St Mark 3: 13-35

St Mark 3:

13 Et ascendens in montem vocavit ad se quos voluit ipse: et venerunt ad eum. 14 Et fecit ut essent duodecim cum illo: et ut mitteret eos prædicare. 15 Et dedit illis potestatem curandi infirmitates et ejiciendi dæmonia. 16 Et imposuit Simoni nomen Petrus: 17 et Jacobum Zebedæi, et Joannem fratrem Jacobi, et imposuit eis nomina Boanerges, quod est, Filii tonitrui: 18 et Andræam, et Philippum, et Bartholomæum, et Matthæum, et Thomam, et Jacobum Alphæi, et Thaddæum, et Simonem Cananæum, 19 et Judam Iscariotem, qui et tradidit illum.20 Et veniunt ad domum: et convenit iterum turba, ita ut non possent neque panem manducare. 21 Et cum audissent sui, exierunt tenere eum: dicebant enim: Quoniam in furorem versus est. 22 Et scribæ, qui ab Jerosolymis descenderant, dicebant: Quoniam Beelzebub habet, et quia in principe dæmoniorum ejicit dæmonia. 23 Et convocatis eis in parabolis dicebat illis: Quomodo potest Satanas Satanam ejicere? 24 Et si regnum in se dividatur, non potest regnum illud stare. 25 Et si domus super semetipsam dispertiatur, non potest domus illa stare. 26 Et si Satanas consurrexerit in semetipsum, dispertitus est, et non poterit stare, sed finem habet. 27 Nemo potest vasa fortis ingressus in domum diripere, nisi prius fortem alliget, et tunc domum ejus diripiet. 28 Amen dico vobis, quoniam omnia dimittentur filiis hominum peccata, et blasphemiæ quibus blasphemaverint: 29 qui autem blasphemaverit in Spiritum Sanctum, non habebit remissionem in æternum, sed reus erit æterni delicti. 30 Quoniam dicebant: Spiritum immundum habet. 31 Et veniunt mater ejus et fratres: et foris stantes miserunt ad eum vocantes eum, 32 et sedebat circa eum turba: et dicunt ei: Ecce mater tua et fratres tui foris quærunt te. 33 Et respondens eis, ait: Quæ est mater mea et fratres mei? 34 Et circumspiciens eos, qui in circuitu ejus sedebant, ait: Ecce mater mea et fratres mei. 35 Qui enim fecerit voluntatem Dei, hic frater meus, et soror mea, et mater est.

And going up into a mountain, he called unto him whom he would himself: and they came to him. [14] And he made that twelve should be with him, and that he might send them to preach. [15] And he gave them power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils. [16] And to Simon he gave the name Peter: [17] And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he named them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: [18] And Andrew and Philip, and Bartholomew and Matthew, and Thomas and James of Alpheus, and Thaddeus, and Simon the Cananean: [19] And Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. [20] And they come to a house, and the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. [21] And when his friends had heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him. For they said: He is become mad. [22] And the scribes who were come down from Jerusalem, said: He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of devils he casteth out devils. [23] And after he had called them together, he said to them in parables: How can Satan cast out Satan? [24] And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. [25] And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand [26] And if Satan be risen up against himself, he is divided, and cannot stand, but hath an end. [27] No man can enter into the house of a strong man and rob him of his goods, unless he first bind the strong man, and then shall he plunder his house. [28] Amen I say to you, that all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and the blasphemies wherewith they shall blaspheme: [29] But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, shall never have forgiveness, but shall be guilty of an everlasting sin. [30] Because they said: He hath an unclean spirit.[31] And his mother and his brethren came; and standing without, sent unto him, calling him. [32] And the multitude sat about him; and they say to him: Behold thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. [33] And answering them, he said: Who is my mother and my brethren? [34] And looking round about on them who sat about him, he saith: Behold my mother and my brethren. [35] For whosoever shall do the will of God, he is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

Commentary from de Lapide

On changing names:

And Simon He surnamed Peter. Several Greek codices prefix to these words, πρω̃τον Σίμων, first Peter. The rest omit them. The same thing is sufficiently gathered from the fact that Peter is here first named by Christ, and his name changed, so that he who was first called Simon, is afterwards called in Syriac Cephas, in Greek and Latin Petrus, that is, a rock, because he was to be made by Christ the rock and foundation of the Church.

And James the son of Zebedee (James is named first because he was the elder), and John the brother of James. And he called the Boanerges, which is, Sons of thunder. He saith not name, but names, because they were two. They were thunderers, thundering forth, as it were, Christ’s Gospel and doctrines.
Boanerges: so the Arabic, Egyptian, and Persian. The Ethiopic has Baanerges. This name is a corruption, for in Hebrew, or rather in Syriac, it would be Banerges or Bonerges, as it is found in certain MSS., as Franc. Lucas attests in his Notation. For the Syrians, like the Bavarians and the Westphalians, pronounce the vowel a like o, and e like a. For Semuel they say Samuel, and for bene, or sons, bane. It may be that Banerges has been changed into Boanerges by persons ignorantly supposing that boa signifies the sound of thunder.

Banerges, as Jansen observes, is a compound word, consisting of כני, bane, sons, and כנש, regesch, a roaring, i.e., of thunder. Thus Jupiter is called by the Greeks ύψιβρεμέτης, loftily roaring, i.e., thundering on high. The Syriac version has in this place bane reges, sons of thunder, instead of the Hebrew expression, bene raam. For Christ here spoke in the Syriac of that age. There is here, then, a metathesis or transposition of the letters r and e, banerges, instead of bane reges. A similar transposition is common in many languages, as Angelus Caninius shows (Hellen. p. 64). Thus, for καρδία the Greek poets say κραδίη, κρατερός for καρτερός; for νεϋρον the Latins say nervus; for άρπαξ, rapax; for μορφή, forma. Punic has gerac for άκρα, i.e., arx, a citadel. Etruscan has bigr, virgo, a virgin; darag, gradus, a step; elmara, mulier, a woman; cabbirim, cherubim, &c.

The meaning, then, is as follows: Christ called James and John by a new name, Banerges, Sons of thunder, because He charged them above the rest of the Apostles with the glorious preaching of His Gospel, that by the holiness of their lives and their miracles they might be like thunderbolts, and might, by the power of their voices, shake as with claps of thunder unbelievers and barbarians, and bring them to repentance and a holy life. This appears in the history of S. James. Because of his liberty and zeal in preaching, he was the first among the Apostles to incur the wrath of Herod and the Jews, by whom he was beheaded (Acts xii.). The same converted the Spaniards, and by their means the inhabitants of the East and West Indies, to the faith of Christ. John preached for a very long period, and very efficaciously. He was the last of the Apostles to depart this life, which he did after he had subdued Asia and other provinces to Christ by his preaching. Hence, also, his Gospel begins with divine thunder, as it were an eagle of God crying with a voice of thunder, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (S. Epiphanius, Hæres. 73). Wherefore, when he was writing his Gospel, there were lightnings and thunderings from heaven, like as it lightened from Mount Sinai when God gave the law to Moses. So Baronius shows from Metaphrastes (A.D. 99 in fin).
See what I have said on Ezek. i. 14, on the words, “They went like a flash of lightning,” where I have given a threefold meaning to the expression, Sons of thunder. Thus Pericles, as an orator, seemed, says Quintilian, not so much to speak as to thunder and lighten. Wherefore he was called by the poets the Olympian, that is, the heavenly.

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