Notes C (1985), and Scripture Notes A (1986)). For example, in commenting on the extension of the John 11:1-45 Lectionary for Mass to John 11:1-53 in the Lent 5, Series A selection, I noted that "Unlike the Common and Roman Catholic selections, which end on the positive note of many of the Jews who were friends of Mary believing in Jesus (11:45), the Lutheran pericope continues through 11:53 with its suggestion that leaders from among Jesus' own people plotted his death . . . . This tendency of the Lutheran selections to be more anti-Jewish than the Common and Roman Catholic texts must be noted and opposed each time that it is encountered" (Scripture Notes A, p. 77). Were our Lutheran liturgists more anti-Jewish than were their Roman Catholic counterparts, or were they merely even less sensitive to this issue? Regardless of how that question may be answered, the Lutheran lectionary that we used for more than 20 of the past 30 years is the most anti-Jewish of the three-year lectionaries that I have examined in this study.
Soon after the publication of the Lectionary for Mass, leaders among the Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Disciples of Christ, and the United Church of Christ in the U.S.A. became interested in the Roman Catholic Lectionary. Like the Lutherans, leaders in these groups replaced all of the texts in the Lectionary for Mass that were selected from what these groups consider to be Earlier Testament Apocrypha. Many of the leaders in these groups, with less emphasis on Services focusing on the Sacraments of the Church than was primary for Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, and Lutherans, and correspondingly more emphasis on Services of the Word, were also interested in using more continuous and semi-continuous readings within the selections from the Epistles and from the Earlier Testament, in order to encourage the study of individual books of the Bible. In doing this, they selected some continuous and semi-continuous readings of texts used during the Sundays after the Epiphany and after Pentecost.
Since there were significant variations in the lectionaries produced and used within these groups during the 1970s and early 1980s, the Consultation on Common Texts established the North American Committee on Calendar and Lectionary to study the lectionaries being used and to recommend a lectionary to be used "in common" by as many denominations as possible. Although Lutheran and Roman Catholic liturgists participated in this process, the Common Lectionary (New York: The Church Hymnal Corporation, 1983) published by this Committee was not utilized by the Lutherans or by the Roman Catholic Church.
II. Lectionary Revision as a Means of Repudiation of Defamatory Anti-Jewish Polemic in our New Testament Texts
After the Common Lectionary had been used for two three-year cycles, the Consultation on Common Texts appointed a task force in which fourteen representatives from many denominations participated and which developed and published the Revised Common Lectionary in 1992. In regard to the issue of defamatory anti-Jewish polemic in our lectionaries, it is claimed in "The Story of the Common Lectionary" section of the Revised Common Lectionary (pp. 78-79) that "the Revised Common Lectionary has paid attention to the tragic history of the abuse of biblical materials to support Christian anti-Semitism," and that "The need to avoid such abuse is one of the basic principles of this lectionary."
There are various ways in which such abuse can be avoided. One is to decrease or eliminate the "typological" use of Earlier Testament texts that is a significant feature of the Lectionary for Mass. In the "typological" use, the Earlier Testament text is selected with little regard for its meanings in its own context and is "paired" with a text from the Four Gospels, frequently as a "prophecy" that is "fulfilled" in a sense in the New Testament, rather than reading and proclaiming the messages from the Earlier Testament texts within their own contexts. The Common Lectionary began and the Revised Common Lectionary continued a process of decreasing the "typological" use by providing continuous and semi-continuous readings of Earlier Testament texts as basic texts or as alternate readings. This is significant for the integrity of Christianity and is a positive factor in Jewish-Christian relations. The "typological" use of Earlier Testament texts, however, is not eliminated in the Revised Common Lectionary.
