ESV makes its final changes

The English Standard Version of the Bible (ESV), in third place in popularity to the King James Version (KJV) and the International Version (NIV), has published its final changes, a mere 29 verses and 52 words.  This “permanent text edition” will be the final update to the ESV and will remain unchanged from now on.

I suspect this just means that its publisher Crossway (which has also published most of my books) simply wants to close the books on this project.  Having a final authoritative text, as with the KJV, makes it easier to protect the integrity of the readings.  The NIV, in contrast, is more open-ended and has undergone three revisions in the space of 15 years, generally in the direction of using more gender inclusive language.  The ESV’s changes, though, are extremely minor.  See the changes, along with Crossway’s rationale, here.  Read an article on the subject after the jump.

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Saying God is transgender

The contours of a new liberal theology, one in accord with the new ideology of sex and gender, are starting to come together.  (Liberal theologians have never found a new leftist ideology that they don’t like and won’t refashion theology around.)  A rabbi has written an op-ed in the New York Times maintaining that God is transgender.

After the jump, read why he thinks so and read a response from a Bible scholar.

The argument hinges on confusing linguistic gender with natural gender, confusing a Being who transcends gender with someone who purports to change the sex he or she was born as, and scholarly bloopers of an embarrassing scale.  But it exemplifies how liberal theologians often twist the Bible so that it can seem to support their ideology.

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He is the priest, He is the Samaritan, He is the robber

A few weeks ago, our pastor (and son-in-law) was preaching about the parable of the Good Samaritan.  He developed the idea that this parable gives us a picture of love, which is what the Law looks like in practice.  And because Jesus fulfills the law, all acts of righteousness–that is, all acts of love–look like Him.

He then applied this back to the parable in a startling way. [Read more…]

What Mary Magdalene looked like?

Saint Mary Magdalene - Digital facial reconstruction


Brazilian scientists have been using digital technology on the skulls of saints, so as to reconstruct their faces.  They used their technique on a relatively well-attested relic of Mary Magdalene.  This is what she may have looked like.

Details of the reconstructions after the jump.  Go here for the Mary Magdalene project.




Image by Cicero Moraes (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)


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Living among the tombs

Our pastor (and son-in-law) Ned Moerbe had an outstanding sermon last Sunday on the demoniac of the Gerasenes (Luke 8:26-39).  It is a model of Christological, law & gospel Biblical exposition.   Read a sample of what I mean after the jump. [Read more…]

The first day of summer and God’s promises

In our Bible class on Sunday, in which we studied the flood in Genesis, we read another one of those verses I never noticed before:  “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).

 It isn’t just the rainbow but the ordering of nature in time, the reliability of day following night,  and the cycles of the seasons that are signs of God’s reliability in change, that He keeps His promises.

This is a good verse to contemplate today,  the first day of summer.