Original Sin and Free Will in the Apocalypse of Baruch

Introduction According to the Apocalypse of Baruch, humanity is afflicted neither by the guilt of Adam’s sin nor by a bondage of the will. Instead, it presents a humanity that inherits death and corruption, that is personally responsible for individual sins, and that has a will free to deliberate between both good and evil. The Apocalypse (2 Baruch) was written during the mid-to-late first century A.D., and is believed to be a…

A Brief Introduction to Second Temple Judaism

When considering the Judaism of the period prior to that of the advent of Jesus Christ (and the development of the new covenant Church), it makes sense to begin with the period of the exiles and the time of the second temple. This period of Judaism, which scholars aptly label “second temple Judaism,” is the Judaism that developed across various “sects” and in multiple nations, during the Jewish “diaspora.” According to the…

Abraham’s Narrow Gate

There are a lot of great stories (not to mention a lot of great theology) to be found in pseudepigraphal literature. One must use discernment, of course, but we should not be quick to reject these books outright, simply because they do not come bound in our modern, printed editions of the scriptures. For example, in Saint Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of both narrow and wide gates: “Enter by the narrow gate,…