The Mission of the Twelve
1 Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.
2 The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
3 Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
4 Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
The Commissioning of the Twelve
5 Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
6 Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
9 Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
10 no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep.
11 Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave.
12 As you enter a house, wish it peace.
13 If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you.
14 Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
15 Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
16 “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
17 But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues,
18 and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans.
19 When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
20 For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
22 You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24 No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master.
25 It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household!
Courage under Persecution
26 “Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.
27 What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
28 And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
30 Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
31 So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
32 Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
33 But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.
Jesus: A Cause of Division
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
35 For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’
The Conditions of Discipleship
37 “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
38 and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.
39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
41 Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward.
42 And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”
I've posted templates for 3 different Bible journal pages:
As always, with templates: should you want a template in a different format, please contact me, and I'll see what I can do. Also, if you need/are looking for a certain template that isn't available, let me know. Many more templates can be found on the "Templates/Printables" page. (And I am constantly adding to it). Below are small images (so you can get an idea of what the page is without opening it), PDF file, and PNG file.
Note: the pages print best if you download the PDF, then print, not try to print directly from the screen.
We often see the term "tax collectors and sinners" paired together in the Bible. The Bible presupposes in these cases that both groups are social and moral outcasts.
"Why? Tax collectors were collaborators with the Roman imperial authorities and hence were considered disloyal and suspected of treason. They often collected indirect taxes such as tolls and customs (Catholic Book Publishing, MT 5:46 footnote). The collectors paid a fixed income to the Romans "for the right to collect customs duties within their districts. Since whatever they could collect above this amount constituted their profit, the abuse of extortion was widespread...hence...were regarded as sinners, outcasts of society, and disgraced along with their families" (Catholic Book Publishing, MK 2:14 footnote).
Sinners [was] a technical term for members of despised trades thought susceptible of ritual uncleanness and other blemishes (one list...gives ass-driver, camel-driver, sailor, caster, herdsman, shopkeeper, physician (= blood letter?), butcher" (Brown et al., p.649).
Note: This definition will be in the "Definitions & Facts" page in the 'Bible Questions' section...thus it might be expanded in the future. Please check there for most up to date info.
Chapters 8 and 9 are a narrative section composed of nine miracle stories, arranged in groups of three, with a small discourse about discipleship after each. Matthew draws most of the stories from the Gospel of Mark, but he abbreviates the stories in order to draw more attention to the essential actions and the accompanying words. Each group of stories speak of Jesus' teaching, preaching, and healing, but each has its own dominant idea/theme (this does not exclude other levels of meaning, however).
I. The first group of stories, in Matthew 8:1-17, emphasizes Jesus' divine power to heal. The concluding verse of this section, "to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: “He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases," makes Matthew's point of Jesus' divinity: we see Jesus fulfilling the prophetic promise. In the choice of those who are ill (leper, Gentile, & tax collector), we see God caring for us all, not just the chosen few.
II. The second group of stories, in Matthew 8:18 through 9:17, emphasizes the conditions and demands of being a disciple. Not only must one renounce those sins and worldly things that hold us back from fully accepting Him, we must also accept the hardships that will come in the future as we continue as disciples.
III. The third group of stories, found in Matthew 9:18-34, emphasizes the essential role of faith. "Faith is, first of all, trust in Jesus' power to heal and transform us." (Senior et al., p.RG 395). All those who are healed in this section show that faith; and it is active, not passive faith (they approach God boldly, not merely waiting passively).
Some of the miracles and healings do not match up perfectly with Mark or Q sources. There are two possible reasons:
1) Matthew has edited them in order to make the points he wishes to make (which does not detract from the fact they occurred)
2) There were many healings...it is possible that some of the stories were similar simply because of repetitiveness.
Evidence towards the first theory is supported by 9:1-17, in which "there are three groups of opponents: scribes (v 3), Pharisees (v 11), and disciples of JBap (v 14). This reflects Matt's care to produce a neat, systemtic coverage of the situation" (Brown et al., p.649). This is also shown in that each of the 10 miracles in chapters 8 & 9 address different problems (leprosy, slavery, fever, natural disasters, demon possession, paralysis, death, hemorrhage, blindness, muteness).
