When Did Catholics Add Books to the Bible?

December 3, 2009


Q. When did Catholics add books to the Bible?

A. They never did. The Jews and the Protestants removed books from the OT.
The Catholic Church simply received the Septuagint version of the Hebrew scriptures, from the Jews, at the time of Christ. This became known as the Old Testament. 70 years later, the Jews removed 7 Old Testament books from the Septuagint. The reason given for this was that they could no longer find those books in Hebrew.

Interestingly some of these books were being used to good advantage to make converts among the Jews. For example:

Read the rest of this entry »


May 9: Prophet Isaiah

May 9, 2009


Why Celibacy?

April 5, 2009

Written by Rev. H.T. Burke

Our Lord was a priest (Heb. 4:14); He was also celibate and called others to do the same. “And Peter said, ‘Behold, we have left all and followed You.’ And He said to them, ‘Amen I say to you, there is no one who has left house, or parents, or brothers, or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive much more in the present time, and in the age to come life everlasting.”‘ (Lk. 18:28-30) Abraham was called to sacrifice his son Isaac (Gen. 22); through celibacy the priest is called to sacrifice not just his son, but his wife. Our Lord teaches that not all can be celibate, but those who can should do so for the sake of the kingdom: “His disciples said to Him, ‘if the case of a man with his wife is so, it is not expedient to marry.’ And He said, “Not all can accept this teaching; but those to whom it has been given -there are eunuchs who have made themselves so for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let him accept it who can.” (Matt. 19:10-12)

Celibacy is also a sign of the resurrection; we will all be celibate in the next world. Jesus says: “When people rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage but live like angels in heaven.” (Matt. 22:30) In imitation of Christ the priest is called to live this way here and now in this world. Elijah and John the Baptist, the two great prophets of the Old Covenant, were celibate. St. Paul even encourages celibacy among the laity. He writes: “It is good for the man not to touch woman. Yet for fear of fornication, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband – For I wish that you all were like me; but each one has his own gift from God, one in this way, and another in that – Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be freed. Are you freed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you take a wife, you have not sinned. He who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please God. Whereas he who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided.” (1Cor. 7)

A champion of celibacy for the priesthood, Vatican II said: “Perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven was recommended by Christ the Lord. This Sacred Council approves and confirms this legislation so far as it concerns those destined for the priesthood, and feels confident in the Spirit that the gift of celibacy, so appropriate to the priesthood of the New Testament, is liberally granted by the Father. And the more that perfect continence is considered by many people to be impossible in the world of today, so much the more humbly and perseveringly in union with the Church ought priests demand the grace of fidelity, which is never denied to those who ask.”

Celibacy is not unnatural, it is supernatural. It is a special grace from God. Our Lord created manhood, and as a man he lived it fully and naturally, as a celibate male. Celibacy is a sacrifice of the good of marriage for the sake of the kingdom of God. It is not for men who have no attraction for women. It is for men who do like women. If they don’t then there is no sacrifice in giving up marriage. Celibacy is unpopular with the world today because it is a sacrifice, and sacrifice for God is not what a hedonistic culture wants. The opinions of this world do not worry Our Lord who said: “My kingdom is not of this world.” (Jn. 18:36)

5 bob to: The Catholic Defender

See also Celibacy of the Clergy


CTA: The Bible and the “Apocrypha” (Deuterocanonical books of the Bible):

October 16, 2008

 The Bible and the “Apocrypha” (Deuterocanonical books of the Bible):

  Apocrypha (Catholic Encyclopedia)
  Deuterocanonical Books of the Bible (called by Protestants the “Apocrypha”) (table of contents & links)
  Do we know which Scriptures are genuinely apostolic? (James Akin, Nazareth Resource Library) 
  The earliest records of the Biblical canon (books in the Bible) include the “Apocrypha”  
  The Old Testament Canon (record of the Church Fathers) (James Akin, Catholic Answers) 
  Canon of the Old Testament (Catholic Encyclopedia)
  Why are Protestant Bibles missing certain books of Scripture? (James Akin, Nazareth Resource Library) 
  What did the early Church Fathers have to say about the Old Testament Canon? (James Akin, Nazareth Resource Library)
  Which canon was used in the Gutenberg Bible? (James Akin, Nazareth Resource Library) 
  Questions and answers about the Book of Judith (James Akin, Nazareth Resource Library)

