The Biblioblog Reference Library

[«] Posts by the Author "Michael Barber"(#336)

August 16 2016, 1PM

Yes, it's official. Bloomsbury is announcing that Pope Benedict has a new book coming in November 2016, entitled, The Last Testament. It appears to be 224 pages. Ever since Bloomsbury merged ("bought out?") T & T Clark, they have been eme...

January 7, 9PM

I am very excited to once again be a part of the 13th Annual West Coast Biblical Studies Conference, co-sponsored by JPCatholic University and the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.  This is year presenters include Scott Hahn, John Bergsma, John Ki...

October 15 2015, 11PM

The Messiah died. As Christians we have become numb to the oddity of such a message. The thought was apparently abhorrent to some of Jesus' disciples. When Jesus announces his upcoming passion, Peter protests, “God forbid, Lord! This shall never happe...

October 2, 12 AM

This Sunday the lectionary readings focus our attention on marriage and family. Indeed, the texts we read here will serve as the basis for the discussion of the upcoming Synod Pope Francis has called together in Rome. So much could be said about them. He...

September 8, 9PM

JP Catholic University is looking to buy some more real estate, which could be the site for a new building housing a bigger chapel as well as some other fine facilities. Essentially, the purchase would double the size of the school's campus. Time is of ...

August 20, 11PM

This Sunday we complete the trek through the lectionary's reading of John 6. We begin this Sunday by reading from yet another story linked to the Exodus traditions that form of the backdrop of imagery of the Bread of Life discourse. Specifically, the Firs...

August 6, 1PM

This Sunday, we continue our trek through John 6. There are five weeks devoted to this chapter in which we first hear of Jesus' multiplication of the loaves and fish before moving into the famous Bread of Life discourse. Is the Bread of Life discourse ab...

July 13, 5AM

This was a wonderful episode of Franciscan University Presents. By the way, Fr. Maconi's monograph, One Christ: St. Augustine's Theology of Deification (Catholic University of America, 2013) is a spectacular study. Pick it up here.

July 10, 5PM

Here are some thoughts on this Sunday's lectionary readings. I always find that looking at the readings in advance helps me prepare me to better enter into the Church's liturgical celebration. I hope you will find this helpful. . . FIRST READING: Amos 7...

June 18, 12 PM

In the Gospel reading for this Sunday Jesus silences the storm, prompting the disciples to wonder about his true identity. For ancient Jews, God was the one with power over the wind and the sea. Here Jesus demonstrates that his disciples' fears were an e...

May 3, 11PM

UPDATE: I just noticed that Anthony Le Donne has linked to the same post. He posted it first. From The Toast. 1. “I’d like you to know that I’m particularly smart. Here are some subjects I consider myself to be very smart about. There is no questi...

April 16, 11AM

Two themes are underscored by this Sunday's lectionary readings. First, Jesus' passion was anticipated by the prophets. Second, Jesus died for a purpose, namely, the forgiveness of sins. As the lectionary will also make clear, however, recognizing these ... [Catholic] [Lectionary] [liturgy] [NA] [Suffering Servant] [Sunday Readings]

April 4, 12 AM

Here I thought I'd offer some thoughts on the readings for the Mass of Easter Day. (For the Easter Vigil readings, go here for John Bergsma's fine commentary from last year.) Happy Easter in advance! FIRST READING: Acts 10:34a, 37-43 Peter proceede... [Easter Sunday] [Lectionary] [NA]

April 2, 4PM

In the past, we here at TheSacredPage.com have offered commentary on the Good Friday readings. (Here is last year's fine commentary from John Bergsma). While the lectionary for Sundays and Holy Days follows a three year cycle, the readings for the Good F... [Crucifixion] [Good Friday] [jesus] [NA] [Passion Narrative] [Thomas Aquinas]

March 19, 1AM

This Sunday is the last Sunday of Lent before Holy Week. The readings, therefore, lead us into the heart of the mystery of the suffering and death of Christ. Below are a few thoughts on the lectionary selections. FIRST READING: Jeremiah 31:31-34 The da... [Catholic] [Fifth Sunday of Lent] [grain of wheat] [Lent] [NA] [Passover] [Sunday lectionary readings]

March 5, 12 AM

This Saturday morning I'll be speaking at St. Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic Church in Walnut, CA. The topic will be intentional discipleship.  Here's some information. Cost: FREE.  Location: Vellucci Hall at St. Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic Church, 747 Meadowpass R...