Have you ever been flipping back and forth between two Bibles and trying to compare verses? Or wanted to examine how the same parable is presented in different gospels? Or even wanted to compare the character and actions of two different figures in the Bible?
In those cases, I often write (or print) the sections out and lay them out side by side. I also leave places to take my own notes for my Bible study journal. Below is a free template for your Bible journal if you are interested in doing the same thing. I've included both a screenshot (jpeg) so you can see it as well as a PDF file for downloading.
[As always, see the "Templates/Printables" page for all of the templates available. More are being constantly added. And if you need a different format or were interested in a specific type/topic template, let me know & I'll see what I can do! Half of the joy of studying the Bible and deepening my faith is being able to share it with others!]
Two different journal page templates (aka: printables) are provided below for free. The first is for noting down your favorite quotes. The second is for writing down your favorite Scripture verses. There are many, many more coming in the future!Both are in PDF format. Should you need a different format, let me know & I'll see what I can do!
A variety of templates can be found on the "Templates" page.
Over the next three weeks I'm going to be on vacation. This means my library (which I use extensively for writing) won't be accessible. However, I have heard feedback that Bible templates (aka 'printables') are hard to find. Especially ones which are free.
Thus, since I will have my computer and some time...I'm going to fix that problem!
I'll be posting them via blog post & making a page dedicated to them.
Let me know if there is something in particular you would like to see! I'll be doing various journal pages already.
Also let me know if there is a particular format you prefer: Word, Pages, PDF, etc.
Understanding the locations, people, and culture in the Bible are vital to fully understanding the concepts and ideas put forth. To that end, I will slowly be building on the "Places" page on this website. Today we'll be looking at Capernaum and Peter's home there, both of which are mentioned multiple times in the New Testament.
Capernaum was a fishing, farming, and trading village. It was on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee. The Greek name Kapharnaoum represents a Semitic original "village of Nahum" (Metzger & Coogan, p.35). Multiple healings took place there, it "was Jesus' base," and it was also the location of Peter's house (Alexander & Alexander, p.579). The town can be found on the map (right) on the "Places" page.
While we cannot with 100% certainty be sure we have located Peter's house, there is a likely candidate. There is a house in Capernaum that was discovered by archeologists beneath the remains of an octagonal Byzantine martyrium church. A martyrium church is one built on a site that is directly related to Christ's life or Passion (or sometimes sheltering a martyr). The house dates to the first century B.C. and includes many inscriptions. "Most of the inscriptions were short prayers...Others contain the name of Peter, suggesting that this home was venerated in antiquity...and associated with the memory of Peter" (Gordon-Conwell, p.1584).
Bible History Daily has an excellent article detailing the ongoing work that is occurring and the many interesting finds they have made thus far.
9:1 'His own town': Capharnaum. According to Jansenius, "Christ may be said to have had three cities: Bethlehem, in which he was born; Nazareth, in which he was educated; and Capharnaum, in which he most frequently resided, during his sacred ministry." (Haydock).
9:3 Mark includes the reason for their accusation of blasphemy: "Who but God can forgive sins?" [2:7] The scribes are accurate in their recognition "that the forgiveness of sins, which entail an offense against God, belong to divine activity" (Brown et al., p.649)
9:8 Mark simply has them glorifying God [2:12], while "Matthew's extension to human beings of the authority to forgive sins points to the belief that such authority was being claimed by Matthew's church." (Senior et al.) This reflects the thoughts occupying those of the second- or third-generations, in which faith in Christ was presupposed.
9:9 Mark names this tax collector "Levi" [2:4]. However, no such name appears in the four lists of the twelve apostles (Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts), while all four list Matthew as "the tax collector." Scholars put forth a variety of explanations, the most common being that Matthew is Levi (changing names after discovering Christ was common in NT). The fundamental meaning of the story remains unchanged.
