Friday, 22 April 2011

The historical Jesus reconstructed - Part 5: The passion

Predictions of the Passion

‘This man will be given over to men, and they will kill him.’ (Mk. 8.31 etc.)

The historical Jesus reconstructed - Part 4: Miscellaneous traditions

Forgiveness

A lawyer invited Yeshua to dine with him. Yeshua went to his house and took his place at the table. A woman who was a notorious sinner learned that he was dining at the lawyer’s house and went to see him, taking with her an alabaster flask of ointment. She knelt behind him, weeping, and began to wet his feet with her tears and to kiss them, to wipe them with her hair and to anoint them with the ointment. When the lawyer saw what was happening, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who this is who is touching him and what sort of woman she is.’ Yeshua said to him, ‘Shimeon, I have something to say to you’. ‘What is it, Teacher?’ he replied. ‘There was a creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled both their debts. Which of them would love him more?’ Shimeon answered, ‘The one who had owed him more, I suppose’. Yeshua said to him, ‘You are right’. Then he said to the lawyer, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house and you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not kiss me, but since I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has washed my feet with ointment. I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, and she has loved much.’ (Lk. 7.36-47)

The historical Jesus reconstructed - Part 3: Miracles

Miracles and healings in Kfar Nahum

The fishing town of Capernaum (Kfar Nahum) played an important part in Jesus’ ministry. He seems to have lived there for a time, and he is credited with performing several healings there.

The historical Jesus reconstructed - Part 2: The Kingdom of Heaven

The coming of the Kingdom of Heaven

A crowd gathered at the house where Yeshua was staying, so that the people living there could not even eat. Some lawyers who had come up from Jerusalem said, ‘He is possessed by Beelzebub - he is driving out demons by the power of the prince of demons’. Yeshua called them to him and said to them, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand, and if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, and he is coming to an end. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? They shall be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the Kingdom of Heaven has come upon you.’ (Mt. 12.25-28 etc.)

The historical Jesus reconstructed - Part 1: Beginnings

In the next few posts, I want to attempt a reconstruction of the career of the historical Jesus from the material in the New Testament.  I propose to do this by isolating the narratives and quotations from the gospels which seem to have the strongest claim to historical accuracy.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Cardinals

This is a post about the most exclusive club in the world: the Sacred College of Cardinals.


Why is Latin used as a sacred language?

In this post, I want to examine some of the reasons put forward by Catholic authorities before Vatican II for using Latin as a liturgical language.  I draw on three sources: a theological textbook entitled De Sacrosancto Missae Sacrificio by Cardinal Prospero Lambertini (the future Pope Benedict XIV) published in 1755, Fr Nicholas Gihr's The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (1902) and the last great papal affirmation of the importance of Latin, Pope John XXIII's Veterum Sapientia (1962).


Thursday, 14 April 2011

A traditional Catholic theologian on marriage, part 3 - Gender roles

This is the third and final instalment of my series of posts in which I look at the teachings on marriage of a traditional Catholic theologian, Pietro Pacati, whose Tractatus dogmaticus, moralis et canonicus de matrimonio christiano was published in 1906.

A traditional Catholic theologian on marriage, part 2 - Love and living together

This is the second post in a three-part series looking at the teaching on marriage put forward by a traditional Catholic theologian, Pietro Pacati, whose Tractatus dogmaticus, moralis et canonicus de matrimonio christiano was published in 1906.

A traditional Catholic theologian on marriage, part 1 - Sex

This is the first of what will be a series of posts in which I translate, in abridged form, the writings of a traditional Catholic theologian on matrimony.  This first post deals with the subject of sex (see also here and here on the same subject).  The remaining posts will go on to deal with other aspects of Catholic doctrine on marriage.


The text is taken from Tractatus dogmaticus, moralis et canonicus de matrimonio christiano by Pietro Pacati, published in 1906

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Review of "The Popes against the Jews" by David Kertzer

(Also published under the title Unholy War in the UK)

This is a book by the distinguished Jewish American scholar David Kertzer exploring the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Papal teachings on social justice

This post seeks to draw together some themes from three papal encyclicals dealing with Catholic social teaching: Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (1891), Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno (1931) and John Paul II’s Laborem Exercens (1981).

The Composition of the Non-Pauline Epistles

It is striking how little we know about the authors, dates and circumstances of composition of the minor books of the New Testament.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

A critical introduction to the gospels - Part 2 (John)

We now turn our attention to John's gospel.  This comes from a quite different tradition from Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Liberals and conservatives alike have long agreed that John was written either in the 90s or in the early years of the second century.  It is clear that the traditional claim that St John the apostle wrote the gospel is not tenable.

A critical introduction to the gospels - Part 1 (Matthew, Mark and Luke)

The four canonical gospels of the New Testament are divided into two distinct groups: Matthew, Mark and Luke on the one hand (the ‘synoptic’ gospels) and John on the other.