Burnt Biblical Scroll Deciphered by Digital Technology

scroll

A burnt scroll discovered inside in the synagogue at Ein Gedi, Israel can finally be read thanks to new technology. At first considered a lost cause because it was both wrapped and burnt, University of Kentucky Professor Brent Seales were able to digitally “unwrap” it to reveal the oldest lines of Leviticus (Lev 1:1-8) discovered since the Dead [Read More...]

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Pope Benedict, Creation, and Biblical Criticism

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My paper “The Word in Creation: The Ratzingerian Critique of the Historical-Critical Method and Its Application to the Creation Accounts” is up at Homiletic and Pastoral Review. Two of my preoccupations during my master’s studies were Creation (particularly the Augustinian understanding of Genesis) and the theology of Pope Benedict. This paper was where the two converged thanks to [Read More...]

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Hip-Deep Heaps of Quail!

From Logos Bible Software

Today’s infographic comes courtesy of Translation Follies. It purports to illustrate Numbers 11:31, in which the Lord sends quail in abundance to the Israelites. Some Bibles, including the NAB, do indeed translate the passage as “at a depth of two cubits upon the ground.” Even the fairly literal NASB adds an italicized deep in the passage. [Read More...]

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Verbum 6 is Here

Verbum Bible Software (the Catholic version of Logos Bible Software) is the backbone of my research and writing on religion. It allows me to drill into massive amounts of data with ease. Scripture, original language resources, church documents, history, papal writings, theology, philosophy, commentaries, and, most important of all, a huge amount of patristic material [Read More...]

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Debunking the Latest “Married Jesus” Hoax

not_this_crap_again (3)

When these stories start to burble up in my RSS feeds, I always swear I’m going to ignore them and wait for them to go away. Just paying attention to them makes people dumber. This one was an easy call, because the articles had the “tell” of pure BS right inside: the name “Simcha Jacobovici,” mostly [Read More...]

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Ghosts in the Bible: The New Testament

Meister_des_Codex_Aureus_Epternacensis_001

There are no ghosts in the New Testament. We do, however, find the language of spirits and references to death that can illuminate the subject. When we read passages such as Matthew 8:22 (”Let the dead bury the dead”) and 22:32 (”God is not the God of the dead but of the living”) we may [Read More...]

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Ghosts in the Bible: The Old Testament

Samuel Appearing to Saul (Fuseli 1777)

Ghosts posed a problem for the early Church because they seemed to reflect a holdover of pagan belief and superstition. Yet reliable witnesses continued to report encounters with what to appeared to be spirits, and witnesses were not so easily dismissed as they are now. As we head into Halloween, I hope to do a [Read More...]

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“I shall be called John Paul”

John Paul I

On this day in 1978, the newly elected John Paul I explained his choice of name: Yesterday morning I went to the Sistine Chapel to vote tranquilly. Never could I have imagined what was about to happen. As soon as the danger for me had begun, the two colleagues who were beside me whispered words of [Read More...]

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