Category Archives: Bible

Sunday Devotional: Gifts of the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Brothers and sisters:
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.
To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom;
to another, the expression of knowledge according to the
same Spirit;
to another, faith by the same Spirit;
to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit;
to another, mighty deeds;
to another, prophecy;
to another, discernment of spirits;
to another, varieties of tongues;
to another, interpretation of tongues.
But one and the same Spirit produces all of these,
distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.

Last Sunday’s Devotional was on the account in Luke 3 of the Baptism of our Lord. The significance of the narrative is twofold:

  1. Luke 3 is one of several instances in the Old and New Testaments  — see also Genesis 1:26, John 5:7, and Matthew 28 — when the nature of the Triune Godhead is revealed as the sublime mystery of three Persons in one God.
  2. Luke 3 also speaks to the importance that Jesus holds for the sacrament of Baptism: Even the Son of God, who needed no cleansing, before He began His public ministry. Indeed, the sacrament of Baptism is an act of exorcism — it purifies and sanctifies (makes holy) the person, making him/her a dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Put another way, an unbaptized person is without the Holy Spirit and rendered defenseless against the Evil One.

All of which brings us, quite logically, to today’s reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.

With Baptism, not only are we made a dwelling of the Third Person of the Triune Godhead (how awesome is that!), we also receive spiritual gift(s) from the Holy Spirit!

To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”

The spiritual gift may be:

  • Wisdom: The capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct; soundness of judgement in the choice of means and ends”; the opposite of folly.
  • Knowledge: The faculty of understanding or knowing; intelligence, intellect; clear and certain perception of fact or truth.
  • Faith: Belief in, trust in, and loyalty to God, the result of which should be a transformation — radical change — of the individual.
  • Healing: The restoration — making whole or well — of physical, psychological or spiritual health from a state of damage or disease.
  • Mighty deeds: Praiseworthy acts or feats that are great, powerful, or skillful.
  • Prophecy: The ability, with divine inspiration, to predict the future.
  • Discernment of spirits: The ability by intuition and/or theological study to judge various spiritual agencies — the human soul, Divine grace, angels, devils — for their moral influence. Humility is the key to discernment, as well as consulting others and praying for guidance.
  • Varieties of tongues: The supernatural ability to speak in a language unknown to the speaker; not to be confused with the acquired skill of speaking in a foreign language.
  • Interpretation of tongues: The supernatural enablement to express in an intelligible language an utterance spoken in an unknown language; not to be confused with the acquired skill of language interpretation.

Which spiritual gift were you given?

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit

Isaiah 40:3, 5, 9-11

A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!

Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Here is your God!
Here comes with power
the Lord GOD . . . .
Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.

Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

The people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
“I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

After all the people had been baptized
and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying,
heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him
in bodily form like a dove.
And a voice came from heaven,
“You are my beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased.”

The Baptism of our Lord by St. John the Baptist was one of several instances in the Old and New Testaments  — see also Genesis 1:26, John 5:7, and Matthew 28 — when the nature of the Triune Godhead is revealed as the vexing mystery of three Persons in one God.

But the above narrative in Luke 3 also speaks to the importance that Jesus holds for the sacrament of Baptism. Even the Son of God was Baptized, intended for sinners, before He began His public ministry.

These are the words on Baptism of His Apostle, St. Paul:

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” -Romans 6:3-4

But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” -1 Corinthians 6:11

“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” -Galatians 3:27

Baptism purifies and sanctifies (makes holy) the person, making him/her a dwelling of the Holy Spirit. That means that without Baptism, a person is without the Holy Spirit and rendered defenseless against the Evil One.

I don’t know what other Christian denominations believe about baptism, but in the Catholic Church — for all its many flaws, including the terrible sins committed by its clergy — the sacrament of Baptism is an act of exorcism:

Since Baptism signifies liberation from sin and from its instigator the devil, one or more exorcisms are pronounced over the candidate. The celebrant then anoints him with the oil of catechumens, or lays his hands on him, and he explicitly renounces Satan. (#1237 of Catechism of the Catholic Church)

In this manner, through the exorcizing sacrament of Baptism, “all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam’s sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.”

