St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Bible: Gospel of Matthew

The Gospel of Matthew is the first book of the New Testament. It gives an account of the life of Jesus in 28 chapters. It is the longest of all the four Gospel books. Scripture experts tell us that it was originally written in Hebrew, though we have no original Hebrew texts. There are a couple of reasons why we believe this. First of all, the experts tell us the way it was written was as if it was a translation. Secondly, the things they say are things that belong more naturally in the Hebrew language as it was spoken then. The way it was written also indicates that it was meant for people native to the Hebrew language and culture. For example, the Book of Matthew does not take the time to explain the Hebrew culture like the other Gospels do (except for the cry on the cross “Eli, Eli, lema Sabachthani”). Even then, the witnesses of the event assume that Jesus is calling upon Elijah, which is a Jewish thought. Matthew also assumes the strong patriarchal role of St Joseph in the birth account of Jesus. Even when Joseph is not the blood father, he uses the bloodline of Joseph to establish Jesus’ heritage to King David, whereas Luke uses the lineage of Mary. 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