Saturday, December 4, 2010
Holy Land Pictures from the Past
Friday, December 3, 2010
Is there finally room at the inn? Reading Luke 2:7 in the new NIV
*Update, Mark Goodacre has commented elsewhere that this translation also appears in the 2005 TNIV. I had not noticed that before. But then again I am not an NIV reader. James McGrath offers an interesting floor plan of the Bethlehem house as described by Luke. He also provides a link to a couple of articles by Kenneth Bailey entitled "The Manger and the Inn" and "The Story of Jesus' Birth". Both are worth your time.*
Thursday, December 2, 2010
The wrong end of the deal
Thanks to Scot McKnight for this.
May 21 2011, The end of the world?
A widespread ad campaign popping up on Music City roadsides claims the end of the world is just six months away. Some call it a scare tactic or publicity stunt, but the group behind this message claim it's very real. They cite the Bible and the book of revelations (sic) which states Jesus will return to earth. For Christians waiting for a signal of the time, the date, or perhaps even a sign from a above? There's now a crystal clear one on billboards all across Nashville.
The Christian nonprofit, Family Radio Worldwide, who sponsored these ads said they know exactly when the apocalypse is coming, and it's May 21, 2011. The 89-year old director behind Family Radio is so sure of this date, they put up 40 billboards here Nashville and hundreds more all around the globe to give folks an ample warning. "This is the day, this is really the day this is not a joke," said Tom Evans, a spokesperson for the organization.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Michael Bird and the SBL Greek New Testament meets Old spice
Celebrating 400 Years of the King James Bible
It has been described as the single most important publication in whole of history.A series of events are underway to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. This was the version of the Holy Bible published in 1611, known as the King James' version. In the first decade of the 17th century, it took the new King James from Scotland to hammer out a Bible that endured. "It is one of the first British things to be made," said Glasgow-born Neil MacGregor, fresh from his work with A History of the World in 100 Objects. "It was made by the whole island to be used by the whole island." Now it is used by the whole globe. The last Harry Potter book sold 44 million - the Bible has sold 2.5 billion some say, or six billion, say others. The Authorized Version today is not the text published in 1611. Hundreds of changes in vocabulary, grammar, spelling and punctuation have been made.
Shaping the Page
January 27, 2011 at 7 p.m.
The First Translation – Dr. David deSilva
Many Manuscripts - One Book – Dr. John Byron
From Scroll to Book –Dr. Terence Mournet
February 24, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Putting God’s word in the King’s English – Dr. Paul Chilcote
Translation in Papua New Guinea – Mark Hepnner (ATS Alum)
March 24, 2011 at 7 p.m.
What Translation is Right for me?
How to Choose a Translation – Panel discussion with ATS Biblical Studies Faculty
Monday, November 29, 2010
Store detectives dress as baby Jesus to catch thieves
I ran across this in the in the UK Telegraph.
Store detectives at Christmas markets in Austria are being disguised as the baby Jesus to catch shoplifters and pickpockets.
In the German-speaking world, the Christ child is usually played by women and is the traditional bringer of Christmas gifts.
Church officials have criticised the idea of disguising staff as the Christ child to catch thieves.
But a spokesman for the city council in Weitra, Austria, said the detectives were "perfect for keeping an eye out for petty crooks".
The Benefit of Doubt
I want to talk to you tonight about doubt, and a very serious kind: when you doubt your faith in God. That is a very tough place to be, because faith in God is what keeps it all together when you are facing tough things—whatever it is: big and tragic or more private and emotional.
But whatever it is, faith in God is what gets us through. When God is real in your life, it makes sense of it all, it gives purpose to our whole lives no matter what is going on. Faith in God gives us stability and coherence. The world around us may be crumbling, but God, as the psalmist says, is a sure foundation, the rock of our salvation. Whatever happens around me, I know that at least God can be counted on. He is faithful.
But sometimes things happen in our lives—a big thing, a lot of little thing—and you start having a lot of doubts. And—my experience—it’s usually the little things piling up over the years are the hardest—those disruptive thoughts you keep burying and hoping they’ll just go away. They don’t. And you feel your faith in God slipping away—and it is scary to watch it happen. You doubt that he cares, that he is listening; you doubt that he is even aware of who you are—that he even exists.
That kind of doubt is the enemy of faith, right? We all know that doubt and faith rule each other out? It is one or the other. To have faith means you don’t doubt. And if you are in a state of doubt about God, you feel like there is clearly something very wrong with you. You are moving away from God’s grace and his love. You can’t hold on, you’re weak in your faith. “Maybe I’m not smart enough. Maybe I’m a faker. Maybe I haven’t memorized enough Bible verses. Maybe I need to go to church more.” Whatever it is, you’re doing something wrong. It’s all your fault.
And this is what we have been taught to do: our only job is to get out of that state of doubt as quickly as we can. Faith in God gives life meaning, a sense of purpose in this universe. Doubt takes all that away. And if you stay in doubt long enough, your eternal state is in jeopardy.
I have known many people in my life who have been faced with these kinds of deep spiritual doubts, and given up on faith altogether. They tried to hang on, with everything they have, but nothing works. So they walk away. Others keep it in and just hide. I’ll bet you all know people like that, too: classmate, roommate, parents, brothers and sisters, friends, someone you used to go to church with. Maybe you’re one of them. Maybe your teacher is one of them.
Doubt is a spiritually destructive force. It tears you away from God. Surely, God does not want us to doubt. Right? I don’t think so.
There is a benefit of doubt. Let me put that more strongly: there are things doubt can do spiritually that nothing else can do. Doubt is not the enemy, but a gift of God to move us from trusting ourselves to trusting him. Doubt feels like God is far away or absent, but it is actually a time of “disguised closeness” to God that moves us to spiritual maturity. Doubt is not a sign of weakness but a sign of growth.
Sometimes we think of our faith as a castle. It’s comfortable and above all safe. But what if God doesn’t want us to be comfortable and safe? What if comfortable and safe keep us from pursuing God? Sooner or later God—because he is good—tears your castle down, and he pushes you out, and puts you on a spiritual journey—which always involves some deep struggle.
Doubt forces us to look at who we think God is. It makes us face whether we really trust HIM, or whether we trust what we have made God to be. Doubting God is painful and frightening because we think we are leaving God behind. But doubt—real hard deep unnerving uncomfortable scary doubt—helps us to see that, maybe we have made God into our own image. We come to discover, slowly but surely, that the “faith” we are losing is not faith in God. It is actually in the idea of God that we surround ourselves with.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Tracking the changes to the new NIV
I have been posting on some the changes to made to 2011 version of the NIV and I plan to do some more before Christmas. But some of you out there might like to have a fuller look at what has changed. Scot McKnight posted a link to a site that lists the comparisons between between the 1984 version, the TNIV and the 2011 version. It is quite a comprehensive list. Find it here.