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Synoptics and St. Joseph

{ Tags: , , \ Jan25 }

It is interesting how the search engine in this site has been used since it was added some time ago. Some type in key words, but others write whole phrases and even questions. There was a time when I had to learn how to use phrases like “Augustine + Hippo” to come up with satisfying results from Yahoo or Google. I find the way people make their searches helpful for me. It gives me some idea of how people are accessing my site and what expectations they have from the data I have been accumulating these past few years.

So what can we say about the word “synoptics”?. I guess the search was made by a Theology 102 student (it is after all the second semester!) who heard the word uttered for the first time by a religion teacher who has either worked as a catechist or is an ex-seminarian. The word is usually used to refer to the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke. They are called “synoptic gospels” because they can be put side-by-side and read with “one glance” (the greek etymology of syn, “with” and a derivative of “optomai”, “to see” that is similar to the origin of “optics” “optical”). A sample of how this is done is illustrated by the table below showing how the three gospels mentioned above depict the Baptism of Jesus. How such a table is useful for the study of those texts is illustrated in this article from Otium Sanctum.

And the patron protector of fathers? St. Joseph, of course! Here are two articles about him from the WikiPedia and the Catholic Encyclopedia John Paul II wrote an apostolic letter about him called “Redemptoris Custos”, the “Guardian of the Redeemer”.

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