Artifacts & Biblical History

I am doing a show with Teresa Tomeo today because February 10 is the Feast Day of the Shipwreck of St. Paul on Malta. So I am reposting this blog from our recent trip to Malta.

One of my favorite things is to discover the events and places of the Bible and to share them with others. The Bible is true and the more we learn of it the more we are grounded in the Catholic Faith.

Today I went out in search of the place of St. Paul’s Shipwreck in Acts 27-28. It was great fun and I thought I would share this adventure with you.

Much to do on this Catholic Island and this is only one adventure on video. Hopefully I will have time to share more. This weekend I am the speaker at a big Catholic conference here — an conference to help keep this Catholic island Catholic!  Please pray for me.

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The Old Testament Canon and the “Council of Jamnia”

Many popular myths are believed simply because people want to believe them—not because they are true. Wishful thinking is a poor substitute for truth. It is always preferable for one to dig deep and discover the facts and not just believe things because one wants them to be true.

IMG_6527In order to reject the Catholic Bible, it is popular in some Protestant circles to claim that the Jews had a closed canon of Scripture in the first century and that the early Christians accepted this final Jewish collection of inspired writings as final and binding upon the Church. The Council of Jamnia is usually assumed as the “proof” for this assertion. At the “Council of Jamnia” you see, the Jewish rabbis supposedly got together—something like an Ecumenical Council in the Catholic Church—to lay down specific criteria for inspired Scripture and to finally define and close the Old Testament canon.

Is this true? First, we will look at how various authors defend the Protestant exclusion of seven books based on a flawed understanding of the so-called “Council of Jamnia”. Second, did this “council” actually discuss the limit of the Old Testament canon, and third, if so, did they have the authority to close the canon? Fourth, did they actually compile a final list of accepted writings and fifth, and very importantly, if such a decision had been made, would the Christian be bound by that decision? We will conclude with the teaching of the Catholic Church and why we can so securely trust it.

First, let’s clarify a few terms. The canon of Scripture refers to the final collection of inspired books included in the Bible. The Catholic Bible contains seven books that do not appear in Protestant Old Testament. These seven writings are called the deutero-canonicals, or the Second Law. Protestants usually call these writings the Apocrypha (meaning “hidden”)—books they consider outside the canon.

These seven writings include 1 and 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, Sirach, Wisdom, Baruch along with additional passages in Daniel and Esther. Before the time of Christ, these writings were included in the Jewish Greek Septuagint (LXX)—the Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures, but they were not included in the Hebrew Masoretic text.

To read the whole document, click here.

 

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Here is a copy of a Timeline I made of St. Paul’s life and writings. Enjoy! Please print and share.

Also get a copy of my DVD Paul, Contending for the Faith below filmed in 6 countries. Full study guide included.
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Did the Wise Men Meet the Shepherds?

January 8, 2017

With upon us, I thought I would post my article this Christmas season with bits of interesting information and details about Christmas, the Gospels and Epiphany. Join us in Bethlehem for Christmas this year from December 26-January 4 or any of six times in 2015. Visit www.SteveGoes.com. Did the Wise Men Meet the Shepherds?  A […]

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Was Jesus Really Born at THAT Place in Bethlehem?

December 21, 2016

In a few days we are leaving for Bethlehem. We will have Mass next week at a lot of holy sites with our group of Catholic families. To the left is a picture of Gethsemane on the western slope of the Mount of Olives. How do we know this is really Gethsemane? In a few days […]

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What Council of Church “leaders” Collected the NT Books?

December 9, 2016

I was just going through the Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps & Time Lines. I find the book very helpful in many respects but was struck by the deceptive “factual” statement about the list of books in the New Testament. On page 17, under the heading “How We Got the Bible: Ten Key Points,” […]

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“You are Peter” in Jesus’ language of Aramaic

December 1, 2016

In Caesarea Philippi, the site where Jesus renamed Simon as “Peter” or Kepha (Matt 16:13-20), it is interesting to hear what Jesus REALLY said. I thought you would find this interesting. So, what did it sound like at Caesarea Philippi when Jesus renamed Simon and made him the rock of the Church: “And I tell […]

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The Sign of the Cross: It’s History, Meaning and Biblical Basis

November 8, 2016

SIGN OF THE CROSS By Steve Ray The Sign of the Cross is a ritual gesture by which we confess two important mysteries: the Trinity and the centrality of the Cross. It is the most common and visible means by which we confess our faith. The Sign of the Cross is made by touching the […]

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My Free St. Paul Timeline

November 6, 2016

Janet and I are currently leading a St. Paul Mediterranean Cruise and “Seminar at Sea” with Ave Maria Radio CEO Al Kresta and Fr. Steve Mattson. We are visiting eight biblical sites related to St. Paul, Mary, St. John and more. Today we are leaving Ephesus where St. Paul lived for two years and arriving […]

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Passover Lamb: A True Story

October 28, 2016

Contributed by Jesse Ray a while ago but worthy of reposting… I arrived on the scene with my gun and stoically loaded in some self-defense rounds (although I was clearly not in danger). I did not lavish the idea of slaughtering a lamb, but my friend and new-farmer, Pat, called and sheepishly asked for some help. […]

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Luke’s Gospel: Greek Physician, Historian & Friend of Mary

October 18, 2016

Her face shone as she related the stories—the words were vibrant, and though older now, her memory was excellent. He sat enraptured as she brought the past into living color. He had traveled a long way to see her and he sat motionless, with furled brow, taking careful notes on his parchment. He spent hours […]

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Did the Bible Always have Chapters & Verses?

October 11, 2016

No! The chapter and verse divisions in the Bible are relatively recent additions to the Bible. Originally it was written in Hebrew and Greek and there were NO chapter and verse divisions–in fact, most of the time there was not even spaces between the words! Interestingly, in the book of Hebrews the writer is quoting […]

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Pictures from Nazareth over 100 Years Ago (see the Virgin Mary :-)

October 7, 2016

Today we are in Nazareth looking for Mary! We are visiting her home cave where the Angel Gabriel brought the announcement from heaven. We will also visit her cave where she lived 30 years with Joseph and Jesus. These pictures are over a hundred years old from Nazareth. Not much changed between then and the […]

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The Holy Family Ate those Pesky House Sparrows

September 11, 2016

The Holy Family was not wealthy. When you had a firstborn son in Israel you were required to take a lamb to the Temple for the redemption of your firstborn son but if you were poor you could take to turtledoves instead. Mary and Joseph took the two turtledoves or pigeons which demonstrates they were […]

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Cut off His Head! John the Baptist

August 30, 2016

 Beheading of John the Baptist August 29 Why was John so special? He was the last of the Old Testament prophets and the first of the New. He was the first to proclaim the news that Jesus was the Messiah, the Lamb of God. He was 100% from the lineage of Aaron the High Priest. […]

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FIVE Radio Shows Tomorrow: Relevant, Spirit Catholic, Mater Dei, Terry & Jesse Show and Drew Mariani

August 23, 2016

I am just home from Poland and they’ve already tracked me down :-) First I will discuss St. Bartholomew, an apostle of Jesus that we know very little about on Relevant Radio at 7:00 AM Eastern, Then join us at 9:10 AM Eastern on Spirit Catholic Radio (listen live) for the Good Book Club as we […]

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