Jimmy Akin Podcast

In this episode of the show, we tackle the following issues . . .

1) Was St. Peter the greatest of Jesus' original Twelve disciples?

St. Peter is certainly the most commonly mentioned of the original Twelve. He always stands at the head of the list whenever the names of the Twelve apostles are listed in the Bible. And he was clearly part of Jesus' inner circle, even within the Twelve. He is, unquestionably, the most prominent of the Twelve.

But did Jesus give him a special role among the Twelve, a special position, or was he just more active than the others?

Jesus gives us an answer to this question, and in an unexpected place . . .

2) The Number of the Beast vs. the Number of Jesus

We've all heard that, in the book of Revelation, the number of the Beast is 666.

Whatever does this mean?

And if the Beast has a number, do others?

Does the name of Jesus have a number?

Does the name of God have a number? . . . 

3) Did the Gospel Writers Feel Free to Make Stuff Up?

Some people hold the view that the writers of the four gospels felt free to basically make stuff up, to freely shape the narratives they were writing about Jesus' life by either manufacturing stories about his deeds or making up teachings and putting them on his lips.

The idea is that they used the figure of Jesus as a vehicle for their own ideas, and they made up material to serve the perceived needs of their local Christian communities.

It's easy to show that by the second century there were a lot of people identifying themselves as Christians who did exactly this. That's why there were so many Gnostic gospels dating from the second to the fourth century.

But what about the first century, canonical gospels? . . .

4) Are Scary Halloween Costumes Okay?

Many people of conscience view Halloween with some suspicion, and the way it is often celebrated today, that’s understandable.

Some have chosen not to celebrate Halloween at all, and that’s a respectable choice.

Others have chosen to invert the popular celebration by dressing up–or having their children dress up–as entirely wholesome figures, like doctors, nurses, and firemen or even has historical figures, like saints.

But what about scary Halloween costumes? Are those okay? . . .

Direct download: 48final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:41pm PDT

You sometimes encounter the charge that the Catholic Church wrongly "changed the sabbath" from Saturday to Sunday.

This claim is often made by Seventh-Day Adventists, for example.

But even if one isn't accusing the Church of wrongdoing, the question can still arise: Why do Catholics worship on Sunday rather than Saturday?

Here's the story . . .

First, let's clear away a potential source of confusion. While it's true that people sometimes speak of Sunday as "the Christian sabbath," this is a loose way of speaking.

Strictly speaking, the sabbath is the day it always was--Saturday--though it should be noted that traditionally Jewish people have celebrated the sabbath from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday.

Sunday is a distinct day, which follows the sabbath. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:

Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ's Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man's eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ.

That same paragraph explains why we celebrate on Sunday. For Christians the ceremonial observance of Sunday replaces that of the sabbath. Properly speaking, we're not celebrating the sabbath on Sunday. We're celebrating something else, but it's something that the sabbath points toward.

What we are celebrating instead of the sabbath is "the Lord's day."

That's something Christians have celebrated since the first century. In fact, in the very first chapter of Revelation, we read that John experienced the inaugural vision of the book on "the Lord's day." He writes:

I John, your brother, who share with you in Jesus the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet [Revelation 1:9-10].

And he goes on to describe the vision of Jesus Christ he received.

For our purposes, the important thing to note is that he speaks of the Lord's day as an already-established thing. He expects his readers to know what it is.

So, when is it?

The first Christians commonly spoke of Jesus Christ as "the Lord," and the Lord's day is Jesus Christ's day--the day he rose from the dead and his tomb was found empty. That's the day after the sabbath, or Sunday.

In Matthew's gospel we read:

Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Mag'dalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulcher.

But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay [Matthew 28:1, 5-6].

The fact that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week is something stressed by all four gospels:

And that's why Christians celebrate the Lord's day. The Catechism explains:

Jesus rose from the dead "on the first day of the week." Because it is the "first day," the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. . . . For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica), Sunday.

We can confirm that the early Christians were meeting on the first day of the week from the letters of St. Paul, because he tells the Corinthians to take up a collection on that day of the week so that they won't have to take up a collection when he arrives. He says:

Now concerning the contribution for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do.

On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that contributions need not be made when I come [1 Corinthians 16:1-2].

He expects the collection to already be taken up by the time he arrives so that they don't have to get people to give at that point. This indicates that the early Christians were meeting on the first day of the week, celebrating the Lord's day.

Does that mean that no Christians in the first century ever celebrated the sabbath?

No. Many Jewish Christians celebrated both the sabbath and Sunday in the first century, just as many also practiced the Jewish dietary laws and ritual circumcision and offered sacrifices in the Temple.

St. Paul himself went to synagogue services on the sabbath so that he could preach the message of Jesus to his Jewish countrymen, for that is where and when they would gather together.

But Paul is clear that sabbath observance is not binding on Christians.

He addresses this very directly in the letter to the Colossians, where he writes:

And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. . . .

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath.

These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ [Colossians 2:13-17].

When St. Paul refers to the bond which stood against us with its legal demands, he is referring to the Law of Moses. Christ cancelled this bond. That is why he says not to let anyone pass judgment on us in questions of food and drink--what is kosher and what isn't.

And he says not to let anyone judge us with regard to keeping a festival or a new moon or a sabbath. Those are the three types of days on the Jewish liturgical calendar: the annual feasts (like Yom Kippur), the monthly new moon, and the weekly sabbath.

All of these things had a symbolic value, which pointed forward to Christ, but now that the substance which cast the shadow has come--Christ himself--the things pointing forward to him are no longer needed.

The Church Fathers agree. Thus in the early A.D. 100s, we find St. Ignatius of Antioch writing:

Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord's day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death [Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Magnesians 9:1].

So let's loop back to our original question of whether the Catholic Church "changed the sabbath." From what we've seen, it didn't.

There was no Medieval pope or council who said, "We're now going to celebrate the sabbath on Sunday."

The weekly sabbath is the day it always was--Saturday--the day before the Lord's day.

What's different is that Jewish Christians are no longer obligated to celebrate the sabbath, because Jesus Christ himself fulfilled it and all the other Old Testament ceremonies and instituted the New Covenant.

And he had the authority to do that, for as he himself told us:

The Son of man is lord of the sabbath [Matthew 12:8].

Of course, Gentile Christians were never obligated to celebrate the sabbath in the first place, because the Law of Moses was given to the Jewish people and was only binding on them (in contrast to God's eternal, moral law, which is binding on everyone).

What we are obliged to celebrate is the Lord's day, which fulfills the principles that were contained within the sabbath, including the need to set aside adequate time for rest and worship.

