You probably think I'm a well organized person with a perfectly planned blog. It would make sense, given my profession. Sadly, you are wrong. I rarely know what I'm going to do for 7 Quick Takes until I write them, and sometimes not until after. Today I've decided to use the ten minutes I have to tell you about some of the awesome things I've learned (or relearned) at JP Catholic in my Intro to Scripture class. Some of these may be full blog posts later, so stay tuned!
I've learned a lot about how Jesus actually existed. Of course I knew He did exist because I believe He did and He's the Son of God, but I've learned a lot about the arguments for His existence outside any Christian school of thought. Non-Christian writers and historians wrote about Him, and it is almost impossible to believe He's just a figment of the apostles' imagination.
Did you know there's been disagreement over the order of the Gospels? For most of history we have thought Matthew was written first. All the early Christians write about it being written first. Here lately several have decided Mark was written first.
Then again, several think the Gospels had to be written after 70AD because otherwise how would they have been able to foretell the destruction of Jerusalem? Aside from that whole God angle, that is. I now know arguments in favor of a date before 70AD inherent in the text.
I love how Jesus accomplished His mission in the most unexpected ways. During the temptations, Satan offered everything that we might want or might think the King of the World would need. Feed the hungry. Be invincible. Be in charge! And instead He goes off to die on a cross. This is not how we would have planned it. But look at how amazing the outcome is! I need to let Jesus be in charge of the planning.
It had never crossed my mind how linked Jesus' baptism is with Jesus' death, aside from they both occur in His life. They're like massively linked and the implications for our own baptism and resurrection are wonderful!
I've always been a fan of Mary of course, and I've read all about the Immaculate Conception and Assumption, but I've never had it all click together until now. Just this week the lecture included a long section about Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant. I'd heard that before too, but now I can find it. Luke and John clearly wanted to identify her as such. It isn't just some additional idea later came up with by pious Catholics.
I'd never thought about how entirely odd it is that an angel appears to Zechariah, a righteous man and a priest, in the temple of all places, and he totally didn't believe it. Out of all the places and all the people you'd expect an angel to appear to, a priest at the temple has to be high on the list. He's even a good guy - it says so right there in Luke. This isn't some random jerk who just likes to be in charge. Meanwhile the peasant girl is all like "Yes."
The final thing I've learned I'd like to share is how much I really love all this. I really enjoyed reading the Bible before, but the more I dig the better it gets.
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