Moreover, through Baptimism we receive the gift of grace from the Holy Trinity — to believe in God, to love Him, and to grow in goodness. “Thus the whole organism of the Christian’s supernatural life has its roots in Baptism.”

I was baptized when I was four, but fell away from God and from the Church when I entered college, naïvely believing in a charismatic professor named Mitchell Bedford who said the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls had proved Christianity was a myth. What terrible and evil deeds college professors can do.

An agnostic, I wandered in the wilderness for decades until I was born again. This August 9 will be the 17th anniversary of my coming home. On that day in 2002, choking with tears streaming down my face, I made my big Confession for all my sins and He forgave me. I truly believe that, had I not been baptized all those many years ago and given the shield of protection, I would have been lost forever.

So if you are a Christian, don’t make the mistake of postponing the baptism of your child(ren). Baptism — clothing your child “with Christ” — is the most important thing you can and will ever do for your child.

Jesus, I love You with my whole heart, my whole soul, my whole mind, and with all my strength.

And may the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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The Epiphany: The Magi and the Christmas Star

Matthew 2:1-2, 9-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”

And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.

The Oxford Dictionaries defines “ephiphany” (with a small “e”) as “a moment of sudden revelation or insight” and “a manifestation of a divine or supernatural being”. The word “Epiphany” (with a capital “E”) refers to “the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi”.

Today is the great feast of the Epiphany, which celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the Magi — an event that had been foretold in Isaiah 60:1-6 some 800 years befre the birth of Christ.

Isaiah 60:1-6

Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you….
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you….
Then…the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the Lord.

The Magi were wise men — non-Hebrew pagans from the East. Bearing gifts fit for a king — those of gold, frankincense, and myrrh — their coming to Jerusalem to pay homage to “the king of the Jews” shows that they seek in the messianic light of the Christmas star, the one who will be king of all nations.

It is noteworthy that the first creatures to see the newborn Jesus were his human parents, Mary and Joseph; angels on high; humble farm animals; lowly shepherds; and Gentiles — the Magi.

The Epiphany, therefore, signifies the manifestation of Jesus as Son of God and Savior of the world — not just the Old Testament‘s oft-prophesied messiah of the Jews. God is not a tribal deity, exclusive to only the so-called “chosen people”. Jesus the Christ came for Jews and Gentiles. He came for all of us, no matter our race, gender, language, country, or creed.

As St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians 3:6:

[T]he Gentiles are coheirs,
members of the same body,
and copartners in the promise
in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Noteworthy also is the fact that the Magi, as the first Gentiles to find Jesus, were also the first Gentiles to receive His salvific grace. As recounted in Matthew 2:12:

And having been warned in a dream
not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country
by another way.

By the way, astronomers, using software programs reproducing the night sky exactly as it was thousands of years ago, have determined there really was a Christmas Star or Star of Bethlehem. David Reneke, news editor of Australia’s Sky and Space Magazine, said: “We found out something startling. It looks like the ‘Christmas star’ really did exist.”

It’s generally accepted by most researchers that Christ was born between 3 BC and 1 AD. On 12 August, 3 BC, Jupiter and Venus appeared very close together just before sunrise, appearing as bright morning stars. It would have been visible in the eastern dawn sky of the Middle East from about 3:45 to 5:20 a.m.

But it didn’t stop there. The crowning touch came ten months later, on 17 June 2 BC, Venus and Jupiter joined up again in the constellation Leo. This time the two planets were so close that, without the use of our modern optical aids, they would have looked like one single, brilliant star.

Venus is known as the planet of love; Jupiter as the planet of kings; and Leo denotes royalty and power.

See these other cases of science confirming Biblical accounts:

May the joy of the Epiphany and the peace and love of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, be with you!

~Eowyn

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Harry Reid is dying of pancreatic cancer

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) was Senate Majority Leader from 2007 to 2015 — credited with pushing Obamacare into law — and Senate Minority Leader from January 3, 2015 to January 3, 2017, when he retired from the U.S. Senate.

Remember Reid’s strange injuries?

