St. Holbytla’s Monastery

Reading Tolkien in the Light of Faith

Archive for April 2009

J. R. R. Tolkien: a Principal Collaborator in the Jerusalem Bible

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THE JERUSALEM BIBLE

General Editor: Alexander Jones, L.S.S., S. T. L., I.C.B.

The list of all those who have helped in the preparation of this Bible is too long to be given in its entirety.  the principal collaborators in translation and literary revision were

  • Joseph Leo Alston
  • Flrence M. Bennett
  • Joseph Blenkinsopp
  • David Joseph Bourke
  • Douglas Carter
  • Aldhelm Dean, O.S.B.
  • Illtud Evans, O.P.
  • Kenelm Foster, O.P.
  • Ernest Graf, O.S.B.
  • Prospero Grech, O.S.A.
  • Edmund Hill, O.P.
  • Sylvester Houedard, O.S.B.
  • Leonard Johnston
  • Anthony J. Kenny
  • D. O. Lloyd James
  • James McAuley
  • Alan Neame
  • Hubert Richards
  • Edward Sackville-West
  • Ronald Senator
  • Walter Shewring
  • Robert Speaight
  • J. R. R. Tolkien
  • R. F. Trevett
  • Thomas Worden
  • John Wright
  • Basil Wrighton

***

Tolkien was asked to translate Judges and Jonah.  But he was only able to finish the latter.  See additional information at the Tolkien Wiki Community.

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Written by Quirino M. Sugon Jr

April 14, 2009 at 3:05 am

Palm Sunday: Aragon’s Triumphant Entry in Gondor

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I

Yesterday, Palm Sunday, we celebrated the triumphant entry of Christ in Jerusalem:

So they brought the colt to Jesus and put their cloaks over it. And he sat on it.  Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields.  Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mk 11: 7-11)

Jesus riding a colt recalls Solomon’s riding David’s mule:

Then King David summoned Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, son of Jehoiada. When they had entered the king’s presence, he said to them: “Take with you the royal attendants. Mount my son Solomon upon my own mule and escort him down to Gihon. There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet are to anoint him king of Israel, and you shall blow the horn and cry, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ When you come back in his train, he is to go in and sit upon my throne and reign in my place. I designate him ruler of Israel and of Judah.” (1 Kgs 1:32-35)

Thus, by riding on a colt, Jesus wants to show that he is truly the Messiah, the Son of David.  The line of kings of Judah have been cut off and the genealogical tree of Jesse had been reduced to a stump.  But as Isaiah had prophesied, Jesus is the shoot that sprout from the stump of Jesse, the bud that blossomed from its roots (Is 11:1).  And as the Angel Gabriel said to Mary, Jesus shall claim the throne of David his father, and his rule shall be everlasting:

Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.

II

Similarly, Aragorn is of the line of the kings of Gondor (see Appendix A of Return of the King p. 347), but this kingshop has long ended with Arvedui in 1975, and Aragorn was to establish it again more than a thousand years after.

After the defeat of Sauron, Aragorn entered Gondor:

So now there was a wide space before the walls of Minas Tirith, and it was hemmed in upon all sides by the knights and the soldiers of Gondor and of Rohan, and by the people of the City and of all parts of the land.  A hush fell upon all as out from the host stepped the Dunedain in silver and grey; and before them came walking slow the Lord Aragorn.  He was clad in black mail girt with silver, and he wore a long mantle of pure white clasped at the throat with a great jewel of green that shone from afar; but his head was bare save for a star upon his forehead bound by a slender fillet of silver.  With him were Eomer of Rohan, and the Prince Imrahil, and Gandalf robed all in white, and four small figures that many men marvelled to see. (Return of the King pp. 263-264)

And Faramir stood up and spoke in a clear voice:

Men of Gondor, hear now the Steward of this Realm!  Behold!  one has come to claim the kingship again at last.  Here is Aragorn son of Arathorn, chieftain of the Dunedain of Arnor, Captain of the Host of the West, bearer of the Star of the North, wielder of the Sword Reforged, victorious in battle, whose hands bring healing, the Elfstone, Elessar of the line of Valandil, Isildur’s son, Elendil’s son of Numenor.  Shall he be king and enter into the city and dwell there? (Return of the King pp. 264-265)

And all the host and all the people cried yea with one voice.