The world’s favorite Bible verses

phone-1052021_640Do you have the Bible app YouVersion on your phone?  Over 255 million people from around the world do.  It gives the entire Bible in over 1500 versions and in over 1,000 languages.  (This was originally the project of a church here in Oklahoma.)

The technology gives the YouVersion people lots of data.  They can tell what Bible passages are the most highlighted, bookmarked, and shared with others.  With those criteria, guess what the world’s favorite Bible passage is.  See the answer after the jump.

The link also gives the favorite Bible passages of 88 different countries.  What can you tell about them or about the state of Christianity on the basis of that Bible verse?

UPDATE:  Notice how the world’s favorite Bible verse is about being “called”; that is, it is about vocation!

[Read more…]

The origin of the Bible’s chapters and verses

photo-1470859624578-4bb57890378a_optImagine trying to look something up in the Bible if it didn’t have chapters and verses.  But the Bible didn’t come with them.  They were added to make the Scriptures more accessible.  We have two men from two different centuries to thank for these innovations.

Mark Wood at Christianity Today tells the tale, excerpted and linked after the jump. [Read more…]

The Eighth Day

All_Saints_fontThe Gospel reading for yesterday, commemorating the Circumcision and Name of Jesus, was Luke 2:21, the shortest text in the Lectionary.  (See our recent post on the subject.)  In the course of an excellent sermon that explored the depths of this one verse of the Bible, our pastor cited the significance of “the eighth day.”

God created the universe in six days and on the seventh, He rested.  Then on the eighth day, the creation began to unfold.  Jesus rose from the dead on the day after the Sabbath; that is, the eighth day.  Christians worship on Sunday, the eighth day, which is also the first day of a new week.  With Christ’s resurrection on the eighth day, God has initiated a new creation.  Those with faith in Christ are part of this new creation.  Thus, very early, Baptismal fonts were made in the shape of an octagon, the eight sides symbolizing the eight days.   [Read more…]

Top 5 heresies of 2016

Andy_stanley_2499 years after the Reformation, 1691 years after the Council of Nicaea, theological disputes and charges of heresy are still going strong.  Emily McFarlan Miller of the Religious News Service looks back on the Top 5 Heresies of 2016.

Could you list some more?  Are some brewing that will come to a head in 2017?

After the jump, I’ll list the five.  But go to the link for explanations and details. [Read more…]

Top 10 discoveries in Biblical archaeology for 2016

Roman_writing_tablet_022016 was a good year for Biblical archaeology, with numerous excavations and artifacts confirming Biblical history. Christianity Today announced its “Top 10 Discoveries of 2016.”

I give the list after the jump, but you’ll want to go to the link for descriptions of each of the finds.  The linked article itself has links that will take you to details and photographs. [Read more…]

“The darkness didn’t comprehend it”

2125915359_911d1354bd_zI do not agree with N. T. Wright on “the new perspective on Paul,” but he has a published a fascinating reflection on John 1.  He particularly focuses on this theme:

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness didn’t comprehend it; the world was made through him and the world didn’t know him; he came to his own, and his own didn’t receive him.” (John 1:5, 10-11)

God gives His Word, but the world doesn’t understand it.  The Creator comes to the world that He made, but the world doesn’t recognize Him.  God comes to His people, but they reject Him.

In addition to reflecting on the paradoxes of unbelief, Wright gives some provocative thoughts about the Incarnation, culminating in an affirmation of the Lord’s Supper.

But notice his critique of liberal theology, relativism, and recent theological fads.  Notice too his shot against transgenderism!

After the jump, I get you started, but you have to follow the link to read it all, which is very much worth doing. [Read more…]