Friday 31st October 2014

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

December 28, 2013 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. What do I look for in a Bible for a Catholic boy who will be making his Confirmation in the spring? What Catholic Bible should I purchase? — E.C., via e-mail.
A. We would recommend The Catholic Teen Bible, which is published by the St. Jerome Press. It retails for $9.95 and is available from www.saintjeromepress.com or by calling 800-845-2648. In addition to the Bible content, the book also features short articles about many teachings of the Catholic faith. We would also recommend the Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church, popularly known as Youcat, which features an easy question-and-answer format. It retails for $19.95 and is available from www.ignatius.com or by calling 800-651-1531. If you have a local Catholic bookstore, visit there first.

Q. I have read your book about Jesus (“Who Do You Say That I Am?”) and wondered what you think about Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Jesus: A History. — T.L.H., Massachusetts.
A. Actually, we thought it was quite good as a historical account of the life and death of Jesus, and we have decided to offer a lengthy review of the book in case some of our readers might consider giving copies to people who ordinarily would not read a religious book, but might read one on the best-seller lists that is not overtly religious. Killing Jesus really does make a strong case for what we believe about the God-man.
Although both O’Reilly and his co-author, Martin Dugard, are Catholics, they made it clear that their intention was not to write a religious book, but rather “an accurate account of not only how Jesus died, but also the way he lived and how his message has affected the world.” They summarized His impact on the world on page one:
“To say that Jesus of Nazareth was the most influential man who ever lived is almost trite. Nearly two thousand years after he was brutally executed by Roman soldiers, more than 2.2 billion human beings attempt to follow his teachings and believe he is God. That includes 77 percent of the U.S. population, according to a Gallup Poll. The teachings of Jesus have shaped the entire world and continue to do so.”
Relying on the four Gospels (about which they say “there is growing acceptance of their overall historicity and authenticity”), as well as books on Roman history, the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, and visits to the places where Jesus lived and taught, the authors were mostly successful in accurately presenting the life of Christ. They also provided the context for His life by giving a brief history of some Roman emperors, including the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. and the reign of Caesar Augustus, who ordered the census that caused Jesus to be born in Bethlehem instead of Nazareth. The text was enhanced by the inclusion of many maps and illustrations.
Of interest, too, were the biographical sketches of key figures at the time of Jesus, including Herod the Great, his son Herod Antipas, the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate, and Caiaphas and Annas, the two high priests who instigated and directed the plot to kill Christ. Even those who know how the story ends will be able to feel the tension building as the plot unfolds and the authors say, “Jesus of Nazareth has six days to live.”
O’Reilly and Dugard tried to stay away from a religious life of Christ by the way they phrased things, but at the same time they offered evidence that Jesus was more than just a man. For example, in discussing the 12-year-old Jesus’ exchange with the rabbis in the Temple, the authors wrote, “Meanwhile, the Son of God, as Jesus will refer to himself for the first time this very day, listens with rapt fascination as a group of Jewish scholars shares insights about their common faith.”
Later, as Jesus was preparing to enter Jerusalem on a donkey on what we now call Palm Sunday, O’Reilly and Dugard said that “Jesus has led a life that is a continual fulfillment of Jewish prophecy,” and they proceeded to list a dozen prophecies from the Old Testament that were fulfilled only by Jesus. They also gave some credence to Jesus’ miracles by saying that “stories of Jesus turning water into wine and making the lame walk and the blind see have so electrified the region that it is now commonplace for almost anyone with an ailment to seek him out.”
They came close to endorsing miracles directly by writing, “Witnesses say he is performing miracles once again. In one startling account out of the town of Bethany, a man named Lazarus came back from the dead. And Lazarus was not recently deceased. He was four days dead and already laid in the tomb when Jesus is said to have healed him before a great crowd. Lazarus’s body already reeked of decomposition when Jesus ordered that the stone covering the tomb entrance be rolled away. This was not just an act of healing but a display of powers far beyond those of a normal human being.”
That last sentence could have been written by Archbishop Fulton Sheen in his book-length Life of Christ.
On page 259, O’Reilly and Dugard reported on Mary Magdalene’s arrival at the tomb on Easter morning only to find the tomb empty. “To this day,” they wrote, “the body of Jesus of Nazareth has never been found.” We turned the page expecting that the book had ended. But instead, we found the authors noting that “Scripture puts forth that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. After his body was found missing, the Gospels state that Jesus appeared twelve times on earth over a forty-day period. These apparitions range from a single individual to groups of more than five hundred on a mountain in Galilee. Some in that large crowd would speak vividly of the event for years to come. A quarter-century later, the disciple Paul included the mountain appearance in a letter to the Corinthians.”
O’Reilly and Dugard said that Jesus “would go down in history not just as Jesus or Jesus of Nazareth, but as Jesus the Christ, the Messiah.” They went on to describe His influential role in history down to the present time, noting that this role had been cited approvingly by George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and Ronald Reagan.
The authors finished the book by summarizing the fate of the apostles, as well as that of Pilate, Caiaphas, and Herod Antipas, and they chronicled the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in AD 70, just as Jesus had predicted forty years earlier. “It is interesting to note,” they said, “that in many parables, Jesus of Nazareth predicted harsh things for the city of Jerusalem. There is no question those things came true.”
About the only thing in the book that we would take issue with was the statement that the Virgin Mary “was pregnant out of wedlock.” This of course is not true, as we have mentioned many times in the past, but it is the conventional wisdom. Perhaps in future editions of the book, which has sold well over a million copies in a short time, O’Reilly and Dugard will take note of the fact that “betrothal” in the Jewish tradition meant that a couple was married. They might also pay closer attention to Matt. 1:19, where it says that Joseph, on learning that Mary was with child, “decided to divorce her quietly,” something he could hardly do unless they were married.
The authors also gave the correct interpretation of the Gospel references to the “brothers and sisters” of Jesus by saying that “the Catholic Church believes that Mary remained a virgin throughout her entire life” and that “the Church considers the siblings mentioned in the Gospels to be Jesus’ cousins,” although the authors added that other “Christian sects” disagree with this interpretation. They further noted that Pope Pius XII in 1950 issued an infallible pronouncement that the final moments of the Virgin Mary’s life “were not marred by the grave,” which is another way of saying that she was taken up to Heaven body and soul, a dogma that Catholics refer to as her Assumption.
We would also suggest that the authors quote more of Jesus’ sayings on the cross. They only quoted our Lord twice (“I thirst” and “It is finished”). We would have thought that they might have at least mentioned His astonishing statement about His brutal tormenters: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” Or His fascinating colloquy with the Good Thief, who asked to be remembered “when you come into your kingdom” and heard the consoling words, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
This dramatic scene of repentance and forgiveness ought to have been included.
(Editor’s Note: James Likoudis is also reviewing this book for The Wanderer.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Angola: Catholic Priest Refutes Criticism of Church Practices

