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Claiming to see, but won’t see Jesus.

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John 9.35-41.Picking up right after Pharisees ejected a formerly-blind man from their synagogue for believing in Jesus, our Lord re-enters the story and delivers the punchline, so to speak.John 9.34-41 KWL35 Jesus, hearing the Pharisees threw the formerly-blind man out,upon finding him, said, “You believe in the Son of Man?”36 In reply, that man said, “Who is he, sir?—so I can put my trust in him.”37 Jesus told him, “You’ve seen him: This man is talking with you.”38The formerly-blind man said, “I trust you, sir,” and fell down before Jesus.39 Jesus said, “I came into this world for people’s judgment:Those who don’t see, can see; and those who see can become blind.”40Some of the Pharisees were listening to these things, and told Jesus, “We aren’t blind too.”41 Jesus told them, “If you were blind, you wouldn’t have any sin.You now say ‘We do so see’—and your sin remains.”For some reason, a lot of preachers assume this guy shouldn’t have recognized Jesus when he encountered him: He was b…

Those who wait on the Lord.

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Isaiah 40.31.Isaiah 40.31 NKJVBut those who wait on the LORDShall renew their strength;They shall mount up with wings like eagles,They shall run and not be weary,They shall walk and not faint.When I visit fellow Christians’ homes, a lot of ’em have a painting or mass-produced sculpture of an eagle somewhere. Some of the art’s of an American bald eagle, and are meant to express the owner’s patriotism. Others were purchased at the local Family Christian Stores, back when they were still around. Bald eagle or not, connection to God ’n country or not, they’re meant to express the owner’s trust in God. They’re universally captioned with this particular Isaiah verse, in various translations, always mounting up with wings as eagles.The eagle appeals to a lot of Christians because of the idea Isaiah expressed: The LORD Almighty, our creator, has inexhaustible strength, Is 40.28 and empowers the weak. Is 40.29 Even the strongest of us may fail, Is 40.30 but God can renew our strength. Indefini…

The first English-language bible: The Wycliffe Bible.

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English is the most widely spoken language in the world. Partly ’cause of the British Empire; partly because of American multimedia, including the internet. There are a lot of useful resources in English, and it’s otherwise generally useful, so most of the people in the world learn English as their second language.English is my native language, so that’s mighty handy for me; though if it weren’t I’d obviously have learned it instead of Spanish and French. Although a lot of my fellow Americans take this circumstance for granted, cretinously don’t bother to learn any other language, and get annoyed when multilingual people can’t speak English as well as they’d personally prefer. But let’s not talk about them.Obviously there was a time when English wasn’t everybody’s second language; it was French. And before that, Latin. And the reason it was Latin was ’cause the Vulgate. The Latin-language bible was “the bible,” as far as western Christians were concerned, so if you wanted to read the …

Which bible translation’s the best?

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HE. “So lemme ask: Which version of the bible do you use? Which one’s the best?”ME. “None of ’em. Learn Hebrew and Greek.”As soon as someone finds out I know the bible’s original languages, that’s nearly always the question they ask me. Sometimes because they earnestly wanna know, and figure I’m more an expert than they are. Sometimes because they already have a favorite, and want some affirmation; sometimes because they already think their favorite is best, so they’re testing me.Well, that question has a long answer. It’s the rest of this article! But I found when you being with the long answer, their eyes roll back in their heads; they don’t wanna deal with the complexities of bible translations. They only wanted a quick ’n dirty answer. Tell ’em the best bible version, so they can go get that version and use it forevermore. (Or judge you. Whatever.)So I start with my joke answer: “None. Learn original languages.”Sometimes, but rarely, they get that it’s a joke. The rest of the time…

De profundis.

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The prayer known as de profundisdeɪ proʊ'fun.dis, commonly deɪ prə'fən.dɪs is also known as Psalm 130 in Jewish and Protestant bibles, and 129 in Orthodox and Catholic bibles. The Latin name comes from verse 1 in the Vulgate: De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine, “From the deep I call to you, Lord.”My translation doesn’t rhyme this time, but it’s still in iambic septemeter.Psalm 130 KWL0Song for the climb.1 I call you from the deep, oh LORD. 2 My Master, hear my voice!Your ears must pay attention to my supplications’ voice!3 If you kept track of moral faults, my Master, who could stand?4But with you there’s forgiveness. For this reason, you’re revered.5 I wait—my life waits—for the LORD; my hope is in his word.6 My life awaits my Master like a night guard waits for dawn.Like night guards wait for dawn… 7 so Israel: Wait for the LORD!For with the LORD is love, and much redemption comes with him.8 He will redeem you, Israel, from all your moral faults.Connected to the Hebrew idea …