But there wasn't a Medieval pope or council who instituted that, either. As we've, seen, it's something that dates from the New Testament age itself. Thus the Catechism states:

This practice of the Christian assembly dates from the beginnings of the apostolic age. The Letter to the Hebrews reminds the faithful "not to neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but to encourage one another" [Hebrews 10:25].

Direct download: 047final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:19pm PDT

Abortion is a controversial issue, and at the center of the controversy is the question of whether the unborn are human beings. If they are, then abortion kills a human being.

Many people think that this is somehow a religious issue and involves religious questions like when the soul arrives.

Some people deliberately try to frame the issue this way in order to shut down rational discussion of the subject.

So let's set the question of religious aside <em>entirely</em>.

Instead, let's look at something we should all be able to agree upon: science.

What does science say about whether the unborn are human beings?

Direct download: 046final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:14pm PDT

One of the most controversial passages in the Bible is Matthew 16:18, where Jesus tells Peter, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church."

Catholics see this passage as evidence that Jesus made Peter the first pope.

Many Evangelicals look at it as just the opposite.

Who is right?

It's an interesting question, and I've been on both sides of the question. In fact, this passage played a pivotal role in my conversion to the Catholic Church.

You may think you've heard all the arguments about whether Peter is the rock, but I'm going to show you the one that convinced me, and you probably haven't heard it anywhere else . . .


The Basic Argument

A common claim in Protestant apologetics is that in Matthew 16:18, Jesus is actually contrasting St. Peter with the rock on which he will build his Church.

The argument is based on the fact that in Greek the word for Peter is petros, while the word used for "rock" here is petra.

It is often claimed that these words meant two different things--that petros meant a small stone or a pebble, while petra meant a large rock.

The idea is that Jesus is contrasting Peter--a tiny, insignificant stone--with the great rock on which he will build his Church, which is often said not to be Peter but Peter's faith.

How well does this argument work?


Small Stone vs. Large Rock?

In the Expositor's Bible Commentary, the esteemed Evangelical Bible scholar D. A. Carson writes on this passage:

Although it is true that petros and petra can mean "stone" and "rock" respectively in earlier Greek, the distinction is largely confined to poetry.

Moreover the underlying Aramaic in this case is unquestionable; and most probably kepha was used in both clauses ("you are kepha and on this kepha"), since the word was used both for a name and for "rock."

The Peshitta (written in Syriac, a language cognate with Aramaic) makes no distinction between the words in the two clauses.

The Greek makes the distinction between petros and petra simply because it is trying to preserve the pun, and in Greek the feminine petra could not very well serve as a masculine name.

So the argument that petros and petra have different meanings in this passage is actually quite weak.

But for the sake of argument, let's suppose that they did. Would this mean that Peter isn't the rock?


You May Look Small . . . 

The argument that he isn't is based on the fact that there is a clear parallelism between Peter and the rock in this passage, and it assumes a particular kind of parallelism--one that contrasts Peter with the rock.

This is sometimes called antithetic parallelism.

But that isn't the only kind of parallelism there is. The Bible often uses another form, known as synthetic parallelism.

In synthetic parallelism, the second item mentioned builds on or amplifies the meaning of the first.

If that's what's happening in this passage--even if we grant that petros means a small stone and petra means a large rock--then it does not follow that Peter and the rock are two different things.

Instead, Jesus would be saying something like, "Although you may seem to be a small stone, Peter, on the large rock that you really are, I will build my Church."

In this case petra or large rock would bring out the actual significance of the small stone that Peter appears to be.

But there are even more decisive arguments, and you don't have to speak Greek or Aramaic to understand them . . .


My Own Conversion

A key moment in my own conversion occurred one day when I was reading a book, and it had an extended quotation from Matthew 16.

I suddenly realized that there was a structural feature in the text that pointed to Peter being the rock.

Soon afterward, I noticed additional features that indicated the same thing.

I realized that these were far stronger indicators than the arguments I had previously taken for granted regarding the alleged difference in meaning between petros and petra, and I had to change my view.

Here is what I discovered . . .


Jesus Asks a Question

If we back up a few verses, we find Jesus asking the disciples a question:

[13] Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare'a Philip'pi, he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?"

[14] And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli'jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

[15] He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

[16] Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

That's the correct answer, and Jesus says three things to Peter in reply:

[17] And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

[18] And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it.

[19] I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

What I noticed was that there are structural features in Jesus' three statements to Peter that indicate he is the rock.


Blessed Are You

One thing I noticed is that the statements immediately before and after the "You are Peter" passage are both blessings.

First, Jesus says "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona!" That is clearly a blessing.

Then he says, "You are Peter."

And finally he says, "I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven." That also is clearly a blessing.

So "You are Peter" is sandwiched between two blessings. The passage unambiguously stresses the blessedness of St. Peter.

That argues against the idea that Jesus is belittling Peter in this passage.

It would be like Jesus saying, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! . . . You insignificant pebble. . . . Here are the keys to the kingdom of God!"


What It Means to Be Peter

I also noticed that each of Jesus' three statements to St. Peter has a two-part explanation attached to it.

The first statement, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona!" is explained by "For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you," which is then further explained by "but my Father who is in heaven."

These are why Peter is blessed. He didn't learn of Jesus' identity from man. It was revealed to him by the Father.

The third statement, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven," is explained by "and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven," which is then further explained by "and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

These are part of what it means for Peter to have the keys of the kingdom. He is able to bind things with authority from God, and he is able to loose things with authority from God.

So when it turns out that the second, or middle statement also has the same structure, then we need to read it in the same way.

The statement "you are Peter," is explained by "and on this rock I will build my church," which is further explained by "and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it."

So that is what it means for him to be Peter: Jesus will build his Church on him, and the gates of hades will not prevail against it.


What This Means for Us

When I realized these things, I realized that Peter had to be the rock Jesus was talking about. And that was a pivotal moment in my journey with God.

Because if Peter is the rock on which Jesus builds his Church, that means that Peter is the chief apostle, the chief shepherd of Christ's flock. And that means that, once Jesus has ascended to heaven, Peter is the earthly head of the Church.

That's a good description of the office of the pope.

And so, when I realized these things, I concluded that I had to reconsider matters. I had to review my beliefs with an open mind toward whether the Catholic Church was right after all.

In the end, I concluded that it is, and so I became Catholic.

In the years since, my conviction has only strengthened as I have learned more about Catholic teaching and its basis in the Bible, including the role of the pope.