February 20, 3AM

This Sunday we celebrate the First Sunday of Lent. The lectionary readings focus on the flood--at least the first two. The reason for this might not seem immediately clear.  The Gospel reading, taken from Mark, then goes on to describe Christ's forty ... [flood] [Lent] [NA] [Sunday Readings]

February 18, 1PM

Just in case you were wondering. . .

February 6, 12 AM

This Sunday the lectionary has us pick up where we left off in the Gospel of Mark last Sunday. Last week we heard about how Jesus' ministry was characterized by "authority"/"power"--something which was specifically highlighted by his a...

February 4, 12 PM

This weekend Brant and I are returning once again to Lubbock, Texas to speak at the Footsteps in Faith Bible Conference, hosted at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. This conference has been such a blessing. Having been there so many times and getting to know s...

January 30, 1AM

I This Sunday the lectionary readings highlight the way Jesus fulfills Moses' announcement that God would one day send a future prophet like himself to God's people. However, as the readings also underscore, Jesus is more than a mere prophet, he is the Me...

January 25, 11PM

Come join John Kincaid and me for a special Bible Conference at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church in beautiful Santa Maria, California, this coming February 24, 2014. The event is free. I've posted the flyer for the conference below. This is th...

January 23, 5PM

Last week, LiveScience.com ran an interview with Craig Evans in which he spoke about the discovery of what is claimed to be the earliest copy of a text from Mark's Gospel. According to Evans, the text was retrieved from an ancient Egyptian mummy mask. To...

January 15, 6PM

I am currently reading Francis Watson's recent book, Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013). The book is stimulating and I hope to have the opportunity to say a few things about it here in the coming weeks.  Let me jus...

January 9, 12 AM

Today my friend Leroy Huizenga is celebrating his birthday. Leroy is one of the most exciting young Matthean scholars around today. I highly recommend his monograph, The New Isaac: Tradition and Intertextuality in the Gospel of Matthew (NovTSup 131; Leid...

January 3, 2AM

I am currently reading Douglas A. Campbell recent monograph on Paul, entitled, Framing Paul: An Epistolary Biography (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014). Campbell is recognized as one of the most influential Pauline scholars writing today and so, as with any n...

January 1, 1AM

Here. As usual, it's well done. Grateful to have been included.

December 31 2014, 12 AM

As we wrap up 2014, I wanted to pull together a list of some of my favorite reads of the year. This is always painful--there were so many great books I read this year. But in order to keep this post short and meaningful (a list of 10 is just going to be t...

December 30, 3PM

This is the second post in a few days in which I'm "exploring our matrix"--that is, interacting with a blog post by James McGrath. In a post, "Was Jesus Wrong on Purpose?," James looks at the story in Mark 2 where Jesus appears to mis...

December 27, 4PM

James McGrath has kindly linked over to a post I wrote a while back in which I briefly mention an article by Simon Gathercole. Gathercole meticulously examines the extant manuscripts of the Gospels and demonstrates that there is no textual evidence--not ...

1PM

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. There are a number of options available in the lectionary for the first and second readings, and so, to simplify matters, I am just going to offer a brief post on the single Gospel reading that we wil...

December 26, 11AM

Yours truly at the traditional site ofSt. Stephen's tomb.  Happy Feast of St. Stephen! I have always loved the story of St. Stephen in the book of Acts - so much so, in fact, we named our second son after him: Matthew Stephen. The book of Acts describe...

December 23, 11PM

During the midnight mass the lectionary readings focus on the coming of the glory of God in the person of Christ. Of course, in scripture, God's glory is often associated with the imagery of "light" and "splendor". As we celebrate th...

December 17, 1PM

H/T JP Catholic student Anna Rossi on Facebook

December 16, 4PM

Michael's book, The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus (Eerdmans) has just won Christianity Today's 2015 book award in the category of biblical studies. This is great news. And it couldn't happen to a better scholar. Mi...

12 AM

This time of year a number of internet sites and blogs run lists of gift ideas for "men". For the record, I definitely don't want a flask or a knife or a pipe. In years past, some very kind readers have amazingly sent gifts on Christmas - all ...

December 12, 9PM

H/T Nathan Eubank and Michael Thomson

December 5, 12 AM

During the time of Advent the Church both looks backwards and forwards. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains: When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in...

November 26, 11PM

What a tremendous time I had this year at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature!  Above all, I had the honor of reading a paper co-written with John Kincaid. N.T. Wright, Pamela Eisenbaum, and Ward Blanton responded to it. It was in...

