This Week’s Ask Alice: The Bible – Word of God?



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Rational Asks: Why do you Christians believe the Bible is the Word of God?

Alice Answers: We Catholics and our Christian brothers and sisters believe God is the ultimate author of the Bible.

We believe that God inspired the human authors of the Bible, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to accurately write His words.

Many verses in the Bible proclaim God as the Divine Author of both the Old and New Testaments.

“All Scripture is inspired of God and is useful for teaching — for reproof, correction and training in holiness so that the man of God may be fully competent and equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

All Scripture is fulfilled in Christ. Jesus’ own words and deeds are recorded in Sacred Scripture.

The Bible contains a myriad of quotations and teachings from our Lord. In addition, Jesus himself quoted passages from the Old Testament. When He was hungry and being tempted in the desert, Jesus responded to Satan,

“Scripture has it: ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4)

While theologians contend that the Bible is the compilation of 40 men who were unknown to one another, ranging from kings to a tent maker, each wrote with a single purpose: to unite people with God, for eternity. Throughout its pages the Bible provides eye-and-ear-witness testimonies to the empowering word of God.

“For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)

To believe, as Catholics do, that the Bible is the word of God is an act of faith. Faith is believing what we cannot see or hear, that which cannot be scientifically proven.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Doug Lawrence adds: In addition to faith, we Christians also have tradition and fulfilled prophecy to back up our beliefs.

TRADITION

To put it very simply, tradition is the means by which the Holy Spirit guides and inspires the People of God, from age to age.

Before the Old Testament of the Bible was written, it was faithfully preserved by means of tradition. Before the New Testament was written, the truths contained therein were preserved and disseminated, via tradition.

The entire Canon of Scripture has in a very real sense, been inspired, preserved, set down in writing, defined, confirmed, proclaimed, translated and distributed, by means of Catholic Church tradition.

Why do we say this? Simply because nowhere can we find any specific written or even verbal instructions from God, ordering anyone to write down and/or otherwise record his collective words and/or commands.

About the closest we come to this is Moses’ receipt of the Ten Commandments, in stone, and his subsequent written codification (on paper) of several hundred related statutes and ordinances, known collectively as the Mosaic Law, which was first used to help govern the Israelites throughout their desert wanderings.

We know from scripture that, for some 40 years, Moses often spoke to God, “face to face”. If Moses decided to begin writing things down … and God permitted it to be done … then it must have been OK. (Moses wrote the first 5 books of the what we Christians refer to as the Old Testament.)

Later Hebrew prophets and scribes would choose to do likewise … as would the Holy Spirit inspired leadership of the early Christian church.

This is tradition, in action!

Until the complete Bible was set to writing and finally confirmed by the Catholic Church, it was constantly preserved via oral and written tradition, with the aid of some very distinctive, practical and effective cultural accoutrements, which were part and parcel of both the Hebrew and Christian ways of life.

We know and refer to this as the Judeo-Christian Tradition.

PROPHECY

Another reason people of the Christian faith believe the Bible is the Word of God is the fact that about one third of the Bible is prophetic … accurately predicting very specific persons and events to come, often hundreds or even thousands of years in advance.

People living in our times have the unique ability to identify and correlate specific Bible prophecies with their subsequent fulfillment in what is now past human history.

Some 300 ancient yet very specific Bible prophecies (relating to the divine person-hood, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ) were perfectly fulfilled in the 4 days between Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday, alone.

Many, many more biblical prophecies have already been fulfilled, and still more are thought to apply to the future … many of those centered around the “end times” and the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.

See:

Proof from the Bible that Jesus Christ is God

What Everybody (especially Christians) Should Know About the Bible

Catholic Prophecies for the End Times

  Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

“I don’t know where we went wrong other than that we obviously don’t understand the Scriptures in the way that we should.”

I had profiled several believers before May 21. The day after, most didn’t answer the phone. Those who did wouldn’t talk on the record. But one man, his voice quavering, said he was still holding out hope that they were one day off. Another believer asserted that their prayers worked: God delayed judgment so that more people could be saved, but the end is “imminent.”

Tom Evans was contrite. Evans is on the board of Family Radio, the organization led by Harold Camping, who calculated and promoted the May 21 date.

“I don’t know where we went wrong other than that we obviously don’t understand the Scriptures in the way that we should,” he says.

It’s very hard for us to say, ‘Boy, was I stupid!’ The more committed a person is to their prophecy, the more likely they are to justify that action, and to try to convince people that their belief was in some way right or good. – Elliot Aronson, psychologist

Camping has yet to make a statement, but Evans hopes they will not recalculate and announce a new date for Judgment Day. After all, they’ve done that at least once before — in 1994 — and he believes they’ve learned a lesson.

Link

Some “deep background” on Saturday’s “End of the World” prediction

by Doug Lawrence

While I fully expect to still be blogging, come Sunday … the folks behind the widely disseminated prediction of the imminent end of days, purported to be coming up on Saturday, May 21, may actually have a few things figured out correctly … at least in a very approximate sense.