9:10 Previously it was said Jesus came to his own town Capernuam, thus 'his house' is not completely clear: is this verse referring to the house of Jesus or Matthew?
"Tax collectors." See "People" page for explanation of why tax collectors were often social outcasts.
9:14 Note how they question Jesus about his disciples, not his own behavior.
9:15 Fasting, as a sign of mourning, would be inappropriate at this time of joy (when Jesus is proclaiming the kingdom). This verse also looks forward and indicates that there is a time when he will be taken away from them.
9:16-17 Both parables speak to the unsuitability of attempting to combine the old and new. Jesus' teaching is not a fixing up of Judaism and the gospel cannot be contained within the limits of Mosaic law (as also demonstrated earlier in Matthew when Jesus extended the law, or some places, corrected it).
9:18 Mark has expanded explanation of 'official': "one of the synagogue officials" [5:22].
9:20 'tassel' might also mean 'fringe.' It was worn (according to Mosaic law) as a reminder to keep the commandments.
Women with hemorrhages were considered to be perpetually menstruating, thus permanently unclean.
9:22 St. Chrysostom has an interesting enriching of this verse: "But Jesus turning about. Our divine Saviour, fearing lest he might alarm the woman by his words, says immediately to her, Take courage; and at the same time calls her his daughter, because her faith had rendered her such" (Haydock).
9:24 'sleeping' is a Biblical metaphor for death, thus Jesus is not denying her death, but rather assuring them that she will be roused from her sleep of death.
9:24 The accusation foreshadows the opposition that is growing to Jesus in chapters 11 & 12.
As many of the wisdom books don't require extensive footnotes...and because a little wisdom and praise never go amiss all our other studying...the wisdom books will be gradually introduced throughout the rest of our study.
Psalm 7: God the Vindicator
1 A plaintive song of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning Cush, the Benjaminite.
2 LORD my God, in you I trusted; save me; rescue me from all who pursue me,
3 Lest someone maul me like a lion, tear my soul apart with no one to deliver.
4 LORD my God, if I have done this, if there is guilt on my hands,
5 If I have maltreated someone treating me equitably—or even despoiled my oppressor without cause-
6 Then let my enemy pursue and overtake my soul, trample my life to the ground, and lay my honor in the dust. Selah
7 Rise up, LORD, in your anger; be aroused against the outrages of my oppressors. Stir up the justice, my God, you have commanded.
8 Have the assembly of the peoples gather about you; and return on high above them,
9 the LORD will pass judgment on the peoples. Judge me, LORD, according to my righteousness, and my integrity.
10 Let the malice of the wicked end. Uphold the just one, O just God, who tries hearts and minds.
11 God is a shield above me saving the upright of heart.
12 God is a just judge, powerful and patient, not exercising anger every day.
13 If one does not repent, God sharpens his sword, strings and readies the bow,
14 Prepares his deadly shafts, makes arrows blazing thunderbolts.
15 Consider how one conceives iniquity; is pregnant with mischief, and gives birth to deception.
16 He digs a hole and bores it deep, but he falls into the pit he has made.
17 His malice turns back upon his head; his violence falls on his own skull.
18 I will thank the LORD in accordance with his justice; I will sing the name of the LORD Most High.
Psalm 8: Divine Majesty and Human Dignity
1 For the leader; “upon the gittith.” A psalm of David.
2 O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth! I will sing of your majesty above the heavens
3 with the mouths of babes and infants. You have established a bulwark against your foes, to silence enemy and avenger.
4 When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and stars that you set in place--
5 What is man that you are mindful of him, and a son of man that you care for him?
6 Yet you have made him little less than a god, crowned him with glory and honor.
7 You have given him rule over the works of your hands, put all things at his feet:
8 All sheep and oxen, even the beasts of the field,
9 The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
10 O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth!
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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Thank you & God bless you.
~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong