Apologetics for the Masses - Issue #58

Bible Christian Society

General Comments

Okay, folks, I’ve come across a simply amazing resource for you. It’s called the “This is the Faith” database. It has a few different Bibles, several hundred writings from the Church Fathers and also from the Doctors of the Church, the old Catholic Encyclopedia, hundreds of papal documents and the documents from all of the major Church Councils. It also has Bible maps, a list of the Popes with information about them and their writings. Significant dates in Church history listed by century, and a lot more. The amazing thing is, that you can not only do bible searches, but you can look up a verse, say Matt 1:25, and get cross-referenced to what the Church Fathers and/or the Doctors of the Church have said about that particular verse. It also has a doctrinal list that enables you to click on a particular doctrine and it will reference Bible verses that pertain to that doctrine and also give you commentary from the various Church Fathers and Doctors that pertain to that particular doctrine. When I saw everything that it does, it just blew me away. If you’d like to see for yourself what it does and/or obtain a copy of the database, you can go to www.thisisthefaith.com. The cost is $33.00. I think it is well worth the investment. I’ve never seen anything else like it and I highly recommend it.


I’ve heard back from Matthew Janzen and he should be getting his 3rd round comments in our debate on the divinity of Jesus back to me within a few days. Hopefully, it will be in time for me to write a response and get it all into next week’s newsletter.

In the meantime, though, I’ve got some more questions and answers.



My friend Jim sent me an article from Mary Ann Collins, a former nun that uses the Catechism and scripture to back her up, and it makes sense. Just a short outtake from it:

“ASSUMPTION - At the end of her life, Mary was taken up (“assumed”) body and
soul into Heaven. (“Catechism” 966, 974)

There is no biblical reference to the assumption of Mary. The Gospel of John was written around 90 A.D., which is more than 100 years after Mary was born. (Surely Mary was more than ten years old when Jesus was conceived.) If Mary had been supernaturally assumed into Heaven, wouldn’t John (the disciple that Mary lived with) have mentioned it? When Enoch and Elijah were taken up to Heaven, the Bible recorded it. With Elijah it was recorded in some detail. (See Genesis 6:24 and 2 Kings 2:1-18.)”




Actually, this excerpt from Mary Ann Collins doesn’t make much sense at all. It is what is known as an argument from silence. The Bible is silent on Mary’s Assumption, therefore, it didn’t happen. Well, an argument from silence is usually not much of an argument, and that is certainly true in this case.

For example, the Romans destroyed the Temple and pretty much burned Jerusalem to the ground in 70 A.D. Well, this is something that is an absolutely colossal event in salvation history – for both Jews and Christians. So, given Ms. Collins timing on when the Gospel of John was written, and using her logic, we would expect to see a mention of this momentous event in his gospel, right? Yet, nowhere in the Gospel of John is the destruction of Jerusalem mentioned. So, using the same logic that Mary Ann Collins used regarding Mary’s Assumption, the destruction of Jerusalem never happened. I mean, after all, the Bible records the destruction of the 1st Temple…the Temple of Solomon…so why doesn’t it record the destruction of the 2nd Temple and of the entire City of Jerusalem? Again, using Mary Ann Collins’ logic, that means the destruction of the 2nd Temple and the burning of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. never happened. Bad logic. Bad argument.

Also, the Revelation of John, written after Mary’s death, does indeed record the fact that Mary is bodily present in Heaven. Read Rev 12:1 and following. It records a woman being in Heaven, she has a body, and this woman is the woman who gave birth to Jesus Christ. Hmmm…who could that be I wonder?

In other words, Ms. Collins’ argument is bogus, in more ways than one.





A woman at my former parish identified herself as a “linguist expert.” And as such, she stated that in Jesus’ language (I’m assuming Aramaic) “Abba” does not translate into “father,” but rather into a generic, non-gendered parental address. Do you know if “Abba” does indeed translate into “father”? Conversely, what would be the language’s words for “mother” and “parent”? Thank you.




Tell your “linguist expert” that she’s an idiot. Of course, do it in a nice way. The word, “Abba,” is used 3 times in the New Testament: Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15, and Galatians 4:6. Each time it is used, it is used in conjunction with the word, “Father,” as in “Abba, Father.”

Also, from the “Dictionary of the Bible” (editor John L. McKenzie, S.J.):

“Abba (Aramaic emphatic form of ‘ab, ‘father,’ employed as vocative), a word uttered by Jesus and employed by early Christians with Greek translation given in each passage…Aramaic epistles indicate that it was a familiar address used by children; in this sense Jesus used it in invoking the Father in the great crisis of His life [the Garden of Gethsemane – Mark 14] and it was taken up by the early Church."

Notice it says it was a “familiar” address, not a generic non-gendered parental address. In other words, it’s more like Dad, or Daddy. Also, notice that the “Dictionary of the Bible” says that it was used “with Greek translation.” In other words, the 3 passages that say “Abba, Father” are the Aramaic word “Abba,” with the Greek translation of that word, “Father,” right next to it.

In the “Oxford Companion of the Bible,” (editors Metzger and Coogan) it says this:

“Abba. The word for ‘my father’ or ‘the father’…Originally, abba was probably a child’s word, but it had become an accepted way of speaking to or about one’s father.”

Nothing in the context of how it’s used in Scripture, nor anything in the definition of the word itself, points to it being a “non-gendered” parental address. That definition is just flat out garbage. The “linguist expert” gets an “F”.


Comments: Okay, I don’t want to hear any comments about the use of the word “idiot.” Sorry, but anyone who has gone to school for years to become a “linguist expert,” but can’t look up the word “abba” in the Bible or in the standard biblical reference texts, is an idiot. I use that word often for so-called Catholics who pass themselves off as so-called “experts.”

My advice is to always be leery of the biblical “intelligentsia” – the experts, the theologians, the scholars, etc. – at least, those who care more about being experts than they do about leading folks to Christ through their efforts. I once heard Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, when speaking about such folks, say, “It seems that God has put a limit on our intelligence, but no limit on our stupidity.”

In Conclusion

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Apologetics for the Masses