Monday, January 9, 2012

Jesus Doesn't Play Football: Tim Tebow's 316 Yards

I am not a football fan. In fact, I am not a fan of any sports. I am not against sports, I am just not interested. I do attend a Superbowl party now and then. However, I don't really watch the game. I eat the snacks and watch the commercials. At one time I was interested in the halftime shows, but  the performances by the Who and the Black eyed Peas put me off that habit for a while.

But inspite of my lack of interest in football it has been almost impossible to miss the Tim Tebow phenomenon. I became aware of him and his prowess as a comeback quarterback in December. In response I posted on Facebook "What is a Tebow?" It was funny how many people were almost insulted that I did not know about him.

As I have since come to learn, besides being a fairly decent quarterback he is also a very public Christian. His habit of one knee prayers (now known worldwide as "Tebowing") and painting John 3:16 on his eye black has left little doubt where he stands. He is a very public Christian. And I don't condemn him for that. I have not heard of him saying or doing anything stupid thus far that would detract from the witness for Christ that he seeks to represent.

No, my problem is not with Tebow but some of his Christian fans. There have been numerous things that have been said including that Jesus is somehow helping Tebow to win football games. I am not sure if Jesus is a football fan or not, but I am pretty sure he is not playing the game.

Until today I found no reason to blog on Tebow. This blog tries to avoid politics, sports and other mindless distractions. But the news about yesterday's game finally pushed my hand. Apparently, Tebow threw 316 yards in yesterday's game. Unfortunately, his fans are now seeing some type of sign from God. Here is a piece from the Washington Post.


The Denver Broncos’ playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night was unlikely enough, but Tim Tebow’s passing yardage — the Christian quarterback threw 316 yards — sent commentators over the edge. The Associated Press reported that he also averaged 31.6 yards per completion. The religious connotations to John 3:16, a famous Bible verse, were too much for many to chalk up to chance.


Wow, that surely is an amazing coincidence! But I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with God. You see, God has nothing to do with John 3:16 being John 3:16. When the author of the gospel wrote those famous words he did not include the reference 3:16 since there were no chapter and verse numbers. In fact, Bibles have existed longer without chapter and verse numbers than with them. The first English Bible to include chapters and verses was the Geneva Bible which wasn't published until 1560. Prior to that time no one had a clue what 3:16 meant and if you had asked people in church to open their Bibles to that page they would have looked at you blankly. Imagine the looks people would have received if they painted 3:16 on their face or held up signs with it at sporting events.

The fact is the verses of the Bible are not inspired. And while I do suppose it is a cool coincidence that Tebow threw 316 yards, I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with Jesus. It has more to do with his discipline and skill as a player and the other players that are catching his passes. So I wish Mr. Tebow the best and hope that he can live up to his very public witness. But I also wish that his fans would think a bit more. I am not really sure God is pleased with the level of interest and energy that is put into suggesting that Jesus plays or is interested in football. I suspect that he is busy with vastly more important stuff like starving children and other disasters in the world. I also suspect that he wishes his followers were more interested in them as well.

Here is an update to my thoughts on the topic.




59 comments:

  1. Are we sure that God just doesn't have it in for Pittsburgh?

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  2. Here's another take...http://www.ucc.org/feed-your-spirit/daily-devotional/touchdown-theology.html

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  3. Although I respect your opinion, you need to be open minded about all this. Maybe God meant for 3:16 to be created, we dont know that just like we can't explain many things in life. Can you think of a better way to reach out to millions of non-believers than through Football? I am not saying that God is pulling off miracles, but God did create Tebow. Tebow has worked extremely hard to get to where he is, but he has done it with the belief in his God. For you to say that God has nothing to do with this, is like saying the miracles at church are non-sense. Those who save or pull of miracles at church are doing with the Word of God and the strong belief in God.

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  4. Dear Anonymous,

    I am probably more open minded than you realize. But not, I don't think God meant 3:16 to be created. Bible verses are a very human endeavor. So much so that some are not the same in different translations. And I stand by my statement,I doubt God has anything to do with this. I am sure that Tebow has worked hard, but I don't connect his belief in God with his success. There are plenty of unbelievers out there who are successful in what they do.

    As far as miracles being an indicator of one's relationship with God and success therein, I would simply point to the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:22-23.

    Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

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  5. I thought He was cheering for the Saints.

