CHRISTMAS EVE: December 24th; the night before the Feast of the Incarnation, the birth of Jesus of Nazareth

christmas eve

Mark got it right.   Mark, as in St. Mark, that is. If you go to the Christian segment of the Holy Bible and search for the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) you will discover four very different and sometimes contradictory attempts to depict the story of Jesus of Nazareth. Each was constructed with […]

EPIPHANY: to show forth; to disclose

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Today, January 6, is observed throughout Christianity as The Feast of The Epiphany. The tradition is characterized by the arrival of visitors from “the East” to honor the newborn baby Jesus. These visitors are depicted as kings or wise men;  my Priest spoke yesterday of them being astrologers. Their very existence depends upon the degree […]

BIRTH NARRATIVES: the various stories surrounding the birth of Jesus of Nazareth

birth narrative

Despite what many people believe to be the “true story” of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the fact is that there are many stories, some of which agree, and some of which are at odds with each other. For instance, the four Gospels, the primary readings of the New Testament, each have a unique […]

PROVENANCE [PROV-uh-nuhns] :the place of origin, particularlly as in ancient items or art work

The arrival on the scene of a scrap of papyrus with words about Jesus of Nazareth caused a stir over the past few weeks.   It appears that the ancient items, dating back to about 300 a.d., mentions women in a way that is unique to Christian literature.   One phrase even suggests that Jesus was married; […]

CRUCIFIXION: a Roman method of punishment for common criminals

[The suggestion of a reader that my postings on issues of faith are helpful and timely leads me to devote this week, Holy Week for Christians, and Passover for Jews, to some short discussions of issues of faith.  This is #5 in the series of 6 to be posted this week.] In much of contemporary […]