Archive for March, 2008

The Books of the Bible: De-Versify: Organic References?

March 30th, 2008 10 comments

Greg just showed me a project that I think is fairly interesting: De-Versify. Their goal is to “read the scriptures without any additives.” Now, I do think some of the “additives” can be very helpful and beneficial to scripture reading, but the original Biblical manuscripts didn’t carry with them chapters or verses, so I can appreciate what they are trying to do. There are numerous circumstances where the flow is very stilted because of the interruption of a chapter or even a verse indicator. I am a huge fan of the NASB but the way they have each verse on a different line is definitely not like the original. Eugene Peterson in The Message moved in a good direction by leaving out verse numbers. I am quite a fan of his paraphrase but wouldn’t generally use it for more in depth study.

The De-Versify project has produced The Books of the Bible. Using the TNIV they have created a single column chapter-less, verse-less, and note-less version of the Bible that will flow much better and read much more like the narrative that it is.

This all being said, I just read a blog post over there that has made me questions some of the practical uses of TBofB: Organic References. As the title suggests, they propose that providing scripture references can be done more organically rather than with a specific chapter and verse. While I may agree with certain aspects of that philosophy (I am a HUGE fan of context), I also have some reservations about it. What follows is a comment I left there at that post (you might want to read the post before my comments on it).

Read more…

Stackhouse: The Subversiveness of Easter

March 22nd, 2008 No comments

What in the world is Easter about? It makes no sense to celebrate the gruesome death of a minor country preacher, making a virtue, as Nietzsche warned, of failure.

This from the beginning of John Stackhouse’s most recent post “The Subversiveness of Easter.” I recommend you go read the rest.

He suffers and dies as a sacrificial lamb, his last words confusing some nearby (Is he calling for Elijah?) as he invokes not only the bleakness but also the confidence of Psalm 22. Then they ring down the centuries as declarations of victory (“It is finished!“) and trust (“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”).

And then we find ourselves here: The empty tomb. The world changed forever. Living in the “now, but not yet.” We waited in anticipation of his victory over death, now we can wait in His grace along with that anticipation of his final return.

Today we remember that He is Risen!


March 21st, 2008 No comments

?????????? - “It is finished.”

And as he hung on the cross, having lived a sinless life, having paid the penalty for your sins and mine, Jesus uttered his last words before dying. ?????????? (tetelestai) It is finished (John 19.30). This one word summary of Jesus life and death is perhaps the single most important statement in all of Scripture. The word means to complete, to bring to perfection. Jesus had fully done the work God the Father sent him to do. Paul spends Romans 5 discussing this very fact, that our salvation is sure because Christs death totally defeated the effects of Adams sin, completely.

But the tense of the verb, the perfect tense, brings out even more of what Jesus was saying. The perfect describes an action that was fully completed and has consequences at the time of speaking. Jesus could have used the aorist, ???????? (etelestha), and simply said, The work is done. But there is more, there is hope for you and for me. Because Jesus fully completed his task, the ongoing effects are that you are I are offered the free gift of salvation so that we can be with him forever. Praise the Lord. ??????????

I stole this from a previous post; the insight comes from William Mounces Basics of Biblical Greek (Second Edition from Zondervan Publishing, 2003). I found it quite fitting for today.

I hope you are pondering, again, the mystery of Good Friday. ??????????

Categories: Religion Tags: , ,

Hi. My name is Matt Jones, and I’m a blogger…

March 20th, 2008 1 comment

Who is Jesus?… sort of. This has been the longest dry spell for me in terms of blogging. I probably shouldn’t even be blogging now, but here I am. Two double aught eight has done me well so far: I have been super busy with classes and teaching, both of which have prevented me from posting. That is somewhat of an excuse, as it isn’t like I don’t have any time to blog; my spare time has just been used in different ways and been a little more precious to me. I will, of course, continue to blog, I enjoy it too much to leave. Sorry to those who have been looking for updates! Also, sorry for things running a little slow, I am not really sure why that is happening. I think I need to contact my web host to see what the deal it. I changed the theme around a bit in hopes of speeding things up, but that hasn’t helped much I don’t think. I just hope it is bearable!

Aside from providing a much needed update, I wanted to remind all you out in the blogosphere that Easter is coming up. Today is Maundy Thursday, I invite you to ponder the Upper Room and what is preceded. The Last Meal taken there among a group of friends was to lead to betrayal, denial, and the Passion. What a sad and wonderful weekend we begin to celebrate tonight.

While I will be heading down to spend Easter with my family, for those of you still in Seattle I invite you to my church up on Queen Anne: All Saints: Church for all who Believe, Doubt, and Seek. There will be three services: 7:30am (yikes!), 9:00am, and 11:00am. I have no doubt that Bill will speak truth and wisdom into your life with his words guided by the Spirit and the Word.

The All Saints media team produced the advertisement at right for the Seattle Weekly. Thought provoking, eh? All Saints is an interesting mix of folk and I think this ad exemplifies the diverse background of attenders. Hopefully as people come to truly understand the Passion, the need for the Cross, and the abundant life that comes from accepting the grace offered to us will lead people to pick “c” - Lord willing.

Have a great weekend!

PS, for those interested in this sort of thing, I have created a Facebook group for All Saints, come and join!