Direct download: 045final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:50pm PDT

The Bible records a number of ancient civilizations. Perhaps the most famous of these is ancient Rome.

By the time of the New Testament, Rome was the major world power, and it was in control of the Holy Land during the entire earthly life of Jesus and during the lives of his immediate followers.

Jesus was born during the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus. He was crucified during the reign of the Roman emperor Tiberius. The book of Acts records the Roman emperor Claudius by name. And both St. Peter and St. Paul were crucified at Rome by the Emperor Nero.

It is clear that the Romans were extraordinarily important to the world in which the New Testament was written.

All that makes it worth asking: Who were the Romans, and where did their civilization come from?


The Legendary Founding

The answer is shrouded in the mists of time, and ancient legends get in the way of an exact knowledge of the facts.

According to the Romans’ own account, the city of Rome was founded in the wake of the famous Trojan War.

Specifically, it was founded on April 21st in 753 B.C. by two twins named Romulus and Remus.

These two twins were supposedly the grandsons of an earlier king—Numitor—but they were raised by a she-wolf, and so they were feral children.

When they founded the city of Rome they had a quarrel, and Romulus killed Remus. Romulus thus became the sole and original king of Rome.

The Roman Kingdom

This led to a period known as “the Roman kindom,” in which Rome was ruled by a series of kings.

This period is supposed to have lasted from the founding in 753 B.C. until about 509 B.C.

It is characterized by the fact that Rome was ruled by kings, just like other peoples were. During this time seven kings supposedly reigned over Rome, beginning with Romulus and ending with Tarquinius Superbus, or “Tarquin the Proud.”

Eventually, however, the people of Rome were fed up with their kings and overthrew them, leading to a new period in the history of Rome.

The Roman Republic

This led to the “Roman Republic,” a period in which Rome lacked a monarch.

The word “republic” comes from the Latin res publica, which means “public thing”—a reference to the fact that how the state was governed was now a public thing rather than a matter for just the kings.

To replace the kings, power was divided between two men, known as consuls, who were elected every year and had significant checks on their powers, including term limits. 

The Roman Republic lasted from the overthrow of the kings around 509 B.C. until the first century B.C.

The Roman Empire

The Romans found that their system of divided government, with power split up among the consuls and other government officials, was at times unwieldy. 

As a result, in times of crisis, they sometimes appointed dictators—men who could run the state as single individuals, but only for a limited period prescribed by law, to keep the dictator from turning into a tyrant.

Eventually this system broke down, when one particular dictator—Julius Caesar—engineered a situation in which he was proclaimed “dictator in perpetuity.”

That was too close to the idea of kingship, and the situation didn’t last long. He was quickly assassinated by a conspiracy in the Senate.

His heir was a man named Octavian, and he eventually accumulated as much power as Julius Caesar had possessed—and more.

Some wanted him to be given the title “king,” but Octavian knew that would be dangerous, so he allowed the Roman Senate to vote him different titles.

One title became the name he is known by today: Augustus.

The other was a military title that meant “commander.” In Latin this word is imperator, and from it we get the English word emperor.

Augustus this became the first of the Roman emperors, and the Roman empire was born.

Rome and the Life of Jesus

Rome had been accumulating power through conquest even since the time of the Roman kings, and by the reign of Augustus Caesar it had become the dominant power in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

They were in political control of the Holy Land at the time Jesus was born, and it was they who had appointed Herod as “king of the Jews.” It was also Augustus Caesar who called for the enrollment that led Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem.

The impact of the Romans on the gospel story is thus apparent right from the beginning.

Their impact was still present at the time of Jesus’ adult ministry, when other members of the Herod family were ruling parts of his kingdom, and when the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, agreed to have Jesus crucified.

“We Have No King But Caesar”

It is ironic that, at the time of Jesus’ Passion, the crowds cried, “We have no king but Caesar!” 

The Roman ruler of the day was Augustus’s successor, Tiberius Caesar, and he did not technically have the title “king.” The Romans were too proud of having overthrown their kings for that. But the emperors were functioning as kings, and it was obvious to everyone.

The Empire Strikes Back

The power of the emperors continued to have an impact on the early Church. Just a few decades later it was the Emperor Nero who put St. Peter and St. Paul to death at Rome.

Later emperors launched the persecutions that martyred so many early Christians—and paradoxically caused the Church to grow, until the Roman empire itself was converted to Christ.

The Roman empire was something that the first Christians had to deal with constantly. It loomed over their lives and tried to destroy them and their faith.

It will help us all understand and appreciate our faith better if we know something about the Roman empire and the impact it had on the Bible and the early Church.

Learning More

The persecution by the Roman authorities is a big part of what the book of Revelation is about. 

If you’d like to learn more about that, I’d like to invite you to join my my Secret Information Club at www.SecretInfoClub.com.

It’s a service I operate by email which is absolutely free. I send out information on a variety of fascinating topics connected with the Catholic faith.

The very first thing you’ll get if you sign up is an “interview” I did with Pope Benedict on the book of Revelation. What I did was compose questions about the book of Revelation and take the answers from his writings.

He has a lot of interesting things to say!

If you’d like to find out what they are, just sign up at www.SecretInfoClub.com. Thank you!

Direct download: 044final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:48pm PDT

One of the distinctive Protestant principles is expressed in the slogan sola scriptura, which is Latin for “by Scripture only.” The idea is that every teaching on faith or morals must be directly or indirectly based on the Scriptures. 

That leads to the common question, “Where’s that in the Bible?”

It’s an important question. In fact, it’s a question that needs to be asked about the doctrine of sola scriptura itself. Because if every teaching on faith or morals has to be based on the Bible then sola scriptura must be based on the Bible. 

If it’s not, then it is a self-refuting claim and is false.

So what passages do Protestant Christians appeal to in support of sola scriptura?

One that is sometimes cited is Acts 17, which deals with an incident that happened when St. Paul preached in the Jewish synagogue in the Greek city of Berea.

St. Luke writes:

[11] Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Many in the Protestant community have found this an inspiring story, and some have even named their ministries after the Berean Jews. If you go online you can find all kinds of Berean churches, schools, ministries, and bookstores.

The idea is that we should imitate the Berean Jews and take a skeptical attitude of theological ideas we are presented with. Instead of just accepting them, we should search the Scriptures daily to see if what we are being told is true or not. If it’s not, then we should not accept it.

If that’s what the passage means—if it is commending the Bereans for their skeptical attitude and refusal to believe a teaching unless it can be found in Scripture—then this would be good evidence for sola scriptura.

