Bible History

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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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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Wouldn’t it be great if scientists invented a device that enabled us to have a window into the past–so that we wouldn’t just have to read about the past in books? Instead, with the new device–let’s call it a Time Window–we could actually see events occurring in the past in real time, with our own eyes? […]

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A reader writes: Does the Church teach of any parallel between the 12 Apostles and the 12 tribes of Israel? I don’t know of a Church document that stresses this connection off the top of my head, though there probably are some that do. It is generally acknowledged among Bible scholars that the New Testament […]

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Recently I got a query from someone wondering about an anti-Catholic video that claimed “the pope’s deacon” invoked Lucifer during the Easter Vigil liturgy and referred to Jesus as his Son. Of course, that’s not what happened, but to understand what really did happen, you need to know a few things about “lucifer.”   What […]

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Who wrote the New Testament? Let’s see . . . there was Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul. Those are the easy ones. Anybody else? If you think about it for a moment, you’ll likely come up with James, Peter, and Jude. Good. Now, who else was there?   Harder Cases At this point, your […]

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This Thursday commemorates the mysterious event known as the Transfiguration. This event is hard to understand. Why did it happen? What did it mean? Here are 10 things you need to know.   1. What does the word “transfiguration” mean? The word “transfiguration” comes from the Latin roots trans– (“across”) and figura (“form, shape”). It thus signifies a […]

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The book of Acts records St. Paul’s conversion in the following terms: Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” […]

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The great day is finally here: Easter, the most important day of the Christian calendar. More important even than Christmas. What happened on this day? Was Jesus’ resurrection a real, historical event? How does the Church celebrate this day? Is Easter a pagan holiday? Here are 8 things you need to know.   1. What […]

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Everytime we say the creed, we note that Jesus “descended into hell.” Holy Saturday is the day that commemorates this event. What happened on this day, and how do we celebrate it? Here are 12 things you need to know.   1. What happened on the first Holy Saturday? Here on earth, Jesus’ disciples mourned […]

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