Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Trip to Brownsville to See Grandsons

We left Sunday (May 21) shortly after noon and headed for Texas. Kim's group of five had just left Joplin for Florida, for New Mission Systems International's Pre-Field Orientation for their summer internships. We spent Sunday night with David and Jennie Smith in Allen, TX, then left about 6:00 AM to drive to Brownsville. We beat the Dallas morning rush hour traffic, but the trip to Brownsville is looooonnnnnngggggg no matter how you do it.

We arrived in Brownsville about 3:30 PM, and surprised Emily, who was expecting us later. Greg had flown that morning to Chicago for the Moody Pastor's Conference with John Phillips, Senior Minister of the church. The boys were really excited to see us. A woman from the church brought in supper, which was delicious. There were leftovers, so I had that meal several more times. Delicious!

Rose helped Emily unpack what had been moved, and organize and decorate. My main function, it seems, was as a Grandpa babysitter. A resaca (canal) runs right behind their place, and has a sidewalk that runs along it. I took the boys for a ride in their wagon the very first morning. We spoke to a neighbor who has an interesting garden set up. He is a Desert Storm veteran, and is retired. Something is not quite right in his head, but he seemed very friendly. Greg had met him a few times.

I approached the whole grandparenting thing with the idea that my diaper-changing days were a thing of the past. I put in my time during the parenting stage. Up until this trip, when the grandkids needed a change, I had always deferred the joy to my wife. On this trip, however, there were many times that Emily and Rose were gone, and I was by myself. Nathan takes care of himself, but Eli has not been potty trained. The first time I found a diaper with a bonus in it, I called Emily's cell phone to say, "Thanks a lot!" All in all, though, it was a very enjoyable time, though stressful for the family, as a time of moving always is. Greg arrived back from Chicago on Thursday night. We went home with the boys, and Greg and Emily went to a motel on South Padre Island. The next morning, we took the boys out there and swam at the pool before checkout time.

Rose with Boys Waiting for Their Dad at the Harlingen Airport

Friday night, I stayed with the boys at the new house, and Greg, Emily and Rose were at the old house getting ready for a Saturday garage sale. I got the boys their bath (they have a knack at getting dirty). Art Linkletter first said it; later Bill Cosby reprised it, but kids do say the darndest things. During the bath time, I heard Nathan say to me, "Silly, Grandpa. Grandpas don't wash boys!" When the others returned home, the boys were in bed, but we were short a bed, so I slept on the couch Friday night, and Rose spent part of the night on cushions on the floor, or in one of the boy's beds.

Emily and Rose conducted the garage sale Saturday morning. Greg helped them early on, then needed to meet someone at the church building at 9:00 AM. I stayed with the boys. When Greg got back home, we went to Mexico to pick up a sign someone had made for him. I bought some medication that my insurance company refuses to pay for at a pharmacy. We crossed back, met the girls for lunch at a good Chinese buffet. Rose and I went to check into a Best Western, where we would spend our last night there in Brownsville. The boys came over and swam at the pool there before the Saturday night service. I think everybody was tired, and slept very well.

I preached part of the sermon for the Spanish service with Greg. He did the introduction and the first main point. I did the next two main points, and then turned it back to him for the closing. It worked pretty well. The congregation they serve has lots of potential. I think we were able to help them quite a bit. There are still a few things at the old house, but they will get them all moved by Thursday. We had a good time, and got to spoil those kids just a little bit.

Family (minus me) at Subway for Sunday Lunch

Emily's sister is having a baby sometime within the next month. Her parents bought them airline tickets to come to Joplin at that time. They will fly out Sunday afternoon, after church services. Greg will get to come, but will return home on Wednesday, and count it as an extended day off, rather than as vacation. The family will be taking a week-long vacation in August, when we go to Arizona. So, we'll get to see the boys a couple more times this summer. Emily is expecting a baby in December. We will return to Brownsville after final exams (the baby may come earlier than that). We will attend Kristy Peebles' wedding in Dallas, then continue on. We exchanged our timeshare in Branson for a 2 BR condo in Brownsville. Then we'll be back home for Christmas.

Children are a blessing from the LORD. Grandchildren too!

Blessings to you and yours!


