Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Yes, I know, I haven’t found time to update this blog for a few days, to continue on with Deuteronomy. (Even though I did somehow find time to post a huge rant…) I’m hoping to get back on track “soon,” because my Bible reading schedule suffers when I don’t keep up with this aspect of it.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
My favourite quote from this quote is:
The good things given by God are but a path to lead us to him, a ladder to ascend on high, not a tomb in which to bury ourselves.
Friday, August 10, 2007
The new version uses an RSS feed, instead of Flash, meaning that the item in the sidebar matches with the look and feel of the rest of the blog. If you don’t know what “RSS” is, then… well, you probably don’t need to.
However, although I’m sticking with the blog overall, I’m not always posting every single day. (My pesky life gets in the way, sometimes.) And I may or may not get a chance to post today. But, to keep you occupied, I found an interesting post on the ESV Bible Blog, about Translating Specialized Terms. You may not find it as interesting as I did—but, then again, I assume that about this entire blog in general.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I should note that I’ve never been to the Skeptical Christian site before, so I don’t know about the rest of the site, but this article at least was worth reading, so perhaps the rest is, too…
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
So my main point is this: if you notice strange problems with the site, just bear with me, until I get a chance to use a new template, and hopefully they’ll go away.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
From the first post, here’s the introduction:
On June 3, 1741, Jonathan Edwards wrote a letter to Deborah Hatheway. Mrs. Hatheway was converted during the awakening in New England and, since her church was without a pastor at the time sought Edwards’ counsel on how to grow as a new Christian. Edwards replied in a short letter with 19 things Hatheway should think and do. The letter is reprinted Michael A.G. Haykin’s A Sweet Flame: Piety in the Letters of Jonathan Edwards. For the next couple of posts, I’ll quote some of the advice that Edwards give.
And here are the actual posts in the series, from Pure Church:
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
I get the impression that a lot of people tend to skip over the book of Numbers, or just skim through it, when they’re reading through the Bible. Based on the name, I think they assume that it’s full of censuses (censii?), and, as it turns out, a lot of the material that isn’t related to a census is related to laws, which most of us find pretty boring.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
The first search result I came across was to a site called BibleMap.org. Although it’s not useful for my current purpose, it’s very cool: It has a search box, where you put in the Bible verse you want to look up—ESV or KJV—and then it searches in the text you’ve chosen for any names of places; cities, countries, whatever. It then superimposes those places onto a satellite map of that area, using Google Maps! See the screenshot for an example:
Now, I don’t really know how useful this will be; as you’ve noticed, in the view below, since it’s using Google Maps, it’s using the names of modern-day countries and cities (with the Old Testament references superimposed on top). However, if you were reading, for example, Numbers 21, and wanted to see where the lands it’s talking about are, in relation to today’s world, you could easily do that.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
31“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
There is also a footnote for verse 31, that indicates that the first “you” is plural, in the Greek. There is no plural word for “you” in English—unless you count “y’all”—so that’s why the verse reads “you” in English. (I do actually use the word “y’all,” sometimes, even though it’s not a term that we tend to use here in Ontario.)
It reads like this in the ESV:
31“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 31but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
For the most part, the wording for both of these is similar. However, there is a footnote in the ESV version for verse 31 that I found more clear than the NIV’s footnote:
The Greek word for you (twice in this verse) is plural; in verse 32, all four instances are singular
(This is why I included the verse numbers in the quotes, above, which I don’t normally bother to do.)
In other words, if I were to paraphrase, Jesus is saying this:
Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you, as wheat, but I’ve prayed for you, Simon, that your [Simon’s] faith may not fail. And when you, Simon, have turned again, strengthen your brothers.
I never picked up on this before, even with the NIV footnote that indicates the first “you” is singular. I had always read this as completely singular, that Satan had asked to sift Simon, but what Jesus is actually saying is that Satan had asked to sift all of the disciples.
For me, this gives a whole new understanding to this verse. When Jesus was crucified, he knew that the disciples were going to be struck a heavy blow, but he was specifically commissioning Simon (who we usually call Peter) to strengthen them. He knew that Peter was going to deny him, but still, he was the one tasked with strengthening the other apostles.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The translation used by the Student Bible is the New International Version (NIV), which I like. I find it very readable, and, from what I’ve heard, it’s also a very accurate translation. But I’d been hearing about the English Standard Version (ESV); I forget where I heard about it first, but I know that my pastor switched to that version, for his own use, and I’d also heard about it on the Withering Fig blog. (I first came across the Withering Fig blog because of an article he wrote on 5 Keys to Picking the Best Bible Translation for You, which I liked.)
