Artifacts & Biblical History

When I was a Protestant we spoke of the “400 years of silence” between the last of the OT prophets (Malachi) and the coming of Jesus. Is that correct? I was asked this question earlier today.

I have been enjoying The Chosen TV series, ever since I saw an article where Dr. Janet Smith gave it a good recommendation.  Their Christmas special mentioned “400 years of silence” before Jesus was born.  A singer named Chris Tomlin sang a song on this special which mentioned this same 400 years of silence.  I have never heard of this concept in Catholic circles.  Is this 400 years taking into account the Books of Maccabees?  Maybe the Maccabean times are not considered prophecies, strictly speaking.

Here is how I answered:

download (3)Regarding the 400 silent years — you rarely hear this terminology in Catholic circles or in Catholic books and documents. I believe this is mainly a Protestant idea. Since they discarded the seven Deutero-canonical books, mostly written in Greek and some fitting in during the “400 years of silence” before the coming of John the Baptist, the Protestants have a big gap in their Bibles and in the story of salvation.
As a popular Protestant commentary says,

 

After some four hundred years of silence and absence, the Holy One of Israel had again come to his people. About four centuries had passed since the voice of Malachi, the last of the prophets, had been heard. ( H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., St. Luke, vol. 1, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 11.)

There is an assumption that God was not only silent but even absent.

The last prophet was Malachi and he prophesied from about 420-397 BC. After him, there was no prophet speaking God’s word publically until John the Baptist appeared on the scene as the last of the OT prophets and the first of the NT prophets.
          This is mentioned also by Dr. Peter Kreeft, but interestingly, this is the only Catholic reference I could find to the “four hundred years of silence” in over 15,000 resources in my Catholic software Verbum.

 

John would not appear for over four hundred years. Malachi is apparently the last Old Testament prophet—unless Daniel was written much later than the rabbinic tradition has believed. He is followed by four hundred years of silence from God. The silence was broken by John the Baptist’s voice quoting Isaiah 40:3 (Mt 3:3). Jesus called John the greatest of the prophets (Mt 11:11). Malachi may have been the closest to him in time. He is at least the closest to him in the pages of the Bible. (Peter Kreeft, You Can Understand the Bible: A Practical Guide to Each Book in the Bible (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005), 160.)

So from this standpoint, there were no public prophets speaking to Israel like Isaiah, Jeremiah or Malachi during those 400 years, but as the seven books of the Deutero-canon demonstrate, it is clear God was still at work with the people of Israel and therefore not silent nor absent. 
 download (4)

{ 0 comments }

This was a delightful discussion between myself (Steve Ray) and a passionate Catholic John Evans. It is loosely entitled “A Day in the Life of the Holy Family”.

I hope you enjoy this YouTube.

{ 0 comments }

This was a delightful discussion between myself (Steve Ray) and a passionate Catholic John Evans. It is loosely entitled “A Day in the Life of the Holy Family”.

I hope you enjoy this YouTube.

{ 0 comments }

Ultimate Biblical Run through Jerusalem! Take a Virtual Pilgrimage even though Israel is Closed

November 28, 2020

Want to go on a pilgrimage all around Jerusalem on foot? Back in 2011 when my knees were still strong I took off through all the holy biblical sites and documented them with videos and pictures. The iPhone technology was not as good in 2011 as it is today, but it was an exciting 3-hour, 6.5 miles run […]

Read the full article →

Dear Protestant: Where Did You Get Your Bible?

November 22, 2020

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 →

Segment on Spirit Catholic Radio on Works of the Law

October 29, 2020

I was just called with a 10-minute warning and asked if I would fill in to talk on Spirit Catholic Radio’s “Good Book Club” discussing Galatians 2″11-21. So I did! To understand the New Testament one must place themselves in 1st-century Jewish-Roman culture. Here is a picture of the Jewish St. Paul, which is probably […]

Read the full article →

Quiz on Bible Cities: How Many Can You Guess?

October 27, 2020

This was a fun little quiz. Not hard at all. Let me know how many you get correct/ https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/4917821/jewish/Take-the-Biblical-Cities-Quiz.htm

Read the full article →

St. Paul and the “Evil Beast” People of Crete

October 12, 2020

Before the virus hysteria, we were touring the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea. We had about 100 happy cruisers along with us on this pilgrimage. St. Paul visited this island after his two-year imprisonment in Rome around AD 63. After his release St. Paul set out again on apostolic travels. During this time he and […]

Read the full article →

The Pain of Stolen Honey – John the Baptist was a Manly Man who Teaches us Many Things

September 8, 2020

A painful price is paid when one reaches his hand into a swarm of bees to swipe some of their honey. Stingers fly and welts flare. I know. I raised hives of bees as a boy and once I was stung 35 times in one day. And that was with protective equipment! Wild honey is […]

Read the full article →

Are Verses Left Out of Modern Translations of the Bible?

August 16, 2020

Bible Verses Missing in Modern Translations? By Steve Ray       (PDF version here) There are a lot of people today that are what we call “King James only“ Christians. They believe that the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible is the only inspired version and that modern translations are modernist. One argument for […]

Read the full article →

Feast Day of St. Martha, loved by Jesus

July 29, 2020

Martha is often given the short shrift. She lived with her brother Lazarus and her sister Mary in Bethany where Jesus lived when he was in the Jerusalem area. She worked hard, cared for people but was criticized by Jesus, or so it seems. I don’t think Jesus was criticizing those who serve guests and take […]

Read the full article →

Feast Day of Joachim & Anna: Nativity and Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

July 26, 2020

July 27 is the Feast Day of Mary’s parents Sts. Joachim and Anna. Their story is not told in the Bible, but in a 2nd-century document entitled The Protoevangelium of James. In this document we read of the birth and presentation of Mary and her childhood through her marriage to Joseph and the birth of Jesus. This […]

Read the full article →

St. Isaiah, Sts. Adam & Eve, St. Abraham, St. Moses – Did you know some Old Testament people are Saints?

July 6, 2020

Today is the Feast Day of St. Isaiah the Prophet.  What? Isaiah is a saint? Yes, and so are many of the heroes of the Old Testament. Adam and Eve have liturgical feast days, so do Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, King David and many others. The Roman Martyrology (1600) lists saints recognized up to that point including […]

Read the full article →

Debunking 5 Biblical Myths Accepted by Many as True

May 17, 2020

There are three “truths” I have been asked about many times. Often people tell me these as though they’re explaining to me something I’ve never heard before. However, in each case, there is no historical, biblical or actual basis to any three of them. In each case they started being taught in recent times and […]

Read the full article →

Depth of Water in Sea of Galilee! HIGH!

April 25, 2020

For those who have traveled to Israel with Janet and I and stayed at the Ron Beach Hotel in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee, you will certainly enjoy these pictures! Janet and I have only seen the sea this high about 16 or 17 years ago. It is delightful to see it full again. […]

Read the full article →

Resurrection Appearances: Places & People

April 15, 2020

In response to my show on Drew Mariani, here is the list of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. Click here for the document: https://catholicconvert.com/wp-content/uploads/Resurrection-People-who-witnessed.pdf For the podcast of my show with Drew Mariani — the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus and the institution and need for Confession, click ? below  or click this link: https://relevantradio.com/2020/04/the-importance-of-sacrament-of-confession/ My segment begins […]

Read the full article →