But that’s not what it means, and it’s easy to show that.

You’ll notice that Acts 17:11 says that the Berean Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica, which raises an immediate question: “What were the Thessalonian Jews like?”

If they are less noble in contrast to the skeptical Bereans, presumably they were credulous individuals who accepted what they were told without Scriptural proof.

That’s not what they were like at all. To see this, let’s back up to the beginning of the chapter, where we read:

Acts 17

[1] Now when [Paul and his companions] had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.

[2] And Paul went in, as was his custom, and for three weeks he argued with them from the scriptures, 

[3] explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ." 

[4] And some of them were persuaded, and joined Paul and Silas; as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 

[5] But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked fellows of the rabble, they gathered a crowd, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the people. 

[6] And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brethren before the city authorities, crying, "These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 

[7] and Jason has received them; and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus." 

[8] And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard this. 

[9] And when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. 

[10] The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroea; and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue.

It’s in that context that we now return to the verse where we started:

 [11] Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

So the contrast isn’t between the skeptical Bereans, who insisted on Scriptural proof of what Paul was saying, and the credulous Thessalonians, who accepted it without question.

Instead, the contrast is between the open-minded Bereans, who were willing and eager to examine the Scriptures and see if what Paul was saying was true, versus the hostile Thessalonians, who started a riot and got Paul in trouble with the authorities, even though he had proved from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.

This understanding is confirmed by the following verses, where we read:

[12] Many of [the Bereans] therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. 

[13] But when the Jews of Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Beroea also, they came there too, stirring up and inciting the crowds. 

[14] Then the brethren immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there.

So the Thessalonians forced Paul to flee Berea, just as they had forced him to flee from their own town.

Thus it wasn’t the Bereans who were skeptical. It was the Thessalonians.

There is also another reason why this passage isn’t a good proof text for sola scriptura, which is this: The Christian faith contains doctrines that aren’t found in the Old Testament.

What’s why even those who favor doing theology “by Scripture alone” don’t favor doing it “by the Old Testament alone.”

While the Old Testament does contain prophecies that point forward to Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, it doesn’t contain the whole of the Christian faith.

What the Berean Jews were willing to do, therefore, was to open-mindedly look at the Old Testament Scriptures, see if they confirmed Paul’s preaching that Jesus was the Messiah, and then go on to accept the new, Christian revelation that Paul also imparted.

And he imparted it by preaching, because the books of the New Testament were not all written yet.

If we were to follow the example of the Bereans, we would look at whether the Scriptures we do have support a particular message and, if they do, then be willing to accept further revelation not found in those Scriptures.

We would, ironically, embrace the attitude of those at Thessalonica who did accept the Christian faith, for in 2 Thessalonians 2, St. Paul told them:

2 Thessialonians 2

[15] So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.

In other words, we would recognize the authority of all of the traditions passed on from Christ and the apostles, whether they were written or not.

And this is what the Catholic Church says we should do.

If you’d like to learn more about these and other matters, I’d like to invite you to join my Secret Information Club at www.SecretInfoClub.com.

It’s a service I operate by email which is absolutely free. I send out fascinating information on a variety of topics connected with the Catholic faith.

The very first thing you’ll get if you sign up is an “interview” I did with Pope Benedict on the book of Revelation. What I did was compose questions about the book of Revelation and take the answers from his writings.

He has a lot of interesting things to say!

If you’d like to find out what they are, just sign up at www.SecretInfoClub.com. Thank you!

Direct download: 043final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:46pm PDT

The book of Revelation contains a passage in which St. John sees a great sign in the sky. He wrote:

And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

She brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne [Rev. 12:1, 5]. 

Who is this mysterious Woman clothed in the sun?

Note that she gives birth to a male child who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron. That’s a reference to the Messianic prophecy in Psalm 2, where we read:

Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron [Ps. 2:8-9].

Jesus fulfilled this Messianic prophecy. 

The fact that the male child is caught up to the throne of God is a reference to Jesus’ Ascension into heaven, so we have another confirmation that the male child is Jesus.

And since the Woman who gives birth to him is his Mother, we could infer that the Woman here is Jesus’ mother, the Virgin Mary.

But there is more to the story.

The symbolism connected with the Woman is drawn from the book of Genesis, where the patriarch Joseph has a dream involving the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Then he dreamed another dream, and told it to his brothers, and said, "Behold, I have dreamed another dream; and behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me." 

But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him, and said to him, "What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” [Gen. 37:9-10].

The symbolism of the sun, moon, and twelve stars comes from Genesis, where it refers to the family of Jacob and the twelve patriarchs, who headed the twelve tribes of Israel.

That has led some to say that the Woman in Revelation 12 is Israel. 

You could go further and note that the Church is the spiritual Israel. So some have suggested that the Woman as the Church.

Which view is true?

Is Woman Mary?

Is Woman Israel?

Is Woman the Church?

You could try to solve this problem by making some of the symbols primary and some secondary.

For example, you could make the Woman’s role as the mother of Jesus primary, so she’s his literal mother, Mary, and the sun, moon, and stars imagery only means that Mary was a Jewish woman.

Or you could make the sun, moon, and stars imagery primary and say that she’s Israel, and the fact that Mary was the particular Jewish woman who gave birth to Jesus is secondary.

We don’t have to make that choice, because if you study the way symbolism is used in the book of Revelation,  it often uses a single symbol points to more than one thing.

For example, Revelation 17 tells us what the seven heads of the beast represents

This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the [Whore of Babylon] is seated; they are also seven kings (Rev. 17:9-10).

If the seven heads can be seven mountains and seven kings then the Woman clothed with the sun might be the Virgin Mary and Israel and the Church.

That’s what Pope Benedict suggests. In his book Jesus of Nazareth, volume 2, he writes:

When the Book of Revelation speaks of the great sign of a Woman appearing in heaven, she is understood to represent all Israel, indeed, the whole Church. . . . 

On the basis of the “corporate personality” model—in keeping with biblical thought—the early Church had no difficulty recognizing in the Woman, on the one hand, Mary herself and, on the other hand, transcending time, the Church, bride and mother, in which the mystery of Mary spreads out into history [Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth 2:222].

On another occasion, Pope Benedict said:

This Woman represents Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer, but at the same time she also represents the whole Church, the People of God of all times, the Church which in all ages, with great suffering, brings forth Christ ever anew [General Audience, Aug. 23, 2006].

As Pope Benedict shows us, we don’t have to make a forced choice between the possible meanings of what the Woman represents.

