Did the Early Christians Believe in the Empty Tomb?

Tuesday, April 08, 2014 9:29 PM Comments (64)

Did the first Christians believe in the empty tomb?

The four Gospels all mention the empty tomb of Christ, which has become a mainstay of modern apologetics.

But some argue that the idea of the empty tomb was a late development in early Christianity—that it only arose decades after the Crucifixion, and that early Christians thought Jesus had been “spiritually” raised from the dead, not literally.

It was only with the passage of time that this spiritual resurrection was interpreted as a literal one, leading to the idea of the empty tomb.

In arguing for this view, advocates of this view might ask why earlier documents of the New Testament don’t mention the empty tomb.

This is, in fact, something that Philip Jenkins is wondering about . . ....READ MORE

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How you can push back against Mozilla/Firefox's gay marriage thuggery

Sunday, April 06, 2014 5:15 PM Comments (243)

Here's how you can push back on Mozilla/Firefox's gay marriage thuggery

Brendan Eich is the creator of the JavaScript programming language and the co-founder of the Mozilla Corporation, which makes the popular web browser Firefox.

Several years ago, he made a donation to support Prop 8, a California ballot measure designed to protect true marriage by definining it in law as between a man and a woman.

This donation just cost him his job.

He was recently named CEO of the Mozilla Corporation. Mozilla proudly trumpeted it on their Facebook page on March 24th:

Big news, Mozillians! Brendan Eich will be appointed to the role of CEO of Mozilla, effective immediately: http://mzl.la/1roIR0w

But the very next entry on their Facebook page, dated April 3, says:

...READ MORE

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Everything That Rises May Diverge: In Memory of Fr. Ray Ryland

Wednesday, April 02, 2014 9:35 PM Comments (13)

Though others have commented on the passing of Fr. Ray Ryland, beloved priest and father, I would like to add a few remarks of my own.

I knew Fr. Ryland, he was very kind to me, and for a time he served as my confessor.

 

Just the Facts

For those who may not be aware of who Fr. Ryland was, here are some of the basic facts:

Oklahoma native Father Ray Ryland, Ph.D., J.D., was an Episcopal clergyman from 1950–1963. In 1963 he was received with his wife, Ruth, and their five children into the Catholic Church. Twenty years later, he was ordained to the priesthood of the Catholic Church, with a dispensation from the rule of celibacy under the Pastoral Provision.

Fr. Ryland served as a naval...READ MORE

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8 things to know and share about the Annunciation

Sunday, March 23, 2014 10:54 PM Comments (11)

This Tuesday 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...READ MORE

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Why would anyone take the missing Malaysia Airlines plane?

Sunday, March 16, 2014 6:19 PM Comments (57)

Why would anyone want to take the missing Malaysia Airlines plane?

The story of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane has been getting weirder and weirder.

Instead of being a simple crash in the sea, it seems that the plane was deliberately hijacked, that its communications gear was largely switched off, and that then it flew along for hours, seemingly being guided expertly using navigational landmarks.

It may be a long shot that the passengers are still alive, but we should pray for them and for their families—and the safety of the whole world.

There are a lot of theories about the missing Malaysian Airlines plane, and we’ll undoubtedly know more in coming days, but I thought I’d put down a few thoughts as I clarify my own thinking on the subject.

Of...READ MORE

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Did Pope Francis just diss apologists? 9 things to know and share

Sunday, March 09, 2014 2:57 PM Comments (122)

Did Pope Francis just diss apologists?

If he did then, as an apologist, I’d be severely annoyed.

But wait! Could this be yet another case of people taking the pope out of context?

Yes. Yes it can.

And it is.

Here are 9 things to know and share . . .

 

1) What’s being claimed?

It’s being claimed that Pope Francis said the Church doesn’t need apologists or crusaders.

 

2) Where did he allegedly say this?

In a speech to the Congregation for Bishops.

It isn’t yet online in English, but it’s in Italian here.

 

3) What did he say?

According to the Washington Post:

He exhorted them to find “authentic” pastors who display “professionalism, service and holiness of life.”

Bishops, he continued, should be “guardians of...READ MORE

Filed under apolgetics, apologists, pope francis

Hidden Harmonies in the Gospels

Thursday, March 06, 2014 4:29 PM Comments (18)

How do hidden harmonies in the Gospels show that the authors were telling the truth about Jesus?

It’s obvious that the four Gospels agree on the main facts about Jesus’ life:

  • He lived in first century Palestine.
  • He travelled through Galilee and Judea.
  • He worked miracles.
  • He taught.
  • He was crucified in Jerusalem at the time of Passover during the administration of Pontius Pilate.
  • He rose from the dead.
  • And so on.

All that’s obvious.

 

Contradictions Among the Gospels?

Critics of the Gospels therefore tend to focus on lesser matters—various differences among the Gospels on matters of detail.

The charges of contradictions among the Gospels tend to vanish, however, if one reads the texts carefully and if one understands the way ancient narrative texts worked and the freedom...READ MORE

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9 things to know and share about Ash Wednesday

Tuesday, March 04, 2014 2:27 PM Comments (10)

Ash Wednesday is upon us again!

Here are 9 things you need to know and share . . .

 

1. What is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is the day that Lent begins (see: 9 things you need to know about Lent).

The name comes from the fact that a particular rite is always celebrated on this Wednesday in which the faithful have ashes put on their foreheads.

According to the Roman Missal:

In the course of today's Mass, ashes are blessed and distributed.

These are made from the olive branches or branches of other trees that were blessed the previous year [on Palm/Passion Sunday].

 

 

2. What does the putting on of ashes symbolize?

According to the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy:

...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 a Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to This Rock magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."