May 2018

Join us in France!

We have the opportunity to fulfill two great objectives: 1) See the unprecedented saints and shrines of France, and 2) Remember our men who fought in World War II on the beaches of Normandy on the 75 Anniversary of D-Day.

We will visit the most amazing churches soaring into the sky as a testimony of the faith of the French people in earlier generations. Saints and Doctors of the Church will instruct us along the way. Cruise ship along the Seine River through Paris and so much more.

We are making this exclusive for our regular and faithful pilgrims for the first week of registration. Full brochure and pricing is here.

Ten have already asked to register. This will be a one-bus trip with our great friend and priest Fr. Dan Good. Also one of our favorite European guides with a love for the Chruch and the saints. It will fill up fast!

For more information, an interactive map, full itinerary and contact info for registration, visit our France webpage here. To talk to a real person, contact Kendall at kripley@ctscentral.net or ?(866) 468-1420?.

{ 0 comments }

Fun 15 minute show today about out projects, including a short story of how the whole Footprints of God documentaries. We emphasized our latest on Elijah and Elisha. My segments starts at 3:50 minutes into the show.

{ 0 comments }

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 5.20.37 AMI received an email today regarding one of my talks I gave at Franciscan University of Steubenville. It is on my audio CD “Born Again? Faith Alone?” In the talk I said that the opposite of “believe” is to “disobey.” In other words, Jesus does not just require that we “believe” in him like we believe 2 + 2 = 4. When Jesus says “believe” he means complete obedience, a total surrender of our lives to him.

Here is the email I received:

Steve,

Yesterday, I watched the speech that you gave at Franciscan University of Steubenville on “Faith Alone”, and I think your reference to the definition/opposite of belief in John 3:36 is a nail in the coffin to “Sola Fide”.  My question is this: what if someone’s Bible doesn’t list the opposite of belief as “do not obey”, but rather “reject” or “not believe” (such as the KJV, NIV, Darby, etc.)?  How do you argue for the version of the Bible that spells out “do not obey”, such as the RSVCE, that it’s the correct translation of Sacred Scripture?

Thanks Bill (made up name for anonymity)

Here is the text of John 3:36: 

John 3:36 (RSVCE)  He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.”

Here is my response:

Bill:

Every translation of the Bible has some bias. It is very difficult to translate the Bible into another language because of the difference in languages and words and nuances. Here are two articles I wrote on that https://www.catholicconvert.com/documents/Translations.pdf
What really matters are two things: 1) what the word means in the original Greek and 2) how the first readers understood the word.
Here are a few Greek dictionary entries for this word apeithe? from two of the most scholarly and reputable reference works on the Greek of the New Testament.
36.23 apeithe? unwillingness or refusal to comply with the demands of some authority—‘to disobey, disobedience.’ ‘whoever disobeys the Son will never have life’ (literally ‘… will never see life’) Jn 3:36. ‘God’s wrath comes upon those who do not obey him’ Eph 5:6.
(Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 467–468.)

*****************************************

apeithe? This word means “to be disobedient” and is a significant term in the LXX (Greek Old Testament) for disobedience to God. In the NT it is used of the wilderness generation in Heb. 3:18, that of the flood in 1 Pet. 3:20, all sinners in Rom. 2:8, and Gentiles in Heb. 11:31. Rom. 11:30. “To believe” is the opposite in Acts 14:1–2, and unbelief is parallel. We find an absolute use in Acts 14:2. Rom. 15:31; 1 Pet. 2:7. Important phrases are disobeying the word (1 Pet. 2:8), the gospel (4:17), and the Son (Jn. 3:36).

(Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich, and Geoffrey William Bromiley, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1985), 819–820.)
*******************************************

Disobeys occurs only here in John’s Gospel; it is obviously the opposite of believes, and so JB and Phps translate “refuses to believe.” It is possible to argue that the meaning of disobeys throws some light on the meaning of believes, that is, this kind of belief is the belief which leads to obedience. Therefore one may translate “Whoever obeys the Son has eternal life, and whoever disobeys the Son will never have life.” However, it is better to retain the terms “believes” and “disobeys,” since the very lack of clear opposition tends to reinforce the meaning of the respective terms.

(Barclay Moon Newman and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on the Gospel of John, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1993), 105.)

 
How it is translated in a variety of translations: 
Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 4.40.15 AM
 So, the bottom line is this:
Belief is what is required and not just an intellectual belief, but a full surrender and obedience to Jesus Christ. This is what is required for our salvation.