In keeping with the richness of the way Revelation uses symbolism, to use Pope Benedict’s phrases, she can be Mary and “all Israel” and “the whole Church” in different ways.

If you’d like to learn more about what Pope Benedict says about the book of Revelation, I’d like to invite you to join my Secret Information Club at www.SecretInfoClub.com.

The very first thing you’ll get is a free “interview” with Pope Benedict where I composed the questions and took the answers from his writings.

He has lots of interesting things to say!

You’ll also get lots of additional information on fascinating topics, absolutely FREE, so you should join now at www.SecretInfoClub.com.

Direct download: 042final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:05am PDT

Jimmy explains about his recent struggle with cataracts and his eye surgery.

Yolanda from Washington state asks about spiritual warfare.

Cheryl from Singapore asks about prayers to the hungry ghosts being performed on Catholic school property.

Direct download: 041final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40pm PDT

Scientists are abuzz with word that the long-sought "God particle" (aka the Higgs boson) may have finally been discovered.

While most scientists don't like the nickname "God particle" (and while many religious people might not neither), it's certainly generated a lot of coverage in the media.

Because of the God-based nickname the particle has been given, the discovery of the Higgs has attracted a lot of press attention, and I've received quite a number of requests to comment on it.

In this episode, I take a look at these and similar questions to give you the basics of the new discovery and what to make of it from a religious perspective.

Before we get to the video, though, here's a Higgs-related joke (adapted from one I read on the Internet):

<p style="padding-left: 30px;">A Higgs boson walks into a church. The priest, offended by its nickname of the "God particle," immediately orders it out.</p>

<p style="padding-left: 30px;">The Higgs shrugs and turns to leave. "Okay," it says. "But without me, you can't have Mass."</p>


At least if you know the basics of what the Higgs boson is supposed to do.

If not, listen the episode and find out!

Direct download: 040final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:23pm PDT

In this episode of Catholic Answers Live, Jimmy Akin answers:

What is the history of chapel veils? Why did women stop wearing them?

What is the best resource for helping Catholics understand Scripture?

If I have a lot of debt, should I still tithe 10%? How do we know when to stop tithing and start paying our debts?

Do you think the laity’s attitude toward the priest is still that he is a member of the community, or do people just go to him for the sacraments and then ignore him?

What must I do to be saved?

In The Passion of the Christ, Satan asks, “How can one man bear the full burden of sin?” -- how do Catholics address this question?

Where can I find proof that the Bible comes from the Catholic Church?

What can I do to help my daughter who is dating a Muslim stay strong in her faith?

How long does the sacrament of the anointing of the sick last? Can you receive it more than once? 

What resource do you recommend for information about the permanent diaconate?

Is it disrespectful to refrain from bowing during the Nicene Creed and from striking your breast during the Penitential Rite?

My 24-year-old son always talks about the Vatican’s “corrupt” police force -- can you tell me anything about this?

If I enter into the Catholic Church with a lot of spiritual “baggage,” will that be taken care of before I join, or do I bring it to confession after I become Catholic?

Direct download: ca120712b.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PDT

If you read some older English translations of the Bible, like the Catholic Douay-Rheims (pub. 1609) or the Protestant King James (pub. 1611) you come across some passages that seem a bit mysterious. For example in the Douay-Rheims, in Psalms 91:11 we read:

"But my horn shall be exalted like that of the unicorn."

In the equivalent verse in the King James (Ps. 92:10) we read:

"But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn."

In reading such passages, you might think, what on earth does that mean? In these cases, the horn is being used as a symbol of strength or vigor. The Psalmist is saying that thanks to God, I'm going to be given a lot of strength and vigor, so praise God.

Fine, but what's this stuff about unicorns? I, mean does this mean unicorns are real?

In this episode we go to the heart of the matter and reveals the startling truth about what the Bible might be referring to in these passages.

We also look at how the word "unicorn" got into these passages in the first place and what ancient but real creature the translators may have been referring to. (Unless you've heard this before, it can come as a real surprise.

Direct download: 039final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:43am PDT

There is a common argument used against the idea of purgatory in some circles which goes like this: "St. Paul says that 'to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord' (2 Cor. 5:8). It's that simple: If you're a Christian and you aren't in your body then you are with Jesus in heaven. There is no room for purgatory in St. Paul's view. Purgatory is just a Catholic fable--a 'man made tradition.'"

Is this true?

It turns out that if you examine what St. Paul really said, the whole argument is based on a misquotation. St. Paul said nothing of the kind.

Furthermore, if you look elsewhere in St. Paul's writings--to the very same church he was addressing in his "absent from the body" passage--you find strong evidence for purgatory.

Far from being a Catholic fable, purgatory is rooted in the thought of the Apostle Paul himself--as I show in this episode.

Direct download: 038final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:59pm PDT

In this episode of the program I answer two questions regarding apostolic succession and whether, in fact, we have an unbroken chain going back to the apostles.

The first question comes from Marci in Mexico, who wonders about the effect that various practices have on the liceity (lawfulness) and validity of episcopal consecrations.

The second question comes from a gentleman who asks about a particular figure from the 1500s--Cardinal Scipione Rebiba--who has a very unusual property: 91% of all modern Catholic bishops trace their episcopal lineage back to him, and we're not entirely sure who ordained Rebiba.

What are the implications of that for apostolic succession.

In the process of answering this, I invite Dr. Andrew Jones of Logos Bible Software on the show. Dr. Jones has a doctorate in medieval history, so this is right up his alley.

In the second half of the show I keep Dr. Jones on the line to update us about current Logos Bible Software projects, including the newly-released Catechism of the Catholic Church set (which you may already have--free of charge) and their forthcoming translations of certain key works by St. Thomas Aquinas that have never been translated into English before. (I'm excited about getting my hands on those!)

Direct download: 037final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30pm PDT

At some point in their lives, virtually everyone has wondered whether they can be forgiven for what they've done. The good news is, they can!

But sometimes the doubts linger, particularly for people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and particularly in connection with certain passages in the Bible, such as some in the book of Hebrews that deal with the subject of apostasy--the complete rejection of the Christian faith.

Can an apostate be forgiven? If you've ever knowingly and deliberately rejected Christ, will he take you back? And what is the real meaning of those passages in Hebrews?

In this episode Jimmy responds to a gentleman who is struggling with these very issues.

He demonstrates that the Hebrews passages do not mean what the gentleman fears and reveals the infinite mercy of God.

The good news is: No matter what you've done, if you are willing to come back to God, God is eager to take you back. He loves you, and your sins are not greater than his love.

