Artifacts & Biblical History

The_Ressurrection_of_ChristI am doing a show on Catholic Answers Live tonight (Wed., 1/16/19). The topic is OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS. Tune in at 6:00 PM Eastern at www.Catholic.com. You can listen to the podcast later too.

Adam and Eve have liturgical feast days, so do Isaiah, Jeremiah, King David and many others.

The Roman Martyrology (1600) lists saints recognized up to that point including many saints not in the Church’s general calendar. Some that it remembers are Habakkuk (Jan. 15); Isaiah (July 6); Daniel and Elias/Elijah (July 20 and 21); the seven Maccabees and their mother (Aug. 17); Abraham (Oct. 9); and King David (Dec. 29).

We in the West have not discussed it much, but the Eastern Churches remembers them every year.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states,

“The patriarchs, prophets, and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honored as saints in all the Church’s liturgical traditions” (CCC 61).

48340dc324c6ca26bea274dc480c6789Here is an interesting article in the newsletter of the Association of Hebrew Catholics.

It not only explains the “sainthood” of Old Testament heroes, but gives a list of the dates for various prophets, kings, and virtuous men and women before Christ.

For the article and the calendar, click here.

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In answer to the question on air about the redemption of Adam and Eve, I promised a bit of information. The Catechism 489 states, “Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy women prepared for that of Mary. At the very beginning there was Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives the promise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise that she will be the mother of all the living.

Another quote CCC 635 “Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began.… He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him—He who is both their God and the son of Eve.… “I am your God, who for your sake have become your son.… I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.”

Soshestvie-vo-ad(Picture to right: Jesus raises Adam and Eve from their graves. Notice they are wearing halos. Notice a similar picture at the top of the post.)

One Journal I own states it well, though I don’t agree with the article overall:

“In this first dispensation, there is a clear illustration that the only way of salvation is by the grace and personal provision of God. After the judgment section of Chapter 3, the literal translation states that the Lord God himself “made garments of skin for Adam and for his wife, and He caused to clothe them.” The Lord God initiated and was the causative agent (Hiphil stem—“cause to”) of the personal redemption of Adam and Eve by providing a method of restoring the personal relationship with Him. Some conclude that the personal faith of Adam was expressed by naming his wife, Eve (living or life-giver), and believing that (strong textual emphasis) “she, she will be (the) mother of all living.” This act would have verified that he believed in the future promise of God (3:15) and in the prospect of continued life after judgment (3:20). In a similar way, having acknowledged that the Lord was the source of her first born son, Eve confirmed her personal faith in the Lord and His previous promises of children (3:15–16; 4:1).

“Considering that this was a possible theophany of God, the full impact of the statement may be realized. This would be Christ himself who had performed this sovereign act of divine grace for Adam and Eve, another Old Testament verification that Christ was involved providentially in the affairs of mankind from the beginning!”

Conservative Theological Journal Volume 2 2, no. 7 (1998): 455–456.

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The location of Jesus’s baptism

Happy Feast Day of the Baptism of Our Lord! Since we will be at the actual site of Jesus’ baptism in two weeks with a bus full of pilgrims, I thought I would share this post again.

This is an exciting development which helps establish the authentic baptismal site of Jesus. With the involvement of UNESCO the site will receive protection, funding and recognition. This is the place where the last three popes commemorated the Baptism of Our Lord.

Here are some articles about UNESCO’s decision and about the site:

  1. http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=27394
  2. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1446
  3. www.BaptismSite.com

My audio of interview with Ave Maria Radio: https://avemariaradio.net/audio-archive/catholic-connection-february-9-2016-hour-2/

The Bible says in John 1:28, “This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.” The authentic site is just above the northern tip of the Dead Sea, east of Jericho. The actual site is not on the Israel side of the Jordan, but on the Jordan side of the river.

IMG_8294Here is a picture of me standing in the exact spot that archaeology, the Bible and early Christians and pilgrims located the spot. The early Christians knew and built churches there to commemorate the site.

If you would like to join us in Jordan, contact Elizabeth at 800-727-1999, 150. We will be visiting Jordan once every year on one of our trips to Israel. Register for these small groups or get your name on the list now since all of our trips have been selling out.

This 2-minute video link below takes a few seconds to load, but wait… it is nice and you will see where we are today. With Elijah and Jesus on the banks of the Jordan River in Jordan. Produced by the Jordanian Tourist Bureau.

http://www.wibbitz.com/watch/?id=ba7d5455e46104e4b89937b87cd7d3d4f

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Debunking 4 Biblical Myths Accepted by Many as True

by Steve Ray on December 29, 2018

There are three “truths” I have been asked about many times. Often people tell me these as though they’re explaining to me something I’ve never heard before. However, in each case, there is no historical, biblical or actual basis to any three of them. In each case they started being taught in recent times and because their side so often they “become true.”

In each case they started being taught in recent times and because they’re sad so often they “become true.“

1) BREAKING THE LEG OF A WANDERING LAMB

34A8D4E9-74C8-4F95-98E2-35786A76BA97The first of these is that shepherds in the Middle East break the leg of a wandering lamb to keep it close by. And being close to the shepherd makes the lamb very affectionate.

This does not happen and there are no traditions or incidents known of it happening. In fact there are a good number of reasons why it would not happen. It is simply a manufactured myth.