Monday, May 29, 2006

From ORG to INFO

My institution, Ozark Christian College, provides me with web space for the creation of a website. About a year ago, I contracted my own web space, assuming full responsibility for what I put on it. I also contracted my own domain, which, in a moment of temporary insanity had an extension that ended in .org. I mention that as temporary insanity, because in reality, I am NOT an organization. Such a domain name extension should be reserved for organizations, like churches or para-church organizations.

That insanity lasted a year. I have recently renewed that space, and changed the domain from a .org to a .info, which more aptly describes that stuff that one can find there. That particular site will not likely be updated until later this summer. It is located at http://davidfish.info.

By the way, if you want to know more about domain suffixes, click here.

Yesterday we left Brownsville, TX where we spent most of the past week with Emily (daughter-in-law) and Nathan and Eli (2 grandsons). Our son, Greg, was in Chicago for part of the week. I'll update with some pictures of the boys soon. Rose has returned to Joplin, flying from Dallas to Tulsa. I remain in the Dallas area to attend a Logos Libronix Bible Software launch event on Wednesday, before returning home.

Peace to all!


Saturday, May 20, 2006

¡Dos Muchachos Que Saben Pintar!

A couple of days ago, Greg and Emily (finally!) closed on the purchase of their first home! They are supposed to move some of the heavy stuff today. They got the keys yesterday, and started painting. A couple of little boys got to paint too--or got to have their picture taken anyway. They are cute, and I thought that just maybe you would want to see their photos:

Nathan with a paint roller

Eli with a paint roller

They are cute, don't you think?

We should be there with them on Monday afternoon!



Friday, May 19, 2006

Thanks, Chad Ragsdale!

I just have to share with you from an e-mail my colleague and fellow Cubs fan, Chad Ragsdale, sent to me. His e-mail was concise and to-the-point:

This sums it up pretty nicely doesn't it?


That which "sums it up" is the attached photo:

Thanks, Chad!

The Da Vinci Code Starts Today

Last month I wrote briefly about The Da Vinci Code, slated to start in theaters all over the U.S. today. Tom Hanks (star of the film) has stated that he thinks that the movie will help the church to do its job. Lots of churches are prepared to meet the challenge. My own church ordered (and sold out!) a book by Josh McDowell about the book. The service I attended was at the 11:00 hour (the 5th or 6th service of the weekend), and the announcement was made concerning the resource that had sold out earlier. They promised to have more available for purchase for this weekend.

This morning, I received an e-mail from Chuck Johnston, a missionary in Taiwan, pointing to some resources developed by Tim Hudson, a campus minister at the University of Georgia (Athens, GA). I met Tim back in the 80's, and he has done an excellent job over the years of providing resources to followers of Jesus. Through Chuck, I found Tim Hudson's website, which I would like to commend to you. On Tim's resources page (look at the bottom under the category Go Deep), he has 3 PowerPoint files about the Da Vinci Code:
  • Decoding The Da Vinci Code: Are the Scriptures Reliable?
  • Decoding The Da Vinci Code: The Sacred Feminine
  • Decoding The Da Vinci Code: Was Jesus Married?
I looked through the first file, and it was done very well. I thought you (my faithful readers) might enjoy having a link to them.

There is another connection with Tim Hudson. Tim's brother, Phil Hudson, is the founder/director of New Mission Systems International, the organization under which our daughter, Kim, will be doing a missions internship beginning this next week. She will have Pre-Field Orientation in Florida, and then will be off to Myanmar and Thailand for the summer. Keep her in your prayers!

Well, do you suppose I will pay to see the movie? Tom Hanks is a tremendous actor. Ron Howard was my friend as Opie Taylor. Both of them will become filthy rich off of this movie. Christianity Today released a series of links to negative reviews by critics (Thank you, Terry Chaney!). Regardless of what the movie critics think, the film will make muchos millones before being forgotten. I have read the book, but I checked it out of the Joplin Public Library. I guess we'll have to wait and see whether I go see the movie.

The last final exam that I will give starts in less than 1 hour. Will I be finished grading today? Not sure about that one!

Blessings and peace to you!


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Whoa, It's Finals Week, Kim's Trip to Asia, Our Trip to Texas, Bible Software, and Cubs Win (Finally)!!!

