St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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The Bible: Jeremiah

Jeremiah found his calling at least one hundred years after the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. There is a partial timeline in the entryway of both churches in color for you to look at. We also have ten black and white copies in the back of church for you to take home. It illustrates the split in the Davidic Kingdom, the kings, the prophets and the time the books are addressing. It also has information on who was the ruling power and other historical events that help you put things into perspective. Jeremiah is just before 600 BC, right before the three deportations. 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: Isaiah

The Book of Isaiah is the longest of the books of the Prophets. This book of the Bible has 66 chapters. It was written addressing the late eighth century BC. During that time came the fall of the northern part of the Holy Land known as Israel. The southern region which contained Jerusalem was known as Judah. This time is divided into three, according to the kings, Jotham (742-735), Ahaz (735-715) and Hezekiah (715-687). 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: Wisdom Books

The Books of Wisdom are in a class by themselves. They introduce to us the way God thinks. But we do have to be careful not to interpret what God is saying the wrong way. Some words seem harsh, so we may think God is literally meaning something harsh. There are lots of tidbits that are useful in getting through hard times. They are not necessarily easy to understand. Here is some background for you. It might help you understand a little more. We do have a cd set on the Psalms by Dr. Bergsma in the Daleiden room under the St Joseph rectory. In fact, there are lots of materials that might be helpful in the Daleiden Room. Continue reading


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The Bible, Ezra and Nehemiah

The Bible, generally speaking, is in chronological order, but not strictly speaking. Genesis starts with the origin of humanity. Matthew was not necessarily the first writer of the Gospels, nor were the letters of Paul put in the order that he wrote them. This is also true for the Old Testament. Ezra and Nehemiah were both associated with the restoration of the Temple after the Babylonian exile. Ezra comes before Nehemiah in the Bible, but it is believed that Nehemiah came first. The Book of Daniel backtracks to the Babylonian exile and fills in what happened during that period.  Continue reading


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The Bible and the Books

The Bible is a collection of many books. We started with the first five books called the Pentateuch. Then come the historical, the wisdom, and the prophetic books. The Bible was not written with this in mind. This is how we organize the books to help us remember what goes where and how to use them. Continue reading