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  6. I guess it's a good thing the Broncos didn't have 666 yards of total offense.

    Of course, I've wondered if maybe the divine significance of Tebow's 316 yards is drawing attention to Leviticus 3:16 or Lamentations 3:16...

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  7. GREAT POST JOHN! I, too, have learned of Tebow only recently since I am not a sports fan either. By the way, that was good rebuttal (as usual) to the "anonymous post."

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  8. Are you saying God doesn't have any influence in today's world, with today's people? Why pray and ask for Him to guide our hands and feet? I think you are way off. God is still at work, doing what it takes to remind us He is real and waiting for all to seek Him. I believe He may have influenced someone writing chapters and verses or used 3:16 as a tool to reach us. This is my first time to this site and I'm disappointed.

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  9. He can use people to write the books of the Bible and use OTHER people to form them into chapters and verses.

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  10. Why wouldn't God use Tebow, someone many people follow, to send a pro-life message and bring attention to the Bible? I have friends who didn't know what 3:16 meant and then looked it up. Cool!!!!!

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  11. Dear Anonymous,

    Sorry to disappoint you on your first visit to my blog. I hope you will come back to read my other posts in the future.

    As far as saying God doesn't have influence in today's world, I never said that. But I did say I don't think Jesus is playing football or that God worked out the passing yards to be 316.

    As far as that chapters and verses. Yes, God can use people to write the verses. Which is why they don't always line up between translations. The verses are a human way of helping us keep track of where we are.I think John 3:16 is a beautiful and important description of God's love in the world. But I don't think God had anymore to do with that verse being 3:16 anymore than God had a part in choosing my current phone number.

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  12. Clarification . . . I never said God could not use Tebow. What I said was that his fans should think a bit more about the whole 3:16 thing.

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  13. How can you say that God didn't mean for John 3:16 to have that exact verse citation? Our God is still very much active in the world, and everything of His is intentional, even if the organizing system for Bible verses came much later.

    He is a God who works through all things, and this can easily be one way. No need to belittle His impact through a football game.

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  14. For those who are convinced that God inspired the verses in the Bible please go read John 5:4 in a modern translation and tell me what went wrong there.

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  15. I understand your point with regard to John 5:4, but do you think that God did not foresee that Bible verses would one day be assigned numbers? I don't think so.

    Tebow famously donned the "John 3:16" in white writing on his eye-black while playing for Florida. As a result, the "Tebow Rule" was introduced, which bans players from wearing messages on their eye-black. Therefore, I find it no coincidence that God MAY have played some sort of role in the fact that Tebow threw for 316 yards and set an NFL Playoff Record with 31.6 yards per completion. One more pass in the game, and those numbers could have been different, so I find it plausible that God used Tebows number to display the message that the young quarterback was banned from displaying on his eye-black.

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    Replies
    1. I agree...God always will make HIS ways known and no group, person or evil spirit can stop HIM even those of us who don't quite understand. "Let those with ears to hear and eyes to see..."

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  16. Please don't limit the omnipresent, omniscient God! God can use the things of this world to reach the people of this world - Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. - Matthew 18:18

    Does it matter how someone comes to God? Is researching a coincidental phenomenon like Sunday's game an immoral or unholy path to reading the bible? Should we, as Christians, use pop culture as a tool to preach deliverance? Here's an interesting statement by a bible scholar on how pop culture influenced his academic appetite for God:

    "I suppose watching Gilligan's Island may have had a profound influence on my becoming a biblical scholar. Of course, at one time I probably knew Gilligan's Island better than the Bible. I wonder, however, if any of this is true or if it is just a way to get people to keep watching a silly show. No matter, if I would see it on today I would still sit down and watch it." - John Byron, Associate Professor of New Testament, Ashland Theological Seminary

    Oh and by the way... Tim Tebow led me to your blog... or was it God?

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  17. John 3:16 has been the hottest google search all last night and into this morning. This coincidence has caused millions of people to wonder what this verse is and think about what it means. Do you really think god played no part in that? Yes, the number may be a human construction but god has clearly
    Used tebow to reach many people who probably never even think about religion. Yes, this number could mean anything but the fact is the greatest bible verse out there is being proclaimed in secular media! This wasn't born out of one coincidence...the things that have happened during every one of tebow's games have been so amazingly miraculous, it has caused many, many football fans to wonder if there really is a god. God uses everyone for a purpose so let's not discount football. Just because it's not interesting to you doesn't mean it's a lifelong passion to others. I'm pretty sure if we all had an opportunity to live tebow's life, there's no way we'd say god wasn't at work.