Text of Cardinal Kasper to Anglican Bishops: It’s Over

August 1, 2008

Anglicanism Fading from Historic Christianity

Cardinal Kasper, the best Catholic friend to the Anglican Communion, the one who has remained most optimistic for an ongoing relationship with Anglicanism, delivers the coup de grace wearing a velvet glove. Anglican orders will never be recognized and Anglican-Catholic relations are no longer ordered toward a future unity.

Emphasis mine.

Full text here.

The Catholic Church’s teaching regarding human sexuality, especially homosexuality, is clear, as set forth in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 2357-59. We are convinced that this teaching is well founded in the Old and in the New Testament, and therefore that faithfulness to the Scriptures and to apostolic tradition is at stake. I can only highlight what IARCCUM’s “Growing Together in Unity and Mission” said: “In the discussions on human sexuality within the Anglican Communion, and between it and the Catholic Church, stand anthropological and biblical hermeneutical questions which need to be addressed” (§86e). Not without reason is today’s principal theme at the Lambeth Conference concerned with biblical hermeneutics.

I would like briefly to draw your attention to the ARCIC statement “Life in Christ”, where it was noted (nn. 87-88) that Anglicans could agree with Catholics that homosexual activity is disordered, but that we might differ in the moral and pastoral advice we would offer to those seeking our counsel. We realise and appreciate that the recent statements of the Primates are consistent with that teaching, which was given clear expression in Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference. In light of tensions over the past years in this regard, a clear statement from the Anglican Communion would greatly strengthen the possibility of us giving common witness regarding human sexuality and marriage, a witness which is sorely needed in the world of today. Read the rest of this entry »


The Lost Son

May 24, 2008

Roy H. Schoeman is an incredibly insightful author – one of my favorites. He wrote Salvation is From the Jews.

The thrust of one of his arguments is built from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, Chapter 11. He points out that even though many of the Jews who lived during the time of Jesus rejected him as the Messiah, God still did not reject his people. This is something I have always agreed with but I have never been able to articulate it as well as Schoeman does. He points out that even though a stumbling block is placed in front of the Jews it is not so as to make them fall. They have been called into unbelief by God that the Gentiles might partake of their salvation, later they will be grafted back into the tree bringing yet more grace both to themselves and to the Gentiles. I really admire Mr. Schoeman because his argument for the fact is strictly scriptural and leaves practically no room for dispute, while mine has always been theological and leaves plenty of room for dispute.

Read the rest of this entry »


Does This Sound Like The Episcopal Church?

May 3, 2008

Does Episcopalianism today look anything like what we read about here? Would an Episcopalian from 1931 PECUSA recognize 2008’s TEC?

Where will your church be in 20 years? What about 50? What about 78?

Which Church (like Jesus who is “the same yesterday, today and forever) is advocating the same, no matter how unpopular?

From TIME magazine:

Monday, Jan. 26, 1931
Birth Control

The American Birth Control League invited 30 Protestant Episcopal bishops to its convention in Manhattan last week. Not one bishop appeared, although their Triennial General Convention at Denver next September is certain to consider birth control in echo to the last Lambeth Conference of bishops of and affiliated with the Church of England, which discreetly approved the movement (TIME, July 14 & Aug. 25). Nonetheless there were several preachers of various denominations among the 200 delegates who attended the convention. Also-present were a few doctors. Conspicuously absent were women who revel in tales of their own childbearing, women too prudish to discuss procreation in any manner, Catholic women obedient to the Pope’s denunciation of any hindrance to conception (TIME, Jan. 19). Last week’s meeting lacked the vigor of previous conventions. Some speakers interpreted the Pope’s denunciatory encyclical as favorable to birth control. “It paves the way for the inevitable fight over what is one of the most important biological findings in history”—Professor Julian Sorell Huxley of London. Other speakers and a formal resolution politely denounced the recent White House Conference on Child Health & Protection (TIME, Dec. 1) for not mentioning birth control at all. Dr. Ira Solomon Wile of Manhattan called the White House Conference “a total, a complete and excellently devised demonstration of an ostrich policy. This is unjust to the ostrich, however, as it does not bury its head quite so deeply.” Otherwise the birth controllers were placid. They reiterated an old boast that their movement has been endorsed by various sectional conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Congregational Churches of Connecticut, the Universalist “General Convention, the American Unitarian Association, the Lambeth Conference. During ten years of formal organization Birth Control has developed an American League, state leagues in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; local groups in California. Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Maryland. North Carolina and Ohio; a Committee for Federal Legislation on Birth Control: and 58 big-city clinics for contraceptive advice.

