Like many fellow Catholics, my knowledge of Scripture is dreadfully inadequate. After attending Catholic parochial schools for 13 years (kindergarten – 12 grade) I never owned a Bible. The only exposure I had to the Bible, before adulthood, was a massive Family Bible given to my parents at their Wedding. I never read it, but I loved to flip through the pages and look at the beautiful reproductions of religious paintings by the Masters. From that point onward, my religiosity was always image based.
The following Bible passage, I just recently came across. Wish I would have known about it when I was writing my book; God willing there will be a second edition:
And Jesus rebuked him, and the devil went out of him, and the child was cured from that hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus secretly, and said: Why could not we cast him out? Jesus said to them: Because of your unbelief. For, amen I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove from hence hither, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you. But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17: 19-21)
I found this extraordinary, as I never knew Jesus said it. In my book, I write about how I was inexplicably drawn to fasting after my escape from the world of porn. I had no experience with the practice, but it felt so natural. I loved it. Fasting completely transported my mind, body and soul. I felt lifted from the mundane lusts of sex and debauchery. The pains of hunger, always brought me back to my squalid mortality. How I was subject the the strains and needs of the body. But also how I could overcome these base urges by simply denying myself what I wanted. It felt good. I felt in control. I no longer sensed a looming prevalence of doom; of being unable to withstand temptation.
Mysteriously, when I was a would-be porn star and Art History student at UC Berkeley, I was strangely drawn to the work of Spanish artist El Greco. His paintings of emaciated Saints were so graceful and injected with a consciousness of the Sacred. It was otherworldly. So different from the soiled and profane world that I existed in. It was my soul’s deepest longing to escape the universe in which I had buried myself.
JS, this is an interesting pericope you have provided. I looked it up on Bible Gateway and it says verse 21 is an addition/interpolation of Mark 9:29. Check it out at biblegateway.com (I used the Lexham bible since it is the latest).
Matthew 17:21 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Mark 9:29
I wonder why that happened? Probably a question for the Bible Geek (I'll ask him soon).
Thanks. I use the Douay Rheims Bible a lot. I like that it has not been subject to a lot of pc-ism or gender-isms.
In response to a question on Facebook:
I am the world's worst Bible scholar, but I will go back to the Navarre commentary on Mark 9:28-29 – “In teaching the apostles how to expel a spirit as evil as this he is teaching all of us how we should live, and telling us that prayer is the resource we should use to overcome the severest temptations, whether they come from unclean spirits or from men. Prayer does not consist only in the words we use to invoke God's clemency but also in everything we do, out of faith, as homage to God.”
Hope that helps. Perhaps, here, Jesus was seeing that the Apostles were merely throwing His name around as they tried to heal, but had lost Faith. In other words, they were going through the motions, but not believing.
Hi Bunto Skiffler. This is T. W. May God give us His wisdom and bless our understanding.
I want to answer the question “Why Matthew 17:21 has been omitted in many Bible Translations?” I hope to discuss that Scripture. You said this question may be best answer by a Bible scholar. While I have not been to seminary, I did my research because I like to research and I care. In case you were wondering, Matthew 17:21 exists in the Hebrew Bible which you can see here: https://mod.hebrewtanakh.com/matthew/17.htm
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The simple answer to your question is Satan does not want you to have God’s complete unadulterated word. I know this answer will not satisfy some and God’s word also says to let two or three witnesses establish a matter. Here is your answer:
Many of the newer Bible translations are based on the Alexandrian Egypt Bible. This includes the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts. I want to point out these manuscripts contradict each other. God says his word does not do that. The King James and some others are based on the Antiochian Bible. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate & the Syrian Peshetto were not used.
List of Bible Versions Not Found in Modern Translations:
Where Did the King James Bible Come From? https://www.chick.com/information/bibleversions/articles/kingjamesbible.asp
Let’s Weigh the Evidence by Barry Burton. Information about the book here: https://www.chick.com/catalog/books/0184.asp
The Bible Answer Book, A Helpbook for Christians by Dr. Samuel C. Gipp. Th. D. Question 13 Available Online: https://www.chick.com/reading/books/158/158_13.asp
The Bible Answer Book, A Helpbook for Christians by Dr. Samuel C. Gipp. Th. D. Question 8 Available Online: https://www.chick.com/reading/books/158/158_08.asp
Hi. I researched some Bible commentaries concerning Matthew 17:21. Not all of them agree. That is okay, these people are giving answers based their own research. Commentaries are not the word of God. I like what Brother Joseph had to say (“they were throwing his name around but not believing”). Some commentaries agree with him as well.
In your original post you said you were drawn to fasting after you left the world of porn. This was no accident. I found this while researching Matthew 17:21, “It is not much unlike this, which is said, By reason of an evil spirit a singular or religious man may afflict himself with fastings (A Commentary on the New Testament From the Talmud and Hebraica by John Lightfoot).”
Available online at: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/lightfoot-new-testament/matthew/17.html
Pastor Andrew Wommack had the same thoughts on Matthew 17:21. He said the disciples were to fast and to pray in order to overcome their disbelief, not drive to drive out the demons. The name of Jesus and faith in his name drives them out. T. W.
Read the entire commentary on this verse at https://www.awmi.net/bible/mat_17_21
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According to the commentary on Matthew 17:21 provided by BibleStudyTools.com, the nine disciples who were not with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration were partying with others instead of praying to God and asking him to work through them.
View here in entirety:
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You can see what 8 different commentaries had to say about this verse by going here (Bible Suite by Biblos):
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Access to 16 commentaries:
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Access to more commentaries (could not count the sources):
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Warning on use of and reliance on commentaries:
Charles H. Spurgeon, Commenting and Commentaries: Two Lectures Addressed to the students of The Pastors’ College, Metropolitan Tabernacle, by C. H. Spurgeon, President. London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1890.
Available online: https://www.bible-researcher.com/commentaries1.html
All good stuff for a youtube viddie JS.