Does the Orthodox Lectionary Subvert the Gospel? The Pericope of the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen (Matt 21:36–46) (Nicolae Roddy) 65
• N I C O L A E R O D D Y • Does the Orthodox Lectionary Subvert the Gospel? The Pericope of the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen (Matt 21:36–46)1 s an Eastern Orthodox scholar of the Hebrew Bible, faithful to both Church and conscience, every year on the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, I stand in the Divine Liturgy of my local parish and listen to a Gospel pericope from the Pentacostarion that is abruptly truncated. The interruption of the pericope is not all that noticeable to most worshipers and would not necessarily be a problem in and of itself, but I wish to argue that the absence of these lines has serious implications for the hearers in understanding the role of Jesus Christ in the parable, in the gospel overall, and most importantly in shaping attitudes of Orthodox laity throughout the centuries. This paper examines the theological and social implications of this truncated reading and pleads for the restoration of these key verses (44–46) to the Orthodox lectionary for the greater spiritual well-being of the Church and authenticity to her own Scripture. As a human construct it seems appropriate to question certain instances in which a particular lectionary reading might actually be counterproductive to the life of the Spirit, which the Orthodox Church seeks to preserve. As such a case, the present paper examines the Matthean pericope of the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen (Matt 21:33–46 // Mark 12:1–12 // Luke...
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