Artifacts & Biblical History

Here are a few paragraphs from my new book on Genesis which is nearly done.

Genesis 2:7 is foundational and crucial to the whole story of the cosmos, Man and salvation. God takes dust or clay from the ground and like a potter he fashions a human being. The scientific formulas used by God still elude us.

Imagine God making the first human brain from the chemical compounds he had already created as part of the earth. The intelligent design of the brain is beyond our comprehension, immensely complicated with intricate and precise electronics, hormones, connections, blood passageways, molecules, minerals, living cells and more.

And this amazing “machine” is able to learn, process and recall information, and even heal itself. It is more than a brain—it is also a “mind.” 

 Then God moves to the heart that will pump 40 million times in a year, 2.5 billion times in a lifetime of 70 years—without maintenance and without missing a beat. Right now, as I write this book, my heart has beat over 2,000,000,000 times since my birth.

Then on to the lungs which will take in necessary oxygen produced by the plants. Since my birth until now I have breathed 629,000,000 times! Then God shaped the liver, the kidneys, the glands, the reproductive organs, the stomach with its incredibly fine-tuned and intricate digestive system . . . 

 God did not just form a “machine” or an animal. He took this incredible body he had fashioned from clay and with his own breath he breathed into the nostrils the breath of life—like divine CPR. This is face–to–face, warmly personal, almost as the intimate kiss of God.

The body of clay came alive; it was animated. The created object was now a Man with body and soul; he became a living, spiritual being (CCC 362–363, 704).

The Man was dual in nature: body and soul, related to earth and heaven (1 Cor 15:45). The potter has made a Man for glory out of the clay of the earth! Man is the crown of the creation! The drama of salvation is under way, being directed and controlled by God himself. 

 Remember what Jesus does to the Apostles in the Upper Room (Jn 20:22)? How does this signify the creation of the new being—the Church?

Remember also that the wind of the Holy Spirit blew on Pentecost at the birth of the Church! You can already see a pattern forming: “For God so loved . . . that he gave” (cf. Jn 3:16)—an act of self–giving as well as of making; God invests himself in his new creation. This passage is rich with symbolic and typological meaning, ripe for the picking.

Pray for me as I work on finalizing this manuscript which is almost done! Working on it 12+ hours a day during July which I blocked out for finishing the book. It will be published by Ignatius Press and available on Verbum Catholic Software.

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IreneeChurch sm.jpgIn honor of the feast day of St. Irenaeus today I have reposted a blog from several years ago when we were filming our documentary on Apostolic Fathers, Handing on the Faith. Here is the story…

“We finished getting all our work done in Lyon for St. Irenaeus. It was very cold and windy — with snow hampering our efforts. We shot video footage for our upcoming DVD in the Footprints of God video series. This installment will be entitled APOSTOLIC FATHERS: HANDING ON THE FAITH.

(Click on pictures for larger images. Church of St. Irenaeus with the remains of his bones; the theatre in Lyon where St. Irenaeus’ parishioners where martyred)

3Gauls sm.jpgWe shot footage at the old and mostly forgotten Church of Irenee on the hillside of Lyons France. Under the church is the tomb of a man that had an incredible influence on me converting to the Catholic Church. Unhappily, in 1527 the Calvinists destroyed his tomb and threw his bones into the river. Only a few fragments remain.

We also found this ancient Roman Amphitheater which was rediscovered only in 1957. You don’t see it now, but in the 2nd century, this arena floor was soaked with the blood of Christians.

Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 10.01.18 AMIn 177 about 45 of our brothers and sisters in the faith were gruesomely tortured and killed here in front of jeering crowds. A woman named Blandine was publically tortured for two days as the crowds cheered.

The soldiers exhausted themselves with every ingenious torture they could devise. They cut and inflicted and mutilated her naked body for days.

Blandine never caved in. When they jeered “Deny your Christ and live!” she would only say back “I am a Christian!”

(Click on Timeline for a larger copy to print)

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 8.37.02 AMThe Christians were placed in a iron chair with a raging fire beneath. The smoke and stench of their burning bodies filled the arena. Yet they never caved in. These Martyrs of Lyons and Vienne were true heroes and champions of the Faith. They wrestled to the death and won crowns of life.

I was extremely moved in this location. You can read the full story in Eusebius’ History of the Church. We are grateful to Eusebius for preserving this story of Christian martyrdom and heroism. Here is our DVD Apostolic Fathers, Handing on the Faith with its 28-page Study Guide. I also have a talk on St. Ireneaus to download as an MP3.

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Last Days of Sts. Peter and Paul in Rome

by Steve Ray on June 28, 2019

crucifixion-of-saint-peter-1601Happy Feast Day of Sts. Peter and Paul….

Join us in Rome, Assisi, Manoppello, and Lanciano the first week of December this year, in preparation for Christmas! (Click here for more info!)