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  18. It was 316 yards not 316 passes. I understand that you are not a fan, John, so the minor error is forgiveable.

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  19. Thanks for catching that Henry! I am not sure how many passes are typically thrown but I bet 316 would be a lot.

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  20. His average was only 31.6 because he completed only 10 of his 22 passes. Not a great percentage. Also, Demarius Thomas ran for about 50 of the last 80 yds, so...

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  21. With regards to John 5:4, this is a very simplistic argument to a very complex issue. Inspiration is just that... inspiration. Man wrote the bible and man interpreted the bible and man copied the bible. A small amount of research will answer the question regarding the controversy around John 5:4. It was a matter of resources and documentation... nothing more.

    You are missing the bigger picture here. Just as Gilligan's Island influenced you to become a biblical scholar, millions are being influenced by Sunday's game.

    BTW, the Seven Deadly Sins that were supposedly linked to the characters of Gilligan's Island are not mentioned as a group in the bible. Proverbs 6:16-19 only links pride to the Deadly Sins list and although each sin is mentioned throughout the New Testament, they are not grouped. As a matter of fact, the Seven Deadly Sins were organized by 6th Century Pope Gregory the Great.

    Question: As a bible scholar, does this bother you that your influence was not strictly biblical?

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  22. Dear TMASS,

    You must be new to this blog since you don't know that the Gilligan's Island post was tongue and cheek. And yes, I know that the seven deadly sins are not in the Bible.

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  23. Dr. Byron,

    I really appreciated this post. I would maybe just add a slight little adjustment that God DOES care about everything we do, including diversions like sports, but everything we do is supposed to be directed toward transforming us (and the world) into the image of Christ. Obviously, Tebow is intentional about proclaiming Jesus, and that's great, but is the way people are viewing him and his football achievements in line with the movement of Jesus in the world? I enjoyed reading your thoughts about the problems with how this is being done.

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  24. From Anonymous too.
    Obviously man dissected the Scripture and made it easier to locate and find and read. Obviously Jesus isn't on the field wearing a Bronco's jersey. And again, obviously God's pretty busy with the starving children and disasters of the world. But...
    As God used a burning busy, a hand that appeared out of no where, even a donkey, to speak forth His message to mankind - isn't it possible that He is able and might well use the numbers 316? As Jesus taught theological truths in parables, can we perhaps agree that a lost and searching world might find Him in a a like manner?
    Given that John 3:16 has been one of the most searched terms these last 24 hours, SOMETHING is prompting folks to check out the verse that simply declares God's love for us all.
    Did God cause Tebow to throw 316 yards (after being forbidden to wear the verse under his eyes)? I don't know. But could he have? ABSOLUTELY.
    My desire is that God will use whatever measure HE needs to draw this world to Him. :)
    Blessings on you all,
    Anonymous too

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  25. sorry for the misspelling:
    Meant burning BUSH not burning busy.
    Anonymous too

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  26. Dr. Byron,

    I wonder how many people have been led to this blog today because of Tebow's performance. I also wonder what they are taking away from reading it. I am first time visitor here. Another is an unbelieving friend, who referred me here because of the "amazing [Tebow]coincidence". I'm guessing your blog numbers are up today, as a result of this posting. I hope that as people read through these comments, especially those who are unbelievers, that they don't just see people arguing over how God operates. Rather, I pray they see God is bigger than any of us can fully comprehend (Isaiah 55:8)no matter how hard we try, as is His love for us (John 3:16), and that He can use ANY circumstance to reach ANYONE...even the game of football.

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  27. Two observations:

    1) This article is reflective of the type of narrow minded and smug line of thought that has turned so many people away from Christianity.

    2) Things must be slow at Ashland today considering this narcissistic author has spent the entire morning trolling his own blog to respond to posts.

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  28. While I agree with the basic premise of your post, Tebow is not winning because of some Divine assistance, I'm not sure I agree with the proofs set forth for the argument. Your argument basically precludes the possibility that God can, or does, speak to humanity through human made constructs. I simply do not think this can be the case. Ancient Israel took the Gilgamesh epic and other common creation motifs (human made constructs) and reworked them into something that we decided years later was divinely inspired.

