Biblical Exposition

At the 20219 investiture of new Knights and Dames into the North Central Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, I was asked to give the keynote talk on Sunday morning with a good number of bishops in attendance and several renowned theologians and radio personalities.

IMGP1378(Photo: Janet and I with Patriarch of Jerusalem Saba at Mass at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Easter 2004)

Janet and I have been members of this order for nearly 20 years now. Since Janet and I have been to Israel over 180 times, I assumed they would request a talk on the Holy Land, the Holy Sepulchre and the local Christians that we support. So I accepted.

But as the date drew nearer I asked which topic was chosen for me. The Lieutenant of the North Central Lieutenancy informed me, you shall speak on “How can a John Paul II Catholic Survive in a Pope Francis World”.

I was a bit shocked but said I would do it. Having written two books on the Papacy published by Ignatius Press (The Papacy and Upon this Rock) and an on-location document (Peter, Keeper of the Keys) I have a bit of knowledge about the papacy.

The talk was given the morning after I returned home from Israel at 10 PM the night before. I was exhausted and jetlagged but asked God for strength and clarity. Hope you find the talk helpful and encouraging in these strange days in which we live.

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Audio CD’s to Celebrate the Year of St. Joseph

by Steve Ray on February 15, 2021

My new talk on St. Joseph is now ready to ship! It is quite different than any other talks you’ve heard on Joseph. I present him as the manly man he was. Journey to Nazareth with me to discover the real St. Joseph.

Also in our sale bundle you will get “A Day in the Life of the Holy Family” and “Mary, Real Girl & Woman of Mystery.”

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Jesus seems very harsh to the gentile woman in today’s Gospel Reading. He seems to call the woman a “dog”. Here is his comment,

downloadAnd Jesus said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” (Mark 7:27)

She replies, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” (Mark 7:28)

This passage is often taken as a cruel and harsh response from Jesus, but in the cultural context it is anything but. Here we see the bantering of Middle Eastern dialog and humor. 

Jerome’s Biblical Commentary says,

“Jesus’s words no doubt sounded as harsh to Hellenistic readers of the Gospels as it does to modern commentators … The proverb is less harsh in a Near Eastern context than it would be to us, but it is not gentle. 

The dialogue is an instance of the kind of wit that was and is admired in the Near East, the same wit that is called wisdom in the Old Testament; it is the ability to match riddle with riddle, to cap one wise saying with another, to match insult with insult, or—as here—to turn the insult into a commitment. 

There is nothing unrealistic about the exchange at all; Jesus would not have been a genuine Palestinian if he had not occasionally engaged in a duel of wit. The scene is much more a scene of peasant good humor than it is of solemn theological debate.”

download (1)Commentator Barclay writes, 

“The tone and the look with which a thing is said make all the difference. Even a thing that seems hard can be said with a disarming smile. 

“We can call a friend ‘an old villain’, or ‘a rascal’, with a smile and a tone which takes all the sting out of it and which fills it with affection. We can be quite sure that the smile on Jesus’ face and the compassion in his eyes robbed the words of all insult and bitterness”

R. T. France writes,  

“So Jesus is expressing the contemptuous Jewish attitude to Gentiles in order to explain why her request does not fit into his mission to Israel. But written words cannot convey a twinkle in the eye, and it may be that Jesus was almost jocularly presenting her with the sort of language she might expect from a Jew in order to see how she would react. The point is a serious one, that a mission to Israel must have its limits, but the tone need not have been a humorless rudeness.”

In reading Scripture, not only is the whole context of a passage is important, but a knowledge of the culture and particularities of that culture and language are also crucial to understand the Bible.


