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

10/07/2012 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 . . .

10/04/2012 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

10/03/2012 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

10/01/2012 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

The final, crushing, humiliating, DEATH-BLOW to that "miracle of sharing" nonsense

09/29/2012 Comments (40)

Did Jesus really feed more than 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish?

The multiplication of loaves is the most prominent miracle of Jesus' earthly ministry. It is the only miracle--other than his Resurrection--mentioned in all four gospels.

This even ranks the raising of Lazarus.

But despite this, we're subjected to countless homilies in which the priest seems bent on explaining away this grand miracle, in which Jesus fed 5,000 men (plus women and children) with just five loaves and two fish. Instead, we're told, it was just a "miracle of sharing" whereby Jesus encouraged people to share the food they had in secret selfish stashes.

I've written about it before, including comments from Pope Benedict and John Paul II, but here's the final, crushing,...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics, bible, feeding of the five thousand, gospel of john, john 6, miracle, miracles, sharing

Are the German Bishops Just Greedy?

09/26/2012 Comments (80)

Did the German bishops make the right decision?

That's certainly the impression you would get from some discussing a recent decree issued by the German bishops' conference.

It's being characterized as a "pay to pray" policy, whereby the Church will deny you the sacraments if you don't give it money.

One news source headlined the story "German Bishops To Catholics: Pay Up Or Die Without Absolution."

That seems to be about as misleading a headline as you could want, because the decree in question expressly refers to the possibility of people receiving the final sacraments.

But let's look at the matter . . .


The Basic Facts

A member of the Secret Information Club writes:

Dear Jimmy,

What would your view be of the...READ MORE

Filed under apostasy, bishops, church, communion, defection from the faith, excommunication, german bishops, germany, heresy, schism

Did the Authors of the New Testament Know They Were Writing Scripture?

09/26/2012 Comments (16)

Did the authors of the New Testament know they were writing Scripture or did they think they were writing something else?

You'd think that the answer would be an easy, "yes," but a startling number of people--including New Testament scholars--say "no."

I'm always taken aback when I'm reading along and suddenly encounter a statement like, "Of course, the authors of the New Testament didn't know that they were writing Scripture. Their writings only came to have this status later."


How do you know that?

Let's take a look at the issue . . .


What Scripture Is

Today we often think of a particular book as Scripture based on whether it is in the Bible. If it is in the Bible, it's Scripture. If it's not in the Bible, it's not Scripture.

This may be a practical test for us today, but it's not...READ MORE

Filed under acts, bible, gospels, john, luke, mark, matthew, revelation, scripture

Explaining Away the Greatest Miracle of Jesus' Ministry

09/20/2012 Comments (22)

Did Jesus feed 5,000 men (plus women and children) with just five loaves and two fish? Or was there a "miracle of sharing"?

Of all the many miracles Jesus performed during his earthly ministry (that is, before his passion, death, and Resurrection), there is one that stands out: the feeding of the five thousands.

Unlike any other miracle from his ministry, this one is recorded in all four gospels is the feeding of the five thousand.

You would think that people would have a handle on the fact that this was a miracle--an unmistakable supernatural intervention in the order of nature.

Yet every year we are subjected to homilies that try to explain it away as a natural event, suggesting that all Jesus really did was motivate people to share the food that they had with them, so it was really a "miracle of...READ MORE

Filed under bible, gospels, jesus, miracle, miracles

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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."