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

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

8 things to know and share about the Annunciation

04/07/2013 Comments (9)

The Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce the birth of Christ. Here are 8 things to know and share about the event and how we celebrate it.

This Monday we're going to be celebrating the solemnity of the Annunciation.

This day celebrates the appearance of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to announce of the birth of Christ.

What's going on and why is this day important?

Here are 8 things you need to know.


1. What does the word "Annunciation" mean?

It's derived from the same root as the word "announce." Gabriel is announcing the birth of Christ in advance.

"Annunciation" is simply an old-fashioned way of saying "announcement."

Although we are most familiar with this term being applied to the announcement of Christ's birth, it can be applied in other ways also.

For example, in his book Jesus of Nazareth 3: The Infancy...READ MORE

Filed under annunciation

9 things you need to know about Divine Mercy Sunday

04/04/2013 Comments (8)

What is Divine Mercy Sunday and why are so many people moved by it? Here are 9 things you need to know.

We're almost up to Divine Mercy Sunday.

It's a recent addition to the Church's calendar, and it has links to both private revelation and the Bible.

Millions of people look forward to and are profoundly moved by this day.

What is it, and why is it so important to them?

Here are 9 things you need to know.


1. What is Divine Mercy Sunday?

Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter. It is based on the private revelations of St. Faustina Kowalska, which recommended a particular devotion to the Divine Mercy.

It also has links to the Bible and the readings of this day.

To learn more about St. Faustina, you can CLICK HERE.


2. When was it made part of...READ MORE

Filed under chaplet of divine mercy, confession, divine mercy, divine mercy sunday, easter, sr. faustina, st. faustina, st. faustina kowalska.

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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 the Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to Catholic Answers Magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."