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Tag: Patriarchs

Did the Patriarchs Really Live to Be 900 Years Old? Perhaps, but Here’s Why We Do Not

August 11, 2015 34 Comments
Did the Patriarchs Really Live to Be 900 Years Old? Perhaps, but Here’s Why We Do Not

I sometimes get questions about the remarkably long lives of the patriarchs who lived before the great flood. Consider some of their reported ages when they died: Adam 930 Seth 912 Enosh 905 Jared 962 Methuselah 969 Noah 600 Shem 600 Eber 464 Abraham 175 Moses 120 David 70 How to understand these references? There […]

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Things Are Often Not as They Seem – A Lesson from the Life of Moses

July 15, 2015 5 Comments
Things Are Often Not as They Seem – A Lesson from the Life of Moses

We are currently reading the story of Moses in daily Mass. The story reminds us that not all things are as they appear, and that God’s ways are not our ways. Moses’ early years are marked with clear signs that he is gifted and chosen. Drawn from the water by Pharaoh’s own daughter, Moses’ very […]

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Patriarchs Are People Too – A Reflection on the Fact That the Bible Speaks Frankly About the Faults of Our Heroes

July 9, 2015 20 Comments
Patriarchs Are People Too – A Reflection on the Fact That the Bible Speaks Frankly About the Faults of Our Heroes

Over the years, I have written a number of articles on the men of the Bible: many of the patriarchs of the Old Testament such as Abraham, Moses, David, Eli, and most recently, Lot and Jacob. Likewise, I’ve written on Peter and Paul, and on John the Baptist. I find the biblical portraits of these […]

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A Battle You Can’t Afford to Win – The Story of Jacob’s Conversion

July 6, 2015 10 Comments
A Battle You Can’t Afford to Win – The Story of Jacob’s Conversion

One of God’s stranger affections in the Old Testament is the special love He had for Jacob. We are currently reading this story in daily Mass. The name Jacob, according to some, means “grabber” or “usurper.” Even in the womb, he strove and wrestled with his twin brother Esau. And although Esau was born first, […]

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You Have to Decide About Jesus, one way or the other- A Meditation on the Trial Before Pilate

April 16, 2014 15 Comments
You Have to Decide About Jesus, one way or the other- A Meditation on the Trial Before Pilate

In the Matthean Passion account, we come to the trial before Pilate. Pontius Pilate is a study in evasion and vacillation. Despite being a man of great political and worldly power, Pilate is indecisive, inwardly troubled, and quite incapable of doing what he knows is right. Despite the outward power he had, inwardly he was […]

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“For Worldly Sorrow Brings Death.” A Meditation on the Sad End of Judas and What Might Have Been.

April 15, 2014 14 Comments
“For Worldly Sorrow Brings Death.” A Meditation on the Sad End of Judas and What Might Have Been.

As we continue to ponder some of the texts of the Matthean Passion Narrative, we turn to the difficult case of Judas. To many modern readers, Judas is something of a sympathetic character. Some of this is due to our (rather flawed) moral reasoning, reasoning that places exaggerated emphasis on subjective issues (such as intentions, […]

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The Rise and Fall of a Prophet. And a warning for us.

December 17, 2013 15 Comments
The Rise and Fall of a Prophet. And a warning for us.

He is one of the more curious figures of the Bible, The details of his life and story are caught up in textual complexities in the book of Numbers. Though a prophet, he was not even an Israelite, he wrote no book and is not numbered among Israel’s prophets. And yet a prophet he was, […]

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A Meditation on Sin’s Effects and God’s Mercy in the Story of Jonah

October 7, 2013 15 Comments
A Meditation on Sin’s Effects and God’s Mercy in the Story of Jonah

In daily Mass these next few days we are reading from the Book of the Prophet Jonah. Of all the prophets Jonah is perhaps the most reluctant, and his struggle with sin is not hidden. In the passage from Monday’s reading we see something of a portrait on sin and also the love of God […]

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