The Old Testament in the Heart of the Catholic Church
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You are moving seriously farther from Christ if in any way you begin to think that, in revealing himself fully in his only Son, God thereby said that his prior revelations of himself were a joke, a lie, or in any way anything but just what they are, irrevocable revelations of himself.

In our time, you do need to know that far too many Catholics over the years did not take this truth seriously enough, gave the Old Testament no real meaning outside of its meaning relating directly to Christ and his Church, and oppressed, tormented, and even killed Jews. However, you also need to read CCC 128-130. Read it now.

Put simply, the Old Testament retains its own value forever, and the Jews remain the Chosen People forever, for the simple reason that, when God reveals himself, he does not lie. <<


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Read Ex 17. Read Ps 95 [Psalm 95]. The place Massah and Meribah is forever remembered as a place

a.   at which Israel received the water it needed.
b.   that shows that man should ask God to pass tests.
c.   where hardship caused Israel to question God's plan.

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The Church sees the ''water from the rock'' of Ex 17 as a type or figure of the spiritual gifts of Christ. [CCC 1094] <<

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Read Ex 33:7-11. The ''pillar of cloud'' is a theophany. A theophany is

a.   a fire that does not seem to go out.
b.   a theology of divine visitations.
c.   a visible appearance of God to man.

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Read Ex 33:7-11. The Lord, God Most High, creator of heaven and earth, would speak to Moses

a.   as a man speaks to his friend.
b.   only in very unclear images.
c.   with great and terrifying signs.

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Read Ex 32:1-20. After being rescued from Egypt, the people

a.   made other gods to worship.
b.   waited patiently for the Lord.
c.   worshipped the Lord alone.

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The ''golden calf'' has become a symbol of all idolatrous worship. When people ''worship the golden calf,'' they have forsaken God in favor of something that seems powerful and alluring to them. <<

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Read Ex 33-34 (Yes, two whole chapters, now). In response to Moses's prayer (re-read Ex 33:12-16), God

a.   does not relent.
b.   renews his covenant.
c.   takes back sin.

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Re-read Ex 32:7-14 and Ex 33:7-16. Apostasy is forsaking God, after you have known him and believed in him. Now read CCC 2576-2577 to learn what the Catechism teaches about Moses's prayer. <<

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Read Ex 25:10-22. The Ark of the Covenant was

a.   a gathering place to worship God.
b.   a wooden box lined with gold.
c.   a wooden ship lined with gold.

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Read Ex 25:16. Now read in the book of Deuteronomy, Deut 10:1-3. The ''testimony'' that was placed in the Ark of the Covenant was

a.   eyewitness accounts of the theophany on Mount Sinai and elsewhere.
b.   the two stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed.
c.   the writings of the Bible that the people of Israel had up to that time.

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Read Ex 25:8-9. Now read in the New Testament, the letter to the Hebrews, Heb 9:1-7. The Jewish Tabernacle was

a.   a large stone structure.
b.   a large tent.
c.   a large wooden ark.

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What is the ''Holy of Holies''?

a.   The entire Tabernacle of the Lord, where the Ark of the Covenant was.
b.   The place from which Moses stood to tell people what God wished them to do.
c.   The small room within the Tabernacle where the Ark of the Covenant was.

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Read Leviticus, Lev 16:3-34. Once a year Aaron (and the High Priests that follow him) are to

a.   make atonement for the sins of the nation.
b.   offer unceasing praise to the LORD.
c.   show the LORD a sign of the people's purity.

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''Holy of Holies'' is a Hebrew way of saying ''the holiest place of all.'' The High Priest entered the Holy of Holies, the place of God's presence on earth, once a year on the Day of Atonement, to offer blood sacrifices for sin. The Catholic Church sees in this a type of Christ, the great High Priest, who pours out his blood for the forgiveness of sins. <<

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Read Deut 29:1-6. Read the book of Numbers, Num 32:13. Before reaching the land God promised them, the people of Israel wandered in the desert

a.   a short time.
b.   forty days.
c.   forty years.

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The Bible preserves the memory of the people of Israel as nomadic, living in tents with no permanent cities, before gradually settling in the land God had promised them. For example, the patriarchs live in tents (read Gen 12:8). After leaving Egypt, the people wandered in the desert for forty years. According to Exodus, the Ark of the Covenant was carried on poles, and the Jewish Tabernacle itself was a tent, the ''Tent of Meeting.'' All these show a nomadic existence prior to the time when the people of Israel settled in cities. <<

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Read First Samuel, 1 Sam 16:1-13. David was

a.   the most influential man in the kingdom.
b.   the most obvious choice for King of Israel.
c.   the youngest and forgotten son of Jesse.

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David was

a.   a priest and a Levite.
b.   a prince and an inventor.
c.   a shepherd and a king.

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Read Second Samuel, 2 Sam 7:18-29. Here David

a.   is the shepherd and King who prays a joyful prayer of trust and devotion to God on behalf of the whole people.
b.   is the wrathful ruler who condemns the people in the name of the Most High God, creator of heaven and earth.
c.   prays for himself alone and has no thought of his people or their connection to the promise God made them.

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copyright (c) 2001 John Kelleher. All rights reserved.