On Translations

Product Details A reader sent me an email asking about my increasing preference for the English Standard Version (ESV). I kept meaning to say something about this, but I just never could get around it. Anyway …

I’ve been a fan of the ESV ever since it came out in 2001 (updated in 2007 and 2008). It typically does a much better job of translating Paul than the NIV because it’s generally truer to the original language, while managing to be quite readable. I started my transition in the last few months using BibleGateway, even though QuickVerse for Windows 95 (my primary software aid at the time) didn’t offer that version. Continue reading

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Clergy & Laity: What does the preacher do for a living? How many hours does he really work?

https://i1.wp.com/1.bp.blogspot.com/_bLBPZAiyuwA/SQkMldOkY5I/AAAAAAAAAJY/FlxoD65cNcE/s400/clerical_collar_9.jpg?resize=179%2C179Part 1: The annual review

It’s the new preacher’s first annual review. The elders are trying hard to be wise and godly, but it’s a business-sort of meeting that’s about business sorts of things.

The minister has performed well in his first year on the job. Attendance is up, and the sermons are good. People still occasionally thank the elders for hiring such a good man.

But the economy is in the tank, and contributions aren’t so good. There are programs to fund, repairs to be made, payments due, and something has to give. Meanwhile, the preacher is asking for a raise!

The elders aren’t really sure how to respond. How can they justify giving the man a raise when contributions are down? Continue reading

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Sign of the Times

I saw the link to this at Jesus Creed, but it’s from a story at CNN. The preacher makes up his own signs, and he says,

My intention was to use a double entendre – to demonstrate a sense of humor and cash in on the fact that many people think sermons are too long. Since I am only 5 feet 6, it seemed to work.

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Report on the Kindle in Action

As I mentioned before leaving on vacation, I bought a Kindle from Amazon. The idea was to avoid having to carry a ton of books on the flight. I’d been putting off buying several books until my birthday, and my notion of “vacation” is to sit in a quiet place on the beach reading.

And I must say the Kindle performed extremely well.

* It was easy to read in the Bahamian sun on the beach.

* The worldwide free 3G service works in Nassau and Freeport just fine. Books download in less than a minute! Continue reading

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The Holy Spirit: The Synoptic Gospels, Part 2

The baptism of Jesus

(Mat 3:15-17 ESV) 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.

16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Continue reading

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The Holy Spirit: The Synoptic Gospels, Part 1

Matthew, Mark, and Luke are very similar in the teachings on the Spirit, and relate many of the same events, often in nearly the same words. I’ll work primarily in Matthew, but cite to the parallels.

Conceiving the Messiah

The New Testament begins just like the Old Testament — with a creative act done by God through the Spirit bringing order to chaos —

(Mat 1:18 ESV) Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Continue reading

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What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Years of public schooling taught me that all summer vacations should be followed by a 500-word essay telling the world what I did.

First, I went to Miami to attend my son’s second graduation from law school. He received an LLM in Taxation from the University of Miami, which has a very fine graduate tax program. I did not enjoy the experience – largely because I am destined to be miserable at all graduation ceremonies. In the past, this was due to my bad back (now surgically repaired). This time … well, I have to go back a little in time. Continue reading

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