On May 14, 2018, Reid underwent surgery after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

A source told the Nevada Independent: “They caught it early. The doctors believe it went well, and he is expected to make a full recovery.” According to Roll Call, Reid’s family put out this statement:

Today, Former Democratic Leader Harry Reid underwent surgery at Johns Hopkins Cancer Center to remove a tumor from his pancreas. His doctors caught the problem early during a routine screening and his surgeons are confident that the surgery was a success and that the prognosis for his recovery is good. He will undergo chemotherapy as the next step in his treatment. He is now out of surgery, in good spirits and resting with his family. He is grateful to his highly skilled team of doctors and to all who have sent and continue to send their love and support,” the statement said.

However, reporting for the New York Times Magazine on Jan. 2, 2019, Mark Leibovich writes:

Reid, who is 79, does not have long to live. I hate to be so abrupt about this….

I had planned to visit Reid, who had not granted an interview since his cancer diagnosis, in November, but he put me off, saying he felt too weak. People close to him were saying that he had months left, if not weeks….

Reid’s health, even before the cancer diagnosis, was a factor in opting not to seek re-election for a sixth Senate term in 2016. Over the last few months, he has had chemotherapy and two back surgeries….

Reid had dismissed Trump as a “spoiled brat,” a “con man” and a “human leech.”… In 2016, he dismissed Trump as “a big fat guy” who “didn’t win many fights.”

As with John McCain (R-AZ), I will not mourn Harry Reid’s death.

Update (Jan. 4)

Reacting to this post, a Christian friend wrote in an email that he would pray for Harry Reid. A reader wrote an email scolding me that when I wrote “I will not mourn Harry Reid’s death,” I was kicking a man when he’s down. Here is my response:

I’d always had problems with our Lord’s injunction to “love your neighbor as yourself”. I don’t believe He means an uncritical, all-accepting, non-“judgmental” love. That would go against everything that He is.

Nor do priests help in their homilies: I have yet to hear one that satisfactorily defines/explains what “loving your neighbor” means.

I believe the answer is in Luke 10:25-37‘s account of the Good Samaritan, in which a scholar of the law asked Jesus “who is my neighbor” whom Jesus enjoins us to “love as ourselves”. Jesus replied with the Parable of the Good Samaritan:

“A man fell victim to robbers as he went down to Jerusalem from Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise, a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

And so, when we are instructed to love our neighbor, in Jesus’ own words, it means that when another has fallen, through no fault of his/her own, we are to treat “our neighbor” with kindness and compassion, and provide assistance to the best of our abilities. That is what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Harry Reid does not fit the definition of “our neighbor” — the man who fell victim to robbers through no fault of his own. Harry Reid’s pancreatic cancer is not akin to being robbed. Harry Reid did every evil in his life with full knowledge and free will, including profiting financially from the Obama BLM’s war against the Bundy Ranch. (See “” and InfoWars)

And so, I do not believe I am obliged to “love” Harry Reid. I don’t hate him — I don’t hate anyone — nor did I wish him pancreatic cancer, but I do not believe he merits my kindness, compassion, assistance, or love.

“When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.” -Proverbs 11:10

~Eowyn

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In the day of great slaughter

… when the towers fall,

…streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill.

…The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted. – Isaiah 30:25-26

Something terrible happened September 11, 2001.
It was indeed a day of great slaughter when the towers fell. It matches the mysterious event spoken of by Isaiah the prophet. Was Isaiah speaking exactly to our moment in history? In my opinion, God’s word speaks to us all in a great variety of situations. In His manifold wisdom, one word accomplishes many things, more than we can count.

For me, this scripture lit up like a beacon, capturing my attention through the mention of an unforgettable shared trauma. And here’s the remarkable thing. He announces that this horrible satanic attack also triggers a great spiritual outpouring of Grace and Living Waters, far more than adequate to heal our wounds and meet the challenges of our time head on.

That’s what I get out of this amazing passage.
How about you, dear readers?

