Was Peter the Greatest? What Is the Number of *Jesus*’ Name? Can We Trust the Gospel Writers? Are Scary Halloween Costumes Okay?

by Jimmy Akin

in +Religion, Apologetics, Bible, Moral Theology

A podcast is an Internet radio show that you can listen to online or download

Here’s a new episode of my podcast (Internet radio show) that you can listen to or download.

In it, I tackle four interesting issues . . .


Was St. Peter the greatest of Jesus’ original Twelve disciples?

St. Peter is certainly the most commonly mentioned of the original Twelve. He always stands at the head of the list whenever the names of the Twelve apostles are listed in the Bible. And he was clearly part of Jesus’ inner circle, even within the Twelve. He is, unquestionably, the most prominent of the Twelve.

But did Jesus give him a special role among the Twelve, a special position, or was he just more active than the others?

Jesus gives us an answer to this question, and in an unexpected place . . .

The Number of the Beast vs. the Number of Jesus

We’ve all heard that, in the book of Revelation, the number of the Beast is 666.

Whatever does this mean?

And if the Beast has a number, do others?

Does the name of Jesus have a number?

Does the name of God have a number? . . .


Did the Gospel Writers Feel Free to Make Stuff Up?

Some people hold the view that the writers of the four gospels felt free to basically make stuff up, to freely shape the narratives they were writing about Jesus’ life by either manufacturing stories about his deeds or making up teachings and putting them on his lips.

The idea is that they used the figure of Jesus as a vehicle for their own ideas, and they made up material to serve the perceived needs of their local Christian communities.

It’s easy to show that by the second century there were a lot of people identifying themselves as Christians who did exactly this. That’s why there were so many Gnostic gospels dating from the second to the fourth century.

But what about the first century, canonical gospels? . . .


Are Scary Halloween Costumes Okay?

Many people of conscience view Halloween with some suspicion, and the way it is often celebrated today, that’s understandable.

Some have chosen not to celebrate Halloween at all, and that’s a respectable choice.

Others have chosen to invert the popular celebration by dressing up–or having their children dress up–as entirely wholesome figures, like doctors, nurses, and firemen or even has historical figures, like saints.

But what about scary Halloween costumes? Are those okay? . . .

Just click the links at the bottom of this post to listen or download!


What Now?

If you like the information I’ve presented here, I’d invite you to join my Secret Information Club.

If you’re not familiar with it, the Secret Information Club is a free service that I operate by email.

I send out information on a variety of fascinating topics connected with the Catholic faith.

In fact, the very first thing you’ll get if you sign up is information about what Pope Benedict says about the book of Revelation.

He has a lot of interesting things to say!

If you’d like to find out what they are, just sign up at www.SecretInfoClub.com or use this handy sign-up form:

Just email me at jimmy@secretinfoclub.com if you have any difficulty.

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Julianne Wiley November 5, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Do you have this anywhere in print, either as a transcript of the podcast or a freestanding article?  I have a hearing disability and can’t benefit from podcasts.   I’m a whiz with text —- :o)

Jimmy Akin November 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm

@Julianne Wiley Actually, I do have transcripts (already or in production) for the podcasts.
In the case of videos, I produce the transcript myself as I write the script, and I upload it to YouTube as a caption track.
When converting these videos to audio format, I use the transcript in the show notes and “lyrics” section of the file.
An exception was this episode, because it’s too long to do that.
I do, however, have the transcripts and plan on making them available as ordinary web pages, but I’m a bit behind on doing so.
I’m also trying to figure out the best way to release them, but it is in the plan.
Wish I had quicker, more definitive news to give, but they *will* be coming out as ordinary web pages.

Julianne Wiley November 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm

@Jimmy Akin Thank you for this prompt and gracious answer.  I look forward to seeing transcripts on the web page, where I will benefit from them and my RCIA students as well.  Write On!

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