Finals Week. The semester is over! It is final exam week. It really did go by very quickly. I've still got a lot of grading to do, but I'll survive. My last final will be Friday morning. It would be nice to be finished grading by the weekend. Grades are due on May 30.

Kim's Trip to Asia. Kim will be going to Thailand/Myanmar. Her group leaves Sunday (May 21) about noon. They will be going to a Pre-Field Orientation camp near Orlando, Florida, before taking off for Asia. She got a typhoid shot the other day, and yesterday her malaria pills arrived.
We're proud of her commitment to the LORD and to missions. This trip will fulfill her internship requirement. She has worked at Cracker Barrel since she was 16, and they will give her a leave of absence while she is gone.

Our Trip to Texas. As soon as she leaves for Florida-Asia, we will leave for South Texas. We've got a couple adorable grandsons down there. Rose has been talking nearly daily to Nathan (our soon-to-be-4-ye
ars-old grandson) and has been counting the days until we get there. Below is a picture of Emily and her boys, taken for Mother's Day:
They are cute, don't you think? Greg and Emily are trying to close on their very first purchase of a home. It could happen today!

We will leave Brownsville on Sunday afternoon and head for Allen, TX, where we will stay with Rose's sister, Jennie. Her sister, Patty (from Indiana) will be there as well. We'll have Sunday night and part of Monday there (Memorial Day). I will take Rose to Love Field, where she will get on
a Southwest Air Lines flight to Tulsa. Charissa will pick her up. I will stay in TX, continuing to munch off of David and Jennie Smith until Thursday. On Wednesday night, May 31, I will attend a special launch event for Libronix Bible Software in Ft. Worth. I'll leave to come home on Thursday morning.

Bible Software. I really am excited about the new version of Libronix. It comes with some neat features. I have written about the syntactical database search capabilities before, and as I learn to do more, I will probably write about that. For people who are not proficient in the use of Bib
lical languages, however, I am most interested in the possibilities afforded by the Reverse-Interlinear Bibles (ESV for both OT and NT, and NRSV for NT). It will be cool. And finally . . .

Cubs Win!! It has been a horrible run. Carlos Zambrano won last night, pitching very well, evening his record at 2-2. The Cubbies have dug themselves a huge hole. I certainly want them to crawl out of it. They still made some stupid baserunning mistakes, but they won 4-0! For about the last two weeks, the only pleasure the Cubs had afforded me was that Greg
Maddux pitched well his last time out, and helped himself with the bat, and also with a stolen base! I heard it live on the Cubs' Radio Broadcast on XM Radio. A guy (Miles Long?) posted this photo that he took himself at the ball game, showing Maddux calling himself safe at second. It's a classic.

Peace to all (especially ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας)!


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Another Take on the Cinco de Mayo

Well, here we go. A person I love very much sent me this a few days ago. Since we just passed the Cinco de Mayo (May 5), I thought I might pass this one on. I take no credit for it:

Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York.

This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico.

But as we know, the great ship never made it to New York.

The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.

The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss.

Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day. The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th, and is known, of course, as:

Sinko de Mayo!

WHAT!!!! You expected something educational?

And in a tone that is reminiscent of Paul Harvey, and now . . . you know . . . the rest of the story!

Peace to all,


Flight 93, Cubs Baseball, Immigration

United 93. Yesterday we went to the movies to see the movie United 93. It received quite a bit of press a week ago when it had its debut. I had not talked to anyone who had seen it. We went to a matinee showing, in which I don't think there were more than a dozen people in the theater. It was quite depressing, in reality. Much of it was made from conversations with family members who were called from the plane in turmoil. The press has said that the family members "signed off" on it. It seemed to be realistic, if an unthinkable event can be portrayed realistically.

I was struck by the commitment of the terrorists. The movie began with Muslim prayer. As their deed dastardly unfolded, the movie depicted the terrorists in prayer. It depicted the reality of what they consider Jihad, a holy war against infidels. I'm reminded of the Apostle Paul's persecution of the followers of the Way, believing that he was doing God's will.

Oh that the Muslim world might come to know the God of the Bible, a God who loved the world so much that He sent His
only son to sacrifice himself, so that He might redeem those who live under the curse of hatred.

