Saturday, February 3, 2018

This is one of peoples’ favorite days although every day is special here. The taxi ride up the mountain to the Transfiguration Church is always exciting and gets a lot of “oohs and ahs.”  Another great homily in the beautiful Church of the Transfiguration – a church built to be filled with light – guess why ?

(Picture: one of our great drivers Haim)

All the married couples renewed their wedding vows in Cana of Galilee and I gave one of my talks there on the Gospel of John chapter 2.

Lunch in Nazareth was followed by a visit to the Church of Annunciation and the House of the Holy Family and I gave my talk “A Day in the Life of the Holy Family.”

The Church of Annunciation is the home parish of our guide Amer so it is fascinating to hear him explain the history and meaning of his own parish church. Imagine having your church be the place where the Angel Gabriel first spoke to Mary!!

Another fantastic day which ended at the Magdalena Restaurant, which is claimed by many people to be the finest restaurant in Israel. Nice end to a great day! Enjoy!

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3,000 Years in 90 Seconds

by Steve Ray on February 3, 2018

MapsOfWar.jpgVery cool map animation. Watch the history of the Middle East (and beyond) unfold with an interactive map showing the various civilizations that have ruled the region from ancient Egypt to modern times.

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I was organizing the 15,000 books in my Logos Bible Software program on my laptop and noticed this quote about the so-called “Rapture” as taught by many Evangelical Protestants. The Rapture is a new Protestant doctrine that was invented in the mid-1800’s in Scotland.

The recent novelty is mainly based on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. The following article taken from the popular Evangelical Protestant commentary – New International Biblical Commentary:

“When our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones: One scenario of the end time embraced by many Christians today sees a twofold return of Jesus: the first in secret to gather up the church, the second openly, following the tribulation (which, on this theory, only the world will endure) to judge the world.

The first return is called the Rapture, the second the Revelation. The Greek word from whose Latin equivalent (rapere) our word “rapture” is derived, is actually used by Paul in 4:17, “we … will be caught up” (but not, we believe in the sense of the modern theory; see discussion on 4:17 and 2 Thess. 2:1). The theory rests largely on a conclusion drawn from the verse before us. If Jesus is to come with his saints, it is argued, as this verse says he will, he must first have come for them. A number of other passages are enlisted to corroborate this scenario (e.g., Mark 13:27; Rev. 11:11f.), but none of them, and least of all 1 Thessalonians 3:13, can bear the weight of this interpretation.

“Some would even doubt that the holy ones refers to his saints; but allowing that it does (see the discussion), what more is Paul saying here than he says, for example, in 4:14? Paul wants to assure the Thessalonians that their dead will not be disadvantaged. They will be raised, the living will be transformed, and together, the living and the dead will “meet the Lord” and be “with the Lord forever” (4:16f.). The “all” of 3:13 is important. In anticipation of his fuller treatment in chapter 4, Paul casually indicates that all will be involved in the Parousia, but he says nothing more than that.

Besides reading too much into a passage dealing with other matters, the whole idea of the Rapture founders (1) on the fact that the church’s hope—based, we may believe, on Jesus’ own teaching—has from the outset been fixed upon his visible return (cf. 1 Cor. 1:7; Titus 2:13); and (2) on the language of 2 Thessalonians 2:1, where Paul speaks of “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him.” Paul used two nouns governed by the one definite article, which shows beyond question that he thought of the “coming” and the “gathering” as two facets of the one event.

In short, Christ’s Revelation [the 2nd Coming as taught by Scripture and the Catholic Church] is at one and the same time our Rapture.

(Williams, D. J. (1992). New International Biblical Commentary: 1 and 2 Thessalonians (68). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.)

In short, Catholics should not fall for, or be intimidated by this unbiblical “Rapture” idea. Protestants can’t even agree with each other on the matter and intelligent Protestants don’t accept it at all.

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