{ 0 comments }

Videos of 100’s of Protestants, Many Pastors, who have converted

May 26, 2018

Videos of 189 Protestants and other religions who converted to the Catholic Church. Many of them are pastors. You will find Baptists, Pentecostals, Mormans, Jehovahs Witnesses, Atheists, and more. Enjoy! Click here to get started :-)

Read the full article →

Was Baptism Instituted Before or After Jesus’ Death and Resurrection?

May 25, 2018

The other day a friend wrote and asked a question. It was an interesting question. “Is the answer to this that in the earlier examples, only the disciples did the baptizing and John is using a Hebraic figure of speech such that his disciples did them in his name and by his authority? If so, […]

Read the full article →

Pilgrimage Farewells and Comments from Jerusalem

May 25, 2018

Here are some of the final farewells and comments from the pilgrimage. It’s always fun to hear what people thought and how the pilgrimage affected their lives. Janet also gives her little speech at the end which many have found to be very profound and helpful.

Read the full article →

Riding Camels, Floating in Dead Sea, Qumran, Jericho, Brother Charles’ Story and more

May 24, 2018

Enjoy a marvelous and fun camel-riding, Dead Sea floating, museum visiting and walking thru 1st century Jerusalem day! Fr. Dan’s closing homily and final pilgrimage blessings here.

Read the full article →

Did John the Baptist Doubt that Jesus was the Messiah?

May 24, 2018

I get asked this question a lot and thought others would find my answer helpful. Not that I claim to have discovered this myself but reading and gleaning has brought me to this conclusion. In Luke 7:19-28, John the Baptist was in prison and sent two of his disciples to Galilee to ask Jesus a […]

Read the full article →

Early AM Stations of the Cross, Touching Calvary, Mass at Tomb, Western Wall and more

May 23, 2018

First video covers early morning (3:45 AM – 9:00 AM) Via Dolorosa, touching top of Calvary and Mass at the Tomb — very special and emotional for the folks. Second video covers the rest of the day. Including Western Wall and later dinner on the roof of Jerusalem. PART ONE: PART TWO:

Read the full article →

Sola Scriptura and the Canon of Scripture

May 23, 2018

Sola Scriptura and the Canon When non-Catholics are asked to provide biblical support or their belief that the Bible Alone is the sole rule of faith for the believer, they usually cite 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which states that “all scripture is God-breathed and is useful”. However, they somehow miss the fact that the two verses […]

Read the full article →

Day 6: Gethsemane, New US Embassy, Mt. of Olives, Upper Room, Mt. Zion and Special Entry into Tomb

May 22, 2018

Started with very moving Mass at Gethsemane with lots of tears and a fantastic homily you can watch here. Paternoster Church and Ascension on Mount of Olives. Viewing American flags waiving with Israeli flags in the streets. Viewed the new US Embassy in Jerusalem. Lunch at Kibbutz and everything Mount Zion: Dormition of Mary, Upper […]

Read the full article →

Bias in Bible Translations

May 22, 2018

Translating Holy Scripture is a necessary process by which the sacred text is provided in various languages, usually rendered from the original languages. Not all translations are created equal. Some result from one scholar’s work, others the work of a committee of scholars. Some are literal while others tend toward paraphrase. Translation resembles a sliding […]

Read the full article →

All Day Birth of Christ and Bethlehem

May 21, 2018

Driving thru Wall around Bethlehem, Shopping spectacular, Mass in Cave in Bethlehem, Shwarma or Falafil?, touching birthplace of Jesus, Carmelite Convent, and dinner with Passover Lamb and dancing. Click here for Fr. Dan’s Bethlehem homily. PART ONE: PART TWO:

Read the full article →

History of the Bible Chart

May 21, 2018

For a larger image on PDF which you can see better, click here. Two items I consider errors: 1) The Gospel of John was not considered spurious, and 2) there was no such things a “The Jewish Council of Javneh (or Jamnia)”. This is a fallacy as I wrote about here. Just so you know, […]

Read the full article →

Mass at Capernaum, Eating St. Peter’s Fish, Visitation and Arriving in JERUSALEM!

May 20, 2018

Today was Pentecost Sunday which is very special for Janet and I and our family. It was 24 years ago today that we were received into the Catholic Church with tears of joy. My eyes welled up with tears many times today just recalling that event while we’re traveling through the Holy Land. What a […]

Read the full article →

Dear Protestant: Where Did You Get Your Bible?

May 20, 2018

From Little Catholic Bubble website Leila@LittleCatholicBubble Dear Protestant: Where did you get your New Testament? At least a couple of times every week, Protestants use New Testament verses to show me where the Catholic Church is wrong about something. I always make them take the necessary step back by asking the following: “Where did you get your […]

Read the full article →