 

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Sunday Devotional: Do not be amazed if the world hates you

1 John 3:1-3, 6-8, 10, 13, 19-24

See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
And so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed
we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him
makes himself pure, as he is pure….
No one who remains in him sins;
no one who sins has seen him or known him.
Children, let no one deceive you.
The person who acts in righteousness is righteous,
just as he is righteous.
Whoever sins belongs to the devil,
because the devil has sinned from the beginning.
Indeed, the Son of God was revealed
to destroy the works of the devil….
In this way,
the children of God and the children of the devil are made plain;
no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God,
nor anyone who does not love his brother….
Do not be amazed, [then,] brothers, if the world hates you….
[Now] this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
and reassure our hearts before him in whatever our hearts condemn,
for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God and receive from him whatever we ask,
because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And his commandment is this:
we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and love one another just as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him,
and he in them,
and the way we know that he remains in us
is from the Spirit he gave us.

Five days ago, we celebrated the Nativity of Jesus the Christ.

This Sunday’s reading from 1 John 3 is rich with joy, mystery, instruction, and warning.

We are joyful that we are the children of God, and intrigued by the promise that “what we shall be has not yet been revealed” and that when our time comes, we shall see God “as he is”.

How awesome is that!

But we are reminded that for this to happen, we must be pure, “belong to the truth” and keep His commandments, because “No one who remains in him sins”.

It is in so doing that we are true “children of God,” instead of “children of the devil”. But it is also precisely because we are “children of God” that we are hated by the world, which should neither surprise nor dishearten us, for being the object of the fallen world’s hatred and abuse means we are on the right path.

And so, the battle lines are drawn.

It isn’t and won’t be easy. We are and will be reviled and scorned, not because we’ve done something wrong, but precisely because we fight for truth instead of lies, good instead of evil.

And when our hopes are dashed and our spirits deflated, just remember this promise:

Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed
we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.”

May the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn 

See also “Lies are a hallmark of evil”.

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Apollo 8’s Christmas message to the world

1968 was a terrible year.

America was politically divided: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy had been assassinated; more US troops were dying than ever in the Vietnam War; people were questioning authority and demonstrating in the streets.

Launched on December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 was the second manned U.S. spaceflight mission and the first manned spacecraft to leave low Earth orbit, reach the Moon, orbit it, and return.

On Christmas Eve, NASA instructed the astronauts Frank Borman, Bill Anders and Jim Lovell to say something appropriate during the broadcast, but few knew what they would say. Some 1 billion people in 64 countries were tuning in.

Commander Borman activated a small hand-held TV camera and announced: “This is Apollo 8 coming to you live from the moon.” Viewers were shown what the moon looked like from about 70 miles above the surface.

Borman continued: “We are now approaching lunar sunrise and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.”

This is the message.

~Eowyn

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He shall reign forever and ever

Luke 2:15-20

When the angels went away from them to heaven,
the shepherds said to one another,
“Let us go, then, to Bethlehem
to see this thing that has taken place,
which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

Psalm 97:1-7, 9

The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many islands be glad.
Cloud and darkness surround him;
justice and right are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him,
consuming his foes on every side.
His lightning illumines the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice;
all peoples see his glory.
All who serve idols are put to shame,
who glory in worthless things;
all angels bow down before him…
For you, LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.

See also:

May the joy of CHRISTmas be with you!

~Eowyn

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Christmas is God’s answer to Solstice

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. – Isaiah 9:2

Let the Son shine into your heart

Solstice is the darkest part of the year in the northern hemisphere. The days become troublingly short, with night falling before afternoon is over. For those with “seasonal affective disorder” it can be a time of dangerous heavy depression.

The Church chose the period near Solstice to replace the pagan bacchanal celebrations with holy gatherings to honor the Nativity of Jesus Christ

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
– John 1:1-5

PEACE

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Sunday Devotional: The child to be born will be the Son of God

Luke 1:26-35

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.”

Today is the third Sunday of Advent — a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.

In Luke 1‘s account of angel Gabriel’s visitation of Mary, it was made clear that:

  1. Mary was a virgin.
  2. She conceived a child not by man but “by the power of the Holy Spirit”.
  3. Her child is the Son of God.

Translated into the language of modern biology, what this means is that Jesus’ DNA would have no Y chromosome because He was not fathered by a human male.

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid containing the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all (except RNA viruses) known living organisms. DNA segments carrying this genetic information are called genes. A chromosome is an organized structure of DNA and protein found in cells. It is a single piece of coiled DNA containing many genes, regulatory elements, other nucleotide sequences, and proteins that package the DNA and control its functions.