Cubs Baseball. I'm getting pretty depressed with the Cubbies. They say there is a fine line between love and hatred. Will I ever hate the Cubs? Probably not! To paraphrase something my Mom taught me (she will be shuddering at the thought of what I will write next--you see, she is one
of the four readers of this blog), "No, I don't hate the Cubs. I just hate what they do!"

Kerry Wood had a good rehab outing on Sunday, pitching for the Peoria Chiefs. He is scheduled to pitch on Friday for the Iowa Cubs. I hope that he is healthy.

Immigration. The country's debate on illegal immigration is certainly not over. I deal with Spanish-speaking people from the 4-state area frequently. Later today I will be translating for one. Some of those that I deal with are legal immigrants, some are illegal. My heart goes out to them. I was amused by a cartoon that I saw in our local newspaper. It was by Bruce Beattie. I highlighted the punch line, a sad commentary indeed on the attitude of some:
Peace to you all! Even to the Muslims who hate us, and to the illegal immigrants that some of us hate!


Friday, May 05, 2006

Cinco de Mayo, Goodbye to the BOB, and Eamus Catuli!

Cinco de Mayo. Today is the Cinco de Mayo. Many people think that 5 de mayo must be Mexican Independence Day. It is not! Mexican gained its independence from Spain on September 16, 1821. The Cinco de Mayo comes 41 years later, as Mexico has called for a 2 year moratorium on their foreign debt. Napoleon II (nephew of Bonaparte) was Emperor in France, and the French army was considered the best in the world. The French landed at Veracruz, and planned to march on Mexico City to depose President Benito Juárez, and to install a new President. May 5, 1862 was the Cinco de Mayo in which Mexican forces, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza battled against a larger battalion of the French at Puebla, Mexico, about 100 miles east of Mexico City. The tenacity of the Mexican defenders inflicted many more casualties that they suffered, and the French army retreated. The French would return one year later, bringing many more troops, and successfully installing a government of their own liking. The Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory at the Battle of Puebla, honoring the bravery of General Zaragoza's small, outnumbered militia.

The BOB is no more. During the summer of 2004, we went to the North American Christian Convention in Phoenix. One of the highlights of my trip was going to an interleague game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Minnesota Twins. We went to the BOB (Bank One Ballpark). I had been there before, with a huge family group. It is a beautiful ballpark. In July of 2004, I got to see Randy Johnson (The Big Unit) pitch. We had great seats, right down the first base line, about even with the pitcher's mound. The Big Unit looked very imposing. I missed a foul ball that was hit about a row behind me. I got two fingers on it. It was officially scored "Error, Fish." The BOB is no more. Now they call is Chase Field. Such is our world where bank mergers make us learn new names!

Eamus Catuli! The Diamondback certainly chased the Cubbies off of their field. Come on, Cubs! You can plan better than that! Currently, the Cubbies are still above .500, but looking back on recent games, one must wonder for how much longer they can hold on. The are 4-6 over their last 10 games, but if you look to the last 7 games, they are only 2-5! It gets worse. They have been shut out 3 of their last 5 games. In those five games, they have scored only 3 runs while allowing 29! Sometimes we Cub fans are deluded, but come on, Cubbies, you have to score more runs than your opponents if you are going to win! I hope they turn it around, starting tonight in San Diego!



Thursday, May 04, 2006

My Bad! My Bad!

λάθος μου

Today's chapel sermon was on Job. His life was wild and bumpy. He tried to live righteously before God, shunning evil, but calamity came into his life. He spoke his mind, and then God addressed him, basically saying, "I'm God, and you are not!" (Check out Job 38-41). When Job came to the realization of his error, he repented:

I had no idea what I was talking about – it was all way too big for me to get my head round. I can't believe I had the nerve to say to you, 'Listen to me when I'm talking. I ask the questions, and you give the answers.' I'd heard rumours of your reputation. Now I've seen you with my own eyes, and I'm dying of embarrassment at my attitude. I take it all back, every question, every accusation. Sorry. Won't happen again.

Excerpt from the first few verses of Job 42, taken from Lacey, Rob (2003). The Word on the Street. Zondervan.

