Tuesday, 4 March 2014

St Matthew 27: 62-65

The Latin, Greek and English translations of St Matthew 27 can be found here.  It covers the events  of Jesus trial and crucifixion.

The chapter concludes with the Jewish authorities being concerned over the possibility of  deceit over the resurrection:

62 Altera autem die, quæ est post Parasceven, convenerunt principes sacerdotum et pharisæi ad Pilatum, 63 dicentes: Domine, recordati sumus, quia seductor ille dixit adhuc vivens: Post tres dies resurgam. 64 Jube ergo custodiri sepulchrum usque in diem tertium: ne forte veniant discipuli ejus, et furentur eum, et dicant plebi: Surrexit a mortuis: et erit novissimus error pejor priore. 65 Ait illis Pilatus: Habetis custodiam, ite, custodite sicut scitis. 66 Illi autem abeuntes, munierunt sepulchrum, signantes lapidem, cum custodibus.

"62 Next day, the next after the day of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered in Pilate’s presence, 63 and said, Sir, we have recalled it to memory that this deceiver, while he yet lived, said, I am to rise again after three days. 64 Give orders, then, that his tomb shall be securely guarded until the third day; or perhaps his disciples will come and steal him away. If they should then say to the people, He has risen from the dead, this last deceit will be more dangerous than the old. 65 Pilate said to them, You have guards; away with you, make it secure as you best know how. 66 And they went and made the tomb secure, putting a seal on the stone and setting a guard over it." (Knox translation)

The Catena Aurea comments:

HILARY; Their fear lest the body should be stolen, the setting a watch on the tomb, and sealing it, are marks of folly and unbelief, that they should have sought to seal up the tomb of One at whose bidding they had seen a dead man raised from the tomb. 

RABAN. When they say, And the last error will be worse than the first, they utter a truth unwittingly, for their contempt of penitence was worse for the Jews than was their error of ignorance. 

CHRYS. Observe how against their will they concert to demonstrate the truth, for by their precautions irrefragable demonstration of the resurrection was attained. The sepulcher was watched, and so no fraud could have been practiced; and if there was no collusion, it is certain that the Lord rose again. 

RABAN. Pilate's answer to their request is as much as to say, Be it enough for you that you have conspired the death of an innocent man, henceforth let your error remain with you. 

CHRYS. Pilate will not suffer that the soldiers alone should seal. But as though he had learnt the truth concerning Christ, he was no longer willing to be partner in their acts, and says, Seal it as you will yourselves, that you may not be able to accuse others. For had the soldiers alone sealed, they might have said that the soldiers had suffered the disciples to steal the body, and so given the disciples a handle to forge a tale concerning the resurrection; but this could they not say now, when they themselves had sealed the sepulcher.


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