Jimmy Akin

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A 10-Point Primer on the Lord’s Prayer Kerfuffle

Several newspapers are reporting that Pope Francis is likely to approve a change in the Italian translation of the Lord’s Prayer. This is causing concern in some quarters. What’s the real story, and what does it mean for us? Let’s take a look...

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Would It Matter If We’re Living in a Simulation?

A reader writes: My good sir, a baptized Catholic who is away from the Faith asked me at work this week: “How do we know we are not living in a computer simulation? What is wrong with Elon Musk’s simulation hypothesis?” What do I say in...

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Possibly Lying in Confession? Help for the Scrupulous

A reader (who will remain anonymous per my usual policy) writes: The other day I went to confession and confessed my sins some of which were of a sexual nature. I honestly confessed these sins. However, after my confession Father began to give...

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Did God Punish Jesus on the Cross?

Penal substitution is a theory of the atonement that says God literally punished Jesus on the Cross. This theory is problematic because one cannot justly punish an innocent person, and Jesus was innocent. Therefore, for God to literally punish...

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What Does “Atonement” Mean—And How Did Jesus Do It?

Most basic theological terms come from Greek or Latin, but one sprang from English: atonement. Here, the –ment suffix is used to refer to the result of something, like amazement is the result of something that amazes. Atonement, therefore, is...

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The Original Suffering Servant

Isaiah 52 and 53 famously describe a mysterious figure that scholars have dubbed the “Suffering Servant.” The parallels between the Servant and Jesus are striking, and the New Testament authors see Jesus as fulfilling the role of the Suffering...

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The Servant(s) of God in Isaiah

The New Testament quotes three Old Testament books more than any others: Deuteronomy, the Psalms, and Isaiah. The latter is quoted, in particular, because it contains messianic prophecies that point to Jesus, and the New Testament authors record...

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Is It Okay to Listen to Non-Religious Music?

A reader writes: Despite being a Protestant, I enjoy reading your blog. Since I see that you’ve answered other people’s questions before, I thought I’d ask you a question about a problem I’m having. In my community, people often say that it’s...

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8 Things to Know and Share About the Guardian Angels

October 2 is the memorial of the Guardian Angels in the liturgy. Here are 8 things to know and share about the angels it celebrates . . .   1) What is a guardian angel? A guardian angel is an angel (a created, non-human, non-corporeal being)...

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The “Unanimous Consent” of the Church Fathers

In 1546, the Council of Trent issued a decree which prohibited people from interpreting Scripture “contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.” The meaning and significance of this concept has been widely misunderstood, so let’s take a...