I feel kind of like Job myself. I'm sorry. I have failed terribly at this blogging thing. I've been writing about Greek and NBA basketball. I've been concerned about answering Arod's questions about the Sabbath. In the midst of all this, I failed to do two very important things:

1. Recognize that my youngest child, Kim, just turned 21. She is an adult now. I'm proud of what she has done. She has been an RA in her dorm for the past two years, and this year has been the Head RA in the dorm. She will be leaving in just a few weeks for a summer internship with New Missions Systems, International, working in two SE Asian countries: Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Thailand.

2. Recognize that my oldest child, Charissa, has entered the blogging world. You may want to check out her blog. She works in the Human Resources Department of a large company in our area.

That's about it. As Job said, "I repent in sackcloth and ashes!" I love my daughters. I love my son, too. To avoid repenting again (not that repenting again is a bad thing), maybe I better give you a link to his blog.

Peace to you all!


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I'm Glad I Don't Coach Jermaine and Stephen

On Saturday, I was reminded why I like college basketball. I went to my first ever NBA playoff game. The Indiana Pacers had stolen home court advantage from the higher-seeded New Jersey Nets. They were up 2-1 playing game four on their own floor. All they had to do was win Saturday's game on their own floor, to go up 3-1 in the series.

Two of their stars evidently forgot to bring their effort. Nobody doubts that Jermaine O'Neal is one of the best players in the NBA. He is their leading scorer, has been an All Star four times. He had a great game 3, scoring 37 points and shocking the Nets. On Saturday, however, when I was in the gym, he appeared to give about a 30-35% effort. His partner in crime, Stephen Jackson, though not as gifted a player exhibited attitudinal problems that would drive me nuts as a coach. Whenever a call didn't go just the way O'Neal or Jackson wanted, they spent time crying to the ref. While they were crying to the ref, the other team frequently scored.

If I were the coach, I would have said, "Jermaine & Stephen, either you're going to give me 100% effort, or you're going to the end of the bench." The New Jersey Nets outplayed the Pacers on Saturday. Game 5 is tonight from New Jersey. I don't know if I'll tune in.

My parents always told me that "if something was worth doing, it was worth doing well". Thanks, Mom and Dad. Giving 100% is a spiritual discipline. Seeing these professional ball players mail in their effort was distasteful. Giving 100% was not only taught, but was sung about. Below are words of a hymn I learned to love when I was a kid. I think they are still timely!

Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Throw your soul’s fresh, glowing ardor
Into the battle for truth.
Jesus has set the example,
Dauntless was He, young and brave.
Give Him your loyal devotion;
Give Him the best that you have.


Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Clad in salvation’s full armor,
Join in the battle for truth.

Words: Howard B. Grose

Music: Charlotte A. Barnard

I want to thank my nephew, Richard McGill, for providing the ticket for me to go to the game. The seat was great. I highlighted the face value of the ticket, but blacked out the name of Richard's friend, who purchased the ticket package. Richard didn't go to the game himself, so that he could be at his daughters' softball game (he helps coach them as well). That's 100% giving for your kids. His Dad and I were the beneficiaries.

Hope you all have a nice day!


Monday, May 01, 2006

The NT Word for SABBATH Sometimes Means WEEK

Use of Σάββατον as Week in the New Testament

AROD gave me a pop quiz (see the comment to my last post). One of the usages of the word σάββατον in the New Testament, which is normally translated as Sabbath is week. In fact, there are 9 NT texts with this meaning. Grammars will usually make a comment about the Greek use of the cardinal number for the ordinal as a Semitism. Here are the texts:


Greek Text

English Text

Matthew 28:1/Plural

Ὀψὲ δὲ σαββάτων, τῇ ἐπιφωσκούσῃ εἰς μίαν σαββάτων ἦλθεν Μαριὰμ Μαγδαληνὴ καὶ ἄλλη Μαρία θεωρῆσαι τὸν τάφον.

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

Mark 16:2/Plural

καὶ λίαν πρωῒ τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων ἔρχονται ἐπὶ τὸ μνημεῖον ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίου.

Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb

Mark 16:9/Singular

Ἀναστὰς δὲ πρωῒ πρώτῃ σαββάτου ἐφάνη πρῶτον Μαρίᾳ τῇ Μαγδαληνῇ, παρ᾽ ἧς ἐκβεβλήκει ἑπτὰ δαιμόνια.

