Editor’s note: All Scripture references are from the Gospel of John unless otherwise noted. The Gospel of John was written after the followers of Jesus had been expelled from the synagogues (AD 85) and continued to be persecuted by the Jewish authorities (Pharisees and scribes). Hence the hostility toward “the Jews.”
In the Church the Eucharist occupies a unique place as the “Sacrament of sacraments.” All the other sacraments are ordered to it as their end. The word eucharist is derived from the Greek word which means thanksgiving. Jesus himself gave thanks at the Last Supper.
Editor’s note: All Scripture references are from the Gospel of Matthew unless other wise noted. It stood first in the oldest biblical codices probably because of its churchly concerns. It is the only gospel having the the word “church” in it and it appears twice from the lips of Jesus. A Church built on a rock […]
Saint Paul is more in the spotlight than any other figure in the early Church. Of many others, even the apostles who were closest to Jesus, we know very little. In some cases we know nothing more than their name. This is to some extent true of Jesus who left no writings and whose historical account has been clouded […]
The Catholic New Testament canon is identical to that of the Protestants other than some minor translation differences. Our difference lies in the contents of the Old Testament where we have Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch and additions to Esther and Daniel. These books were called apocryphal by the Protestants and deuterocanonical (Second […]
Editor’s note: All Scripture references are from the Gospel of Mark unless other wise noted. The first writings of the New Testament were the letters of St. Paul. The author of Mark’s gospel ventured into new territory when he wrote his proclamation of the good news. Nothing in this genre had been written before. The gospel […]
The Old Testament Priesthood The first mention of a priestly figure in the Old Testament was that of Melchizedek the king of Salem (Jerusalem), a Canaanite and a priest of the God Most High. He met Abraham with bread and wine and a blessing to celebrate the rescue of Lot (Gen,14:18-20). Abraham acknowledged this by giving him […]
Until recently the Gospels were thought to be biographies of Jesus. However scholars now agree that they are catechisms of teachings concerning the risen Lord written to increase the faith of the readers. Each writer chose special material for different audiences in different decades which account for some of their variances.
Editor’s note: All Scripture references are from the Gospel of Luke unless other wise noted. The Gospel of Luke appears as part one of a two volume work, Luke-Acts, dedicated to someone named Theophilus (1:3; Acts 1;1) Today they are separated. Critics acclaim the author’s style as one of the best in the New Testament.
Mary in the Old Testament She appears as a prototype of the second Eve in the creation narrative. After human-kind sins in the Garden of Eden, God says to the serpent (Satan), “I will put enmity you and the woman and between your offspring and hers. He will strike at your head, while you strike at his […]
Recently an archeological find of great importance to Bible scholars was announced in the press. An ossuary (bone box) surfaced as part of a private collection with the inscription “James the son of Joseph, the brother of Jesus.” In June 2003 the Israel Antiquities Authority declared it a forgery.
The books of Daniel and Revelation are of the apocalyptic genre, a unique literary form peculiar to the age in which they were written. Often described as crisis literature, they clearly were spawned during times of great stress in history when the only solution seemed to call for God’s intervention in the affairs of humankind.
Since the Reformation much ink has flowed from the pens of writers discussing the pros and cons of infant baptism. The main argument has centered on what the Bible does or does not teach. This is a fallacious contention for the simple reason that the New Testament (NT) canon was not established for all practical purposes […]
The Bible is a library of some of the religious literature of ancient Israel and of the Christian Church. Like any library it contains a great variety of literary forms. There is history, saga, tales of tribal heroes, and legends about the beginnings of the world. There are poetry, drama, parables, allegory, prophecy, maxims, proverbs, and […]