    This also precludes the possibility that God can speak to us in our every day lives. Sure coincidences can happen. But I do think that occasionally coincidences might be God pointing something out to us, as silly and infantile as that may sound.

    Furthermore it also precludes the possibility that God might speak to us through signs. Something that seems to be part of life with God in Ancient Israel and NT times.

    All that being said I do think it is a coincidence and agree with the basic principle that God does not bless Christian athletes with a winning game. I just think there may be better ways to tackle the argument than by saying that the only way that God can speak to humanity is through the original text.

    Essentially I would say that if you were tackling this from a hermeneutical perspective then yes, you are correct, chapter and verses have nothing to do with interpretation. But from an everyday perspective of life in which God interacts with human beings within our own frame of reference, I am not sure I can agree.

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  29. Ditto the post above

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  30. I can't believe no on has put forth this question yet: where on earth did you find that picture, and where can I get a copy!? (sarcasm)

    I can't help myself:
    Anonymous above: there is no evidence for direct borrowing of the Gilgamesh epic by Ancient Israelites.

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  31. If that is what you are implying, that is...

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  32. I think God had Tebow throw 316 yards to remind of us Leviticus 3:16:

    Then the priest shall turn these into smoke on the altar as a food offering by fire for a pleasing odor. All fat is YHWH's.

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  33. The Gilgamesh epic is reflective of common ancient near eastern creation motifs. Genesis 1-11 clearly is as well. The point is God reveals himself within human made constructs because that is the best way for us to understand Him. If God came down and explained things to us through some kind of construct we could not understand then it would not be effective.

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  34. Anonymous: gotcha.

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  35. Let me get this straight: you're objecting to the idea that the parallel between Tebow's 316 passing yards and the chapter-and-verse numbers in John 3:16 cannot be some sort of providential sign, on the grounds that God did not inspire the chapter and verse numbers?

    I applied the same logic yesterday when I ran a stop-sign: the sign *could* have been something instead of octagonal, and the color *could* have been something other than red, and even the English word "Stop" emerged because of some fairly random series of philological events. The sign-maker had nothing to do with those things; it was entirely coincidental. Therefore, I figured, full speed ahead!

    Not really. I stopped. I figured that the sign-maker was free to communicate in terms that he knew others would understand, instead of creating a whole new language. And sometimes, God does that too, using the language of coincidence; the sophisticated may scoff, but the babies praise, especially if they were rooting for Denver.

    As for the objection that it's bad religion to picture God involved in a football game while allowing people to suffer from disease and starvation: shall we all stop praying for anything until there's no more disease and no more starvation? God works as He sees fit. If He considers a flower and a sparrow, why not a Bronco?

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

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  36. If blessing the Broncos with an AFC Championship (or Superbowl berth) brings God glory, than by all means I can see God DEFINITELY inspiring those yardage totals of 3:16. But it takes the faith of child to look at numbers like those and believe. It doesn't matter if the Bible didn't originally include the number 3:16 or not. Do you think God would allow His holy word to be MASS PRODUCED with those numbers if it wasn't in His will to do so?

    It sparked an interest alright, because it's now left a lot of people with serious questions and it's just too much of a "coincidence" for them now to just chalk up to "chance".

    If it brings more people to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, then I'd be on the look out for more of this to come during the playoffs.

    BELIEVE.

    "Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”- Mark 10:15

    by His wounds,
    Jesse

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  37. Why so much attention for one athlete? I've seen 100's of pro-athletes praying, most who have a longer & more successful track record playing the game. I also bet Tebow is not the only QB or believer in God to ever pass 316. This guy has a very smart agent.

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  38. The real theological problem I have with saying that God caused a football team to win is that it seems to deny the gravity of the cross, which shows victory, not in an ostentatious manner, but through apparent defeat. I would be more impressed with someone who said that God was glorified through Tebow's losing because, in spite of the loss and ridicule that would come with it, he maintained his faithfulness to God.

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  39. Also, Anonymous, I don't think the focus of this thread is on the player so much as it is on what the continuing uproar, not least of which has been occurring among Christians, says about the culture of the Church in America. Are we looking for God to make himself known in the winning of a football game or are we looking for God to make himself known in the hungry that we are supposed to feed, or the prisoners that we are supposed to visit, or any of the other groups of people counted as the "least of these" in the parable of the sheep and the goats? Looking for the former is relatively easy to do, since we can do it from the comfort of our living room couches. Looking for the latter is, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer rightly pointed out, rather costly.