Direct download: 036final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:50pm PDT

Recently an article on the Internet that claims same-sex "marriage" used to be a Christian rite has been trending. It's been cited repeatedly, in many different places, and Jimmy has gotten multiple queries about how to respond to it.

According to the article:

Contrary to myth, Christianity's concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has constantly evolved as a concept and ritual.

Prof. John Boswell, the late Chairman of Yale University’s history department, discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient Christian church liturgical documents, there were also ceremonies called the "Office of Same-Sex Union" (10th and 11th century), and the "Order for Uniting Two Men" (11th and 12th century).

In this video episode of the Jimmy Akin Podcast, Jimmy discusses the piece, where it came from, what it is based on, and what the problems with it are.

He demonstrates that the article is derived from a deliberately falsified piece of scholarship by deceased professor John Boswell, who used outrageously false mistranslations to twist ancient documents to fit a modern agenda.

Jimmy Also reveals the true nature of the "same-sex unions" that Boswell discussed--and the fact that these very same rites are practiced in some parts of the Christian world today.

This must-see video will prove eye-opening for anyone interested in this subject.

By the way, in light of President Obama's recent endorsement of homosexual "marriage," Jimmy is preparing a special Secret Information Club "interview" with Pope Benedict on the subject of homosexual marriage.

To get your copy, you should sign up at www.SecretInfoClub.com by Thursday, and you'll get Pope Benedict's teaching on homosexual marriage by email on Friday.

Direct download: Boswell.m4v
Category:general -- posted at: 9:11am PDT

This Sunday's readings deal with one of the most important events in Christian history.

Although the majority of Christians have little or no knowledge of the event, a pivotal moment in the history of the Church is recorded in Acts 10.

This event is the conversion of the household of the Roman centurion Cornelius, and it is important because, when this event occurred, it became clear that one did not have to become a Jew in order to become a Christian. This opened the door to a wave of conversions from people of all nations and kept Christianity from being a purely Jewish phenomenon, ethnically speaking.

But the conversion of Cornelius is controversial. It was in its own day, and it is in ours as well.

Some try to draw lessons from it like everyone should speak in tongues upon their conversion to Christ . . . or that baptism is merely a symbol that does not convey God's grace.

How can one respond to these claims, and what are the *true* lessons that one can learn from this turning point in the history of Christianity?

In this video episode of the Jimmy Akin Podcast, Jimmy discusses the arguments and reveals both surprising and reassuring facts about the conversion of Cornelius.

This must-see video will prove eye-opening for Christians of all persuasions.

Direct download: Cornelius.m4v
Category:general -- posted at: 8:34am PDT

Vegetarianism is a hot topic today. Many people are cutting out some or all animal products from their diet.

When done for health reasons, this is a matter of science rather than faith. But what about claims that Christians should be vegetarians for religious reasons?

Some even claim that Jesus himself was a vegetarian.

And what are we to make of the slogan "A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy"?

In this video episode of the Jimmy Akin Podcast, best-selling author Jimmy Akin looks at the evidence and reveals startling facts that are often overlooked, though they are right there in the Bible.

With charity and patience, Akin explores the truth about the Bible and vegetarianism and provides a balanced view of the relationship between humans and animals.

Direct download: 005_Should_Christians_Be_Vegetarians.m4v
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30pm PDT

We’re coming up on May–a month associated with the Virgin Mary–so here’s a new video on one of the most common objections to the rosary: the charge that it amounts to “vain repetitions,” in violation of Jesus’ command (Matt. 6:7).

By the way, I’m also preparing an “interview” with John Paul II on the rosary, so if you’d like to get his wisdom on this special devotion, sign up for the Secret Information Club and on May 1st you’ll get it by email.

You should sign up for the Secret Information Club using the form on the right (top) or byclicking here to go to SecretInfoClub.com.

Direct download: v002-vain-repetitions.m4v
Category:general -- posted at: 5:36pm PDT



This week the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome mandated a thoroughgoing reform of the largest leadership conference for women religious in the United States.

In an exclusive interview, Ann Carey joins Jimmy Akin to go in-depth on this dramatic announcement, why it happened, what it means, and what may happen next.

Ann Carey is a journalist who has been covering the subject of women religious for many years. She is the author of the book "Sisters in Crisis: The Tragic Unraveling of Women’s Religious Communities."

According to the Vatican report, there are serious doctrinal problems associated with the activities and publications of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious--some which challenge the core of the Christian faith itself.

The leadership of the LCWR has also flouted the authority of the bishops, as when they publicly sought to neutralize the U.S. bishops' leadership during the 2010 health care debate in Congress and when they later honored Sr. Carol Keehan, CEO of the Catholic Healthcare Association, which also broke with and defied the bishops over the issue of health care.

You can read more about this subject in an article Jimmy authored, which is online here:


How the LCWR will respond to the mandated reform is unknown, but in this interview Ann and Jimmy preview the dramatic developments that may lie ahead of us.

Today’s Music: Joy Trip (JewelBeat.Com)


Call me at 512-222-3389!



Join Jimmy's Secret Information Club!


Copyright © 2012 by Jimmy Akin 

Get the Jimmy Akin Cast app for Android at Amazon.com:




Direct download: 035final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11am PDT




2 Kings 2:1 

Letter on Certain Questions Concerning Eschatology


Some Current Questions in Eschatology (1992)  


1 Thessalonians 4:14-18

2 Peter 3:3-14

Revelation 6:12-17

Revelation 20:11-21:5

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1042-1047, 1060

Direct download: 034final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:14pm PDT



In the opening segment Jimmy has three pieces of news: 

(1) The funds to make transcripts of the next 52 episodes have now been raised! 

(2) Jimmy is producing the show a week ahead of time now so that the transcripts can be made available the same day that the podcast is released! 

(3) Enough funds have been raised to transcribe all the previous episodes of the show!



Today’s Music: Joy Trip (JewelBeat.Com)


Call me at 512-222-3389!



Join Jimmy's Secret Information Club!


Copyright © 2012 by Jimmy Akin

Get the Jimmy Akin Cast app for Android at Amazon.com:


Direct download: 033final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:52am PDT

Does God *HATE* sinners? If not, why does the Bible seem to say he does? Why do other passages say he loves sinners? How are we to reconcile these statements? Just how biblical is the saying "Love the sinner but hate the sin"? Who said that? And what were they talking about? Does God "hate" anything at all? What does Catholic theology say about this?

