Apologetics

Jesus meets an incredulous group of people from his home town in this Wednesday’s Gospel reading (Mark 6:1-6). It’s a fascinating text, and it has a surprising number of interesting details. Let’s take a look . . .   What Happened? First, here’s the text itself: 1 He went away from there and came to his […]

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The question of how the costs producing the Gospels would have affected the choices that their authors made is almost totally ignored. We will seek to remedy this by looking at the cost that producing the Gospels would have had on the Synoptic problem. Today, when there are ministries that give away Bibles for free, […]

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Bart Ehrman is a smart guy, but he sometimes handles his sources in the most frustrating and misleading manner. For example, in his book Did Jesus Exist? (where he is on the right side for once), he writes: Several significant studies of literacy have appeared in recent years showing just how low literacy rates were […]

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Today we have standardized versions of the words of institution at Mass and of the Lord’s Prayer. At least within a given language group and rite of the Church, you’ll find priests saying the words of institution and the faithful saying the Lord’s Prayer the same way. But in the first century, things were not […]

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According to many scholars, Matthew and Luke based their Gospels principally on two sources: Mark and a now-lost source dubbed “Q.” The reason for the latter is that Matthew and Luke contain about 235 verses that are not paralleled in Mark. This amounts to about a fifth of each of their Gospels, which is too […]

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In this paper we will look at what the Infancy Narratives in Matthew and Luke may tell us about the way these Gospels were composed. Specifically: We will look at an argument (described more fully here) that the two Infancy Narratives are so different that Matthew and Luke did not know each others’ Gospels. This […]

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There is a clear literary relationship between three of the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke. That’s why these three are known as the “synoptic” Gospels—because they offer a “shared view” of Jesus’ life (Greek, sun = “together” + opsis “seeing”). The question of how they are related is known as the Synoptic Problem, and you can read my discussions of […]

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In a recent post, canonist Dr. Edward Peters offers some interesting reflections on a puzzling phenomenon: Why are there statements issued by the pope and by offices at the Vatican that are expressly flagged as being “non-magisterial”? The Magisterium of the Church is its teaching office, which consists of the pope and the bishops of […]

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The Holy See has released a new document dealing with the Jewish people, salvation, and evangelization. Here are 9 things to know and share . . .   1) What is the new document? It’s titled The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable (GCGI), and it was released by the Commission for Religious […]

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Pope Francis recently answered a Lutheran woman’s question regarding the possibility of her taking Communion with her Catholic husband at Mass. His remarks, which he made at an ecumenical meeting in a Lutheran church, have raised eyebrows. You can read them online here. Another translation is here. You can also watch the exchange in Italian […]

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