Where will you be in 78 years?


The Office of New Testament Priest

April 24, 2008

The Office of New Testament Priest

by James Akin

In both Old and New Testaments, there are three ranks of priests, which are commonly referred to as the high priests, the ministerial priests, and the universal priests.

At the time of the Exodus the high priest was Aaron (Ex. 31:30), the ministerial priests were his four sons (Ex. 28:21; the sons were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar, the first two of which were killed for abusing their priestly duties), and the universal priests were the people of Israel as a whole (Exodus 19:6). Read the rest of this entry »


The Gospel of Matthew

April 21, 2008

A vein of theology infecting the Church today makes an attempt to discern who the “real” authors of the Gospels were and when they wrote.  One of the claims is that the Gospel of Matthew, long considered to be the first Gospel (by Matthew, hence the name), was actually written after 70 AD by an author who was not a disciple of Jesus.  This claim is based on the facts that Matthew and Mark are so similar to each other that one must have been copied from the other and the inclusion of the predicted destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in the Gospel of Matthew which did occur in 70 AD.

Papias, bishop of Heirapolis, who was a student of the Apostle John and a companion of Polycarp (also a student of John), wrote that Matthew was the first to record a Gospel in writing, which he did for the Israelites in the Hebrew language.  Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon, wrote “Against Heresies” at the end of the Second Century.  To the best of my knowledge that has never been disputed.  In it he said:

Matthew published his gospel among the Hebrews in their own tongue, when Peter and Paul were preaching the Gospel in Rome and founding the church there.  After their departure Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself handed down to us in writing the substance of Peter’s preaching.  Luke, the follower of Paul, set down in a book the gospel preached by his teacher.  Then John, the disciple of the Lord, who also leaned on his breast, himself produced his gospel, while he was living at Ephesus in Asia.

Read the rest of this entry »


Mary, Mother of God?

April 16, 2008


Q. Does the title Mary the Mother of God mean that she existed before God ?
A. Absolutely not. She is fully human. During the early centuries a heresy arose concerning the nature of Jesus Christ. This heresy claimed that Jesus was not divine but only a human being. So, Christians coined the term “Mary, Mother of God” as a pithy way of affirming the authentic Christian doctrine that Jesus was both fully God and fully human. Logically, if Mary gave birth to Jesus, and if Jesus is God, then Mary is the mother of God.

Q. Do Catholics worship Mary?
A. Absolutely not. Catholics worship God alone. The Church condemns the worship of Mary. So, anyone who worshipped Mary would be a heretic.

Q. Then why do Catholics kneel and pray in front of pictures and statues of Mary?
A. We are merely asking Mary to join her prayers to
ours as we make our request to God. We are simply
asking Mary, as a member of the body of Christ, to
pray for us.

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Freedom of Conscience

April 12, 2008


Q. Aren’t we free to follow our conscience even if we disagree with the teachings of the Catholic Church?

A. No. The true voice of our conscience is the law of God written on our hearts. If the “voice” of our conscience seems to be conflicting with Church teaching then it is NOT the actual voice of our conscience but the voice of Our Enemy enticing us away from the Truth. Unless your heart is completely hardened you will hear a still soft voice saying to your heart, “This is the Way, walk in it.” You will actually know which voice is True, if you sincerely try to discern the truth. But, you may not want to follow it, and so try to convince your self that the Other Voice is true, the voice of our culture is true, etc. “If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart.”

