Fr Stephen Smuts

Archive for April 10th, 2012

The Resurrection Appearances Chronologically Arranged

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Nicely done here.

When we encounter the resurrection accounts in the New Testament we face a challenge  in putting all the pieces together in a way that the sequence of the events flow in logical order. This is due to the fact that no one Gospel presents all, or even most of the data. Some of the data also seems to conflict. I tried to show in yesterday’s blog that these apparent conflicts are not, usually, true conflicts. Another problem with putting all the facts together in a coherent and reasonably complete manner is that the time line of the events is often unclear in some of the accounts. Luke and John are the clearest as to the time frame of the events they describe but Matthew and Luke give us very few parameters. Both Acts and Paul also supply data wherein the time frame is not always clear.

Nevertheless I want to propose to you a possible, dare I claim, even likely, sequence of the Resurrection events…


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

April 10, 2012 at 19:50

Easter Contest

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Not here. Over at Timothy’s fine blog: Catholic Bibles.

A Blessed Easter to you all!  He is Risen!

In celebration of these glorious days, I will be offering an Easter contest.  The winning entry will receive a copy of the New Collegeville Bible Commentary: The Acts of the Apostles by Dennis Hamm and the Collins Catholic Bible: NRSV w/ Grail Psalms.

This contest will not be like the ones I have done recently, which were drawn randomly.  Here are the rules for this Easter contest:

1) One entry per person.  No anonymous entries will be accepted.  (If you sign in anonymously, you must include a name at the end of your entry.)

2) Since I am paying for the shipping, I will only be shipping within North America.

3) If you have a blog of your own, I would appreciate you advertising this contest on it.  (This is, however, not mandatory for an eligible entry.)

4) All entries must answer the following question in the comment box: Since we are hearing readings from the Acts of the Apostles at Mass during the Easter season, what is your favorite verse(s) from Acts and why?

Please limit the verses to five or less and your reason to under fifty words.

5) All entries must be submitted by Friday, April 13th, at 11:59PM.  I will announce the winner on Saturday.

So if you’re in North America, go for it.

The Bible looks great.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

April 10, 2012 at 17:56

Miss Universe Changes Rules to Allow Transgender

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And still further proof that we are living in the end time.

The Miss Universe pageant is changing its rules and will allow transgender women to take part in all of its competitions starting in 2013, the organisation and gay rights group GLAAD said.

The decision follows a media outcry over the disqualification of Canadian contestant Jenna Talackova from the upcoming Miss Universe Canada contest because she was not a “naturally-born female”.

Talackova 23, who underwent gender reassignment surgery when she was 19, was reinstated to the Canadian competition last week by businessman Donald Trump, who owns the Miss Universe organisation.

Talackova has a Canadian passport, driver’s license and other documents that identify her as a woman.

Following consultations with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Miss Universe “discussed a policy change that includes transgender women in time for the start of this fall’s 2013 pageant season; a time when most of the competitions around the world begin to take place,” the two groups said in a joint statement.

The change brings Miss Universe into line with other groups that have taken a stand against discrimination of transgender women, including the Olympics, the Girl Scouts of America and TV show America’s Next Top Model, GLAAD said.

“We have a long history of supporting equality for all women and this was something we took very seriously,” said Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organisation.

The exact language, which will abolish the long-standing rule that contestants must be “naturally-born females”, is still being worked out, officials said…

Surgical mutilation, pumping yourself full of hormones and silicon will never make you a woman – superficially or otherwise! That’s intrinsically evil. ‘But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female’ (Mk 10:6; Gen 1:27).

You don’t get to assign a sex to yourself.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

April 10, 2012 at 16:37

Speaking of Q&A… What Happened to Cardinal George Pell Last Night?

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The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney had a shocker of a debate with the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. He went as far as saying that the Biblical story of Adam and Eve is but a mere myth, a mythological account:

“It’s a very sophisticated mythology to try to explain the evil and the suffering in the world.”

When you make such admissions, you’re as good as done in debate. Australia… Australia… you’re dropping the ball down-under.

The headline in the Sydney Morning Herald says it all: Dawkins shades Pell in battle of belief:

In the great showdown between God and the godless, it was the silver-haired professional agnostic in the middle – calm throughout, pointed in his questions, and thankful that his warring guests were “not grunting” – who emerged victorious on the ABC’s Q&A last night.

Billed as a kind of final countdown, a day of reckoning for the chattering classes, the exchange was often not much better than a feral snarl-off. Pell ran circles around his own arguments (frequently of the how-many-angels-can-you-fit-on-the-head-of-a-pin type)…

But as the exchange wore on and Dawkins sank into exasperation with the vapidity of some of the questions, Pell became more expansive. And the more liturgical rope he was allowed, the more thoroughly he hanged himself.

God picked the Jews to prove his existence, he said, even though they were just a bunch of shepherds and intellectually inferior to the Egyptians…

Pell’s argument during an exchange over evolution was downright baffling. He started by saying he “probably” accepts that humans descended from Neanderthals.

“Neanderthals?” piped up Dawkins, jumping disdainfully on the slip. “They were our cousins. We can’t be descended from our cousins.”

“These are extant cousins?” shot back Pell. “Where will I find a Neanderthal today if they’re our cousins?”

Dawkins: “They’re extinct.”

Pell: “Exactly. That’s my point.”

“Your point is that because they’re extant they can’t be our cousins?” Dawkins asked, by now incredulous.

“I’m not really much fussed,” said Pell.

“That’s clear,” said Dawkins…

If you missed it, ABC has it here.

You can download it in mp4 here.

You may also wish to visit Doubting Dawkins. A far better set of challenges to Richard Dawkins.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

April 10, 2012 at 10:04

Sir Anthony Hopkins in Q & A at Thomas Aquinas College

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Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

April 10, 2012 at 09:29

Christopher Rollston – Writing and Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel

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Christopher Rollston

Christopher Rollston

From here:

One of the world’s leading experts on ancient writing in the Middle East, Christopher Rollston joins us to talk about his new book, Writing and Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel, and what it has to say about the Bible and the biblical world.

Give it a listen or download in mp3 here.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

April 10, 2012 at 06:26


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