The second way in which such abuse can be avoided is by replacing the texts in our lectionaries in which Jews are defamed and vilified as "hypocrites," "children of the Devil," "Christ-killers," etc. with far more appropriate and edifying texts from the New Testament. Even though the task force that produced the Revised Common Lectionary was aware of "the tragic history of the abuse of biblical materials to support Christian anti-Semitism," there was not much reduction of the use of the defamatory anti-Jewish texts in the Revised Common Lectionary. In the use of texts from the Four Gospels and in every text from the Acts of the Apostles except Acts 13:45-46 and 13:50-51, all of the defamatory anti-Jewish texts utilized in the Lectionary for Mass were maintained in the Revised Common Lectionary, as my analysis printed above indicates. Even where the Lutheran adaptation had used only Mark 2:23-28 rather than 2:23--3:6, avoiding the defamatory Mark 3:6, the Revised Common Lectionary retained the Lectionary for Mass reading. Among the defamatory texts that the Lutheran adaptation of Lectionary for Mass added, only John 11:53, Acts 13:28-29a, 17:5-9, and 17:13 were not used. Therefore, when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America chose to use the Revised Common Lectionary after its publication in 1992, we added the defamatory anti-Jewish text Mark 3:6 and deleted the defamatory anti-Jewish texts John 11:53, and Acts 13:28-29a, 17:5-9, and 17:13, only a slight net gain. The task force that produced the Revised Common Lectionary missed an excellent opportunity to reduce significantly or to replace entirely the defamatory anti-Jewish texts that are in our three-year lectionary.
Another excellent opportunity to reduce or replace the defamatory anti-Jewish texts in our three-year lectionary was missed when the liturgists of the Roman Catholic Church produced and published in 1998 a revised edition of Lectionary for Mass for use in the Dioceses of the United States (Second Typical Edition, copyright 1998, 1997, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.) (www.usccb.org
, July 2, 2001). There are no significant changes in the texts in this revised edition of Lectionary for Mass and none that reduce or eliminate defamatory anti-Jewish texts.
To date, therefore, there are no indications that revisions of Lectionary for Mass or of the adaptations of Lectionary for Mass by the churches participating in the production and use of the Revised Common Lectionary that will significantly reduce or eliminate the defamatory anti-Jewish texts from our three-year lectionaries are occurring in the U.S.A. Nevertheless, for the integrity of Christianity and of Christian corporate worship only a major revision of our lectionaries that significantly reduces and preferably eliminates the defamatory texts will be adequate.
III. The Case for a New Four-Year Christian Lectionary for the Third Millennium
Since no significant revisions of the Lectionary for Mass or of the Revised Common Lectionary are occurring, I suggest that alternative steps should be taken. We have used one-year lectionaries for many centuries. We have used three-year lectionaries for many decades. We should now develop and use a four-year lectionary in the new millennium. There would be many advantages in the development and use of a four-year lectionary.
The first advantage would be that larger portions of the Christian Bible would be read in our worship services and more texts would be explicated in our sermons and homilies. As indicated above, by using our three-year lectionaries we read within our once-a-week Services approximately 16% of the Bible in our three-year cycle of lections. A four-year Christian lectionary with approximately the same length readings will include more than 20% of the Bible.
The second advantage would be that those of us who prepare and provide sermons and homilies and aids to worship would be challenged to develop new sermons and homilies and new aids to worship.
The third advantage would be that much greater clarity would result from the use of readings from the Gospel According to Mark one year and of readings from the Gospel According to John a different year. In our Sunday Services during Year B in our three-year lectionaries we currently use texts from Mark 29 times, from John 20 times, and from Luke 3 times. (The usage varies somewhat from year to year because of the changing dates for Easter and the effect of this on our calendar.) Currently, there are approximately 14 "turnovers" of texts from one Gospel to another during Year B. We read texts from John one Sunday during Advent, during much of the Lenten Season, most of the Easter Season, and for five Sundays in a row from late July until late August. Neither the Gospel According to Mark nor the Gospel According to John is ever given appropriate attention.
The fourth advantage would be that we could use the Four Gospels in the most probable sequence of their development (basically Mark, Matthew, Luke, John) rather than in the jumbled sequence (Matthew, Mark-John, Luke) of our three-year lectionaries. This would help us to see and to present much of the theological development within early Christianity of Christology, of movement of interest from the Jesus of history to the Christ of faith, and of separation of early followers of Jesus from Jewish life and practice. Education and understanding of the development of our religion would be further enhanced if texts selected from the Earlier Testament followed sequential development from Torah texts to texts from the Prophetic Tradition and then from the Writings and if texts from the Epistles followed sequential development also from the seven basic letters written by Paul to the Pseudo-Pauline and Deutero-Pauline Epistles and then to the so-called Catholic Epistles.
