The Torah Sedarim of the
and their relation to Mark's divisions in Codex Vaticanus
Go to Index or Mark
and the Triennial Lectionary Luke and the Torah
or How I got started on the Jewish Calendar and Lectionary
This table attempts to lay out the Torah sedarim of the triennial lectionary of Palestinian origin that appears to lie behind Mark's Gospel (and probably other NT writings).
This is a 'working table' subject to
future emendation. It is based on the following:
1) C. T. Ruddick, Jr, "Behold, I Send My Messenger", JBL 88 (1969), 381-417, laid out the Torah sedarim for the first year plus two months of the Nisan cycle (plus the corresponding sedarim, to the Tishri cycle), including the truncating of Genesis 12-17 as a single lection to make a 46-Sabbath year matching Mark's gospel. (Adolph Büchler, "The Reading of the Law and the Prophets in a Triennial Cycle, JQR o.s. 5 (1893), 6 (1894), argued for the 46-Sabbath truncation as having been made to accommodate the 4 special Sabbaths in Adar leading up to Nisan and Passover.) I have kept all this. (Büchler's article was reprinted in J. J. Petuchowski, ed., Contributions to the Scientific Study of Jewish Liturgy [New York: KTAV, 1970].)
2) I initially used the 5l-Sabbath layout of the sedarim as given by Aileen Guilding in The Fourth Gospel and Jewish Worship (OUP, 1960). (The Encyclopaedia Judaica gives a similar layout.) Guilding also stated that she thought some of Leviticus was added as 'lectionary padding' to flesh out the needs of a three-year lectionary.
3) Cyril Howard Cave, in his MA (Nottingham, 1962) and BD (Nottingham, 1964) theses investigated the Torah sedarim and their associated haftaroth (i.e, prophetic readings) that can be detected in the midrashic literature as having actually been used. I have been guided by this. He also noted that at times there appear to have been alternative series for several sabbaths, probably reflecting regional usage (hence the excess number of sedarim divisions noted in the masoretic text. From Cave also came the paralleling of Gen 1.1 - Exod 11.1 - Num 6.22 as a fixed reference point. And from Guilding (op. cit., pp. 36-37) comes the indication that, based on Psalm 32.6b, the starred lections (Gen 41.38, Lev 15.1/15 and Deut 14.1) all fall to the same Sabbath and this gives a second fixed point around which to work.
Months (depending upon the sighting of the new moon) are given approximate locations, since the sighting of the new moon will determine whether there are four or five Sabbaths in any given month.
Just how one truncates the remainder of the lections is educated guesswork, and certainly up for grabs. It is possible that a perusal of Codex Vaticanus might show sedarim divisions in the Torah intended to go with, e.g., Mark, but I have not had access to it.
|Mark||N I S A N C Y C L E||T I S H R I C Y C L E|
|Codex B||MARK||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|Gen 1.1||Ex 11.1||Nu 6.22||Gn 27.28||Ex 34.1||Nu 32.1|
|19||4.35||31.3||38.21||Deut 1.1||3.1||Num 1.1||30.11|
|23||6.7||New Year, 1||37.1||6.1||6.4||8.16||5.11||34.1|
|24||6.14||Yom Kippur, 10||38.1||8.1||7.12||10.1||¬ 6.1||¬ 34.1|
|25||6.30-44||Sukkoth, 15-21||39.1||10.8||10.1||Gn 1.1||Ex 11.1||Nu 6.22|
26-35: 6.45-8.26: The Marcan Great Interpolation
|Purim, 14-15||Sabbath Zachor|