St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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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


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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 Our Catholic Understanding 2

As we continue the timeline of events in the Bible after Moses, we begin with Joshua, who leads the people into the Holy Land. The Book of Joshua begins with the story of Jericho and the many other battles that established them in the land. This book ends with Joshua renewing the covenant with the people using the famous words, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). The Book of Judges came during the occupancy of the Holy Land. This book has the story of Deborah, Gideon and Samson. The Israelites pretty much dominate the land, but they still have difficulty with the inhabitants in the mountains and over by the Mediterranean Sea. This is where we discover the dreaded Philistines. The Israelites fall short of what they promise, (to be obedient to God), many times. Because of their disobedience, they suffer and turn back to God. God sends them a “Judge” to help them get back on track and be back in God’s grace. Then they fall back in the same cycle. This happened for at least 400 years. Continue reading


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The Bible and Our Catholic Understanding

Many people have questions about the Bible. Some are in depth and some are very basic. There are way too many questions about the Bible to deal with every question in bulletin articles. We hope to have more groups studying the Bible, but I will handle some of the basics. There are some resources also available. For more of the basics, I have ordered a small book called, Pocket Bible Guide, St Joseph Edition. If you want something more in depth, Scott Hahn offers his college courses for free on-line. The free course does not offer credits, but you do gain the knowledge. Otherwise, there are some books in the Daleiden room, in the basement of the St Joseph rectory, and the Lighthouse CDs are also available in the back of both churches. In presenting this information, I will assume that there is someone who has never even heard of the Bible, let alone seen one. Continue reading


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Questions and Answers

Earlier this year we took a parish survey and had hoped to report the responses right away. The devastating blow of losing Pat and Carlotta Davis delayed our goal, but parishioners from Be Bold, Be Catholic formed a team to tally responses to be sure everyone’s concerns and interests could be addressed. While we wait for this full report, right now we can consider certain questions about the Bible or Catholic teachings, about which many parishioners indicated a strong interest in learning more. Continue reading