St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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The Bible: Joel – Jonah

The book of Joel is short, four chapters long, which translates into four pages. It was written about 400 BC. At about that time there was a great famine due to locusts and grasshoppers eating up the food of the land. It sounds like it was similar to one of the ten plagues in Egypt. By the end of this book comes hope and God makes a promise to the people that He will bless them. Continue reading


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The Bible: Daniel

The book of Daniel is 14 chapters long. It is considered an apocalyptic book. It deals with prophecy and stories of the Babylonian exile. Looking at the timeline, Daniel starts half way through the time of Jeremiah and goes just into the time of the return from exile. It was not written by Daniel. The author in unknown. The stories and prophecies revolve around Daniel. Continue reading


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The Bible: History of the Northern Kingdom of Israel

Isaiah was a prophet before the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel. He prophesied the fall of the northern kingdom in 722 BC. Jeremiah came over 100 years later and served the southern kingdom of Judah. Remember that after King Solomon, his son was foolish and followed after worldly things which caused division of the kingdom that God had established through King David. This set up a constant fighting of the northern kingdom of Israel against the southern kingdom of Judah and vice versa. The kingdom was now divided into at least two. Continue reading


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The Bible: Prophetic Books

The Prophetic Books are in a class by themselves. They do have historical value where we can learn some history, but not everything was meant to be interpreted literally. Common sense applies to some of this, but this is where many people get confused. The prophets are not easy to understand. They do and say strange things. They use a lot of symbolic language. Sometimes their actions can be symbolic as well as scandalous. Continue reading


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The Bible: Tobit, Judith and Esther

The Book of Tobit is another one of those fun stories in the Bible. This story is self-contained. What do I mean by that? You can read the book while not knowing where it fits in the Bible and still get a whole story. It is a story of a very holy man named Tobit. Tobit was a very real person and in the first chapter and a half sets the stage for the story. Continue reading