How can you use the Internet to serve God without tripping on canon law? Do you need an imprimatur from your bishop to have a blog or a web site? How about a Facebook page? What if you talk about subjects like Scripture, the liturgy, catechesis, theology, devotions, or other religious subjects? Is the Internet the new Wild West, where anything goes, or is it subject to the Church's law?

These are just some of the questions we address on this week's episode of the Jimmy Akin Podcast!



We're *almost* at our initial goal of $3000 to make transcripts of the next 52 episodes of the show. If we can make $4000 then we can also do transcripts of all the past episodes. Our drive for this project is almost over, so now is the time to donate!

Visit JimmyAkin.com and click the "Donate" button to make your donation by credit card or PayPal--or mail a check. Thank you, and God bless you for your generosity!


Sources we quoted:

Augustine's Letter 211:11

Psalm 5:5-6

Wisdom 11:23-26

Romans 5:6-11

John 3:16

1 John 4:7-10

Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles 1:89


See the section from the Code of Canon Law on the publication of books, online here:


Today’s Music: Holiday Cheers (JewelBeat.Com)


Call me at 512-222-3389!



Join Jimmy's Secret Information Club!


Copyright © 2012 by Jimmy Akin

Get the Jimmy Akin Cast app for Android at Amazon.com:


Direct download: 32final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:05pm PDT

Jimmy is raising funds to help transcribe a year's worth of the episodes of the show so that they can be available in written form for everyone to benefit from--making it easier for people to learn from the information provided on the show.

In this special mini-episode, Jimmy gives an update on where the project is right now and also announces a special extension of the project: making *all* of the past episodes of the show available in written form as well. 

This will include things like:

1. Has the Consecration requested by Our Lady of Fatima been done?

2. Autistic children and first Communion

3. Watching TV shows with bad theology

4. Taxes and abortion

5. Dungeons and Dragons

6. 2 part special apologetics of Christmas

7. Sunday rest special

8. Can a priest force you to confess to the police

9. Is women's ordination a heresy

10. Medjugorje special

11. Can priests report murderers who confess

12. Capital punishment for heresy

13. What did the early Christians believe about the Millennium

14. Jimmy vs. the Flying Spaghetti Monster

15. Relationship between God and Time

16. Whether God is a Monster

17. Artificial Intelligence

18. Sedevacantism

19. Pirating Software

20. Colonizing Space & the Religious Questions It Raises

Everything depends on your generosity, though, so go by www.JimmyAkin.com, click the Donate button, and make your donation today.

God bless you, and thank you for your generosity!

Direct download: request.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:53pm PDT

On Catholic Answers Live (2/16/12), Jimmy Akin answers:

  • Have you heard about a female pope?
  • In regard to the HHS mandate, why don’t the bishops resort to excommunication of politicians?
  • I’m thinking about becoming a Catholic, but I’ve been divorced and remarried – what steps should I take?
  • What do the Masons believe?
  • Where do Protestants get the notion that they can attend or belong to any type church, whereas we believe that Jesus founded the one true Catholic Church?
  • Is it a sin to not take my autistic child to Mass on Sunday because she may misbehave?
  • Are those who commit mortal sins without knowing it at risk of not being saved?
  • Is there a difference between how Protestants and Catholics view missionary work?
  • How powerful is Planned Parenthood within the government given the danger of contraception and the fight that is currently going on for our religious liberty?
Direct download: ca120216a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT




He needs your help raising funds to enable the podcast to help even more people, in more ways, by making transcripts of it available. If he can raise $3000 then he can keep the podcast going and provide *a year's worth* of transcripts (52 episodes) at the same time!

Please visit www.JimmyAkin.com to learn more about this project and how you can help!

God bless you, and thank you for your generosity!






Ask Rabbi Simmons: Clothing Worn by Jews


The Mysteries of Shaatnez


Clothing Mixtures: The Commandment of Shatnez



Summa Theologiae I-II (see questions 98-103)


Today’s Music: Fresh Country Air (JewelBeat.Com)


Call me at 512-222-3389!



Join Jimmy's Secret Information Club!


Copyright © 2012 by Jimmy Akin

Get the Jimmy Akin Cast app for Android at Amazon.com:


Direct download: 031final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:54pm PDT

On Catholic Answers Live (2/9/12), Jimmy Akin answers:

  • Why is this health insurance mandate such a big issue? -- If I’m Catholic and don’t want to use it to buy contraception or abortions I don’t have to.
  • I’m being attacked on Facebook by anti-Catholic Protestants -- what is the best way to deal with this?
  • Am I committing a mortal sin by using the pull-out method for birth control, since my husband is not Catholic?
  • Would two men or two women living together (although they are not a couple) send the same message of impropriety as a co-habitating couple?
  • How do I explain the love and mercy of God to someone who has adopted a New Age philosophy?
  • Is American Sign Language an approved liturgical language?
  • Can you explain the meaning of Hebrews 12:18-24?
Direct download: ca120209b.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18pm PDT





In this episode Deacon Tom Fox of Catholic Vitamins asks how to respond to claims that the papal consecration requested by Our Lady of Fatima has not been made.




















Today’s Music: Ave Maria (JewelBeat.Com)



Call me at 512-222-3389!




Join Jimmy's Secret Information Club!


Copyright © 2012 by Jimmy Akin



Get the Jimmy Akin Cast app for Android at Amazon.com:



Direct download: 030final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:32pm PDT

On Catholic Answers Live (2/2/12) Jimmy Akin answers:

How do I talk to Catholics who disagree with the Church about same-sex marriage?

At Mass the priest doesn’t say the “Alleluia” before the Gospel. Is this okay?

How do you reconcile some of God’s harsh actions in the Old Testament with the loving God that we think of today?

How do we defend the Catholic Church having a lot of money when Scripture says that it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven?

Should I talk to my Protestant niece’s Catholic fiancé about the fact that he is marrying into a Protestant family?

Why is a woman ritually unclean after having a baby and when she has her menstrual period?

When the Church issued Humanae Vitae, the Canadian bishops issued a statement that they would dissent from it -- how is this possible?

Since the Eucharist is no longer bread, how do we deal with the fact that a lot of songs in the Mass refer to it as bread?

If a search and rescue team uses psychics to find a missing person, is this something that Christians should not participate in (even if it helps find the person)?

