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Daily Catholic Question

What is the significance of the number three in the Bible?

Howard Joseph Sorensen notes in an entry in Volume 10 of the New Catholic Encyclopedia that the number three indicates completeness and is superlative—a thing is entirely what it is said to be. A person dead three days is really dead. One who is thrice holy is perfectly holy.

Seven
also indicates completeness, and can be used of good or evil. Mary Magdalene, for instance, was possessed by seven devils.

In the end Sorensen makes the important statement that the Bible never attributes a special power to numbers and a number has no special meaning apart from the thing signified.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Monday, November 5, 2012
Daily Catholic Question for 11/4/2012 Daily Catholic Question for 11/6/2012


Mary Magdalene: Except for the mother of Jesus, few women are more honored in the Bible than Mary Magdalene. Yet she could well be the patron of the slandered, since there has been a persistent legend in the Church that she is the unnamed sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50. 
<p>Most Scripture scholars today point out that there is no scriptural basis for confusing the two women. Mary Magdalene, that is, “of Magdala,” was the one from whom Christ cast out “seven demons” (Luke 8:2)—an indication, at the worst, of extreme demonic possession or, possibly, severe illness. </p><p>Father Wilfrid J. Harrington, O.P., writing in the <i>New Catholic Commentary</i>, says that “seven demons” “does not mean that Mary had lived an immoral life—a conclusion reached only by means of a mistaken identification with the anonymous woman of Luke 7:36.” Father Edward Mally, S.J., writing in the <i>Jerome Biblical Commentary,</i> agrees that she “is not...the same as the sinner of Luke 7:37, despite the later Western romantic tradition about her.” </p><p>Mary Magdalene was one of the many “who were assisting them [Jesus and the Twelve] out of their means.” She was one of those who stood by the cross of Jesus with his mother. And, of all the “official” witnesses that might have been chosen for the first awareness of the Resurrection, she was the one to whom that privilege was given. She is known as the "Apostle to the Apostles."</p> American Catholic Blog Jesus does not save us as individuals, but as members of His Body. We are not just people—unconnected and isolated arms and legs. We are a people—in fact, the People of God.

 
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