November 18, 2PM

I still have more sessions to read about and I'm on the fence on what to do during a couple of time slots, but here are some thoughts on Sunday-Monday. Of course, somewhere in all of this I have to set aside time for the most important part of SBL: the g...

November 17, 6PM

The annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature / American Academy of Religion kicks off this week. I have downloaded the handy-dandy app for the conference, updated my profile, combed through the online program book, and begun to set my "ag...

November 14, 5PM

In the latest RBL, there is a very positive review of Scott Hahn's book, Consuming the Word: The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church (Doubleday, 2013), written by Sonya S. Cronin (Florida State University).  Cronin offers a masterful...

November 12, 5PM

If you are a serious Pauline scholar, you apparently know what he looked like. Michael Bird, Chris Tilling, Nijay Gupta, Ben Blackwell, Nathan Eubank--take note. If you decide on using a different picture of the Apostle on your future...
"Your reward shall be great in heaven." That saying of Jesus, which appears in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew's Gospel (Matt. 5:12), isn't actually found in the lectionary readings this Sunday. Nonetheless, that message does sum up their ...

November 11, 4PM

We are changing our policy here; for at least the near future, all comments will be moderated before they appear in the comment boxes. That's not to say that we don't want to hear your thoughts. We most definitely want your input! (Yes, you. . . The more...

November 7, 10PM

I hope you'll plan ahead to come to the JP Catholic Biblical Studies Conference this coming January. Scott Hahn, Brant Pitre, John Kincaid, and myself will all be speaking. You can register here. 

November 3, 12 PM

Happy birthday to fellow biblioblogger, Nijay Gupta!  To celebrate, I thought I'd write up a brief post on Nijay's fine book, Worship That Makes Sense to Paul: A New Approach to the Theology and Ethics of Paul’s Cultic Metaphor (BZNW 175; Berlin: De ...

November 1, 11AM

At the close of the recent synod, Pope Francis made a brilliant comment that deserves some reflection. He said: So, the duty of the Pope is that of guaranteeing the unity of the Church; it is that of reminding the faithful of their duty to faithfully fo...

October 29, 12 PM

This Sunday is the Commemoration of All Souls. The message of the readings, then, is really thus summed up by a line in the Second Reading: "Hope does not disappoint." I hope these reflections will prove helpful in your own preparation for Sun...

October 27, 11PM

Recently I looked at a standard textbook used to teach Fundamental Theology. It contained many patristic references to the authority of tradition. One was lacking though--and from a very early and influential source. I've reproduced it below.  The ir...

October 20, 4PM

Anthony Le Donne just had a great post up relating how New Testament scholar Dale Allison apparently encourages students to familiarize themselves with the work of older scholars. My doktorvater, Colin Brown, felt the same way. He always encouraged me to...

October 17, 1PM

"Those who talk nowadays of the abuse of power connected with doctrinal discipline in the Church generally have in mind only the misuse of authority on the part of the Church’s ministerial office, which doubtless can occur. But it is entirely forgo...

October 15, 11AM

This Friday Catholic Answers' Radio Program, hosted by the irrepressible Patrick Coffin, will be doing a special broadcast live from JP Catholic.  In the first hour (from 3-4pm Pacific), my colleague John Kincaid will be addressing the question, "Wa...

4AM

"Today, many Christians, myself included, experience a quiet uneasiness about attending divine services in a strange church; they are appalled at the thought of the half-understood theories, the amazing and tasteless personal opinions of this or that...

October 13, 2PM

The titles of the gospels were not originally placed there by the evangelists but were added at a later point in the manuscript tradition. Actually, it may not be that simple. This article by Simon Gathercole shows that the received scholarly "tra...

October 9, 11AM

Here is another stunningly insightful passage from Joseph Ratzinger's book,  <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal.dotm 0 0 1 19 111 John Paul the Great Catholic University 1 1 136 12.0 <![endif]--><!--[if gte m...

October 1, 3PM

Time for a "gut check".  Whatever is "new" is not necessarily true. At the same time, however, that does not mean that real advances are never made.  An authentic Catholic approach to theology can never claim that all that can ...

September 30, 2PM

I never grow weary of reminding my students of the importance of studying the Old Testament. Here's a couple of lines from one of the most important pieces I ever read on biblical interpretation to that effect. It was originally delivered in 1989 by Jose...

