‘No Women’ at the Last Supper?

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Was it the only table in the room?

A Chilean cardinal, appointed by the Pope to clean up the Roman Catholic Church’s image in that country after a massive sex scandal, is now in hot water for declaring there were “no women” at the Last Supper and that “there was a reason for it,” although he didn’t say what that “reason” might be (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/15/chile-bishop-resigns-after-suggesting-there-is-a-reason-the-last-supper-had-no-women).

But the first question should have been, “Is that true?”

In the New Testament, the Greek word “mathetes” is translated as “disciples” and used to denote, collectively, all of Jesus’ followers. According to Strong’s Concordance, the word means a learner or a pupil. We know Jesus had many disciples, some of whom were women–like Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Martha, etc.

But there are in the Gospels only 12 “apostles,” from the Greek word meaning a “delegate” or a “commissioner” for Jesus Christ.

So let’s see what the Scripture says.

Matthew 26:19–“they [“his disciples”] made ready the passover”

Matthew 26:20–“he sat down with the twelve”

Mark 14:16–same as Matthew 26:19

Mark 14:17–“in the evening he cometh with the twelve”

Luke 22:14–“he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.”

We are not told that this was the only table in the room; nor are we told whether there was anyone else in the room not seated at that table. We can be sure the 12 apostles were seated with Jesus because they were His apostles, His delegates–and starting that very night, they would have a special role to play in history.

Were none of the ordinary “disciples,” men or women, present? Maybe, maybe not: the Scripture doesn’t say. Personally, I believe the women in Christ’s following would have had very much to do with preparing the Passover dinner.

Anyway, the cardinal would have been well-advised to tread more carefully. We discover in the Book of Acts, and in Paul’s epistles, that women like Priscilla and Phebe were key figures in the growth of the early Church. Christ did not reject their service.

All we know is that only the 12 apostles sat with Jesus at His table. It does not permit us to state that other disciples, men and women, were excluded from the room. But if they were, it could only have been because the 12 apostles were special and Jesus was preparing them to play a special role.

The Pope Is Wrong (So What Else Is New?)

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It’s Greek to him!

When he’s not busy shilling for the Climate Change cult, Pope Francis likes to tinker with the Bible.

Recently he authorized a change, an editorial emendation, to the Lord’s Prayer: from “lead us not into temptation” to “do not let us fall into temptation” (https://www.foxnews.com/world/pope-francis-lords-prayer-our-father-change)–because, he ‘splained, God is our father and He would never actually lead us into temptation, and what we’ve just put in must be a lot closer to the original intent of the prayer, etc.

Let’s go to the original Scripture, written in Greek. It’s possible Jesus first spoke it in Aramaic, but we have it written down in Greek, which every educated person in the Mediterranean world spoke in the First Century.

The Greek word translated as “lead into” is eisphero, meaning (according to Strong’s Concordance), “to bring or lead into,” “to carry inward.”

So the Pope is simply wrong. Not only in changing the meaning of a word, but also wrong in the sense that someone who doesn’t know what else is in the Bible is likely to be wrong in interpreting one of the few details of Scripture with which he has a nodding acquaintance.

The truth is that God does lead certain individuals into evil. Did He not harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that He could display His power against Egypt: so that the whole world could see that He is truly God? And in 1 Kings 22, to accomplish the destruction of wicked King Ahab, God put a lying spirit in the mouths of Ahab’s prophets, urging him out to battle. But because God is not a man, that He should lie, He did allow one prophet to tell the truth to Ahab–the whole truth, even that part about the lying spirit. And Ahab didn’t believe the honest prophet, and went to war, and was killed.

Not to mention 2 Thessalonians 2:11, “And for this cause [they refused to hear the truth] God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”

But then when you’re as busy as the Red Pope is, trying to establish “open borders” and lock up Climate Change deniers, it’s hard to devote a lot attention to God’s Word. He doesn’t have time to excommunicate Catholic politicians who vote for abortion, either.

If he’s a Bible scholar, I’m Spartacus.

‘Christ of Contention’?

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Yesterday a couple of you discussed the suitability of posting a hymn sung by Willie Nelson, who has a reputation as one who does not exactly live according to the Gospel. Of course, if any of us could really do that, we wouldn’t need a Savior.

Anyway, that brief exchange got me thinking that St. Paul had already addressed this issue, somewhere in the Bible. My Strong’s Concordance soon led me to Philippians 1: 15-18.

Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: the one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: but the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

Paul seems to be saying that one way or another, Christ is preached and God is glorified. So I think by that standard we’re okay with a hymn by Willie Nelson.

Who knows? If the man needs conversion, he might sing it often enough to get one.

‘Chronicles of the Nephilim’

You may remember the problems I had last year, reviewing books by “Abner Doubleday.” Well, these are the books–Chronicles of the Nephilim, by Brian Godawa–and here’s my review, as published in Chalcedon’s magazine.


Given how much I wound up disliking these books, I’d say my review was rather charitable.

And now it’s off to the eye doctor!

When to be Scared of Cucumbers

Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.  Isaiah 1:7-8

A lodge in a garden of cucumbers?

There are images in the Bible that stay with you forever, even if you don’t know what they mean. This is an image that has stayed with me. It’s night-time, and I see the black silhouette of a broken-down building surrounded by a measureless expanse of tangled, rioting cucumber vines…

“Lodge,” by the way, doesn’t mean a fancy building that charges you an arm and a leg to stay there. According to Strong’s Concordance, the actual Hebrew word is more accurately rendered “hut.” Maybe even something as rude and as temporary as a lean-to.

Okay, now, go ahead, tell me those verses of Isaiah don’t apply to our own country, here and now. They are a warning–a warning which Jerusalem chose not to heed, and so brought about destruction. And they did it without staging homosexual parodies of marriage, mutilating a man and insisting he’s been made a woman, forcing good people to pay for abortions, or having a national leader stand up and say “God bless Planned Parenthood!”–the folks who cut up babies while they’re still alive and sell their parts.

The Western world today, which once was known as Christendom, has wallowed in sins which ancient Jerusalem never even thought of.

God has warned us, but we haven’t listened.

Here comes trouble.