Abide in the Vine

+JMJ+ I was watching a video (linked below) by Dr. Brant Pitre about the parable of the vine and branches in John 15, how we have to abide in the vine if we are to have any life in us, if we are to bear fruit, and if God is to work in us the way He wants to. Those who do not remain in the vine are cut off, and then wither and die since they have cut themselves off from the source of life, and they are cast into the fire and burned. It’s a familiar parable, I’ve heard it countless times. You probably have, too. But this time I noticed something different and I want to share with you.

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Book of the Month, April 2021 – Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls – Part 3 

+JMJ+ Welcome to our Catholic Book of the Month series for April 2021, featuring Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls, by Dr. John Bergsma. This week we’ve got two videos by Dr. Bergsma, one with a PDF handout, and a bonus video of a short talk by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, filmed on location at Qumran.

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A brief overview of the New Testament Part 2

+JMJ+ I enjoyed working up last week’s post (Dr Bergsma’s overview of the New Testament) so much, I’m going to share part 2 of his presentation with you tonight, covering the Gospel of Matthew, and using the same memory devices—stick figures—that he used last time. The text will be quoted or paraphrased from the video unless otherwise noted. None of the following is original, I’m taking it all from his video.

Last week’s post

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A brief overview of the New Testament

+JMJ+ In this post: a brief overview of the New Testament with handy tips and drawings by Dr. John Bergsma. And even if they are stick figures, they’re a whole lot better than what I can do. I’ll give you the video and then some screenshots that will help you get the idea planted in your mind. Drawing these yourself would help even more. I’m gonna try it later tonight, too, after I dig out a sheet of paper and a pencil. (The Story of Salvation series begins again after Pentecost.)

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Book of the Month, April 2021 – Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls – Part 2

+JMJ+ Welcome to part 2 of our Catholic Book of the Month series, featuring Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls, by Dr. John Bergsma. I’ve got some more videos by Dr. Bergsma to share tonight, and an announcement for those who may have missed it on Twitter: I’ll be posting the Live Rosary Threads on Fridays only beginning this week in my continuing effort to spare my eyes and wrists from the computer screens and typing, but still being able to write for the blog, the books I’m working on, and other projects. All of these videos are by Dr. John Bergsma. Some are quite brief, I think the longest is just under twenty minutes. So let’s get to it. Here goes!

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Priesthood in the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls

+JMJ+ Greetings! The Story of Salvation series will be back after the Easter season. This will be a brief post tonight. I want to share a video I found while doing some research on a couple of writing projects (and, yes, the ebooks are coming along, too, slowly, more about that later). With some regularity I am confronted by people who reject Catholicism for one reason or another so when I stumble across a video that pertains to their questions (or accusations), I save them. And since I find them to be helpful in answering non-Catholic objections but also in fostering my own understanding, I think somebody else out there might find them helpful, too.

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The Story of Salvation – Part 10

+JMJ+ Welcome to part 10 of the continuing series, the Story of Salvation. There will be some notes and links at the end of the post. We left our story last time with Lot, having made the unutterably bad decision to be sitting near the gate of Sodom when the angels appear there on their mission to destroy the city full of wickedness.

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The Story of Salvation – Part 9

+JMJ+ Welcome to part 9 of the continuing series, the Story of Salvation. This week we’re looking at Genesis chapters 12-20 and A Father Who Keeps His Promises (AFWKHP), Chapter Five. First I’ll talk a bit about words and symbols. Keep in mind the fact that these are thoughts jotted down rapidly and I’m leaving a whole lot out. Books could be filled with this stuff and have been but this is only a wee and humble blog post. I may take a deeper look at various things later on. Right now my folder of ideas for further exploration is getting very big. Okay, with all of that out of the way, let’s get going.

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The Story of Salvation – Part 8

+JMJ+ Welcome to part 8 of the continuing series, the Story of Salvation. This week we’ll look at the story of Abram and his great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Shem. We won’t get all the way through with their story this week, but we’ll get as far as we can. Notes and links will be at the end of the post.

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The Story of Salvation – Part 7

+JMJ+ Welcome to The Story of Salvation, Part 7. We’re going to look at patterns in this episode, the way the patterns repeat through the Bible and in Noah’s story. (I think this series is going to take more than ten posts, but we’ll see.) You’ll find notes and links below at the end of this post.

According to Scott Hahn, in Our Father’s Plan, there are four basic themes in the Bible:

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The Story of Salvation – Part 6

+JMJ+ Welcome to The Story of Salvation, Part 6: Blessings and Curses. Boils down to this: one can live according to the covenant and keep it and reap the blessings, or live in a way that violates the covenant (covenants can’t actually be broken it but can be violated it) and so trigger the curses. Think of it this way: If I keep my hand off the stove when it’s on, I don’t burn my hand and I can cook my food. But if I put my hand on a hot eye of the stove, I’ll get burned. That’s a simplistic and very imperfect analogy but my point is that it’s not God being vindictive. He gave us a world and said, Live this way and you’ll be blessed, live this other way and you’ll bring all manner of deep, deep trouble upon yourself. And mankind has been awfully bad at following these simple instructions for thousands of years, proving to us that sin damages the one who sins and ripples outward to damage everyone and everything else, too. No sin is private.

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New St Paul Center Series for Lent

Go Deeper in the Mass This Lent as the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology presents Parousia: The Bible and the Mass. All episodes streaming free during Lent. Hey, here’s a thought: give up some of your free time (I know, what’s free time?) and spend it watching this series which I expect to be excellent because everything they’ve done so far has been. While writing this, I stopped to watch a few minutes of the first video. And, yes, it is excellent, production values and content. Oh, yeah, this is definitely going to be a great thing to do for Lent. As usual there are notes and links are the end of this post.

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