Saints and Fathers

St. Mark: Very Important; Very Little Known

by Steve Ray on April 25, 2017

To listen to our show about St. Mark on relevant radio: We’re discussing feast of St. Mark at :30 sec mark w/SteveRay@JerusalemJones relevantradio.streamguys.us/MA%20Archive/M… or download hour 1 @relevantradio app

St. Mark: Very Important Biblical Guy, Yet Relatively Unknown
Let me introduce you to him…

StMark3CorbertGauthier“His voice boomed over the crowds in Rome as it had all around the Roman Empire. The large fisherman was aging but his voice was still filled with intensity and conviction. The thronging crowds listened with curiosity.

      “Rome was the hub of the civilized world and Peter preached the message of a Jewish rabbi named Jesus from the far away country of Israel.

Many in the crowd had believed in Jesus and had become part of this new society called the Church—the Church of which Peter was the acknowledged head. Standing at his side was his fellow-worker and secretary John Mark……”

For the whole story, click here.  For the story of Peter and Rome filmed on location, click here.

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Was Abraham Save by Faith Alone?

by Steve Ray on March 28, 2017

Today I am flying to Franciscan University of Steubenville to be the guest for Franciscan University Presents, the one-hour TV show produced by the University for EWTN. Mike Hernon hosts the program which is a round-table discussion with a guest and panelists from their Theology Department, Dr. Scott Hahn and Dr. Regis Martin. 

Our topic will be Abraham, Father of Faith & Works. I am looking forward to recording this show. In honor of this event today I am posting this article on Abraham, a critique I made of a book falsely claiming Abraham was saved by “faith alone.”

Was Abraham saved by Faith Alone? By Steve Ray

imgres-1You say, “Of course Abraham was saved by faith alone! Doesn’t the Bible make that perfectly clear, especially in Paul’s letters? And didn’t Luther’s German translation inform the masses that the words “faith” and “alone” belonged together like bread and butter? Abraham was saved by faith alone!”

Well, maybe he was and maybe he wasn’t, but the Bible certainly throws some question on this well-known Protestant cliché. Let’s find out how and when Abraham was really “saved.” Fundamentalist Protestants like to tell us that we are saved at “one-point-in-time when we “simply believe.” In other words mental assent to the simple gospel gives us a free passage to heaven.

imagesSince Abraham is used in the New Testament as the quintessential example of justification by faith, let’s see if we can pin-point the moment when Abraham believed? Can we locate the exact moment he was “saved”? Since this was such a momentous occasion in the history of mankind, and in the drama of salvation history, it should be clearly shown when Abraham actually believed and was reckoned as righteous. From unbelief to belief, from no faith to saving faith.

Protestants (e.g., John Ankerberg in Protestants and Catholics, Do They Now Agree? [Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publ., 1995) like to say the word “justify” as used by James really means “vindicate,” and that “vindicate” has nothing to do with salvation, but has to do with the proving of the believer’s faith—Abraham’s faith. You really should have addressed the major weakness of this perspective: it is not the faith that is being justified by works—it is the man.

images-1How can we justify this? If our theory holds true shouldn’t we read, “Was not Abraham our father’s faith justified (vindicated) by works?” making it clear that it is his faith, and not his person. Instead we read, unfortunately, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works?” This observation does not set well with our interpretation.

In your book you say that it is always the faith that is proven by works, whereas the Apostle James seems to say it is the person. We should try to figure out how James could have worded this passage more carefully so Catholics don’t get the wrong idea and misunderstand the gospel. You also say in your book (p. 37) that “Paul is writing about a person being justified before God, while James is writing about a man being justified before men. Men cannot see another person’s heart as God can.”

imgresSomehow we have to more careful in this theory, or else we end up scratching a few verses out of the story of Abraham in Genesis. Was it men who were testing Abraham’s faith? The book of Genesis says, no. It was God who was testing Abraham in Genesis 22, not men. You write that James is referring to justification before men (p. 37), because God can already see the heart. I noticed in reading James & Peter, by Harry Ironside, that he agrees with you on this point.

But the problem seems to be that it was God who was testing Abraham in Genesis, because Moses wrote, “Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham . . . ” (Gen. 22:1) Notice it was not men who were finding out what was in Abraham’s heart— whether he had true faith—it was God.

For the whole article, click here.  To learn purchase our documentary on Abraham filmed in Iraq, Turkey and Israel, click here

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Since March 19 is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, I thought I would share a few things on this great saint!  First, a discussion of whether it is correct to call St. Joseph the father of Jesus. Second, I recently ran from Nazareth to the worksite of these two guys and I invite you by video to run along with me.

Was Joseph the “father” of Jesus?  We hear many opinions…

“Joseph was possibly the biological father of Jesus, but the Gospels deny the fact, claiming he was the product of a virgin birth, making Jesus more than just a man.”

“Jesus is really the product of rape and Joseph mercifully stepped up to the plate to help Mary and the unfortunate baby.”

“Joseph was not the father of Jesus because Jesus had no biological father; he was born to the Virgin Mary by the miraculously overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.”

