How are the gospel authors different?

02/04/2013 Comments (5)

The evangelists Mark and Luke both speak from their own perspectives, which helps better express the complex truth about Jesus.

While they may agree about the facts of Jesus' life, the authors of the four gospels have different interests and perspectives.

Matthew has a particular interest in Jewish concerns, Luke has a particular interest in Gentile concerns, etc.

But sometimes the differences between them come out in more personal ways.

Tuesday's gospel reading contains a particularly striking illustration of that.


Mark on Doctors

Tuesday's Gospel reading contains the passage from Mark 5 dealing with the woman with the flow of blood. You know, the one who is healed by sneaking up and touching Jesus' clothing.

In Mark's account of the event, we read:

And there was a woman who had had a flow of...READ MORE

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What's happening at the Presentation of the Lord?

01/30/2013 Comments (7)

40 days after his birth, Christ was presented at the temple. Why?

Later this week the Church celebrates the Presentation of the Lord.

It's a feast that happens every year on February 2nd.

We read about the presentation of the Lord in Luke 2, but the text can be a little mysterious.

What is actually happening there?

Some claim that Luke himself didn't know . . .


What Luke Says

Here is what Luke actually says about the event . . .

[22] And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord [23] (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord") [24] and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said...READ MORE

Filed under february 2, liturgical year, mary, presentation, presentation of the lord, purification, temple

If you're sick, does that mean you don't have enough faith in God?

01/27/2013 Comments (2)

Can you receive medical treatment when you're sick? Or does that indicate a lack of faith?

According to some Christians, we shouldn't ever be sick. If we ever are sick, it represents a failure on our part.

We haven't had enough faith, they may say, for if we had perfect faith, God would heal us.

Some would see going to the doctor as a sign of bad or weak faith.

It would be nice if we could be healed, instantly, of any sickness or infirmity.

It would also be a great evangelization tool, if people saw Christians never got sick.

But the fact is that God allows sickness in our lives.

In fact, I've been sick for the last week with a bad cold, but I'm feeling better.

At least I'm feeling enough better to make this video, and I thought I'd to one about sickness.


Filed under doctor, faith, hospital, illness, medicine, nurse, sickness

8 Things You Need to Know About St. Paul and His Conversion

01/23/2013 Comments (20)

Paul was converted when Christ appeared to him. What should you know about St. Paul and his conversion?

This Friday, the Church celebrates the conversion of St. Paul.

Here are eight things you need to know about him--and his conversion.


1. Where was St. Paul from?

In Acts 21:39, St. Paul states:

"I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city."

Tarsus was the capital city of the Roman province of Cilicia. This is on the southeast coast of modern Turkey, so St. Paul was not from the holy land. He was actually a Jew born in what is now Turkey.

It was a port city and a noted commercial center. For these reasons, and because it was the capital, he can describe it as "no mean city" (that is, no common, ordinary city). It was famous.

One of the things it was...READ MORE

Filed under bible, conversion of st. paul, liturgical year, paul, st. paul

Will we have free will in heaven?

01/20/2013 Comments (52)

Will we have free will in heaven?

Will we have free will in heaven?

If so, does that mean we might sin and fall again?

If not, what kind of free will would we have there?

And if God can harmonize our free will and sinlessness in heaven, why doesn't he do so in this life?

Here are some thoughts . . .


A Robot "Loves" Me. Big Deal.

NOTE: This is part of a series on the problem of evil. Click here to read the previous posts in the series.

In a previous post, we looked at a common answer to the problem of evil--that God allows sin and the suffering it causes to exist because the only way to eliminate them would be to eliminate free will.

Without free will, according to this view, something important would...READ MORE

Filed under free will, heaven, problem of evil

Was Jesus Dissing His Mother When He Called Her "Woman"?

01/16/2013 Comments (20)

At the wedding at Cana, Jesus told Mary: "Woman, how does your concern affect me?" Was he showing disrespect to her?

This Sunday we're going to hear the gospel account of the wedding at Cana, where Jesus turns to Mary and says, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”

Sounds disrespectful, doesn't it?

Or at least you could take it that way.

But Jesus wasn't being disrespectful at all.

Here's the story . . .


Pronoun Trouble

First, the translation "How does your concern affect me?” (John 2:4 in the NAB:RE) is not a literal rendering of what Jesus says in Greek.

Word-for-word, what he says is "What to me and to you?"

In context, Mary has just come up to him and informed Jesus that the people running the wedding have no wine, so you might literally translate...READ MORE

Filed under cana, gospel of john, gospels, liturgical year, liturgy, mary, wedding at cana

Why does God allow sin and suffering?

01/14/2013 Comments (45)

Why does God allow evil to exist? Why is there sin and suffering in the world? And, what's love got to do with it?

The most perplexing problem in apologetics is the problem of evil: Why would an all-good, all-powerful God allow evil to exist?

There is a real mystery here, and we can only give partial answers.

Here are some of mine . . .


Two Kinds of Evil

We need to recognize that there is more than one kind of evil.

When we use the word "evil," we often mean moral evil (sin), but historically it was frequently used for other things, such as suffering.

These two forms of evil are linked: It is a sin to cause needless suffering, for example.

This brings us to an important question . . .


Could God Stop These Evils?

Yes. God is omnipotent. He is the Creator and Sustainer of the...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics, evil, free will, freedom, love, philosophy, problem of evil, sin, suffering

Why Was Jesus Baptized?

01/09/2013 Comments (6)

Jesus--who was completely without sin--insisted on being baptized. Why?

This Sunday, the Church celebrates the baptism of Jesus Christ.

It's an event that is recorded in all four gospels, so we know it's important.

But there's a question that has puzzled Christians all down through the ages.

It even puzzled John the Baptist, who performed the baptism.

Why was Jesus baptized?


The Problem

We all know what baptism does.

According to the Catechism:

The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes:

  • forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins,
  • birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit.


By this very fact the person...READ MORE

Filed under baptism, baptism of jesus, jesus, liturgical year, liturgy

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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."