Just to clarify, I asked my pastor about it again on Friday, as to his reasons for switching to the ESV. To sum up the conversation, this is what I remember:
- The NIV is a very accurate translation, in that it captures what the original authors were trying to say, but it also can fall into more colloquial language, which doesn’t always translate well for every audience. If you’re reading for your own personal learning, and you use the same types of idioms that are used in the NIV, then you’ll probably find it very readable.
- The ESV is also very accurate, but because of the issue mentioned above with the NIV, the ESV is better to preach from. If you’re trying to make the intent of a passage clear to a wider audience, than the ESV is probably better for you. Of course, that’s not to say that it’s not readable; the guy from Withering Fig seems to use the ESV as his translation of choice, and apparently likes the way it reads.
- If you want the most accurate translation, the New American Standard Bible (NASB) is probably the best, although it will not be as readable. For example, Andrea mentioned to me that the NASB always makes it clear when the Bible is using a word that means “men” (multiple male persons) versus “people” (multiple persons of any gender), which can be very helpful, in some situations, whereas other translations might use the word “men” in both places. (Some translations will have a footnote, in some cases, to clarify whether the word is gender neutral or gender specific, although I have to admit that I don’t always read the footnotes, when I’m reading the Bible.)
As a side note, I was shocked how expensive Bibles are! I got mine for $7.50, which is a “bare bones” soft-cover Bible, with no bells and whistles, but the average price of the Bibles I saw was $40–50. I also saw some that were $80–90, which is just absolutely ridiculous. Aside from price, it also blows me away, when looking through Christian bookstores, to see all of the gimmicks on display from “Christian” publishers. Anything from commonplace gimmicks, like a leather-bound Bible with an imprint of a crown of thorns on it—Christians will buy almost anything that has a crown of thorns or cross logo on it—to over the top gimmicks like the “Duct Table Bible,” which, literally, has duct tape over the cover, to just plain morally terrible gimmicks, like Bibles that are made to look like teen magazines, full of pictures of “pretty” white Christians, embodying all of the same stereotypes of beauty that Christians aren’t supposed to care about. (Let your beauty come from within? No? Anybody?)
Anyway, ranting aside, I’m going to continue quoting from the NIV translation on this blog, for the time being. But if I really start to like the ESV translation, I may switch, and start quoting from that, instead. I even toyed with the idea of starting to put all of my quotes in two versions, side by side; perhaps NIV or ESB, and then NASB. However, in many cases, that might be overkill; in some instances, the NASB might make the author’s intent more clear, but in other cases, it won’t add anything. I suppose what I should do is include the side by side quotes when it will help, and just use a readable version in other cases. We’ll see.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Monday, June 04, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
This is a quotation.
For the most part, that means Bible quotations, but once in a while I quote other things here, too.
You may not know what “serif” or “sans-serif” fonts are, but it doesn’t matter. The main point is that if you notice this change, and think it’s just your eyes, it’s not. The blog is actually different.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
If you’re the type of Christian who spends most of your time in the New Testament, and not so much in the Old Testament, then you probably haven’t spent much time at all in Leviticus. The book is almost completely concerned with rules and regulations that the LORD handed down to the Israelites. There is some action—such as the Glory of the LORD appearing in Chapter 9, or Aaron’s sons being punished for their sin in Chapter 10—but for the most part, the book consists of rules.
Friday, March 16, 2007
So, in lieu of a post on Leviticus 27, I’ll just put up a couple of quotes from a recent talk by Piper, that I found on the Pure Church blog:
If we create a kind of Christianity that says there is no truth we will simply create a kind of Christianity that colonizes slaves.
When relativism holds sway in a society over time sooner or later more and more people do what is right in their own eyes. And when enough people do what’s right in their own eyes we call it anarchy. There are only two solutions to anarchy. One is revival. Or a dictator.
I don’t normally look at this blog on the weekend—and this weekend is going to be atypically busy anyway—so I’ll probably tackle Leviticus 27 on Monday.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
A wiki is a website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change available content, typically without the need for registration. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for mass collaborative authoring.
That definition, appropriately enough, came from Wikipedia, which is an online, collaborative encyclopedia. Wikipedia is the most well-known example of a wiki; if you happen to know something about butterflies, and go on over to the Wikipedia entry on butterflies, you can share your knowledge with others. Or perhaps help correct or clarify a point that the article is already making.
I myself have also started a wiki, about the Ubuntu operating system, which is aimed at helping new Ubuntu users—especially users who “grew up” with Windows—get used to a new way of working. This isn’t a normal wiki, in the sense that it’s not open for public editing—I want to maintain control, at least for the present, to make sure that it’s newbie-friendly—but the downside to that is that it’s still a very bare-bones wiki, because I’m not editing it 24/7.