Direct download: ca120202a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

On Catholic Answers Live (1/26/12) Jimmy Akin answers:
Why does Jesus talk about righteous people in Luke 15, if Romans 3 says that no one is righteous?
Can I enter the Catholic Church if I’m not sure if I believe in a teaching because I still have a lot to learn? Wouldn’t the Eucharist help me believe?
Why does the genealogy of Mary in the Bible differ from our teaching that Joachim was her father?
What are the earliest writings about the first successor of Peter?
What’s the problem with consubstantiation in the Eucharist?
Why was the filioque a big deal?
If we believe that the Eucharist is transformed into the body and blood of Christ, why doesn’t it taste like flesh and blood?
How do I defend the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin to my Protestant friends?
Can you discuss the document released by the Vatican in the early 2000s about how much leeway priests have in saying the words of the Mass?
Who, besides the priest and deacon, is allowed to add the water to the wine at Mass?
Direct download: ca120126a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:57pm PDT

Jimmy Akin answers:

I want to believe -- how do I pray for belief?

NOTE: Here's the article I mentioned that I wrote on Pascal's Wager: http://archive.catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0303fea1.asp

How long do annulments generally take? Before you go through the process, can you get an idea of whether or not you have a chance of getting one?

How can I go through an RCIA program since I travel a lot for my job?

Why has the Catholic liturgy in America become so watered-down?

How does the Catholic Church justify its collaboration with the states throughout history?

Are the Assumption and Coronation of Mary metaphors of us being crowned in heaven with our full bodies, or are they just special things that happened to Mary?

Why has the Catholic Church been a hindrance to individual liberty since the Magna Carta?

I saw something on the History Channel that said Jesus married Mary Magdalen and had children -- is this possible?

Direct download: ca120125a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:39pm PDT

SHOW NOTES FOR EPISODE 029 (01/28/12) 

Get the Jimmy Akin Cast app for Android at Amazon.com!











Call me at 512-222-3389!



Join Jimmy's Secret Information Club!


Today’s Music: Joy Trip (JewelBeat.Com)

Copyright © 2012 by Jimmy Akin

Direct download: 029final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:19pm PDT

Jimmy Akin answers:
Can you elaborate on this past Sunday’s Gospel reading?
How can I refute the claim that Catholics don’t like sex because we don’t approve of birth control?
Will you explain the timeline of the Epiphany? 
Where does the Church stand on the use of Viagra?
What is the proper translation of Matthew 16:19?
What does original sin have to do with Mary dying?
Are we allowed to receive communion if we are attending a funeral at an Orthodox Church?
What is the definition of “pure spirituality”?
Is it okay for Catholics to listen to Protestant praise and worship?
Direct download: ca120119b.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:41pm PDT




www.JimmyAkin.com (the new home of JimmyAkin.org!)


Plus: The horrible theology of "It's A Wonderful Life"!





From the western Code of Canon Law (CIC 1983):

Can.  912 Any baptized person not prohibited by law can and must be admitted to Holy Communion.

Can.  913 §1. The administration of the Most Holy Eucharist to children requires that they have sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so that they understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity and are able to receive the body of Christ with faith and devotion.

§2. The Most Holy Eucharist, however, can be administered to children in danger of death if they can distinguish the body of Christ from ordinary food and receive communion reverently.

Can.  914 It is primarily the duty of parents and those who take the place of parents, as well as the duty of pastors, to take care that children who have reached the use of reason are prepared properly and, after they have made sacramental confession, are refreshed with this divine food as soon as possible. It is for the pastor to exercise vigilance so that children who have not attained the use of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed do not approach Holy Communion.

Can. 11 Merely ecclesiastical laws bind those who have been baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it, possess the efficient use of reason, and, unless the law expressly provides otherwise, have completed seven years of age.


Canon 710

With respect to the participation of infants in the Divine Eucharist after baptism and chrismation with holy myron, the prescriptions of the liturgical books of each Church sui iuris are to be observed with the suitable due precautions.


Call me at 512-222-3389!



Join Jimmy's Secret Information Club!


Today’s Music: Grunge Guys (JewelBeat.Com); Gelato (GarageBand)

Copyright © 2012 by Jimmy Akin

Direct download: 028final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:02pm PDT

Jimmy Akin answers:

Are there any saints who are known for having holy marriages?

Today the priest didn’t come for daily Mass, so we had a Communion Service -- can you tell me more about this?

How is 1 John 3:9 true, if we all sin?

The Bible says that all of my sins are forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice -- is there anything else I need to do?

What does 1 John 3:20 mean by “If our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts”?

Can you discuss what the Gospel says about giving money to beggars?

Can you explain what the Catechism means by “just wages” for an employee?

How can I Evangelize my Mormon coworkers?

Direct download: ca120112b.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:26pm PDT

Jimmy Akin answers:

Why are there differences in the genealogies in Matthew and Luke?

How do you address the Protestant claim that even with unified teachings, Catholics aren’t unified?

What are your thoughts on the idea that Catholics believe that it is not ok to kill one to save hundreds? 

What are thoughts on the fishes and loaves story? Was it a miracle or were the people generous with what they had?

Why does the term “Jehovah” appear in some bibles and not in others?

In Luke, is Heli Mary’s father?

Direct download: ca120105a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:31pm PDT

Catholic Weekend welcomes Jimmy Akin to talk about the newest affiliate of SQPN, The Jimmy Akin Podcast.  We learn a little bit about Catholicism, a little bit about Jimmy, and a whole lot about Square Dancing. That’s right. Listen and find out what that has to do with anything.

Please join us in welcoming Jimmy to the SQPN community!

The Catholic Weekend Crew this week:
Jimmy Akin with Maria JohnsonSteve Nelson, and Capt. Jeff.


Sign up to the get the newest information about CNMC12: Dallas/Fort Worth

Picks of the Week
Jeff: Jimmy Akin’s book, The Fathers Know Best

Steve: Announcement of Anglican Ordinariate  and Our Lady of Walsingham

Maria: The National Shrine of Our Lady of Charity in Miami and La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre in Cuba

Jimmy: Year of Faith

Music played this episode
“Llewellyn’s Lleap” and “Punxsutawney Phil”
Alan Marchand

Send us feedback! (862) 200-SQPN. That’s (862) 200-7776. Email: catholicweekend@sqpn.com
Subscribe to the feed | Subscribe with iTunes

Direct download: CW103.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:29pm PDT




New affiliate with SQPN

New Android podcast app (Jimmy Akin Cast)

The Liturgical Year

Get the Jimmy Akin Cast Android App here:







Call me at 512-222-3389!



Join Jimmy's Secret Information Club!


Today’s Music: Days Gone (JewelBeat.Com)

Copyright © 2011 by Jimmy Akin

Direct download: 027final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:26pm PDT