There is more than one opinion today on Joseph’s relationship to Jesus—but what is the truth? Is it theologically and historically correct to refer to Joseph as the father of Jesus?

In front of the tomb of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem I state in my video/ DVD Jesus, the Word Became Flesh, “The earth provided a borrowed cave in Bethlehem to receive him at his birth and now another borrowed cave in Jerusalem protects his body in death. Born from a virgin womb he was now buried in a virgin tomb.

His father Joseph found the cave for this birth, a disciple Joseph found a cave for his burial” (the words in question are italicized).

But is it proper to refer to Joseph as “the father of Jesus”? The answer is both yes and no.

For the rest of the article click here.

 

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Where Does the Bible Say We Should Pray to Dead Saints?

March 1, 2017

Are saints who have physically died “dead saints” or are they alive with God? A friend named Leonard Alt got tired of being hammered by anti-Catholic Fundamentalists on this issue so he decided to write this article. I thought you might enjoy it too, so here it goes… Leonard writes: I wrote this note after […]

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St. Polycarp’s name does not mean “many fish”

February 23, 2017

Today is the Feast Day of the Great Bishop and Saint Polycarp on February 23. When we converted to the Catholic Church my son Jesse chose St. Polycarp as his patron saint because of his great heroism. We filmed the whole life of St. Polycarp on location. I feel like I know him. The name Polycarp […]

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Discovering the Place of Paul’s Shipwreck on Island of Malta

February 10, 2017

I am doing a show with Teresa Tomeo today because February 10 is the Feast Day of the Shipwreck of St. Paul on Malta. So I am reposting this blog from our recent trip to Malta. One of my favorite things is to discover the events and places of the Bible and to share them […]

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Free St. Paul Timeline in Honor of Feast of Paul’s Conversion Today

January 25, 2017

Here is a copy of a Timeline I made of St. Paul’s life and writings. Enjoy! Please print and share. Also get a copy of my DVD Paul, Contending for the Faith below filmed in 6 countries. Full study guide included.

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Ignatius Press prepares for 100th anniversary of Fatima with a historic pilgrimage and new release

January 23, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rose Trabbic, Publicist, Ignatius Press, (239) 867-4180 or rose@ignatius.com Ignatius Press prepares for 100th anniversary of Fatima with a historic pilgrimage and new release San Francisco, November 21, 2016 – The long-awaited 100th anniversary of the appearances of Our Lady at Fatima in 1917 is around the corner, and Ignatius Press has exciting plans to […]

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We Need Saints without Cassocks

January 3, 2017

By an unknown author (falsely attributed to Pope Francis) We need saints without veil or cassock. We need saints who wear jeans and sneakers. We need saints who go to the movies, listen to music and hang out with friends. We need saints who put God in first place, but who let go of their […]

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The Eucharist and the Fathers of the Church: Article by Steve Ray

January 2, 2017

The Eucharist and the Fathers of the Church, by Steve Ray The word “Eucharist” was used early in the Church to describe the Body and Blood of Christ under the forms of bread and wine. Eucharist comes from the Greek word for “thanks” (eucharistia), describing Christ’s actions: “And when he had given thanks, he broke […]

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Why Do We Call Them APOSTOLIC FATHERS?

December 30, 2016

There are Apostolic Fathers and Fathers of the Church. What is the difference? Fathers of the Church are those bishops, priests and theologians of the first eight centuries who taught and wrote and who helped define the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Apostolic Fathers fit into that catagory but they have a subcategory of their […]

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My Free St. Paul Timeline

November 6, 2016

Janet and I are currently leading a St. Paul Mediterranean Cruise and “Seminar at Sea” with Ave Maria Radio CEO Al Kresta and Fr. Steve Mattson. We are visiting eight biblical sites related to St. Paul, Mary, St. John and more. Today we are leaving Ephesus where St. Paul lived for two years and arriving […]

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Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live “St. Ignatius of Antioch and the 1st Martyrs”

October 19, 2016

To listen on-line, click HERE. For other listening options, like podcasts, click HERE. 1)  How can I use the Early Church Fathers and martyrs to help my Fundamentalist sister understand the truth of the Catholic Faith? 2)  I understood that St. Ignatius was a disciple of St. John the Apostle but you just said he […]

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Luke’s Gospel: Greek Physician, Historian & Friend of Mary

October 18, 2016

Her face shone as she related the stories—the words were vibrant, and though older now, her memory was excellent. He sat enraptured as she brought the past into living color. He had traveled a long way to see her and he sat motionless, with furled brow, taking careful notes on his parchment. He spent hours […]

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Kissing Statues

October 8, 2016

We are in Jerusalem today ready to pick up our group of 50 people at the airport in a few hours. When I woke up this morning to the Muslim “call to prayer”, church bells ringing and horns honking I read this email that came from the United Kingdom… It read, “Hi Steve! I know […]

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Understanding St. Matthew and his Gospel

September 21, 2016

Since it is the Feast Day of St. Matthew, let’s learn a lot about him. Matthew: Understanding the Tax Collector and his Gospel By Steve Ray If looks could kill, he’d be dead. The Jews glared at Levi as he counted his coins. Tax collectors in Israel had great wealth and were considered renegades and […]

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