When I take my pilgrims to Rome one of my main objectives is to introduce them to the saints – especially Peter and Paul. We meditate on the last days of the lives, imprisonments, martyrdoms and burials of these two Princes of the Apostles: Peter and Paul. Both of them shed their blood in Rome for Jesus and the Church.

Peter was crucified upside down in Nero’s Circus. We still know the exact spot at the Vatican and the obelisk in the center of St. Peter’s Square witnessed the gory ritual).

(See my documentaries of Peter and Paul all filmed on location here.)

PaulPaul was beheaded on the Ostian Way (I show you the exact spot and the pillar on which his neck was placed).

I love to take pilgrimages to emphasize the utter truth and historicity of Scripture and the tradition of the Catholic Church.

We have a lot to learn and be proud of as Catholics and knowing our history and the price paid by the first Christians is a great starting point.

Enjoy!

STEVE EXPLAINS THE PRISON OF STS. PETER AND PAUL

THE LAST DAYS AND MARTYRDOMS OF STS. PETER AND PAUL ON LOCATION

 

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How Much Can a Camel Drink? – as he bites me!

June 13, 2019

Since we will soon be in Jordan and Israel again riding camels, I thought I would post some fun and interesting facts – and a movie of the camel trying to bite me. I recently wrote the Bible Study on Genesis for www.CatholicScriptureStudy.com. In chapter 24 Abraham sends his unnamed servant to find a bride […]

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When Is the Word “Love” First Used in the Bible?

June 8, 2019

When is the first time the word love is used in the Bible? It is great fun to ask a million questions when you open the Bible. Good questions serve to unlock the treasure chest revealing untold riches. Since the Bible is a book and books are made of words, it is great fun to […]

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

May 30, 2019

Today is Ascension Thursday. The Ascension always falls on a Thursday, 40 days after Resurrection Sunday. Then 9 days of praying in the Upper Room (1st Novena) and on the 50th day from the Resurrection the Holy Spirit fell on Pentecost. Pentecost means “the fiftieth day.” One of our past pilgrims wrote to me expressing […]

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

May 16, 2019

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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The Technology of Scripture Study: The Middle Ages (and a hilarious video at the end)

April 30, 2019

“I am an ecclesiastical historian by training and a Bible software guy by trade. Which, I think, puts me in the unique position to write about the history of the intersection of technology and Scripture study in a series of posts.” Written by my friend Andrew Jones PhD: “We might start with a description of […]

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Lovely Jewish Music from Biblical Times

April 27, 2019

I LOVE the sound of the shofar (ram’s horn) used in Jewish life and worship. This is a beautiful Jewish prayer and the shofar is in the first 1.5 minutes of the video. The “shofar” trumpet or ram’s horn is mentioned over 130 times in the Bible. Moving Jewish prayer worth listening too – putting […]

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How the Ancient Hebrews Viewed the Universe

April 25, 2019

This is part of Verbum Catholic Bible Software. I encourage every Catholic to get this Catholic and Bible Study software. Visit http://www.verbum.com/steveray. Use Promo Code STEVERAY10 for a 10% discount.

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Entering the Empty Tomb; A Contrast – Now and Back Then

April 19, 2019

It looks different today, but the place is the same. It is darker now, covered with a dome that blocks the sun. There is no grass, no hillside, no trees waving their leaves nearby. Instead there are the hushed voices of hundreds of people, the Muslim call to prayer echoing in the distance and the […]

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Passover Lamb: A True Story

April 12, 2019

Contributed by my son 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 […]

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Real Stations of the Cross discussed on Relevant Radio

April 2, 2019

Steve Ray joined John Harper on Morning Air (Relevant Radio) to discuss the origin and the meaning of the Stations. Also insightful comments on each individual Station. Join the 20-minute discussion with the link provided. Steve’s discussion starts at the 26:00 minute mark.

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Walk the Road to Calvary with Steve Ray this Lent – New Talk

March 27, 2019

Wisdom from Steve Ray’s Stations of the Cross “If you want to know about Jesus and the Crucifixion, you not only read the four Gospels, but you go back in history, and you study the land, and you study the culture at the time. And it fleshes it all out, and black and white becomes a […]

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Temple Sizes Compared – bigger than a football field

March 18, 2019

Since we are at the Western Wall today, seeing all this with our own eyes, I thought I would share again this blog about the size of temples of Israel. The 1) Tabernacle in the wilderness, the 2) Temple of Solomon, 3) Herod’s Temple at the time of Christ and 4) Ezekiel’s Temple are compared. The […]

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Feast of Chair of St. Peter: “Chair of Moses, Chair of Peter” Steve’s Article, YouTube Video and Resources

February 22, 2019

St. Cyprian of Carthage (beheaded 257 AD) one hundred and fifty years before the New Testament writings were collected into one book called “The Bible”: “The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ He says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will […]

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