Ghosts in the Bible: The New Testament

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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...]

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...]

They Have Drunk of The Everflowing Life

Antonio Ciseri's Martyrdom of the Seven Maccabees

 There’s a paradox in martyrdom that we must accept even if we can’t reconcile ourselves to it: those being killed because of their faith in Christ are simultaneously tragic victims of injustice and barbarism, and glorious witnesses entering into everlasting life because of their sacrifice. Christ promised little more than this in the world, which would [Read More...]

Should Parents Turn Gay Kids “Over to Satan”?

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Since this post wound up being too long, I’ll get to the short answer to the titular question and say, “No.” And let me just add “duh.” But noted anti-Catholic John MacArthur has a different perspective . He was asked a question about how a parent should respond to a child who is gay, and [Read More...]

And Then We Shall Die

Strozzi: Prophet Elijah and the Widow of Sarepta

1 Kings 17:7-16 contains one of those arresting sentences  that show the depth of suffering and living death people can reach before being restored to life by the Lord: [Elijah said] “Please bring me a little water in a vessel so I can drink.” As she went to bring (it), he called to her: “Please bring [Read More...]

Someone Finally Finds a Good Use for “The Message”

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Stopping a bullet: Rickey Wagoner told police in Dayton, Ohio, that he was repairing an electrical fault in his bus early yesterday morning when unknown attackers approached him and shot him three times. One bullet struck the 49-year-old’s right leg and the other two hit him in chest, reports the Dayton Daily News. Sgt. Michael [Read More...]

Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Available Online

A fragment of Isaiah from Cave 1, Qumran

In a giant upgrade to The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, the Israel Antiquities Authority is making 10,000 multispectral images available to all via the web. The entire site has better searching, browsing and indexing. You can search by keywords, or browse by language, location (including cave-by-cave), or content. The scrolls are being [Read More...]

Light & Bread in the Gospel of John

This essay originally was published in an online journal, now defunct. I’m publishing it here in case it’s of interest. The full title is Light and Bread: A Sapiential Reading of Two “I Am” Statements in the Gospel of John. All the footnotes got stripped when I plopped the text into WordPress, but if you’re curious [Read More...]


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