12 AM

Judgment, mercy, and mystery. As I prepare for this Sunday's liturgy, I keep returning to these three words, which seem to sum up the major message of the readings. Let me explain. . . FIRST READING: Isaiah 5:1-7 Let me now sing of my friend,my friend...

September 24, 4PM

This weekend I will be presenting a paper at the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars in Pittsburgh, entitled, "Temple Liturgy, Eschatology, and Theōsis: The Jewish Context of Paul's Teaching on the Eucharist in 1 Corinthians 11". Suffice it to sa...

September 23, 5PM

John Bergmsa, Brant Pitre, and I are pleased to welcome a fourth contributor to The Sacred Page: John Kincaid. John is a great fit for this blog. Like the rest of us who write here, John is deeply committed to integrating biblical exegesis and theologic...

September 11, 5PM

For those of you in Southern California, I will be speaking at a great event this weekend: The Wine has Run Out. . . Do Whatever He Tells You: A Summit on Today's Marriage and Family Life.  The event is being held at St. Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in Walnut, C...

September 10, 10PM

This Sunday we celebrate the wonderful Feast of the Exultation of the Cross. Appropriately, the readings highlight the healing and redemptive work of Christ crucified. Though much could be said about them, here are some brief thoughts, including, why the ...

1PM

This is hilarious. Go here to read Michael Bird's explanation of the parody.

August 19, 9PM

Ronald Lauder, a Jewish activist, has a powerful editorial in the New York Times: WHY is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa? In Europe and in the United States, we have witnessed demonstrations over the ...

August 15, 11PM

I'm not referring to the "apocalyptic" session everyone is talking about. Yes, I will be sure to attend that important session. Actually, this post is about another special Paul session that N.T. Wright will also be involved with . . . a sessi...

August 12, 10PM

The Responsorial Psalm sums up a key lesson that runs like a golden thread throughout this Sunday's lectionary readings: May God have pity on us and bless us;may he let his face shine upon us.So may your way be known upon earth;among all nations, your sa...

August 9, 11PM

Photo from the IAA of the coins discovered[Source] Interesting. . . During excavations along the main highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) archaeologists discovered a ceramic moneybox containing 114 bronze coins. Ea...

August 8, 1PM

I received a comment on my last post urging caution on reporting the news from Iraq. I agree that we should be careful about unreliable stories and that's why I tried to simply link to reputable sources. Where I didn't have all of the specific facts (i.e...

August 7, 10PM

Seriously. . . all of us need to get mobilized and do what we can NOW.  At least take the time to read this post (or something like it), and learn what is going on in Iraq. I've tried to assemble some of the most powerful stories I've run across in the ...

July 30, 11PM

This Sunday the readings highlight the way the Kingdom of God is present sacramentally. Specifically, hopes for the restoration of Israel are linked to a miracle of Jesus, the feeding of the five thousand, which is clearly understood eucharistically. I'l...

July 10, 9PM

This Sunday the readings focus on the imagery of seed-planting. Read in light of the fathers and doctors in particular, the readings teach us powerful lessons about what it takes to be fruitful: (1) God's grace; (2) perseverance in hope; (3) careful and p...

2PM

In his commentary on the psalms, Aquinas quotes Psalm 22:21 as reading: "And my lowliness from the unicorn's horns." Wait. . . did Thomas just say that unicorns existed in the psalmist's day? Did unicorns survive the flood after all? Well,...

June 29, 5PM

Image of Peter wondering who this "Cephas" fellow is. (Just kidding) So the person who sent in the email asking about whether or not Peter and Cephas are one in the same person wasn't apparently entirely satisfied with my answer. In a charitab...

June 28, 1AM

I received an email from a reader who asks question whether or not Peter is the figure also identified elsewhere in the New Testament as "Cephas". You said that Paul saw Peter as a "pillar" of the community. But in AD 200, St Clement ...

June 26, 11AM

The Instrumentum Laboris (i.e., the working document) for the upcoming Synod on the Family called by Pope Francis has finally been released (html, pdf). The document highlights challenges facing the family today and offers thoughts toward advancing pastor...

12 AM

It is solely by accident that I have the privilege of writing the reflection on the readings of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. However, I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity. The lectionary readings this Sunday climax with a selection fr...

June 15, 12 AM

Today is seriously one of my favorite feasts of the entire liturgical year. And so, even though John Bergsma has written a beautiful reflection on the lectionary readings here on TSP, I wanted to contribute a few thoughts of my own. Specifically, I thi...