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  40. I think we didnt get it guys, When the BIG BOSS upstairs starts sending messages likes this to us,,,it means we are in a very dire situation.

    Remember the OLD BOOK , The Big Boss didnt send HIS messages to those who already are with HIM, but to those who are still outside who didnt believe HIM.

    What is more effective than through a football game watched by millions, many of whom, ignore the Big Boss Himself. He'd rather not send his message through a Sunday Pastor watched by his congregation only, who are already believers.

    Its time to turn to him,, Our one and Only BOSS.

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  41. Tim Tebow won 2009 national championship with John 3:16 on his eye paint. The next day John 3:16 was the #1 search trend on google. I believe 90,000 searches in one day? And now "coincidentally" he threw for 316 yards with 31.6 yards per pass... A career high.

    There are no such thing as coincidences. Everything happens for a reason. And dont think god is incapable of using modern culture and customs to reach people. To claim so would be insulting.

    God works in mysterious ways.

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  42. I once saw a seminary professor open his window, call over a passing student, and then toss water on him. My thinking at the time was that the prof's famed sense of humor had missed the mark. I think the same thing happened here.
    I think this is an perspective issue. God was fully capable of using a donkey, who'd never spoken before and probably never spoke again, to get His message through. So, in our day, last Sunday specifically, God was fully cable of using the number 316 in any way that He chose to use it. Technical minutia about chapters, verses, and the Geneva Bible aside, the real story here is that with God all things are possible. In a world where Tim Tebow is slammed because of his faith in Christ, followers of Christ want desperately to defend their faith in a secular world. Seminaries, seminary profs, pastors, and the like should be rushing to the ramparts to train up those followers of Christ.

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  43. God gives His people favor plain and simple...it is scriptural. This man chooses to be a witness in what he says and does. We shouldn't "make an idol" of him, but we should be supporting him(praying for him). He is a missionary in the field of sports. As far as the John 3:16 goes-the WORDS in that verse are the inspired WORD OF GOD...and I think God knows that we've attached verses to make it easier to remember the scripture. Silly argument that the verses aren't inspired...His WORD is and that's the important part. God's commission for us is to reach others with the love of God and John 3:16 is a key verse to our walk/relationship with God. Glad that tebow chooses to share the verse with people who normally wouldn't look at the Bible, let alone read it. Maybe God allowed the "316" as a confirmation, maybe he didn't. Who cares...I'm sure God's ultimate goal in all this is that HE is recognized. God does care about people...it doesn't matter whether they are out on a football field, suffering or starving in another country...He does care for their salvation. So, I disagree with you. He is very interested in our lives, no matter where we are. Tebow is just the vessel being used to bring glory to Him. God's favor is upon him. I'm thankful that we can be inspired by Tebow's witness. We should all be living testimonies in our workplace and circles...I thank GOD that He does care about every aspect of our lives and is VERY MUCH involved in them.

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  44. Dear John; While the scripture verses did not originally include a number system, the numerical order is implied, otherwise, there could be no logical flow in scripture. God is all about order. The three, one, and six elements point to the Genesis Calculator discovered in the fifth chapter of Genesis. The third generation of Enos (905) times the first generation of Adam (930) times the sixth generation of Jared (962) = 809,667,300, which sequentially reduces to 777 by adding 809 + 667 + 300, pointing to 1776, for the U.S.A. and finally 1 + 776 = 777. The father of Lamech lived to age 777. There are 777 home runs hit by all players born on Christmas Day as of May 7, 2009, and not one since. May 7, 2009, was the same day Mariner announcer Dave Niehaus announced his 5,000th game of the Mariners. There was a cluster of seven triple seven home runs hit in 2009, which by month and day add up to 5,000, pointing to 5,000 years before the Emerald Home Run when Lamech was 135 years old, matching the age of Abraham when his father Terah died. Just enter The Emerald Home Run in Google and read all about it and check out the book.

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  45. More God through Tebow references?
    Think revelation: Tebow is one of the Four Horsemen. The first of them actually. He rides a white horse (Broncos Mascot). The first horseman purpose is conquest/victory.

