The Name of the Doctor

05/05/2013 Comments (20)

They're about to reveal Doctor Who's name. Here are some thoughts . . .

We're just about up to the final episode of the current season of Doctor Who.

The title of the episode is "The Name of the Doctor," and it promises to reveal the Doctor's actual name, something that has never been revealed in the 50-year history of the show.

We'll apparently learn the Doctor's name--and why he's kept is secret all this time--at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, when "The Name of the Doctor" airs on BBC America (or a few hours earlier, if you're in the U.K.).

Here are a few thoughts . . .

(BTW, apologies to those who aren't familiar with Doctor Who; what follows is speculation about a major event in the show, and it presupposes some knowledge of what's been happening.)

...READ MORE

Filed under doctor who, pop culture, science fiction, television

Pronoun Trouble

05/01/2013 Comments (65)

They're butchering the Swedish language with a hen! And it isn't the Swedish chef who's doing it!

Even Slate Magazine seems skeptical of a recent move in Sweden to introduce a genderless personal pronoun into the Swedish language:

 

Earlier this month, the movement for gender neutrality reached a milestone: Just days after International Women's Day a new pronoun, hen (pronounced like the bird in English), was added to the online version of the country’s National Encyclopedia.

The entry defines hen as a "proposed gender-neutral personal pronoun instead of he [han in Swedish] and she [hon]."

The National Encyclopedia announcement came amid a heated debate about gender neutrality that has been raging in Swedish newspaper columns and TV studios and on parenting blogs and feminist...READ MORE

Filed under english, feminism, gender, inclusive language, sweden, swedish

8 things to know and share about St. Catherine of Siena

04/27/2013 Comments (10)

St. Catherine of Siena is a saint, mystic, and doctor of the Church. Here are 8 things about her to know and share.

April 29th is the memorial of St. Catherine of Siena.

She is a saint, a mystic, and a doctor of the Church, as well as a patroness of Italy and of Europe.

Who was she, and why is her life so significant?

Here are 8 things to know and share . . .

 

1. Who is St. Catherine of Siena?

In 2010, Pope Benedict gave an audience in which he discussed the basic facts of her life:

Born in Siena [Italy] in 1347, into a very large family, she died in Rome in 1380.

When Catherine was 16 years old, motivated by a vision of St Dominic, she entered the Third Order of the Dominicans, the female branch known as the Mantellate.

While living at home, she confirmed her vow of virginity made...READ MORE

Filed under catherine, catherine of siena, doctor of the church, doctors of the church, liturgical year, mystic, mystical phenomena, saint, saints, siena

8 things to know and share about St. Mark and his gospel

04/23/2013 Comments (8)

April 25 is the feast of St. Mark, companion of the apostles and evangelist. Here are 8 things about him to know and share.

April 25 is the feast of St. Mark, one of the companions of the apostles and the author of one of the gospels.

Who was he, and what do the Bible and the Church Fathers record about him?

Here are 8 things to know and share . . .

 

1. Who was St. Mark?

St. Mark is commonly identified as:

  • The figure John Mark from the book of Acts
  • The figure referred to in St. Paul's epistles simply as "Mark"
  • The figure in St. Peter's epistles also referred to simply as "Mark"
  • The author of the second gospel
  • The first bishop of Alexandria, Egypt

 

2. What does the book of Acts tell us about Mark?

We first meet him in chapter 12, just after the martyrdom of James the son...READ MORE

Filed under gospel of mark, liturgical year, mark, st. mark

What year was Jesus born? The answer may surprise you

04/21/2013 Comments (5)

What year was Jesus born? The answer may surprise you.

You might think that Jesus was born in the Year Zero--between 1 B.C. and A.D. 1.

You often hear that Jesus was born around 6-7 B.C.

The evidence from the Bible and the Church Fathers, however, support a different year.

Here's what the evidence says . . .

 

Not in Year Zero

There is a good reason why Jesus wasn't born in Year Zero: There wasn't one.

The sequence of years before Christ ends at 1 B.C. and the A.D. series picks up the very next year with A.D. 1.

This is a bit surprising to us, since we're used to working with number lines that have a zero on them, but zero wasn't a concept on the intellectual scene when our way of reckoning years was developed.

If it helps,...READ MORE

Filed under bible history, birth of jesus, christmas, chronology, nativity

Jesus' birth and when Herod the Great *really* died

04/17/2013 Comments (11)

The birth of Jesus Christ is tied to the death of Herod the Great. Here's when that *actually* happened.

The Gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus Christ was born in the final years of the tyrant known as Herod the Great.

He tells us that when Jesus was born, Herod panicked and had all the baby boys in Bethlehem killed.

Fortunately, the Holy Family escaped to Egypt and remained there until Herod was dead.

They didn't have to stay long, though.

Here's when Herod the Great actually died . . .

 

Setting Aside a Common Mistake

For just over a hundred years, the question of when Herod the Great died has been dominated by a proposal by the German scholar Emil Schurer.

He suggested that Herod died in 4 B.C., and this view took off in scholarly circles.

But in recent decades, it's...READ MORE

Filed under birth of christ, birth of jesus, christmas, herod the great, nativity

The 100-year old *mistake* about the Birth of Jesus

04/13/2013 Comments (30)

This man is Emil Schurer. It appears that, over a hundred years ago, he made a mistake that messed up our knowledge of when Christ was born.

You know how people often say that Jesus was born in 4 B.C., 6 B.C., 7 B.C., or a time earlier still?

The calculations that lead to these dates are all based on a proposal that was made just over a hundred years ago.

But now scholars are challenging this proposal, because it looks like it's wrong.

And it's been distorting our understanding of when Jesus was born for over a hundred years.

Here's the story. . . .

 

When Herod Died

The Gospel of Matthew records that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great.

Luke doesn't say it explicitly, but he does indicate that the birth of John the Baptist was foretold during Herod's reign.

If Jesus was born during the reign...READ MORE

Filed under birth, christmas, jesus

7 clues tell us *precisely* when Jesus died (the year, month, day, and hour revealed)

04/10/2013 Comments (85)

If we put the clues together, can we figure out precisely when Jesus died? Yes, we can!

We recently celebrated Good Friday and Easter, the annual celebrations of Jesus' death and resurrection.

We all know that this happened in Jerusalem in the first century.

That separates Jesus from mythical pagan deities, who were supposed to live in places or times that none could specify.

Just how specific can we be with the death of Jesus?

Can we determine the exact day?

We can.

And here's how . . .

 

Clue #1: The High Priesthood of Caiaphas

The gospels indicate that Jesus was crucified at the instigation of the first century high priest named Caiaphas (Matthew 26:3-4, John 11:49-53).

We know from other sources that he served as high priest from A.D. 18 to 36, so...READ MORE

Filed under chronology, crucifixion, crucifixion of jesus, death of jesus, good friday, history, myth, mythicists

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About Jimmy Akin

Jimmy Akin
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Jimmy was born in Texas, grew up nominally Protestant, but at age 20 experienced a profound conversion to Christ. Planning on becoming a Protestant pastor or seminary professor, he started an intensive study of the Bible. But the more he immersed himself in Scripture the more he found to support the Catholic faith. Eventually, he entered the Catholic Church. His conversion story, "A Triumph and a Tragedy," is published in Surprised by Truth. Besides being an author, Jimmy is a Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to This Rock magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."