Artifacts & Biblical History

Cut off His Head! John the Baptist

by Steve Ray on August 30, 2016

 Beheading of John the Baptist
August 29

Beheading sm.jpgWhy 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.

Where was he born and what do we know about him? He was born in Ein Kerem west of Jerusalem. Prior to birth he was sanctified in the womb by the Holy Spirit when the Blessed Virgin Mary arrived for the Visitation. He later left for the wilderness where he probably associated with the Essenes at Qumran. Jesus probably met him in the Wilderness. He ate locusts and wild honey so he was a manly man!

Why was John beheaded–getting mixed up in morality and politics John did not get beheaded for preaching Christ, per se, but for criticizing the King. It is similar to us today criticizing and immoral government that requests we deny our consciences to follow their laws. John lost his head for criticizing the powers that be in government. 

What sources do we have outside the Bible? The Jewish historian Josephus tells us about John, especially his death which took place in Herod’s Fortress of Machareus on the east side of the Dead Sea in modern country of Jordan

Where is the head of John the Baptist today? There is a lot of controversy on this matter and many have claimed to have his skull. I would not be willing at this point to vouch for any of them.

To learn more about John, see my DVD Jesus, the Word Became Flesh and see where he was beheaded — filmed on location.  Click here.

Below: The remains of Herod’s Fortress of Machaerus where John was beheaded and what it looked like at the time of Christ.

As it was in the time of Christ How Marchareus looks today

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Coming Home Network 2I 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 discuss Luke 23:44-56. The topic is the Death and Burial of Jesus. Lots of cool insights and typology that most people don’t know.

Then Mater Dei in the Northwest at 11:00 AM.

Then at 2:00 PM Eastern I will join the Terry & Jesse show on EWTN to discuss my “Seven Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family and Friends.” Call in with you questions and comments. You can read my article “Six Rules” here. The article mentions only Six Rules – I have added a new one since. Listen in to see what Rule #7 is.

Lastly at 5:50 Eastern time I will discuss the saddening news from Pittsburg about the lack of committed Catholics and the drop in Mass attendance. Drew and I will talk about evangelization.

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Free Timeline of the 1st Century

by Steve Ray on August 22, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 9.32.44 AMThe past is shrouded in a fog for most people. What was really going on in the 1st century during and after the live of Christ and the birth of the Catholic Church? Here is a simple Timeline of First Century Christianity. I created this to give you an overview on one page.

I created the Timeline to help my students understand their heritage as Catholics. It shows the key events that took place in the first Christian century. Understand your history!

Click here or on the image to right and download and print the PDF file. Free for the using (but not for selling).

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Why Protestants Reject 7 Books of the Bible – the Short Answer

August 19, 2016

Gary Michuta is an expert on the canon of Scripture, especially in regards to the Deutero-canonical books, what the Protestants call the Apocrypha. You can read his book Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger to see what I mean. Recently a friend asked Gary for the short answer as to why the Protestants removed seven books from […]

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My Free St. Paul Timeline

August 13, 2016

Since many people have no clue about the real life and timeline of St. Paul and his epistles, I am posting my St. Paul Timeline so everyone can get the big picture. Please feel free to print and use for personal use. When I was teaching my series on Acts of the Apostles (see the audio CDs […]

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Dear Protestant: Where Did You Get Your Bible?

July 26, 2016

From Little Catholic Bubble website Leila@LittleCatholicBubble Dear Protestant: Where did you get your New Testament? At least a couple of times every week, Protestants use New Testament verses to show me where the Catholic Church is wrong about something. I always make them take the necessary step back by asking the following: “Where did you get your […]

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Flint Knives at the Heart of the Gospel

June 26, 2016

Ah, excuse me? What do flint knives have to do with the Gospel? A whole lot! Abraham believed God against all odds and as a reward he was given the special sign of the Covenant with God. And what was that wonderful sign between them? In Genesis 17:10-11 God announces this sign to Abraham: “This […]

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Google and the Vatican Work Together so you can Tour the Catacombs in Rome

June 25, 2016

Since we are touring the catacombs today, thought you would all enjoy a tour yourself. Early Christian burial sites are now easier to see, both in person and via the Internet, thanks to 21st-century technology and collaboration between Google and the Vatican. “This is perhaps the sign of the joining of two extremes, remote antiquity […]

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Jesus Was A Jew – So What is That To You?

June 20, 2016

 Jesus was a Jew. This fact may escape the casual reader of the New Testament, but it is crucial to understanding Jesus and the book written about him—the Bible. Unhappily, in 21st century America we are far removed from the land of Israel and the ancient culture and religion of Jesus and his Jewish ancestors.  […]

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Mary and the Other Body of Christ; How Many People were in the Upper Room and Why?

May 12, 2016

The room was pretty full. It was warm but a gentle breeze was blowing—that would change. There was fear in the room. The Roman army was a thing to be feared, they had just crucified Jesus and it was a dangerous thing to associates of an executed criminal. They were also anxious about the promise. […]

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Did Jesus Ascend into Heaven from Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12) or from Bethany (Luke 24:50)?

May 10, 2016

One of our past pilgrims wrote with an apparent contradiction in the Bible and what I had said in Israel. The wording in the two verses below is what caused the confusion. Acts 1:12  “[After the Ascension] they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away.” Luke […]

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Is the Catholic Faith Anti-Woman? Five Reasons the Catholic Church is the Most PRO-WOMAN Institution in History

April 1, 2016

COMMENTARY: One doesn’t have to look far to see that the term ‘war on women’ doesn’t apply. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! by ARINA O. GROSSU  Anyone who claims that the Catholic Church is anti-woman knows little about her rich history and Tradition in proclaiming the beauty and greatness of womanhood. There is no […]

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How We REALLY Got the Bible – the Facts Simply Presented (print this out, hand it out)

March 31, 2016

This is just one page of Bob Sullivan’s excellent little tri-fold handout to explain how we got the Bible. It is from the Catholic and historical perspective without all the Protestant biases and twisting of history. I think you enjoy the whole thing which you can see here. You can print this out, fold it […]

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Is this the Oldest Image of the Virgin Mary?

March 28, 2016

New York Times By Michael Peppard JANUARY 30, 2016 THE Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the most revered woman in the Christian tradition. In the history of art, she appears almost as frequently as Jesus himself. But for the past 80 years, one of the oldest paintings of her may have been hiding […]

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Was Jesus Crucified Naked?

March 25, 2016

A gentleman heard me on Relevant Radio earlier. I had mentioned on the air that one of the great humiliations of a crucifixion was that a man was crucified naked. This thoughtful gentleman wrote to challenge my comments. Below is his e-mail and my response. Dear Mr. Ray, Please correct your description of the Passion. […]

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“Where Does the Bible Say We Should Pray to Dead Saints?” – Resources about Communion of the Saints

March 10, 2016

I compiled a list of Catechism, Scripture and quotes from the early Church Fathers and even archaeology to assist in understanding the Communion of Saints. You can download the source material here. Sample: Who should carry the most weight—Protestant pastors protesting Catholic theology today or pastors from the early Church who have the words of […]

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