In human beings, as in all mammals, sex/gender is determined by the XY chromosomes. The XY sex chromosomes are different in shape and size from each other. Females have two of the same kind of sex chromosome (XX), while males have two distinct sex chromosomes (XY). A male child gets his Y chromosome from his biological father. The combination of two Y chromosomes is always lethal in humans.

Within the Y chromosome is a gene, SRY, that is the sex-determining region of the Y chromosome. Once SRY is activated, cells create testosterone and anti-müllerian hormone to turn the genderless sex organs into male. With females, their cells excrete estrogen, driving the body down the female pathway.

In his book, The Physics of Christianity (Doubleday, 2007), Tulane University physicist Dr. Frank J. Tipler reasons that if the Gospels’ account of the virgin birth is true, then Jesus’ DNA makeup would have no Y chromosome because he did not have a human father. Instead, Jesus wouldhave two X chromosomes. However, since Jesus was clearly male, he must have the SRY gene. But the SRY gene, instead of being in the Y chromosome, was inserted into a location where it is not normally found – inside one of the two X chromosomes imparted from Mary, his mother.

And that’s exactly what a team of Italian researchers found.

In January 1995, led by Professor Marcello Calane of the Institute of Legal Medicine in Genoa, a group of Italian researchers, including several workers who had invented the standard DNA test for gender, conducted a DNA analysis of the blood on the Shroud of Turin and on the Oviedo Cloth, also called the Sudarium of Oviedo. Note that:

  • A recent report by scientists confirms that the Shroud is not a fake.
  • Mark Guscin provides strong evidence that the Sudarium of Oviedo is the cloth described in John 20:7 as being wrapped around Jesus’ head.
  • Both the Shroud and the Sudarium show bloodstains on the head in approximately the same position, formed by sharp objects similar to what thorns would produce. Jesus was the only person in recorded history to have been crowned with thorns before crucifixion. (Janice Bennett, author of Sacred Blood, Sacred Image: The Sudarium of Oviedo, New Evidence for the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin)
  • The blood found on both the Shroud and the Sudarium is Type AB (National Review). AB is the rarest blood type, found in only 4% of the general population.

Here is Dr. Tipler’s account (from pages 183-187 of his book):

Normally, the results of a DNA test of the blood on such a famous object would be published in English in a major scientific journal.… Not so the results of this DNA test. The results were published, in Italian, in the very obscure Italian journal devoted to the study of the Turin Shroud. Furthermore, only the raw data were published. That is, the Genoa team published black-and-white Xerox copies of the computer output of the DNA analyzer. This is never, never done. Always, the data are presented in a neat table or figure, and they are accompanied by a discussion of their significance. The Genoa team made no effort to interpret their data.

But I was able to interpret the data at once. They are the expected signature of the DNA of a male born in a Virgin Birth! …

The Turin Shroud data show 107 (106+1) but no trace of a 112 base pair gene. The Oviedo Cloth data show 105 (106-1) but no trace of a 112 base pair. The X chromosome is present, but there is no evidence of a Y chromosome. This is the expected signature of … virgin birth, the XX male generated by an SRY inserted into an X chromosome. It is not what would be expected of a standard male.

Other explanations are possible. The DNA analyzed could be entirely contaminated from people who later touched the Shroud and the Cloth. But we have witnesses that men touched the two samples also, and it seems incredible that no trace of male contamination would be seen…. Another possibility is that the Turin Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth are fakes and that the fakes used real blood from males they knew were born of virgins. This possibility, in my opinion, has zero probability.

The DNA data thus support the virgin birth hypothesis. The DNA data supporting a virgin birth also support the hypothesis that both the Turin Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth are genuine.

So much for Rudolf Bultmann, a leading theologian of the 1930s, who once sneeringly said: “Myths [like the Virgin Birth] are difficult to believe in these days of electric lights.”

On the contrary, it is precisely the “electric lights” of science that point to the miraculous and true nature of the Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth.

Isaiah 9:1-6

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing . . . .
For a child is born to us, a son is given us;
upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,
Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.

May the joy and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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