Boats on the Seas in the Bible — Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck February 10

February 9, 2021

A video of me discovering the place of St. Paul’s shipwreck on the Island of Malta. It is recorded in Acts 27:1 – Acts 28:10. Feast Day of St. Paul’s Shipwreck is February 10. Join me each Tuesday at 7:35 AM for our “In the Bible Series” on Son Rise Morning Show and EWTN. Today […]

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The Titles of Mary 30-Minute Video Interview

February 4, 2021
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My 3 Minute Meditations: John 6 “Eat My Flesh” and Matthew 5 “Sermon on the Mount”

February 1, 2021

Our bishop here in the Lansing Diocese of Michigan instituted “The Year of the Bible” in which the diocese reads a chapter a day together. I was asked to give two short video meditations to accompany the reading of two chapters. Below are my two 3-minute videos: John 6 on the Eucharist and Matthew 5 on The […]

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Interview with Al Kresta: The Conversion of St. Paul as the Seed of all Paul’s Theology

January 27, 2021

Jesus asked an unusual question from heaven. “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” How could Saul persecute Jesus who was safely distanced in heaven? This question was the seed that grew into the foundation for all of St. Paul’s teaching and theology. Fascinating look at how we are all in Christ and Christ is […]

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Was “James the Brother of our Lord” the same person as the “Apostle James son of Alphaeus”?

December 23, 2020

I was challenged a few days ago because I said that James, the brother of the Lord and bishop of Jerusalem in the Bible, was not the same as the two Apostles named James among the Twelve. The courteous gentleman suggested I misspoke and that the Apostle James son of Alphaeus (or James the Less) […]

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400 Silent Years between the Prophets and the Coming of Christ?

December 21, 2020

When I was a Protestant we spoke of the “400 years of silence” between the last of the OT prophets (Malachi) and the coming of Jesus. Is that correct? I was asked this question earlier today. I have been enjoying The Chosen TV series, ever since I saw an article where Dr. Janet Smith gave […]

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Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live – People and Things at the Nativity

December 19, 2020

Listen to audio or watch on YouTube below. Fun show about the Nativity: People and Things Present at the Nativity including the cave, the star, Mary and Joseph, the Tomb of Rachel, shepherds and magi, sheep and angels – and much more. Fun show. We started by discussing Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary, the cave and […]

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Lansing Diocese’s “Year of the Bible” – with my 3 minute intro to Matthew 5 and the Beatitudes

December 14, 2020

Bishop Boyea of our Lansing Michigan Diocese has been very creative with a well-prepared and well attended “Year of the Bible” program to encourage his faithful to read the Bible daily with him. He also has added many “intro’s” from Bible teachers in the area. He included me for Matthew 5 and John 6. Here […]

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A Walk through the Holy Land with Steve Ray and John Evans

December 9, 2020

This was a delightful discussion between myself (Steve Ray) and a passionate Catholic John Evans. It is loosely entitled “A Day in the Life of the Holy Family”. I hope you enjoy this YouTube.

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A Walk through the Holy Land with Steve Ray and John Evans

December 9, 2020

This was a delightful discussion between myself (Steve Ray) and a passionate Catholic John Evans. It is loosely entitled “A Day in the Life of the Holy Family”. I hope you enjoy this YouTube.

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50+ of the Best Catholic Bible Experts Conference

December 7, 2020

50+ of the top Bible scholars and teachers yours for FREE. January 8-10. The conference is entitled “Take & Read: A Journey into the Bible.” To register for free and learn more, visit Check out the list of committed speakers below.  

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A New Talk by Steve: Walking with Jesus on the Road to Emmaus – free at this conference

December 3, 2020

My friend Charbel Raish in Australia asked me to do a talk for their free conference “Jesus-Centered Life“. My topic is “Walking with Jesus: the Road to Emmaus”. The conference is open from December 5-8, 2020. I was pretty happy with the talk and hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think.

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Mass with 2 Protestants and 1 Crucifix

November 21, 2020

A while ago we went to Mass with two Protestants.  As we walked in the door — there it was, as big as life — a CRUCIFIX with the Body of Our Lord hanging over the altar. I knew what the Protestants were thinking — I used to think the same — “CATHOLICS ARE WRONG, JESUS IS […]

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