A more beautiful Gospel

Unwrathing the cross with Brad Jersak

Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God:
Many of the tough questions that detract from the story of redemption and grace with a peace-loving God at the center (one who overcomes hate with love) are handled well in this series of messages. Brian Zahnd hits a lot of the big topics that have made the most skeptics in the world. Here

2 Timothy 3:16 translation

Frank Nelte (link here) says, “One point about 2 Timothy 3:16 that should immediately attract our attention is that THE GREEK TEXT OF THIS VERSE DOES NOT CONTAIN A SINGLE VERB!” He goes on to say, “The fact that the Greek text for this verse does not contain any verbs at all should immediately tell us that THE THOUGHT OF THIS SENTENCE CONTINUES IN THE NEXT VERSE. The translators really should have presented the texts of verses 16 and 17 as ONE VERSE. In fact, to my knowledge the Wycliffe New Testament is the only English language version that actually correctly presents these two verses as one verse.”

About his article he says, “It also reveals the story behind this very deliberate mistranslation, which was foisted upon an unsuspecting Christian world. It is a story that involves a Dutchman, a Frenchman, and an Englishman, a story that I believe has never before been adequately exposed to objective scrutiny. The deliberate mistranslation of this verse was essential for making a very specific claim that certain people wished to make.

The Greek adjective “theopneustos” should have been translated as the adjective “GOD-BREATHED” and NOT as the clause “IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD”.

He cites Adam Clarkes commentary who was a giant of a scholar in his day, even though he didn’t agree with Adam’s theological perspective and many of the interpretations he gave in his commentary. Still he credits him for his well read scholarship and quotes him, ”

Verse 16. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God”. This sentence is not well translated; the original “pasa graphe theopneustos ophilimos pros didaskalian, k. t. l.” should be rendered: “Every writing Divinely inspired is profitable for doctrine” etc. The particle “kai”, “and”, is omitted by almost all the versions and many of the fathers, and certainly does not agree well with the text.

The only words that precede “kai” in 2 Timothy 3:16 are one noun and two adjectives. That is why the literal English translation of the first four Greek words (i.e. “every God-breathed writing AND”) does not make any sense! A conjunction is totally inappropriate after the three Greek words “pasa graphe theopneustos”. NO WONDER ADAM CLARKE SAID THAT KAI CERTAINLY DOES NOT AGREE WELL WITH THE TEXT!

About the Greek translations that came largely from the Latin Vulgate, which was largely used to translate to English:

“Every single Greek text of the complete New Testament that is available today is to one degree or another a product of this eclectic method. There isn’t a single copy of a “pure” text available anywhere. This may be something some of us may not want to hear, but it is the truth nonetheless.” (eclectic method - an eclectic text is one that is based on selecting from amongst a number of variant readings found in different source documents for each specific verse or passage. It is typically, though not always, the majority opinion, selected from among variant readings for specific verses, that is then selected to become a part of the accepted “eclectic” Greek text that is produced)

Some of the translations that get closer:

-EVERY scripture inspired of God (is) also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. (2Ti 3:16 ASV, American Standard Version, 1901)

-for all divinely inspired writings are conducive to instruciton, to conviction, to reformation, and the practice of virtue (Mace New Testament translation-1729)

-EVERY scripture inspired of God (is) also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: (2Ti 3:16 ERV, English Revised Version of 1885)

It should be clear that unbiased scholars of Greek understand that in this verse “pasa graphe” without the article should be correctly translated as “EVERY scripture”. And that translation is then qualified by the attributive adjective “theopneustos”.

The inevitable consequence of this conclusion is that the Apostle Paul assuredly was not claiming that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God”! That is simply not what Paul was telling Timothy.


Another article here has a different take on things that broadens up the idea of what can be used to teach and instruct:

In all occurrences of graphe where the Holy Scriptures are meant, this word is preceded by the definite article: The Scriptures, but not in 2 Timothy 3:16. The only other exception happens in JOHN 19:37, where the definite article is replaced by the word another. In 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul has the word graphe precede by the word πασα, pasa, the feminine form of πας (pas), where also the familiar word pantos comes from. This root pas means all, with a clause of one-ness; the whole of something.

In 2 Timothy 3:15-16, Paul basically divides everything that has ever been written in two parts:

Holy Texts. These are those Texts that are able to make wise, even so wise that you will believe in Christ Jesus, which then leads to salvation.

The whole of all texts. These are any written word, from a Bible commentary to a Star Trek script to the TV guide.

Anything written can be used by anybody clever, creative or inspired enough to introduce the gospel or give an example of how things work or don’t. Language and specifically written language requires such an enormous degree of cooperation and convention that Paul rightly deems it θεοπνευστος (theopneustos) or “God-breathed”.

America by Claude McKay


Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth.
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate,
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
Yet, as a rebel fronts a king in state,
I stand within her walls with not a shred
Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
And see her might and granite wonders there,
Beneath the touch of Time’s unerring hand,
Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand.