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Isn’t “Eat My Flesh” Just Symbolic?

April 6, 2008


Q. When Jesus said, “This is my body, eat it,” my friend says he was speaking symbolically?

A. No, that would be impossible. In the Aramaic language that Jesus spoke, to symbolically “eat the flesh” or “drink the blood” of someone meant to persecute and assault him. Did you know that there are several places in the Bible where “eating flesh and drinking blood” is used in a symbolic or metaphorical way? Lets take a look at what this phrase means when it is used metaphorically.

Psalm 27:2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me…”
Micah 3:2-3 you who hate good and love evil;…who eat my people’s flesh…
Rev 17: 6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.
Rev. 17:16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire.

So, we see that when “eating flesh” and “drinking blood” is used metaphorically or symbolically in the Bible it means destruction and murder. And it is still true today. If you got a letter that said someone wanted “to eat your flesh and drink your blood” you would take it as an evil threat of some kind and not an invitation to loving communion. Jesus was speaking literally in John 6 but no one would know just what He had in mind until the Last Supper. Communion in His body and blood is literal but not cannibalistic. Jesus feeds us spiritually with Bread from Heaven. Only the faithful stayed with him. Only faith helps us believe Him.

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Where is the Real Presence in the Eucharist in Scripture?

April 4, 2008


Q. Where in the Bible does it say that Jesus is actually bodily present in the bread and wine of the Eucharist?

A. In John 6, After demonstrating His power to feed 5,000 people with a few loaves and fishes, Jesus tells his listeners seven times that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life. The Jewish leaders and even some of Jesus’ followers rejected this teaching as preposterous and left him at this time, precisely because they understood Him to be speaking literally. One year later, Jesus instituted Eucharistic Communion (Mt. 26:26) saying of the bread, “This is my body” and also of the cup, “This is my blood.” From the beginning of Christianity, Church Fathers describe the mystery of the miraculous transformation of the Eucharistic meal into Christ’s Presence under the appearance of bread and wine.

Q. But how do we know for sure Jesus meant this literally?

A. We can ask ourselves, “What did the earliest Christians believe about communion?” The writings of the early Church Fathers tell us what these first century Christians believed about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. In 110 A.D. St. Ignatius of Antioch, who was taught the Christian faith by the apostle John, wrote about the heretics of his day:

“They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ. Flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His goodness raised up again.” Letter to the Smyrneans 6,2

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Is the Mass a Meal or a Sacrifice?

April 2, 2008


Q. Is the Mass a communal meal or a sacrifice?
A. It is both.
First, it is a re-presentation of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. At the mass, the scrim of time is pulled away and we communally leave “Now” and enter the precincts of the Eternal. Everything looks normal. But, the spiritual reality is that we are transported “back in time” to the foot of the Cross, with Holy Mary and St. John, as well as, the angels and archangels. All present themselves to adore our Blessed Lord’s sacrifice at calvary.

And then, in obedience to Jesus, we partake of a communal meal of His body and blood under the appearance of bread and wine.

“Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” John 6: 53-58

Q. Then, is Jesus dying over and over?
A. No.
For Christ… died for sins once for all” (I Peter 3:18)
The sacrifice of Christ happened once, in time, and is an historical fact. Unlike the sacrifices in the Old Testament, Christ’s sacrifice is eternal. It is we, who are in time, who must return over and over in thanksgiving to adore Him and be nourished for our journey to heaven.

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The “Counselor” And Contraception

January 4, 2008

Humanae Vitae and John 14:26
by John F. Kippley

Most people in the first world have at least a vague idea that the Catholic Church teaches that it is immoral for married couples to use unnatural methods of birth control, but very few understand why it teaches this way. One fundamental reason for accepting this teaching stems from John 14:26, the conviction that God Himself is the Author of the teaching against marital contraception. Read the rest of this entry »
H/T: Catholics United for the Faith Blog