Looking back at the way God chose to accomplish certain critical events in the past … such as the day Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, the date of the destruction of the 1st temple, the time of the 1st coming of Jesus Christ, the date of the first Christian Pentecost, the date of the encirclement, cutting off and invasion of Jerusalem, and a few months later, the destruction of the 2nd temple … all point to a likely time frame for the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ and the final conclusion of the end of this world age, to begin on Pentecost Sunday, and wrap up around the date of the old Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, in the fall (which coincides with the likely, actual date of the first Christmas … Christ’s first coming.)

The above also pretty much dovetails with the final 5 months of world cataclysms, as detailed in the Book of Revelation.

So … do I think the world is going to end, this coming Saturday? Absolutely not!

In truth … as Jesus rightly pointed out … no man knows the hour or the day. Only God the Father knows that. Catholics meanwhile, are advised to concentrate on more mundane and practical matters, such as the state of our personal soul.

But when the actual, God-appointed time of the end does finally arrive (and if you happen to still be alive, here on earth) I suggest you look for things to begin to come to a head on or about Pentecost Sunday … finally wrapping up in late September, about 5 months hence, with the return of Jesus Christ, the Eternal King of the Ages.

And that will certainly be something to see!

Tuesday of Holy Week: The fearful prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem.


Tuesday of Holy Week According to Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus again returns to Jerusalem where he is confronted by the Temple leadership for what he did yesterday. They question his authority. He also teaches extensively using parables and other forms. There is the parable of the vineyard (cf Mt 21:33-46), the parable of the wedding banquet, (cf Mt. 22:1). There is also the teaching on paying taxes (cf Mt 22:15) and the rebuke of the Sadducees who deny the resurrection (cf Mt. 22:23). There is also the fearful prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem if the inhabitants do not come to faith in him. He warns that not one stone will be left on another (cf Mt 24). Continue to pray with Jesus and listen carefully to his final teachings just before his passion.

Matthew 24:1-14  And Jesus being come out of the temple, went away. And his disciples came to shew him the buildings of the temple. And he answering, said to them: Do you see all these things? Amen I say to you, there shall not be left here a stone upon a stone that shall not be destroyed. And when he was sitting on mount Olivet, the disciples came to him privately, saying: Tell us when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the consummation of the world? And Jesus answering, said to them: Take heed that no man seduce you. For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ. And they will seduce many. And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass: but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And there shall be pestilences and famines and earthquakes in places. Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted and shall put you to death: and you shall be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be scandalized and shall betray one another and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise and shall seduce many. And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold. But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations: and then shall the consummation come.

Link

Thought provoking 60-minute Fatima video once again available (free) on-line.


Click here to watch “Heaven’s Key To Peace”

In the Fullness of Time…


All was in readiness for the coming of our Lord, which event, according to signs and prophecies, must be near at hand. Four hundred years before the Birth of Christ, Malachias, the last of the prophets, could not restrain his joy at the near approach of the Messias. He told the Jewish priests that the Temple should soon be closed for ever, and the fires on their altars extinguished, for that their offerings had ceased to be pleasing to the Lord of Hosts. He said: “I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of Hosts, and I will not receive a gift at your hand. For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, My name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to My name a clean oblation. For My name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of Hosts.”

Nothing remained to be accomplished, save the prophecy of Jacob to his son Juda. This last sign was not delayed. The Jewish people, torn and weakened by continual dissensions among themselves, called in the Romans to decide their quarrels, and the Romans, a great and powerful nation, settled the dispute by taking possession of all Judaea, and placing on its throne Herod, a stranger, a satellite of the Roman emperor. Thus was the sceptre departed* from Juda, and that event ushered in the Redeemer of the world, the desired of the nations.

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Interesting stuff about the priesthood and the pope.

Moses (R) and Aaron (L)

When God made Aaron, the brother of Moses, the first high priest, he officially set up the office of priest in perpetuity (a man so ordained would remain a priest forever and the office of the priesthood would continue forever):

Exodus 29:9 – 11 To wit, Aaron and his children, and thou shalt put mitres upon them; and they shall be priests to me by a perpetual ordinance.


The high priest was endowed with awesome responsibilities, special powers and extraordinary authority. A high priest normally served for life (until later times, when that was changed). He was in charge of all the other priests, as well as the administration of the Tabernacle or Temple. When he died, his office was to be handed down to his successor:

Exodus 29:29 – 30 And the holy vesture, which Aaron shall use, his sons shall have after him, that they may be anointed, and their hands consecrated in it. He of his sons that shall be appointed high priest in his stead, and that shall enter into the tabernacle of the testimony to minister in the sanctuary, shall wear it seven days.

It was also normal for the high priest to prophecy. His prophetic words were considered to come straight from God. This was true even for corrupt high priests (like Caiphus, who condemned Jesus):

John 11:49 – 53 But one of them, named Caiphas, being the high priest that year, said to them: You know nothing. Neither do you consider that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people and that the whole nation perish not. And this he spoke not of himself: but being the high priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation. And not only for the nation, but to gather together in one the children of God that were dispersed. From that day therefore they devised to put him to death.

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