June 5, 10AM

This Sunday we celebrate the glorious feast of Pentecost. Here below is a brief treatment of the major themes and issues in the readings. FIRST READING: Acts 2:1-11 When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,they were all in one place together.And sudde...

May 21, 8PM

We are about the celebrate the last Sunday before the Feast of Pentecost. The lectionary readings for this Sunday, therefore, are meant to lead us to reflect on different aspects of the Spirit's work. This Sunday's readings are also important for underst...

May 16, 3PM

Marc Cortez cites the VLT (Very Loose Translation) of Romans 7:9-14. It really speaks to me: I was once alive apart from teaching, but when the end of the semester came, grading came alive and I died.  The very job that promised life proved to be death...

May 5, 11PM

Image of Christ the Good Shepherdfrom Catacombs of St. Pricilla in Romeca. 3rd cent. This Sunday the lectionary turns our attention to John 10, where Christ describes himself as both the "door" of the sheepfold and (perhaps more famously) as t...

May 1, 3PM

The canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II last weekend underscored the significance of the Second Vatican Council in the history of the Catholic Church. This, therefore, is a good time to remind ourselves of the importance of the council...

10AM

Br. Henry Stephan, O.P., has a fantastic piece on the Domincan House of Studies blog, Dominicana.  Has there ever been a cause for more unreflective editorializing than the recent papal canonizations? If you clicked on nearly any commentary about the ne...

8AM

This is interesting. Here's a snippet: We do. We really, really do. We Protestants need the papacy. We need it for our theology. We need it for our politics. We need it more than we want to admit. And this is a good thing. (Yeah, I said it Rev. Hess, ...

April 26, 12 AM

Picture of me with John Paul II, taken in 2003. This Sunday is going to be a Pope-A-Poluza. Pope Francis will canonize two popes--John Paul II and John XXIII. There are also reports that Benedict XVI will be concelebrating the mass with Pope Francis. T...

April 24, 3PM

In the Catholic liturgical calendar, this Sunday--the first Sunday after Easter--is known as "Divine Mercy Sunday". Not surprisingly, God's mercy and the forgiveness of sins is a major theme in the readings that will be proclaimed. Let us take ...

April 16, 10PM

Click below to listen to our special Good Friday podcast. Also be sure to come back tomorrow and Sunday for special podcasts on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday!  Crucifixion: History, Archaeology, and Why Jesus Died This Way (Good Friday Podcast)(Rig...

April 12, 10PM

With Colbert's big new promotion in the news, I thought I'd revisit this blast from the past. I wonder if we'll see any further discussion of historical Jesus issues on The Late Show. I, for one, certainly hope so. The Colbert ReportGet More: Daily...

April 11, 3PM

I was just re-reading the introduction of E.P. Sanders' landmark book, Jesus and Judaism, and came across a quote that I had forgotten about. It concerns one of my favorite books about Jesus ever written--a book I am sad to report is often overlooked. . ....

April 2, 8AM

“[T]he apostles understood eschatology not merely as futurology but as a mindset for understanding the present within the climaxing context of redemptive history. That is, the apostles understood that they were already living in the end-times and that t...

March 31, 10AM

Following Peter Kirby's ranking of biblioblogs, I'm learning more and more about the benefits of "Alexa", a web information site. They offer a few interesting services that seem to be helpful. Certainly knowledge is power and knowing more about...

March 30, 10PM

Peter Kirby has released the latest rankings by traffic of academic bible blogs ("biblioblogs"). This blog comes in at #30. Not bad! In the last ranking, we were at #52. At that time, blogging had slowed down here considerably. However, we've s...

March 28, 10AM

Just before Pope Francis heard confessions in St. Peter's Basilica, he knelt down at a confessional and asked God to forgive him, making his own confession of sins.  To be fair, all the recent popes went to confession regularly. However I must say:...
I posted on this before but I have some updated information. Here's how the parish is advertising the event. I think I gave the church building address in the original post on this. That was incorrect! The talk will actually be at the school hall. Hope y...

March 26, 10PM

I realize I may be a bit late on this one, but there is now a blog that follows most major academic journal in biblical studies and theology. This is a huge help. I get email notices from most of these journals when a new volume comes out, but I think thi...

