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Daily Catholic Question

Where does the Bible come from?

We think of the Bible as one book—and a big, formidable book at that! Someone might approach it like a novel. But setting out to read the Bible is more like trying to get through all the books in your local library. In fact, the word bible literally means "little library." Our Bible has many different kinds of writings between its covers, including prayers, genealogies, histories, poetry, letters, short stories, love songs and so on.

The Bible contains the records of four thousand years of Judeo-Christian culture. Even before writing materials were invented, the many stories included in our Bible were handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. We call this "oral tradition."

As time passed, the ancient Israelites began to commit their community's stories to writing. The earliest written stories told about the deeds of the kings. The people also began to write down their songs (psalms) as far back as the tenth century B.C.E. (Before Common Era). But most stories were written down between the fifth and the third century B.C.E.

I can't think of a better time for you to begin reading the Bible than right now. Pick it up, dust it off if you have to, and turn to the Gospel of Mark. Once you've started, just keep going. The cover will soon lose its gloss, it may become tattered and you will learn the truth of another old saying: "Bibles that are falling apart usually belong to people who aren't."


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Monday, July 25, 2016
Daily Catholic Question for 7/24/2016 Daily Catholic Question for 7/26/2016


James: This James is the brother of John the Evangelist. The two were called by Jesus as they worked with their father in a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had already called another pair of brothers from a similar occupation: Peter and Andrew. “He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him” (Mark 1:19-20). 
<p>James was one of the favored three who had the privilege of witnessing the Transfiguration, the raising to life of the daughter of Jairus and the agony in Gethsemani. </p><p>Two incidents in the Gospels describe the temperament of this man and his brother. St. Matthew tells that their mother came (Mark says it was the brothers themselves) to ask that they have the seats of honor (one on the right, one on the left of Jesus) in the kingdom. “Jesus said in reply, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They said to him, ‘We can’” (Matthew 20:22). Jesus then told them they would indeed drink the cup and share his baptism of pain and death, but that sitting at his right hand or left was not his to give—it “is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father” (Matthew 20:23b). It remained to be seen how long it would take to realize the implications of their confident “We can!” </p><p>The other disciples became indignant at the ambition of James and John. Then Jesus taught them all the lesson of humble service: The purpose of authority is to serve. They are not to impose their will on others, or lord it over them. This is the position of Jesus himself. He was the servant of all; the service imposed on him was the supreme sacrifice of his own life. </p><p>On another occasion, James and John gave evidence that the nickname Jesus gave them—“sons of thunder”—was an apt one. The Samaritans would not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to hated Jerusalem. “When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?’ Jesus turned and rebuked them...” (Luke 9:54-55). </p><p>James was apparently the first of the apostles to be martyred. “About that time King Herod laid hands upon some members of the church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also” (Acts 12:1-3a). </p><p>This James, sometimes called James the Greater, is not to be confused with James the Lesser (May 3) or with the author of the Letter of James and the leader of the Jerusalem community.</p> American Catholic Blog Walk the talk. Show, don’t tell. Values are caught, not taught—all variations of one theme: A good example is essential for good parenting.

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