This is a painting by Pieter Brueghel II from 1616, entitled the “The Bad Shepherd.”  The wolf has arrived and is devouring the flock…and the shepherd is in retreat.  Not good.

With the wolves of post-modernism and feminism attacking the flock, a new translation of the Bible (The New American Bible) was adopted by the Church that began to make use of increased gender-neutral language.  Rather that translate the Holy Scripture accurately, in some cases Scripture was “post-modernized”, deliberately altered in its meaning to cater to post-modern sensibilities.  The New American Bible is the official liturgical scripture of the U.S. Church.

In some places, the NAB denigrates royal patrimony, the role of men, sonship and confuses the meaning of Scripture, in an attempt to appease feminists (both women and feminist priests) and those who wish to do away with gender differences.

Here is an example.  Consider today’s Scripture from the New Amercian Bible (Matt 17:22-27):

As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were overwhelmed with grief.

When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes,” he said.

When he came into the house, before he had time to speak, Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax? From their subjects or from foreigners?”  When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the subjects are exempt. But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.

Now, let’s look at the Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition, an accurate translation loyal to what is actually written in the original Greek manuscripts, for Matt 17:22-27:

As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed.

When they came to Caper’na-um, the collectors of the half-shekel tax went up to Peter and said, “Does not your teacher pay the tax?” He said, “Yes.”

And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from others?”  And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free.  However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook, and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel; take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”

Now some might say that the NAB translation change is no big deal.  It is.

Here is a critique of the passage from the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture series by the highly respected scholars, Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri:

“Jesus responds with an analogy about the kings of the earth and their taxation practices.  The meaning of this analogy is obscured by the NAB translation that presents Jesus as contrasting how kings collect taxes from foreigners, but not from their subjects.  However, the Greek words that the NAB translates “from foreigners” more literally means “from others,” while the Greek word translated in the NAB as “subjects” actually means “sons.”  Hence, the contrast is not between foreigners and the king’s own citizens, but between others and the king’s own sons.  The point is that while kings collect tolls and taxes from others, that is, from their own people or other nations they rule, no king taxes his own royal sons.  The sons of the king are exempt.  The king in the analogy represents God: Jesus as God’s Son (3:17; 17:9) is the Son of the King.   Just as the royal sons in a secular kingdom are exempt from paying the king’s taxes, so too Jesus, as God’s Son, is free from paying a tax for God’s house, the temple.”

What can we draw from this?:

  • Rather than presenting what is the faithful translation of Scripture, there are some Bishops who have allowed Scripture to be modified to fit a politically-correct agenda to be more “inclusive” and gender-neutral.
  • To accommodate this post-modern insensibility, there has been confusion sown because the meaning is obscured.  Get this:  the meaning has been deliberately changed to the point of confusion…all to fit a “gender-neutral” ideology.
  • Jesus, Himself, is denigrated in the NAB translation; He is not a “subject”, He is the the Only Son of God, the Son of the Father; not some subject.
  • So too, Christ followers are not simply “subjects”, they are the sons of God.  Jesus purposefully creates a miracle in which a coin is found in the fish that pays the Temple tax for both Jesus and Peter.  Peter is to be considered a “son of the king”.  So too for all men today.
  • The Church has abandoned Christ’s own words that underscore kingship, patrimony, royal sonship and the masculine role of men as sons.  Jesus Christ intends for His disciples to consider themselves as “sons of the king”, as leaders in the new Kingdom.

Jesus Christ in His Divine Wisdom, knows men’s hearts and what converts them.  Jesus speaks to men, as men, with Divine Perfection.  His words and approach should not be modified for any reason, for when Jesus’s own words are obscured, the world returns to chaos.

Why have the “sons” (e.g. the men) of the Catholic Church wandered away to be devoured by the wolves of the world?  One reason that there is a “man-crisis” in the Catholic Church is that there are some Bad Shepherds in the Church who have run away from Christ’s own words, feminizing Scripture.

Jesus preached words that appealed to the needs of men’s hearts and minds.  He didn’t make a mistake.  And no bishop, or group of bishops, no matter how well-intentioned, should corrupt the words of God Himself, for chaos will ensure.

Catholic men:  Use the RSV-CE to get the true meaning of Christ’s words.  Pray for our Bishops, that they might not retreat like Bad Shepherds from the attacks of the post-modern wolves of gender-neutrality.