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March 23, 12 AM

Stephen Colbert did, I think, a pretty funny segment on the protest against the "cross" at the 9-11 museum being made by some atheists. The Colbert Report Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

March 22, 2PM

I will be giving a Lenten reflection on Saturday, March 29, at Holy Innocence Catholic Church in Long Beach, CA. The evening begins at 7pm.  The event is FREE.  My talks will be: 1. "Overcoming Temptations: Learning from Jesus in the Wild...

March 18, 8PM

I am very much looking forward to presenting a paper, entitled, "Cultic Theosis in Paul and Second Temple Judaism" at the big Paul and Judaism Conference this week at Houston Baptist University. The paper is co-written with my friend and colleag...

6AM

If you're in Texas, I'll be speaking at St. Theresa's Catholic Church in Sugarland, TX, tonight, Monday (3/18/14) at 7pm at the school hall. This is a Lenten talk, entitled, "How To Battle Temptations: Learning from Christ in the Wilderness". ...

March 12, 3PM

Trust in the Lord. That is the major theme of this week's lectionary readings. From Abraham as a model of faith, to Jesus, who tells his disciples, "Do not be afraid", this Sunday the liturgy underscores the importance of faith. Let us look at ...

March 10, 3PM

At St. Martha's in Murrieta leading a parish mission (see the previous post). It's a beautiful parish and a wonderful, thriving Catholic community. The church is very beautiful. Lots of great art. I have to highlight one piece though. Chris Mueller, the...

March 9, 10PM

This week I will be doing a parish mission at St. Martha's Catholic Church in Murrieta, CA. I will be speaking after the 7:30am morning mass as well as from 6:30pm-8:00pm.  I am very excited about speaking at this parish, which is an amazing Catholic c...

February 26, 3PM

In the beautiful encyclical letter, Lumen fidei, a letter begun by Pope Benedict XVI and finished by Pope Francis, faith is contrasted with idolatry. The temptation of that sin was great, the popes explain. Why? In place of faith in God, it seems better...

February 21, 12 AM

Pope Francis begins speaking at about 31:30.

February 20, 11PM

The Bread of Life discourse in John 6 has Jesus emphasize over and over again that it is necessary for believers to "eat his flesh" and "drink his blood". Is this passage about the Eucharist? There are good reasons for thinking so...

February 18, 12 AM

Origen (d. circa A.D. 254) This evening I have been reading essays in S. Mark Heim, Faith to Creed: Ecumenical Perspectives on the Affirmation of the Apostolic Faith in the Fourth Century (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991). The book has a lot of interesting...

February 12, 12 AM

Sin leads to sadness, holiness leads to happiness. That pretty much sums up this Sunday's readings. More specifically, the lectionary selections focus on the Law of the Lord and its fulfillment in Jesus. Whereas our secular society views divine law in te...

January 29, 11AM

This Sunday hear the story of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple. For Catholics who pray the rosary, the story is familiar. However, it's meaning is often misconstrued or misinterpreted. For instance, some think the story is about Jesus' c...

January 27, 4PM

On February 15th, John Bergsma and I will be speaking at the 6th Annual Biblical Studies Conference at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church in beautiful Santa Maria, CA. The event is co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Here are the 8 things you n...

11AM

As readers of this blog know, I am a huge fan of Logos Bible Software. From time to time, I get emails or comments from people who make the case that such a software program is unnecessary because the materials available on Logos are available online. N...

January 15, 2PM

This Sunday readings continue to examine the significance of Jesus' baptism. Specifically, the readings lead us to consider how Jesus' baptism fulfills the calling of the people of God and how it serves as a kind of revelation for what happens to Christia...

January 7, 10PM

I recently encountered this heartbreaking yet inspiring video on Facebook. It documents the work of a single pastor in South Korea who is saving infants abandoned on the streets. The video reminded me of sociologist Rodney Stark's now classic book, Th...

January 4, 12 AM

My doktorvater, Colin Brown, makes a great statement in The Handbook for the Study of the Historical Jesus (4 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 2010), 2:1435: The question of the historical Jesus is not just a question of material evidence. It is a hermeneutical que...

January 3, 3PM

Special thanks to Nijay Gupta, who offers his list of the best books of 2013. Among them is the book I co-wrote with James D.G. Dunn, Thomas Schreiner, and Robert Wilkin, "Four Views on the Role of Works at the Final Judgment", edited by Alan St...

10AM

I am pleased to announce that Journal of Biblical Literature has published an article I wrote in their most recent volume. The article is entitled, "Jesus as the Davidic Temple Builder and Peter's Priestly Role in Matthew 16:16-19".  The art...