Continue reading “America by Claude McKay”

methods of the masters

The way the artists of the renaissance era were able to Inspire and uplift and deepen us:

  • Demanding the highest standards of excellence from themselves
  • Improving upon the work of previous masters
  • Aspiring to the highest quality attainable

on the way to the 20th century something happened which replaced the PROFOUND, INSPIRING, BEAUTIFUL with THE NEW, THE DIFFERENT, THE UGLY.

how did the 1000 year ascent towards artistic perfection and excellence die out? it didn’t. it was pushed out. The impressionists pushed back on the Beaux-Arts control of classic standards and sewed the seeds of aesthetic relativism. the first generation of artists that pushed for this revolution were themselves disciplined artists that produced work at a high level of craft in their respective arenas of creative exploration. The showed disciplined design and execution and we all love their work. but the door was opened for a decline in the very standards that gave us their timeless and enduring gifts of art. with each new generation standards declined until there were no standards. All that we are left with is personal expression.

“Quality in art is not merely a matter of personal opinion but to a high degree…objectively traceable” – Jakob Rosenberg

The idea of a universal standard in art is openly ridiculed or at least resisted.


Video from Prager University Link

Familiar hymns of a vengeful Father

What Wondrous Love Is This

1 What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?

2 When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
when I was sinking down, sinking down;
when I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.

other verses are fine…


How Deep the Father’s Love For Us

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.

Beauty will Save the World – Brian Zahnd

Russell Moore (Baptist theologian) says, ” Too often, and for too long, American ‘Christianity’ has been a political agenda in search of a gospel useful enough to accommodate it.”

Brian talks about how messed up our vision of the purpose of the church became when we seized the tool of political pragmatism after Constantine established Christianity as the state religion. Political partisanship costs us our prophetic voice (a. Our mission is to be faithful as God’s alternative society…being the image of God and the expression of his love

Diamond Smugglers to the Rescue

One trip south to Kajiji, by the Angolan border, MAF planned to take Dad and his group to a Mennonite mission station there. It was Jean Sakala, Dede Kikavuanga Dongo, Paul and Joseph Tsasa. They needed two thousand dollars minimum for the trip (two return flights to the MAF station for dropoff and pickup). The two brothers seemed to always get sick when flying and by the time they arrived at the station they were green in the face.

They were feeling so sick that they laid out on the ground in the shade of the Cessna’s wings and the pilot hung around a little longer than customary to make sure they were OK. There was a great procession of greeting and singing in good Congolese fashion, choirs singing, children waving and cheering. Eventually the commotion died down and people trickled away when they understood there would be some delay until these boys recovered.

The unusual delay brought just the right window of opportunity for what followed. Two men approached the pilot and group out of breath, exhausted and anxious looking, sweating all over. They were urgently asking the pilot to fly them out of there…it appeared anywhere was fine.

a Dad’s performance review

This is taken from the Culture Translator email newsletter from axis.org

How Am I Doing?
It’s one of the scariest questions we can ask. Asking ourselves how we’re doing requires vulnerability, honesty, and the willingness to admit failure or that we’re not ok. Asking others how we’re doing means willingly opening ourselves to criticism, which can be painful. So asking our children how we’re doing as parents? Yikes! Yet it’s the only way we can measure our progress or make meaningful improvements. You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken! Sure, your children may want you to make changes that you know aren’t actually good for them, but they also may surprise you with their insight, desires, and dreams. In that vein, pastor and blogger Todd Wagner surveys his kids every six months or year so they have a safe and easy way to provide feedback about how he’s doing as a father. The following are 11 questions he uses as a starting point.

1. What have been some of the best times you’ve had with your dad/mom this past year?
2. If you had to give me some advice on how to be a better dad/mom, what would it be? Why?
3. If you and I could sit down and talk about anything, what would it be?
4. What are some of the things that are making you anxious, fearful, or discouraged right now so I can pray for you?
5. What’s something you would like to do with me?
6. How can I help you grow in your love for God and in your ability to serve and live faithfully for Him?
7. What has been the best thing I’ve done (or that we’ve done together as a family) this last year that has helped you most in your understanding of God and His love for you?
8. What would you say has been the biggest area of growth for you in the last year?
9. What have you learned about God/Christ/faith this last year that has blessed you?
10. If you could grow in any area in the next 12 months, where would you want it to be?
11. What do you think your dad/mom is most passionate about?

Let us know how it goes for you or if you have any great questions you’ve used in the past. We’d love to hear your stories! Todd was also part of our Parenting Teens Summit, and it’s not too late to watch his helpful interview. See “Last Chance” below for more details.

Tomas Wittelsbach zbrush jewelry sculpter

so inspired by the video overview sample files i saw the other day of Tomas Wittelsbach at work. His description of finding the form and line that accentuates movement and catches light was brilliant. wish I had time and budget to take the course through Ryan Kingslien’s Zbrush workshop. I learned about a couple brilliant artists who were inspirations for Tomas.

René Lalique & Moebius

Comic Book Artist: Moebius | Abduzeedo Design Inspiration