Bible History

The readings you heard at Mass on Sunday say that God “duped” Jeremiah. Wait . . . what? How could an all-holy God “dupe” or deceive anybody? What’s going on here?   Let’s Start with the Text The readings for the 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A), contain a passage from Jeremiah, which reads, […]

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I just realized the solution to a minor biblical mystery. There is a famous passage in 1 Corinthians, where Paul is rebuking the Corinthian Christians for forming factions around different Church figures, and he writes: Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I am thankful that […]

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Recently, Gretchen Passantino-Coburn posted an interesting piece on whether Jesus was trying to avoid the Cross when he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. The piece very correctly points out that Jesus knew it was his Father’s will for him to die on the Cross and that he lived his life in complete submission to […]

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The four Gospels all mention the empty tomb of Christ, which has become a mainstay of modern apologetics. But some argue that the idea of the empty tomb was a late development in early Christianity—that it only arose decades after the Crucifixion, and that early Christians thought Jesus had been “spiritually” raised from the dead, […]

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In Galatians, St. Paul says at one point: But when Cephas came to Antioch I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And with him the rest […]

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This Monday we’re going to be celebrating the solemnity of the Annunciation. This day celebrates the appearance of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to announce of the birth of Christ. What’s going on and why is this day important? Here are 8 things you need to know.   1. What does the word […]

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There were twelve apostles, right? Actually, it’s more complicated than that. An initial complication is the fact that Judas Iscariot died and was replaced by Matthias (Acts 1:12-26). You could look at that and say, “Okay, there were thirteen apostles, total, but only twelve at one time.” What about Paul? Some (at least some in […]

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I’ve been working on a project seeing how much can be determined about the particular sources that were used by the Evangelists in writing their Gospels. Not hypothetical sources like Q, but actual, nameable individuals. It’s been an interesting study! One thing that I’ve long been aware of is that the Virgin Mary seems to […]

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It’s obvious that the four Gospels agree on the main facts about Jesus’ life: He lived in first century Palestine. He travelled through Galilee and Judea. He worked miracles. He taught. He was crucified in Jerusalem at the time of Passover during the administration of Pontius Pilate. He rose from the dead. And so on. […]

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Clement of Alexandria was a figure who flourished in the second half of the second century and the beginning of the third (c. A.D. 150 – c. 215). We have some of his works, some are lost, and some are preserved in fragments. Among the fragments, he makes a number of interesting claims. All of […]

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