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, 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