Did you know that the Catholic Church reads the entire Bible to her congregation over the span of three years? Of course we do; Catholics invented the Bible!
The Catholic Bible
The Bible is comprised of 73 books and broken into two main sections: the Old Testament, which is the time before Jesus, and the New Testament, which is about Jesus and his teaching. Catholics believe that Jesus fulfills the Old Testament and that the Bible is divinely inspired, but written by human hands.
The Scriptures are a diverse compilation of writings encompassing a few thousand years of human history. Here are 5 ways to help make the Bible easier for you to understand.
Divine inspiration Contrary to popular belief the Bible was not written by God whispering into the ears of the human authors to write what he wanted written, but rather the Scriptures are inspired by God. The Holy Spirit guided the authors to be moved in such a way that their writings were of God.
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.”
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 […]
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.
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 […]
The Book of Revelation is written in a style very rich in symbols and images. Numbers are used frequently throughout the book. This is not going to be an exhaustive breakdown of all of the symbols and numbers but, rather, a demonstration of some tendencies that exist in scripture, and some things that can be […]
Do Catholics follow the Bible? Catholics have used the Scriptures for their faith for as long as they have existed. The Bible has not always existed in its current form. In fact, it was not put together as a compiled work until well into the 4th century!
Reading the Bible can be a daunting task, but the goal of many organizations over the years has been to make it easier for the common person to read and understand its message and God’s word.