Lubango — The Southern Huila province?s Lubango city emeritus archbishop, Zacarias Kamwenho, rejected as false the claim that Catholic Christians worship images. Speaking on Sunday in the Muxima Diocese, in Lubango, the archbishop explained that Catholic Christians worship God instead,…Continue Reading

Ave Maria School of Law Wins Its HHS Mandate Case in Federal Court

The Obama Administration has suffered another defeat in its quest to force Catholics and people of faith to pay for abortion-causing drugs, as required by the HHS Mandate. Today the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida came down…Continue Reading

Catholic Educators Appeal to Obama Administration for Relief from HHS Mandate

Today a coalition including The Cardinal Newman Society, leaders of Catholic schools and colleges, and the expert attorneys of the Alliance Defending Freedom told the Obama administration that its latest rule mandating insurance coverage for sterilization and contraception, including abortion-causing…Continue Reading

Toronto schools hosting ‘LGBTQ’ conference for students as young as 11

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is hosting three student conferences within the span of eight days for the purpose of LGBTQ activism.  The conferences, which have been organized in collaboration with Jer’s Vision, will take place on October 28,…Continue Reading

The Synod and the Media: Culpable Naïveté or Shrewd Calculation?

Upon becoming director of media relations for the American bishops in late 1969, I quickly made a crucial discovery about my new employers. With just a handful of exceptions, the bishops were painfully naïve about the news business, yet convinced…Continue Reading

Chaldean Catholic patriarch suspends 10 priests, including 1 from El Cajon

SAN DIEGO – The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church has suspended 10 priests, including one from El Cajon. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako issued a decree a month ago, demanding the priests return to Iraq or be suspended. Wednesday…Continue Reading

Retired Pope Says Interreligious Dialogue No Substitute For Mission

VATICAN CITY – Retired Pope Benedict XVI said dialogue with other religions is no substitute for spreading the Gospel to non-Christian cultures, and warned against relativistic ideas of religious truth as “lethal to faith.” He also said the true motivation…Continue Reading

California Forces Churches to Directly Fund Abortions, Churches Refuse to Comply

To the dismay of California’s people of faith, the California Department of Managed Health Care has reclassified abortion as a “basic health service” under the Affordable Care Act and ordered all insurance plans in the state to begin covering surgical…Continue Reading

Relax. God’s Still In Charge.

It’s an enormous challenge to maintain pristine doctrinal purity while at the same time respond to the experiential, personal, and difficult needs of married couples and families. Behind every arcane discussion of gradualism and natural law there are parents and…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: The “Relatio Synodi” Is “A Significant Improvement Over The Text Of The ‘Relatio Post Disceptationem'”

In a third short interview with CWR, conducted by e-mail late yesterday, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, offers his impression of the Relatio Synodi, comments on reports that the Synod has…Continue Reading

Synod Final Document Reaffirms Church Teaching

The final document of the Extraordinary Synod was released Saturday as the Synod Fathers voted to approve all 62 paragraphs, but with three paragraphs not receiving the normally required two-thirds majority vote. The three paragraphs, which in the past would…Continue Reading

Catholic Synod: Gay Rights Groups ‘Disappointed’