January 2, 11AM

This Sunday we celebrate the Epiphany. The term is derived from two Greek words: epi, “on, upon” and phaino, “to appear, to shine.” Literally, the word means, "to shine upon" or "to make manifest". The Catechism of the Catho...

December 24 2013, 12 PM

 On Christmas Eve, the Gospel reading is taken from once again from Matthew 1. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Ho...

December 23, 6PM

My friend Jim West tweeted, ALERT: it isn't 'the virgin birth'. It's the virginal conception. It's an important distinction.#RespectAccuracy. I can't help but tweak him a bit for his tweet.  Let me just say that, actually, according to the earliest ...

December 20, 10AM

Next quarter I'll be teaching a graduate level course on the Pentateuch. Of course, we will be talking, among other things, about the question of the "authorship" and "sources" of the Pentateuch. While ancient Jewish (e.g., Josephus,...

7AM

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December 18, 6PM

This weekend as we celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent the lectionary readings have us focus in on Jesus' virgin birth. Much could be said about the readings for this Sunday, but here I want to focus in on this theme (as it seems the intention of the lec...

December 13, 7PM

Today John Allen writes: It's fashionable to style Francis as a dramatic break with the past, and there's a sense in which that's real. On the other hand, several substantive reforms for which he's getting credit actually began under Benedict XVI, and n...

December 5, 12 AM

This Sunday as we continue to prepare for Christmas--for the coming of the Lord--the lectionary has us reflect on the gift Christ comes to bestow upon us: the Spirit of the Lord. Here's a brief commentary on the Sunday readings FIRST READING: Isaiah 11:...

November 29, 1AM

I am pleased to share news that Logos Bible software is releasing an awesome update to their Catholic package, "Verbum", which now includes even better libraries and features! I've been given a sneak peak and, let me just say, this is incredibl...

October 7, 9PM

Today is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. In honor of the occasion the St. Paul Center is offering a free download of a talk I gave earlier this year at a popular-level Catholic conference on the topic. The talk is a bit biographical and laced with (...

October 2, 12 AM

"By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God [Vatican II, Dei Verbum 5]. With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, 'the obedience...

September 28, 10PM

Origen Michael Bird has been writing on patristic interpretation of Paul's phrase "works of the law" (ergōn nomou), noting that some link the term to the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament (here, here). Bird mentions that this interpretation...

September 2, 1PM

There is no more comprehensive work on the credibility of New Testament's account of miracles (e.g., Jesus'), than the two-volume monograph written by Craig Keener, Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 201...

August 28, 5PM

I like to tell my students that, after the authors of Scripture, there are three towering figures who have most influenced Catholic thought. I refer to them as the "Triple A Club": Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas. (My colleague John Kincaid c...

August 11, 10PM

Best part: What about people who name their child "Jesus"? And what about "Chris" or "Christy"? That reminds me... At least one New Testament scholar I know has a messianic name. (Hint: See the typo on the name associa...

August 2, 12 PM

There have been some rather interesting solutions to the question of the interrelationship of the Synoptic Gospels. Most students of Gospel studies know this... Which led to this... Which necessitated this... Which gave way to this... ... [synoptic problem] [Two Source Theory] [Mark Goodacre] [Synoptic Gospels] [Q]

July 31, 4PM

Mark Goodacre has an interesting discussion up on the use of the term "pericope". I think he's right. Let's abandon it.

July 28, 8PM

This is just stunning. From the AP: Speaking from a white stage on the sands of Copacabana on Sunday, Francis urged a crowd estimated at 3 million people to go out and spread their faith "to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest a...

July 19, 1PM

Everywhere I go these days I'm running into young converts to Catholicism. Just last month my wife and I had the awesome honor of being godparents at the baptism of a former evangelical, a young woman in her mid-twenties whose love for the Lord has inspi...

July 6, 10AM

Overall, I think they did a great job. I did specifically say that the advocatus diaboli ("devil's advocate") is no longer an official term used--that caveat was edited out. Still, I appreciate the opportunity they gave me to explain the Catholi...

July 5, 9PM

Today I received the first case of a new book I'm quite excited about. Four Views on the Role of Good Works at the Last Judgment (Zondervan). The four perspectives are written by James D.G. Dunn, Tom Schreiner, Robert Wilkin, and myself. The volume ...

