Was St. Peter the Greatest Disciple?

Sunday, October 14, 2012 8:58 PM Comments (9)

"And an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest" (Luke 9:46).

Was it St. Peter the greatest of Jesus' original Twelve disciples?

St. Peter is certainly the most commonly mentioned of the original Twelve. He always stands at the head of the list whenever the names of the Twelve apostles are listed in the Bible. And he was clearly part of Jesus' inner circle, even within the Twelve. He is, unquestionably, the most prominent of the Twelve.

But did Jesus give him a special role among the Twelve, a special position, or was he just more active than the others?

Jesus gives us an answer to this question, and in an unexpected place . . .

 

Who Is the Greatest? Round 1

Jesus took three disciples with him to the Transfiguration: Peter, James, and...READ MORE

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Did the Catholic Church "Change the Sabbath"?

Thursday, October 11, 2012 10:17 PM Comments (69)

Did the Catholic Church "Change the Sabbath"?

You sometimes encounter the charge that the Catholic Church wrongly "changed the sabbath" from Saturday to Sunday. This claim is often made by Seventh-Day Adventists, for example. But even if one isn't accusing the Church of wrongdoing, the question can still arise: Why do Catholics worship on Sunday rather than Saturday? Here's the story . . .

 

What Day the Sabbath Is

First, let's clear away a potential source of confusion. While it's true that people sometimes speak of Sunday as "the Christian sabbath," this is a loose way of speaking. Strictly speaking, the sabbath is the day it always was--Saturday--though it should be noted that traditionally Jewish people have celebrated the...READ MORE

Filed under sabbath, saturday, sunday

Vatican: Stop Messing with the Lamb of God

Tuesday, October 09, 2012 10:01 PM Comments (125)

Can parishes add tropes to the Lamb of God?

In many parishes it has been common for the cantor or choir to extend the Lamb of God by adding additional statements, known as tropes, to it.

The Holy See has been taking an increasingly firm line against this, and now they've issued a clear mandate that it stop.

Here's the story . . .

 

What's Supposed to Happen

According to the Order of Mass, after the sign of peace,

129. Then [the priest] takes the host, breaks it over the paten, and places a small piece in the chalice, saying quietly:

May this mingling of the Body and Blood

of our Lord Jesus Christ

bring eternal life to us who receive it.

130. Meanwhile the following is sung or said:

Lamb of God, you take away the...READ MORE

Filed under committee on divine worship, congregation for divine worship, holy see, lamb of god, liturgy, mass, music

Science Proves the Unborn Are Human Beings

Monday, October 08, 2012 8:47 PM Comments (51)

An unborn child at 16 weeks. Is it just a "religious matter" whether you can kill this little guy?

Abortion is a controversial issue, and at the center of the controversy is the question of whether the unborn are human beings. If they are, then abortion kills a human being.

Many people think that this is somehow a religious issue and involves religious questions like when the soul arrives.

Some people deliberately try to frame the issue this way in order to shut down rational discussion of the subject.

So let's set the question of religious aside entirely.

Instead, let's look at something we should all be able to agree upon: science.

What does science say about whether the unborn are human beings?

 

The "Don't Kill Humans" Rule

It's a fair question.

After all, if somebody...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, apologetics, pro-choice, pro-life, science, unborn

Is St. Peter the Rock on which Jesus built his Church?

Sunday, October 07, 2012 7:33 AM Comments (20)

Is St. Peter the Rock on which Jesus built his Church?

One of the most controversial passages in the Bible is Matthew 16:18, where Jesus tells Peter, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church."

Catholics see this passage as evidence that Jesus made Peter the first pope.

Many Evangelicals look at it as just the opposite.

Who is right?

It's an interesting question, and I've been on both sides of the question. In fact, this passage played a pivotal role in my conversion to the Catholic Church.

You may think you've heard all the arguments about whether Peter is the rock, but I'm going to show you the one that convinced me, and you probably haven't heard it anywhere else . . .

The Basic Argument

A common claim in Protestant...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics, church, jesus, peter, protestantism, protestants, rock

One of the Most Beautiful Stories I Know . . .

Thursday, October 04, 2012 9:00 PM Comments (6)

St. John: Apostle of Love

There are many gems in the writings of the Church Fathers. Some are valuable because of their insight into faith, others are valuable because they fill in things not mentioned in the Bible, and some are valuable because of their spiritual beauty.

Here is one about the Apostle John, who is sometimes called the Apostle of Love. This story alone would earn him that nickname.

It records an incident late in his life, and it is found in the writings of Clement of Alexandria, who wrote only a hundred years afterward and who obtained it from earlier sources.

It may well be true, but whatever degree of historical reliability it has, it touches on powerful human emotions, and it is undeniably...READ MORE

Filed under apostle, apostle john, church fathers, clement of alexandria, forgiveness, grace, john, redemption, sin

Revelation: Solving the mystery of the Nicolaitans

Wednesday, October 03, 2012 11:21 PM Comments (14)

The Revelation of John contains many mysteries, like: Who were the Nicolaitans?

The book of Revelation contains a lot of things that are mysterious. Some are mysterious because of the symbolism it uses, but others are mysterious because what it is referring to is simply unfamiliar to us.

For example, it refers to a mysterious group of heretics known as the "Nicolaitans."

Who were they?

Fortunately, this is a mystery it's possible to shed some light on . . .

 

What Revelation Says

The book of Revelation first refers to the Nicolaitans in the message to the church of Ephesus, where we read:

Yet this you have, you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate [2:6].

That doesn't give us a lot to work with. There is apparently a group of people...READ MORE

Filed under apocalypse, bible, john, nicolaitans, revelation

Newest Doctor of the Church: Her Visions, Her Writings, and Her Secret Language

Monday, October 01, 2012 10:32 PM Comments (20)

St. Hildegard of Bingen: New Doctor of the Church

On Sunday, October 7, Pope Benedict is scheduled to proclaim St. Hildegard of Bingen and St. John of Avila as the newest doctors of the Church.

A doctor (Latin, "teacher") of the Church is a Christian writer who has been specially recognized by the Church for the value of his or her writings.

Earlier this year, Pope Benedict explained his decision to name these two individuals as doctors:

The Spirit, who “has spoken through the prophets”, with the gifts of wisdom and knowledge continues to inspire women and men who engage in the pursuit of truth, offering original ways of understanding and of delving into the mystery of God, of man and of the world.

In this context, I am delighted...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, doctor of the church, hildegard of bingen, st. hildegard of bingen, st. john of avila

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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."