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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...

March 12, 2014

There were twelve apostles, right?

Actually, it’s more complicated than that.

An initial complication is the fact that Judas Iscariot died and was replaced by Matthias (Acts 1:12-26).

You could look at that and say, “Okay, there were thirteen apostles, total, but only twelve at one time.”

What about Paul?

Some (at least some in the Protestant community) have suggested that, since the New Testament doesn’t record...

December 10, 2013

Adherents of the New Age movement often claim that early Christians believed in reincarnation.

Shirley MacLaine, for example, recalls being taught as a New Ager:

“The theory of reincarnation is recorded in the Bible. But the proper interpretations were struck from it during an ecumenical council meeting of the Catholic Church in Constantinople sometime around A.D. 553, called the First Council of Nicaea” (Out on a Limb, 234–35).


December 3, 2013

Many Protestant churches—including some of those I attended before I became Catholic—are of the view that God no longer gives visions.

“The age of prophecy is over,” they say.

Other Protestants—notably those in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements—think otherwise. So does the Catholic Church.

Catholic theology commonly distinguishes between what is known as public revelation and private revelation. Public revelation—which is the kind of revelation we find in...