When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.

Luke 18:12/Singular

νηστεύω δὶς τοῦ σαββάτου, ἀποδεκατῶ πάντα ὅσα κτῶμαι.

I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.

Luke 24:1/Plural

τῇ δὲ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων ὄρθρου βαθέως ἐπὶ τὸ μνῆμα ἦλθον φέρουσαι ἡτοίμασαν ἀρώματα.

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.

John 20:1/Plural

Τῇ δὲ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων Μαρία Μαγδαληνὴ ἔρχεται πρωῒ σκοτίας ἔτι οὔσης εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον καὶ βλέπει τὸν λίθον ἠρμένον ἐκ τοῦ μνημείου.

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

John 20:19/Plural

Οὔσης οὖν ὀψίας τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ τῇ μιᾷ σαββάτων καὶ τῶν θυρῶν κεκλεισμένων ὅπου ἦσαν οἱ μαθηταὶ διὰ τὸν φόβον τῶν Ἰουδαίων, ἦλθεν Ἰησοῦς καὶ ἔστη εἰς τὸ μέσον καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς, Εἰρήνη ὑμῖν.

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

Acts 20:7/Plural

Ἐν δὲ τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων συνηγμένων ἡμῶν κλάσαι ἄρτον, Παῦλος διελέγετο αὐτοῖς μέλλων ἐξιέναι τῇ ἐπαύριον, παρέτεινέν τε τὸν λόγον μέχρι μεσονυκτίου.

On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

1 Cor. 16:2/Singular

κατὰ μίαν σαββάτου ἕκαστος ὑμῶν παρ᾽ ἑαυτῷ τιθέτω θησαυρίζων τι ἐὰν εὐοδῶται, ἵνα μὴ ὅταν ἔλθω τότε λογεῖαι γίνωνται.

On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

This usage of σάββατον in the sense of "week" is also found in the Didache, similar to the passage from Luke 18:12. Didache 8.1 says Αἱ δὲ νηστεῖαι ὑμῶν μὴ ἔστωσαν μετὰ τῶν ὑποκριτῶν. νηστεύουσι γὰρ δευτέρᾳ σαββάτων καὶ πέμπτῃ· ὑμεῖς δὲ νηστεύσατε τετράδα καὶ καρασκευήν. Kirsopp Lake's translation says "Let not your fasts be with the hypocrites, for they fast on Mondays and Thursdays, but do you fast on Wednesdays and Fridays." To translate this in a wooden-headed, literal fashion, the second sentence would read, "for they fast in the second and in the fifth of the Sabbaths." Obviously, it is referring to days of the week. It is interesting to me that sometimes the Sabbath word is singular, and other times it is plural. It seems not to make a difference in meaning.

When I was young and foolish (I'm not so young anymore, but the foolishness part keeps popping out when I'm not careful), I offended a dear Christian sister at Clayton Christian Church in Deerfield, Missouri where I preached when I was a student. In a Bible School class, she made the comment (correctly) that the word Sabbath meant "cease" or "rest". I was so caught up in the study of the New Testament, and particularly in the Greek language, that I blurted out, "No, it doesn't. It means week!" She was more correct than I, but my word carried more weight than hers. During the worship service, which followed the Bible school hour, I was seated on the platform (on the preacher's throne), and as I looked at the congregation, I was convicted. I had terribly offended her. That she was hurt was obvious. What was I going to do about it? There weren't that many people in the church. Most of them had witnessed my outburst, and probably would forgive a foolish young preacher that still had a whole lot to learn about how to treat people. I was reminded of Matthew 5:23-24: "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift." Confession of sin should be at least as public as the sin. I had terribly hurt one person, but just about everyone there was aware. I couldn't very well leave the preacher's throne to make amends with her before preaching, so I took the time to confess my sin publicly, and to express remorse. In today's liturgy, probably it would be all right to leave the "preacher's throne". She was gracious and forgave me, but I have never forgotten what I learned that day.

So, one of the uses of σάββατον in the New Testament carries the idea of week. Check out standard lexicons and you will find it. But don't ever blurt out that the word Sabbath means week. You may do some damage that can only be undone by prayer and fasting.