2). THE “ EYE OF A NEEDLE” IS A GATE

FE7E50AF-5E9C-4045-B107-0FDAFCF875A9The story is lovely for preaching because it talks about how a camel cannot get through the small door into a city With all its merchandise and it’s back so the Kamel driver hast to remove all of the wealth from his back so he can stoop down and we go through the small gate.

However, there is no historical, written or archaeological evidence there was ever such a gate. The camel was the largest thing people usually saw and the eye of the needle the smallest therefore it made an excellent visual image about how a rich man could into heaven by offloading his wealth. But the idea that the “eye of the needle” was a gate is a myth.

3) THE FOLDED NAPKIN IN THE TOMB MEANT JESUS WOULD COME BACK

4515AF0D-50CE-49A7-98D1-A4D808F76F07 The Gospel of John tells us that the napkin or face cloth of Christ was rolled or folded up in a place by itself. Some have invented a custom which never existed, that a man would crumple up his napkin and toss it aside if he was done with dinner but would fold it neatly and set it aside if he was coming back.

Therefore, since Jesus‘s face cloth or napkin was folded up it was a signal that Jesus would return.

First, this assumes that the burial face cloth is similar to that which would be used at a meal and that rolled up or folded in the Tomb is what someone would do with a napkin at a table.  Second, even if we presume it is a table napkin or that it was folded up as one would do at a table, there is no historical or cultural evidence that this custom ever exited or took place.

Even if there was such a custom of folding a napkin and setting it aside to indicate you’d be back (which there is not), it’s a big stretch to apply that to the tomb of Christ. It, like the other three, is a myth.

4) JESUS COULDN’T HAVE BEEN BORN DECEMBER 25 BECAUSE SHEEP AREN’T OUT  IN THE FIELDS IN WINTER

A5754794-4161-4869-9DBB-C8D5C4B0F68EPresumably wool is not enough to keep sheep warm so the have to stay home during winter. Not true. It can get cold in Bethlehem and on rare occasions I’ve even had a snowball fight with a local children. But Bethlehem is not Alaska and the temperatures are usually very mild even in December. I am here now walking around with only a light jacket and it’s almost New Year’s.

Even in inclement weather there are plenty of caves outside of Bethlehem and in a few days we will have Mass in Shepherds Field where the shepherds kept the ship overnight on the first Christmas Eve. Caves are abundant and on a cold night sheep can enjoy the warmth of the caves.

With my own eyes I tell you, sheep are in the fields eating year around.

There’s an old saying that if you say something often enough it becomes true. However, even though these things are said often enough, they are NOT true.

If you’ve heard of any other “truths” like this that you think might be a myth, let me know.

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Pilgrimage with Steve Ray 100 Years Ago – Imagine with Real Photos

December 28, 2018

Step into a Time Machine and imagine what it would be like going back in time on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Steve and Janet Ray 100 years ago! I have used actual pictures from over a century ago to re-create what it may have been like. I hope you enjoy! And, I […]

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Was Jesus Born on December 25?

December 24, 2018

Yes, Christ Was Really Born on December 25: Here’s a Defense of the Traditional Date for Christmas   by Dr Taylor Marshall The following is adapted from Taylor Marshall’s new book: The Eternal City: Rome & and Origins of Catholic Christianity. This is a long article and quite convincing. I have only given Objection 3 to […]

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My New Book Now Available! “The Papacy: What the Pope Does & Why It Matters”

December 21, 2018

  My new book is available today. My friend Dennis Walters and I have been working on it for a while and we hope you enjoy it. You can see and order it here. You can buy it now as a Christmas bundle with free shipping and other of my new items.   Topics include: […]

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Did the Wise Men Meet the Shepherds?

December 18, 2018

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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How Big was Noah’s Ark

December 5, 2018

It was a big boat at a time when big boats did not exist. It was a feat of genius ingenuity. You can read the instructions for building in Genesis 6:14-22. We are also told that the ark is a picture of the Church and salvation. In the ark Noah passed through the waters which […]

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Flint Knives at the Heart of the Gospel

November 14, 2018

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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What Does the Word Catholic Mean? A History of the Word “Catholic”

October 29, 2018

As a Protestant, I went to an Evangelical church that changed an important and historical word in the  Apostles Creed. Instead of the “holy, catholic Church,” we were the “holy, Christian church.” At the time, I thought nothing of it. There was certainly no evil intent, just a loathing of the Catholic Church and a […]

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

October 28, 2018

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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St. Paul and the Cretans

October 25, 2018

Today we are touring the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea. St. Paul was here at least twice that we know of. He did not have a very flattering impression of the Cretans. This is what he wrote to Titus.

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St. Paul Walks Passed the Brothal

October 23, 2018

Every time I visit Ephesus I show my tour group my favorite things in this ancient city. We are here today with 80 pilgrims. We filmed here for our Paul and Mary DVDs and have brought groups here on numerous occasions. One of my favorite things to show people in Ephesus is the Billboard for […]

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Free Timeline of the 1st Century

October 22, 2018

The 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 […]

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Stones Cry Out: Does Archaeology Support the Bible?

October 21, 2018

Today we are in Corinth where St. Paul lived for 18 months. Every time I come here with my groups I give one of my favorite short talks on the truth of Scripture and the Catholic Faith. You can watch my 10-minute talk below. Recently I did an interview I did with Tim Staples which you […]

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Free St. Paul Timeline – We are in Ephesus today

October 19, 2018

Since we are starting our St. Paul Mediterranean Cruise today, I thought I would share here a copy of my Timeline on 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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