Tag: Judaism


Jewish Purgatory

Ludovico Carracci, An Angel Frees the Souls of Purgatory (1610)
Are Catholics right to pray for the dead, and to believe that such prayers can help to release souls from Purgatory? Many Christians are unaware that these doctrines are Jewish in origin, and that the Jewish practice of praying for the dead continues on to this day. Even fewer are aware that this practice of prayer is tied to a tradition of temporary purgatorial fires after death.

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Casting Out Demons in the Name of Solomon: Jewish Exorcisms at the Time of Christ

Giotto, Exorcism of the Demons at Arezzo (detail) (1300)  Exorcisms have been a part of Catholicism from the very beginning. When Jesus sends out the Twelve Apostles, “they went out and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them” (Mark 6:12-13). But […]

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Pope Francis and the White Crucifixion

When asked about his favorite painters, Pope Francis responded: “Among the great painters, I admire Caravaggio; his paintings speak to me. But also Chagall, with his ‘White Crucifixion.’” It’s a fascinating choice. Marc Chagall was, as Wikipedia notes, “the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century.” He was also captured by the figure of Jesus Christ: he has numerous […]

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Answering Nine Protestant Arguments About the Bible

After yesterday’s post, Brent Stubbs pointed out that a thoughtful Protestant named Shawn Madden raised a number of arguments against the Catholic Bible, and in favor of the Protestant Bible, in the comments at Called to Communion.  His full argument is here, but he essentially makes nine points: Many versions of the TNK used by Greek-speaking Jews […]

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Can Protestants Rely Upon the “Council of Jamnia” for Their Bible?

A good friend of mine is currently studying to become a Presbyterian minister at Westminster Theological Seminary.  Before he left, I asked him two questions: Where does the Bible dictate sola Scriptura? Where does the Bible dictate the precise canon of Scripture? After all, for sola Scriptura not to be self-refuting, both of these seemingly […]

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