The fifth advantage and the one with the greatest significance for the integrity of Christianity and for Jewish-Christian relations would be that a new four-year lectionary could and should present the Earlier Testament as Sacred Scripture for Jews and for Christians, theological reflections over experiences and events and expressions of faith in the one God, and not primarily as "prophecies" to be "fulfilled." Texts that defame and stereotype Jews as "hypocrites," "children of the Devil," "Christ-killers," etc. could and should be entirely avoided. Such texts can be avoided. There are many other texts that are "Christ-centered" and very edifying that are not included in our three-year lectionary.
IV. A Four-year Christian Lectionary Model in which Defamatory Anti-Jewish Texts Are Not Used
In order to show that it is possible to develop a four-year lectionary that maintains the contexts of the Earlier Testament readings and entirely avoids texts from the Four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles that defame and stereotype Jews as "hypocrites," "children of the Devil," and "Christ-killers," I have prepared such a lectionary to provide a model for others. I have included this new four-year lectionary as an appendix on pages 622-681 of my The New Testament: a New Translation and Redaction, Fairway Press (the academic subsidiary of CSS Publishing), Lima, Ohio, 2001. I have designated a unifying theme for each Sunday, as well as an identifying statement for each text. The following is a sample from this work, from page 624.
Season of Advent
First Sunday of Advent — Theme: "Beginnings"
Genesis 1:1--2:4a The cosmic creation story in which God instituted the Sabbath
Psalm 1 Blessed are those who do what is right
1 Thessalonians 1 Paul's thanksgiving to God for the Thessalonians
Mark 1:1 The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Second Sunday of Advent — Theme: "Prepare the Way for the Lord"
Genesis 2:4b-25 The Israelite folk creation story in which God instituted monogamous marriage
Psalm 3 Arise, O Lord! Deliver me!
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 Paul and other Christian leaders, as gentle as a mother nursing her child
Mark 1:2-3 Prepare the way of the Lord
Third Sunday of Advent — Theme: "Our Need for Forgiveness"
Genesis 3:1-13 Eating the forbidden fruit
Psalm 4 The LORD hears when I call
1 Thessalonians 2:9-12 Paul and other Christian leaders, as caring as a father encouraging his children
Mark 1:4-5 John's baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins
Fourth Sunday of Advent — Theme: "The Coming of the Lord"
Genesis 3:14-19 An etiology for pain and toil
Psalm 5 O LORD, hear my cry
1 Thessalonians 2:17-20 You are our hope and joy at the coming of our Lord Jesus
Mark 1:6-8 After me comes one who is mightier than I.
In this lectionary, as is indicated even in this brief sample, I use texts in semi-continuous sequence from Genesis, Psalms, Paul's earliest letters (1 Thessalonians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians), and the Gospel According to Mark during Year 1. During Year 2, I use texts from Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Galatians, Romans 1-11, and the Gospel According to Matthew. For the Sundays during Year 3, there are texts from 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah 1-39, Jeremiah, Psalms, Romans 12-16, Philemon, Philippians, 2 Thessalonians, Colossians, Ephesians, and the Gospel According to Luke. Finally, within Year 4 we have selections from Isaiah 40-66, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Joel, Ruth, Jonah, Habakkuk, Job, Proverbs, Nehemiah, Malachi, Psalms, 1-3 John, Revelation, Acts, Hebrews, James, Jude, 1-2 Peter, and the Gospel According to John. There is no repetition in the use of texts, except for the use of material from the Psalms.
The lack of infancy of Jesus stories and of resurrection appearance stories in the Gospel According to Mark is not an insurmountable barrier in the production of a four-year lectionary. Where there are limited texts from the Gospel According to Mark for use during Advent, I have short selections from Mark 1:1-8 with longer readings from Genesis 1-3, as can be seen above. For Easter evening through Easter 7 in Year 1, I use selections from the longer and shorter endings provided in later manuscripts of Mark rather than making selections from the other canonical Gospels, and for Christmas Eve during Years 1, 2, and 4, I offer the use also if desired of Luke 2:1-20. It was not difficult to select appropriate and edifying texts from Mark and from John for two separate and complete.
(All the rest here)