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  46. I totally disagree with you. I believe that while God doesn't care about football itself, he cares about what football can do for Him. The internet has exploded with searches for John 3:16, and I bet many of them are non believers. What a verse to look up too. It pretty much sums up the Gospel. God created everything for His glory so why not use the number system and the bible verses to reach people. Its amazing how our God works! It has really opened my eyes to what is possible with Him when it involves reaching others with the Gospel.

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  47. for your consideration, I found some interesting connections which further display the message John 3:16 during the game {http://littleguyintheeye.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/shadows-of-messiah-tim-tebow-316-yards/}

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  48. I guess we should rethink that woman that saw Jesus' face in a piece of toast.

    Please.

    This is the point where people can't handle free will and must attribute everything to God's intentional design. Tebow's yards...God. Kim Jong-il's death...God. Joyce Meyer's 25K marble toilet...God. World poverty...God. Genocide...God.

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  49. Isn't there a book in the Bible called, Numbers?!!!!?

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  50. god move in mysterious way. just be happy no matter what if its a coinsedence

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  51. Tebow throwing for 316 is beautiful. I became a Christian about 4 years ago. Just giving it a chance for my new girlfriend. I started to read Bible. I was woke up in the middle of the night. I sleep normally like a log. Paper was flapping in front of my fan. Normally this would bot wake me. Ok, God if things happen for a reason why do you have me up at... 3:16? Never read it before, but seen it held up at football games while I grew up. Read it for the first time that next morning WOW!

    God uses it as a sign in my life I have many beautiful accounts of God doing this. Lets focus on the football part. Aaron Rogers threw for 316 in the 2010 season. I wondered if it was a sign for me. Found out day later that Rodgers was my girl friends QB in fantasy football. This past season (2011) I had Drew Brees as my QB. His bye week I decided to go with Matt Ryan on Brees bye week. Matt Ryan threw for 316. Im trying to find out what other QBs if any threw for 316 in the last 2 years.

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  52. A few days before Tebow did this I was talking to a friend who calls himself an atheist. I talk of all my 316s and of Tebow. Last win by Broncos against the Bears. Tebow was having a bad game through 3 quarters he was 3 of 16 passing then he caught fire. Now more to show my friend. Things just days ago Im talking to him about it as one person, then it turns into a national craze.

    Im 44 years old. Born in... Denver. Bronco fan all my life. Why would Tebow wind up in Denver? Beautiful signs.

    I had another friend say what did God sit out the last game against New England? I laugh at it. Doesnt work that way.

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  53. Interesting points. I have wondered about God's / Jesus's interest in sports since my high school pep club bus rides more than 40 years ago. Some of the girls would pray that we would win the game. I always thought that was not very sportsmanlike. If I had led the prayer, I'd have prayed that it would be a fair competition and no one would be injured.
    However, I believe that somewhere in the New Testament the advice is to pray in private rather than to make a big show of it.
    That said, I think Tebow's faith has probably contributed a lot to his hard work toward becoming a great football player, and that his talents were given to him by God. My take is that each of us should use our talents to the best of our ability and give God the glory.

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  54. New International Version (NIV)
    Matthew 6:5
        5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
    6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

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  55. Numbering the verses of scripture have allowed, or caused, most of us to approach scripture as though it is a collection of individual (and sometimes disconnected) sayings, stories, phrases, etc.
    The stories, letters, history, poems, songs, etc collected in the bible were never intended to be read or addressed one sentence at a time (OK, Proverbs kind of works that way, but nothing else.) Focusing on one verse, even a strong one like John 3:16, fails to capture the wonder and scope of the whole story of God, his people and His Incarnation.

    I sat with a man last week who in 20 minutes proved that Calgary is going to play a key role in the coming 2012 apocalypse. He did this through a series of numerical coincidences and forced interpretations of out-of-context bible verses.

    I'm just saying...be careful of this stuff.

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  56. Although God did not create the numerical labelings of the verses, he is omniscient and I personally think he certainly will go through (almost) any medium to speak to people. I'm not saying that this was or wasn't a sign from God, but it's very possible either way.

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  57. Wondering if you know anything about the origin of the picture you posted of Jesus playing backyard football with some kids. I'm guessing a 60s-era Christian devotional magazine or something like that, but I'm curious to know who made it and when. Thanks.

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