"Integral Age" Update!

11/29/2014 Comments (4)

What does a team effort reveal about the idea that Moses and other holy men lived in whole year units?

Recently I blogged about the common apologetics claim that the dates of Christmas and the Annunciation were based on the idea that Jesus lived to an “integral age.”

In other words, that Jesus died on the anniversary of his birth or conception.

According to some authors, it was popularly believed among ancient Jews that prophets and other holy men died on their birthdays.

But my own research into the topic did not back this up.

I therefore asked if others could shed any light on the subject, and they did!

With the generous help of various individuals, mostly on Facebook, I’ve been able to get further information on this subject.


The origin of “integral age”

Jon Sorensen noted that...READ MORE

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Is the “integral age” theory an apologetics myth? 9 things to know and share

11/28/2014 Comments (10)

Is a common apologetics argument about Christmas and the Annunciation actually a myth?

Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25th? Why is the Annunciation on March 25th?

According to some authors, it’s due to something called the “integral age” view that was common among ancient Jews.

But this idea itself might be a myth.

Here are 9 things to know and share . . .




1) What is the “integral age” view?

Supposedly, it is a belief that was common in ancient Judaism, and it held that prophets (and other holy men) died on the same day that they were born or—according to some accounts—the day they were conceived.

They thus lived their lives in whole or “integral” years (from the Latin integer = “whole”).



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What's wrong with The Principle?

11/13/2014 Comments (95)

What's wrong with the arguments used in the geocentrism-promoting documentary The Principle?

The Principle is a documentary promoting geocentrism, or the idea that the earth is at the center of the universe.

In a previous post, I looked at how well it worked as a film. (I gave it * * 1/2 stars out of 5.)

What about the content of the film? How well does that stand up?

It depends on the level you are talking about.

At the highest level, the film contains a message that science and faith are not enemies and should not be pitted against each other.


But that doesn’t mean that the earth is at the center of the universe, which is what the film wants to suggest.

The summaries that The Principle provides about the history of astronomy also are generally accurate, though I was...READ MORE

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The Principle: A Movie Review

11/12/2014 Comments (58)

How well does "The Principle" work as a movie?

Recently the Register asked me to review The Principle—a documentary that promotes geocentrism, or the idea that the earth is at the center of the universe.

This film is much smaller than most of those the Register reviews. Indeed, at the time of this writing it has only reported $16,826 at the box office—half of which was made in a single theater on its opening weekend.

But the film is being disproportionately discussed in conservative Catholic circles, so I agreed.

Like any documentary, this one can be looked at more than one way. One perspective concerns the production values and how well it is executed. Another concerns the content of the film and how successfully it argues its case....READ MORE

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All Souls Day

11/02/2014 Comments (14)

This morning when I got to Mass, I saw that they were having one of those craft fairs that they occasionally have at the parish.

People set up booths and put out their wares—homemade potholders and jewelery and quilts and things like that.

I’ve strolled through these a couple of time and never found anything that interested me, which made the experience a little frustrating—taking the time to look but not finding anything for one’s efforts.

After a while, I started ignoring these events. They seemed to be designed to appeal to a different demographic than I fall into. Specifically, they seem designed to appeal to a feminine demographic.

This morning, I quickly walked past the exhibits...READ MORE

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St Luke: 10 things to know and share

10/17/2014 Comments (11)

Who was St. Luke and what debt do we owe to him? Here are 10 things to know and share . . .

October 18th is the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist.

Who was he and what do we know about him?

Here are 10 things to know and share . . .


1) Who was St. Luke?

St. Luke is mentioned by name in three passages of Scripture:

  • In Colossians 4:14, St. Paul writes: “Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you.”
  • In 2 Timothy 4:11, Paul writes: “Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you; for he is very useful in serving me.”
  • And in Philemon 23-24, Paul writes: “Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.”

Since Luke is mentioned in three letters, we can infer that he was a...READ MORE

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Good news from the Synod of Bishops! 12 things to know and share

10/15/2014 Comments (65)

The last couple of days have brought signs of hope from the Synod of Bishops on the family. Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

The last couple of days have brought some good news from the current synod of bishops on the family.

Where things are going is still far from certain and there is still reason for concern, but there have been a number of welcoming signs.

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .


1) If you had to boil it down, what’s the single most important piece of good news?

That there has been widespread pushback among the synod fathers against the document issued Monday, called the relatio post disceptationem.


2) What is a relatio post disceptationem?

The phrase means “the report after discussion” or “the report after debate.”

Basically, it’s meant to be a document summarizing the themes...READ MORE

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The Law of Gradualness: 12 things to know and share

10/13/2014 Comments (50)

What is the "law of gradualness" and why is it such big news at the Synod of Bishops?

Most Catholics have never even heard of the “law of gradualness,” but it became big news this week at the Synod on the Family.

What is the law of gradualness, and what role does it play in Catholic thought?

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .


1) What is the law of gradualness?

It is a principle used in Catholic moral and pastoral theology, according to which people should be encouraged to grow closer to God and his plan for our lives in a step-by-step manner rather than expecting to jump from an initial conversion to perfection in a single step.


2) Is there a basis for this idea?

Yes. Human experience testifies that we are not made perfect upon our initial conversion. We...READ MORE

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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."