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September 12, 2014

St. Luke begins the second chapter of his Gospel with a chronological note about when Jesus was born: writing:

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.

This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria [Luke 2:1-2].

This passage has been subject to a lot of criticism, because Luke has already linked the birth...

August 12, 2014

In a previous post, I looked at the hypothetical document Q, which most contemporary Bible scholars think Matthew and Luke used when they composed their Gospels.

The reason they think this is that there are 235 verses in Matthew that are paralleled in Luke but not in Mark or John.

The proposal is that there was a document in the early Church that contained (roughly)...

July 15, 2014

No, not that annoying guy from Star Trek.

And not the gadget guy from James Bond.

In biblical scholarship, Q is a hypothetical source that both Matthew and Luke supposedly used.

The reason people talk about it is that there are about 235 verses in Matthew that are paralleled in Luke but not in Mark or John.

This is a significant number. Matthew has 1071 verses and Luke has 1151. If they both have 235 verses uniquely in common with each other then that’s...

July 7, 2014

In the Gospels, the most famous miracle associated with Jesus—other than the Resurrection—is the Feeding of the Five Thousand. It’s recorded in all four Gospels.

But Matthew and Mark record an additional, similar miracle, known as the Feeding of the Four Thousand. The numbers connected with this miracle are a little different (four thousand people are fed, they use seven loaves and “a few small fish,” and they pick up seven baskets of leftovers...

March 21, 2014

In a recent post we looked at the question of how many apostles there were.

The answer isn’t as simple as you might think. In addition to the original Twelve apostles, there was also Matthias, who replaced Judas as one of the Twelve, and Paul, who was never a member of the twelve.

Are there any other apostles who weren’t members of the Twelve?

There is at least one who is easy to name...