June 26, 8AM

Pope Francis just offered the following catechesis at his Wednesday audience (6/26/13). This is wonderful! Dear brothers and sisters,  Today I would like briefly to refer to one more picture that helps us to illustrate the mystery of the Church: that o...

June 17, 9AM

Pope Francis recently made headlines when he announced that his first encyclical will have been worked on by "four hands": The encyclical has to come out and it's an encyclical written with four hands, so to speak, because Pope Benedict began w...

June 2, 3PM

One of my favorite people on the planet--and one of the finest biblical commentators I know--is Curtis Mitch, co-editor (with Scott Hahn) of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. Curtis is known mainly for his work on the Study Bible. I just ran into this v...

May 31, 9AM

I hope to see a chorus of Muslim scholars come out condemning this one... Domestic abuse is a serious problem. Ironically, just last night I saw this touching clip of Patrick Stewart (yes, I'm a Star Trek nerd) talking to a fan who was a victim of...

May 26, 4PM

“There is in God, as there is in us, a sort of ‘circulation’ (circulatio) in the operations of mind and will: for the will returns to that which understanding initiated. But with us the ‘circle’ (circulus) closes in that which is outside of us: ...

May 24, 11AM

Scott Hahn has offered a wonderfully concise response to the "controversy" over Francis' recent comments...  Lots of people are criticizing Pope Francis' message earlier this week, as if he's deviating from the Church's teaching on the need to...

May 21, 10AM

There is some discussion going on about Pope Francis' encounter with a young man, captured in the video below. Articles on this are appearing everywhere from the Associated Press and ABC News to the Huffington Post and Salon. Everyone, it seems, is ta...

May 19, 3PM

Happy Pentecost! Today in the liturgy we hear the story of how the Spirit descended upon the disciples in the form of tongues of fire.  Why does the Spirit appear in this way? John has written a great post on the readings for today. However, since he...

May 16, 2PM

And they say Catholics don't know the Bible.

April 19, 12 PM

Commenting on 1 Samuel 15, where the Lord is "angry" with Saul and "repents" of making him king, Gregory of Nyssa explains: “The Lord was angry, and he was grieved because of their sins”; and again, “He repented that he had anoi...

March 31, 1PM

Scroll down below to listen to the special TSP Easter podcast recorded last year. Of course, you can also listen on iTunes. Have you subscribed to the podcast yet? : )  Historical Questions About the Resurrection (Special TSP Podcast for Easter)(Right ...

March 27, 2PM

Leroy Huizenga has an excellent piece on John 13 in which, among other things, he looks at the priestly imagery associated with the washing of the disciples feet. Read it here.

March 24, 3PM

Pope Francis with Mons. Guido Marini Here. Great photos (such as the one on the right). Given the fact that it is maintained in Spanish, I doubt he is the one who does that. Still, whoever is doing this for him is doing a great job.

March 23, 4PM

Fr. G. Peter Irving with our children at the baptism of our daughter, Molly Rita. My uncle, Fr. G. Peter Irving III, pastor of Holy Innocents Parish in Long Beach, CA, has posted a brilliant homily offering spiritual reflections on Jesus' act of "...

8AM

This is truly remarkable: a pope meets his predecessor. I'm not sure that this has ever happened in the 2,000 year history of the Church: two popes appear together. (At least, I'm fairly certain that there is no documentation that such an event has taken... [Pope Benedict] [Pope Francis] [Pope Emeritus] [Benedict XVI]

March 22, 12 PM

You've got to love the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist! They just appeared on The American Bible Challenge hosted by Jeff Foxworthy (Game Show Network). And won. Who says Catholics don't know the Bible? ; ) You've got to love th...

10AM

Below is an excerpt from Pope Francis' address to the Diplomatic Corps (with my emphasis added). Here we seem to get the fullest description to date of the "program" he sees for his Pontificate.  As John Allen writes today: anyone who though...

2AM

Clement of Rome In the previous post I examined a number of New Testament passages that describe the apostolic ministry in priestly terms. The early Church clearly picked up on this tradition. Indeed, there is an abundance of evidence that the early Ch...

March 21, 11PM

Earlier today I highlighted Benedict 2007 visit to the same youth detention center Pope Francis will be celebrating Holy Thursday Mass at next week. However, Amy Welborn reminds me on Twitter that Benedict also made an emotionally charged visit to a priso...

6PM

By now you've seen the story: Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at a Juvenile Detention Facility next week. But did you know that Benedict XVI also celebrated the Eucharist there during Lent of 2007? He did and there gave an amazing homily...