SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
9 Dec 2012
The word “bible” means “book.” Before the invention of the printing press, what we call the “Bible” was called the “Library” because each of the books was separate from the others, either as a codex, that is hand-scripted pages bound like a book, or a scroll. There must have been many synagogues and churches that could not afford or could not house such a large collection. So it would have been handy to have choice items from the Library collected in one book. Baruch is such a collection, a pastiche of stories and laws and prayers from here and there. Not having the standing of the originals, Baruch got relegated to the Apocrypha.
Paul wrote his letter to the Christians of Philippi while in prison. Scholars have shown through a close analysis of his words that he has already been tried and made his defense. He is waiting for the decision of the judges. I don’t always like what Paul says, but it speaks worlds for his character and sincerity that in a time of great anxiety he should write so loving a letter.