Thursday, December 14, 2006

What Did He Write on the Ground?

This will likely be the last sentence diagramming post for a while. A few days ago, I wrote a piece in which I mentioned trying to convince my grammar students that Jesus loved diagramming sentences.

One of my students made reference to the pericope adulterae, the Woman Caught in Adultery (John 7:53-8:11). As everyon
e knows, that section is not found in the oldest manuscripts of the Greek New Testament. Most evangelical scholars agree that, though it seems to be consistent with the rest of Jesus' teaching, was not a part of John's original Gospel. But assuming that this narrative did take place, commentators have long wondered just what He wrote on the ground.

Some suggest that he may have written wor
ds from the Mosaic Law, or even a list of the hidden sins of the woman's accusers. My esteemed colleague, Mark Moore, has written (Chronological Life of Christ, Volume I):

There have been many speculations as to what he wrote. One attractive suggestion is that he wrote accusations against the various Sanhedrin members. Another says he wrote a list of their names. Still another supposes that he just doodled to show his disinterest. We’re curious about what he wrote. But apparently it doesn’t matter. The emphasis is on the act of writing, not what was written. While Jesus scribbles in the sand they keep pressing him for an answer. They get more of an answer than they bargain for.
Now, a student in my 7:00 AM Analytical Grammar class has given the answer: what Jesus wrote in the dust was a sentence diagram. Though Jesus likely spoke Aramaic, the oldest text I have of this event is fro
m the Greek New Testament, so I have tried to replicate what He wrote, for your (actually, for my) enjoyment:

Peace to all those of good will!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Small Giant Graduates to Heaven

My office is located in the Seth Wilson Library building on the campus of Ozark Christian College. Seth Wilson, 92 years young, beloved professor and founder of the college, went home to be with Jesus on Monday, December 11, 2006. His imprint is evident in my life and in the very cultural fabric of the institution. Though he has not taught classes for many years, he has maintained an office in the building that bears his name. He was normally present on Tuesdays and Thursday in our chapel services. The last time I saw him was last Thursday morning after our chapel service. My good friend, James McCracken (from Muskogee, Oklahoma), had preached the final chapel service for our year. Bro. Wilson (as those who knew him well addressed him) stepped forward to offer gracious words about James' sermon. Bro. Wilson was small in stature, but was a spiritual giant. His life exemplified the core values of our institution:
  • The Word of Christ Taught in the Spirit of Christ (Colossians 1:18)
  • Not to Be Served but to Serve (Mark 10:45)
  • Speaking the Truth in Love (Ephesians 4:15)
  • Trusting in the Power of God and Seeking the Glory of God (1 Corinthians 4:20; Isaiah 42:8)
  • Atmosphere of Grace, Trust, and Freedom (Romans 15:7; 1 Peter 4:10)
  • Restoring Biblical Christianity (John 17:21)
  • Worship in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23-24)
Colleagues who also had the privilege of studying under him frequently quote him. My favorite quote, to which I aspire as a teacher is this: "What we teach you to know is not as important as who we teach you to love." Thank you, Lord, for the life and legacy of Seth Wilson.

On a side note, as I read his obituary in the Joplin Globe, I realized (I think for the first time), that we were born in the same city, Maryville, Missouri. I am proud to have followed his footsteps.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Do You Think I'm an Obsessive Compulsive Book Worm?

Ricoblog put me on to this, so I took it. I'll include it here at the bottom, so that you can take the online quiz. I took the quiz, and it called me that name in the title above. What do you think? It said:

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Try the What Kind of a Reader Are You? quiz for yourself:

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader

Book Snob

Literate Good Citizen

Fad Reader


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Peace to all!


Oh, Why Not?

Since diagramming sentences is so much fun (!), I thought I might as well put the diagram from the NIV out there:

Click on image to enlarge it if you are so inclined.


John 3:16 Diagrammed in Greek

This morning in my 7:00 AM Analytical Grammar class, we diagrammed John 3:16 from the NIV. I switch classrooms at 8:00, to teach Greek. When I was finished with Greek class this morning, I had Greek written all over the white boards. At 9:00 AM, another Analytical Grammar class comes into that classroom. They were to have diagrammed John 3:16. Someone from that class asked me to diagram John 3:16 and have it on the board tomorrow. Not being one to shrink away from a challenge, I diagrammed it. Here is goes:
Click on image to enlarge. Diagramming software part of Libronix Bible software (Original Language Package or greater).

There you have it. It is every bit as beautiful in Greek as it is in English. I have trouble this morning in my Grammar class convincing my students that Jesus loves diagramming sentences. I guess the best argument is that since He is God, by definition He knows how to diagram sentences, and that in our quest to become as He is, we should learn to diagram sentences as well. I'm not sure that connected with them either.

We had an excellent chapel sermon this morning by my good friend, James McCracken, about the Prince of Peace. As many of my students say, peace out!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

(Grand)Children are a Blessing from the Lord

127 If God doesn’t build the house,
the builders only build shacks.
If God doesn’t guard the city,
the night watchman might as well nap.
It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late,
and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don’t you know he enjoys
giving rest to those he loves?
3–5 Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you;
you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.

Peterson, E. H. (2002). The Message : The Bible in contemporary language (Ps 127). Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress.

Samuel Malachi Fish -- arrived December 5, 2006 at 1:48 PM
7 lbs. 5.9 oz. 20" long.
Nathan, Greg, Eli, Samuel, Emily

Monday, December 04, 2006

Snow and Ice in the 4 States

It seems like it took 4 days to dig out. We're still not back to normal. Last Wednesday morning when I left home (about 5:30 AM) it was 67 degrees. That was the high for the day, as we had about a 50 degree drop during the day with precipitation. By the middle of the afternoon, we had freezing rain/sleet. The next morning (Thursday) we had a couple inches of ice over most everything. It took me about 15 minutes to break in to my car, since the doors were frozen shut. Thursday afternoon/evening it started snowing. I suppose we got 6-8 inches, which made getting up our hill difficult. All the schools in the 4 States area were closed on Thursday and Friday. Most of them are closed today (Monday). We should get up into the mid 30s today, and a lot of the stuff on our street should melt off. I thought the refrozen stuff on the roads was more dangerous this morning than the other days. Our street, Oak Ridge Drive, is pure ice on top of snow pack, on top of ice!

The snow and ice came at a most inappropriate time. I rented a storage unit for Kristy's (our surrogate daughter, Kim's best friend, and future apartment mate) furniture. She needed to get her furniture out of the house where she and her former fiancé were planning on living (the engagement was broken a few weeks back) by the end of November. The girls will move into an apartment on Jan. 1, 2007 (with one more roommate), but can probably move stuff in a few days ahead of that date. I wanted to keep the rental of the storage facility to just one month. The weather made it difficult to get done.

Special thanks go out to Deniss Montenegro, Justin Carney, Josh Willis, Andy Rodriguez, and Shawn Lindsay who went waaaaaayyyyy beyond their responsibility to help. Thanks, guys!