Bible History

St. Luke records that when Jesus was born an angel of the Lord directed a group of shepherds to go find him. Luke introduces this group of shepherds by saying: And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night [Luke 2:8]. This has led to a […]

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Was Jesus really born on December 25th? You’ll find strong opinions on both sides of this question, with some saying definitely yes and some saying definitely no. I don’t have strong feelings on this question. Although the Church today liturgically celebrates the birth of Our Lord on December 25th, whether this is the exact date […]

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Recently I blogged about the common apologetics claim that the dates of Christmas and the Annunciation were based on the idea that Jesus lived to an “integral age.” In other words, that Jesus died on the anniversary of his birth or conception. According to some authors, it was popularly believed among ancient Jews that prophets […]

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Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25th? Why is the Annunciation on March 25th? According to some authors, it’s due to something called the “integral age” view that was common among ancient Jews. But this idea itself might be a myth. Here are 9 things to know and share . . . BE SURE […]

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The book of Acts does not tell us the full story of early Church history. It provides only partial information. This is obvious from the fact that it just covers the period between A.D. 33 and 60, when it suddenly stops (providing us an important clue to when it was written). Even within that time […]

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I’m currently doing some work on the chronology of the book of Acts, and one of the key chronological benchmarks is in Acts 24:27, when the Roman procurator who presently has Paul in custody (Felix) is replaced by his successor (Festus). You’d think that it would be easy to simply look up in secular sources […]

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September 29th is the feast of St.s Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael—archangels. These are the only three angels whose names are mentioned in Scripture, and this is their day. Here are 7 things to know and share . . .   1) What is an archangel? The word “archangel” (Greek, archangelos) means “high-ranking angel”—the same way […]

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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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