- The upside to a publicly editable wiki is that you can use collaboration to get a wealth of in-depth information available, much quicker than you could if you were to try and do it on your own. (According to the main page for Wikipedia, since the site’s launch in 2001, there have been over 1,635,000 articles on the English version; there’s no way they would have accumulated that many articles if Wikipedia was maintained by a core set of people.)
- The downside is that you have to give up a fair amount of control over the content of the site. You have to have a certain amount of faith that the people writing these articles know what they’re talking about—and that the articles are worth having in the first place. (How many of those 1.6 million+ articles are written about some guy’s dog?)
The reason this comes up is that I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a Bible Commentary wiki. There are a number of good Bible commentaries out there—and probably a larger number of crappy ones—but it would be nice if a definitive, online commentary could be created. As it grew, with time, it would become an invaluable resource for future Christians. (Not sure if the “Tent of Meeting” refers to the inner structure of the Tabernacle, or the whole thing? Well, head on over to the Bible Commentary wiki, and see what they say about it…)
Just as with any other wiki, there would be pluses and minuses:
- With enough contributors, the site could potentially accumulate a lot of in-depth knowledge.
- Similarly, if there are contentious topics, you could get all of the different viewpoints in one wiki article, rather than having to read numerous commentaries, for all of their points of view. Pastors always have a million Bible commentaries lying around in their offices; if a pastor were editing the wiki on a particular topic, he could include the wisdom from various commentaries in the wiki article.
- On the other hand, just as with any other wiki, the more contributors there would be, the more potential for articles being written which wouldn’t be accurate. Or which would not hold to the Gospel, or which would deny the Trinity, or contain heresy, or… well, think of the million things that Christians disagree about, and you’ll get the idea. A Christian Bible wiki would be concerned with more than just “accuracy;” it would also be concerned with Truth. You think some of the topics on Wikipedia are contentious? Whoo boy, if there were a Bible Commentary wiki, every article would become contentious!
My feeling is that if you are going to start a wiki, you shouldn’t aim for a lot of content in a short amount of time. Instead, you should concentrate on quality content, and let the site build gradually. For this particular case, if the Lord comes back tomorrow, then it doesn’t matter anyway, but if he tarries for another thousand years, then you’ve got a thousand years to write content that will help others to grow in their knowledge of the Scriptures.
Friday, February 09, 2007
Friday, February 02, 2007
If they ever come up with a more customizable one, that I can fit into the sidebar better, or if I find one somewhere else, I’ll replace it.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
On my personal blog—and in email, on chat, and in other contexts—I’ve gotten into the habit of writing quotations marks in the hacker writing style, instead of following American English standards for quotation marks.
Hackers tend to use quotes as balanced delimiters like parentheses, much to the dismay of American editors. Thus, if “Jim is going” is a phrase, and so are “Bill runs” and “Spock groks”, then hackers generally prefer to write: “Jim is going”, “Bill runs”, and “Spock groks”. This is incorrect according to standard American usage (which would put the continuation commas and the final period inside the string quotes); however, it is counter-intuitive to hackers to mutilate literal strings with characters that don’t belong in them. Given the sorts of examples that can come up in discussions of programming, American-style quoting can even be grossly misleading. When communicating command lines or small pieces of code, extra characters can be a real pain in the neck.
The article quoted goes on to mention that the hacker style of writing quotes is now preferred practice in Great Britain—however, in Britain, single quotes and double quotes are used in reverse to how they are used in America. e.g. in America you would write
Said John, “He said ‘I’m going to the mall,’ but I didn’t believe him.”
Whereas in Britain you would write
Said John, ‘He said “I’m going to the mall”, but I didn’t believe him.’
Canadians, who are neither British nor American—but almost both—tend to use American-style quotations. I, on the other hand, have picked up a mish-mash of both; I use double and single quotes where Americans would, but punctuate around the quotes like the hacker style above.
I have decided, however, to try and write this blog, from now on, using American-style punctuation around my quotation marks. I say “try” because the hacker style of writing has become very ingrained; I often find myself, in my professional writing career, having to go back and “correct” my punctuation using the American style.
My reason for doing so here is that I’m afraid some Biblical scholar will find my blog via Google some day, pop in, and start harassing me about my punctuation not being grammatical. Priests and Reverends and Pastors (and whatever other titles you can think of) love education, and it’s exactly the type of thing that I can see them being overly worried about.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
As the name implies, the book of Exodus is focused around the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. This is one of the most important events in the history of God’s people; many times, for the rest of the Old Testament, He will refer to Himself as “the LORD who brought you out of Egypt”.
In the meantime, this is the template that I’ll be using for a while. It didn’t take too long, which means the blog wasn’t down too long, but I’ll be doing it again, when I find a better template, so I’ll notify you again when that happens.
(Assuming that anyone reads this, which isn’t necessarily a valid assumption…)
When it does come back up, it will have a new look to it, which I hope you will like.