Catholic gay rights groups say they are disappointed after bishops rejected proposals for wider acceptance of gay people, which had the Pope’s backing. The call to “accept and value” homosexuals was in a draft report, but failed to win the…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Writes Personal Ordinariate Of Our Lady Of Walsingham

ben1

(Vatican Radio) Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has sent a message to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, which was established for former Anglicans in England in 2011.  The message was on the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict’s apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, which was released on November 4th 2009. The Pope Emeritus was responding to a letter he received…Continue Reading

Pope At Audience: The Church Visible And Spiritual

pope650

(Vatican Radio)  “Often, we hear people say: the Church doesn’t do this …the Church doesn’t do that!’ ‘Tell me who is the Church? – ‘Well the Church is the priests, the bishops, the Pope …’ We are all the Church! All of us all of us Baptized! We are the Church, the Church of Jesus’”. This was the message at…Continue Reading

Pope At Angelus: Love Of God And Neighbour Are Inseparable

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with pilgrims and tourists gathered in St Peter’s Square beneath the window of the Papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican on Sunday. In remarks ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father offered some reflections on the Gospel reading of the day, which was taken from Gospel…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: Called To Be Children Of Light

(Vatican Radio) At morning Mass on Monday Pope Francis said that a conscientious examination of our words will help us understand whether we are Christians of light, Christians of darkness or Christians of grey areas. Reflecting on the First Reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, the Pope said men are recognizable by their words. By inviting Christians to…Continue Reading

Pass-Fail Grading: For The Professors’ Benefit?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK S.M. writes to offer some observations about the proposal to introduce a “pass-fail” grading system for freshmen at Princeton University. The possibility of doing that was discussed in the October 9 edition of First Teachers. He sees the idea as a “form of grade inflation that is solely intended to accomplish…Continue Reading

Contemporary Culture Encapsulated In A Single Sentence

By DONALD DeMARCO It is remarkable how much a single sentence can reveal about the temper of a culture, even when its author is trying to be withholding. Jacalyn Duffin, a historian and practicing hematologist, is the author of History of Medicine (University of Toronto Press, 2000). It is a 243-page tome that was produced…Continue Reading

Synod Document Of October 13, 2014

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach and cofounder of NFP International. This commentary appeared on his blog [johnkippley.com] of…Continue Reading

Elite Judges Think The Highest Judge Never Will End Their Misrule

By DEXTER DUGGAN Today people worry about globe-trotting terrorists, the transmission of the deadly Ebola virus, and the way contagions can cross borders when the government insists borders must be open for everyone’s alleged benefit. Meanwhile, unaccountable U.S. judges continue their contagion of immorality, as if God’s judgment never will come, maybe in little germs,…Continue Reading

Chilling Free Speech

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO Earlier this week, the federal government’s National Science Foundation, an entity created to encourage the study of science — encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities — announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media. The…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Temples Of The Holy Spirit

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Feast Of The Dedication Of St. John Lateran In Rome Readings: Ezek. 47:1-2, 8-9, 12 1 Cor. 3:9c-11, 16-17 John 2:13-22 Today we celebrate the feast of the dedication of a church building that many people have never heard of and also have no idea of its significance. In Rome, there are four major basilicas; the…Continue Reading

Message Of The Extraordinary Synod Of Bishops . . . We Ask You To Walk With Us Toward The Next Synod

(Editor’s Note: Below is the text of the concluding message of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, held October 5-19. This message was released on October 18. (See Fr. Kevin M. Cusick’s column in this issue, p. 2B, and the front page for reporting and commentary on the separate final document of the Extraordinary Synod.) + + +…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Redefining Marriage: Not About The Kids And The Picket Fence

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Following the Extraordinary Synod and the rollback on confusing language about same-sex attraction and the divorced and remarried in the final version of the Relatio Synodi document, the predictable reactions are coming in. Those who continue to hold Church teaching that marriage is only between a man and a woman are labeled as “bigots,” while…Continue Reading

Debunking The Sola Scriptura Myth… True Tradition And False “Tradition”

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 A classical objection: What Catholics call the “Apostolic Tradition” is just a human tradition, which Jesus clearly condemned in the Gospel, when He said to the Pharisees, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?…So, for the sake of your tradition you have made void the…Continue Reading

Public Revelation Vs. Private Revelation

By DON FIER Our previous installment ended by citing a pair of remarkable verses from the Letter to the Hebrews, verses that concisely summarize God’s divine pedagogy, His master plan of divine Revelation: “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by a…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Wolfgang

By CAROLE BRESLIN October 31 has come to be yet another Christian holy day corrupted by our secular society. All Hallows Eve, Halloween, is now celebrated with emphasis on evil and horror. Corn mazes with frightening objects around the corner, haunted houses to terrify even the bravest of persons, glorification of vampires, and decorations of death and witches — these…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Mary Claret

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Anthony Mary Claret has something in common with at least three other saints. Like St. Peter Claver, he was born in northeastern Spain — over 200 years later. Like St. Pio of Pietrelcina, when he heard Confessions, he frequently could read the souls of the penitents, asking them about a sin that they had not confessed.…Continue Reading

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading