a scribe’s scribblings: a log (15)

More Q & A.

Q. I know you’ve just begun the copying-thing, but what is being impressed on you through this experience?
A. How every word of Scripture is important. How the word speaks to you in some many ways at one time and is what one’s spirit needs to hear. The sheer beauty of the narrative of Luke’s Gospel. There are more matters, but these three leap to my mind right now.

Q. Are you reading anything in conjunction with Luke’s Gospel as you copy the text (a commentary, etc.)?
A. Yes, but not merely so much as I’d like to be doing. I am only reading one book through (N.T. Wright’s uber-accessible volume entitled Luke for Everyone), but am also dipping a number of reference works.

Q. How’s that rollerball pen working out for you? I know you’re usually a felt-tip man.
A. Short answer: different, for sure! Long answer: I changed up further from what I had originally planned, opting at the last moment for a ballpoint (shifting, specifically, from this to this). It is a real adjustment from a felt-tip, but that is what I wanted; another little something that forces me to concentrate on what I’m doing just a wee bit more.

QAre there things you wish you had done for the sake of better preparation?
A. Oh, yes: hand exercises! I am not used to writing so much in one stretch.

Q. Made any mistakes yet?
A. Ha! Yes, but only one that I’m aware of at this time. What was it? I accidentally capitalized the word “festival” in Luke 2.43. The TNIV text capitalizes the word “Festival” in 2.41, but not in 2.43, so rather than correcting it, I just left it alone.

Postscript: I copied Luke 2.8-52 today.
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+2.8-52&version=NIV

a scribe’s scratchings (7)

Here are some answers to some of the questions recently put to me regarding my upcoming copy-the-Bible-by-hand project. Perhaps you have some of the same questions.

Q. Where will you find the time to do this?
A. I’ll make the time primarily by getting up a bit earlier, cutting back some on my non-Bible reading time, scaling back on social media consumption and engagement, and just being a bit more self-disciplined in general.

Q. Will you write the same texts the church reads each day?
A. Yes and no. The church reading project (Immerse) divides itself into six, sixteen-week segments (32 weeks each year) of reading across the span of three years. That means everyone has twenty weeks “off” time during each of the three years. However, I’ll do my reading and writing essentially straight through (i.e. – only a very few weeks of break each year).

So, yes, like the rest of the church family, I’ll be reading the same thing each day, but for my writing project, no, my reading and writing won’t be “on the same page.” We will start and end at the same time, but the church’s reading and my writing will operate at different speeds.

Q. Some sermons will spring from this reading/writing. Will there be other connections?
A. Yes, among them: occasional mini-series in Bible classes that I lead, my weekly devotionals at St. James house, my postings on this blog of mine, pictures that I take, postings on Facebook and Instagram, some contacts with other portions of our Sunday morning assemblies (e.g. – Scripture reading, communion meditations, fun printed quizzes, etc.), and, God willing, more.

Q. What do you think will be your biggest problem(s) getting the writing done?
A. All of us have this in common: daily life brings us a multitude, and wide variety, of unexpected things. Life’s “unexpecteds,” big and small, will perhaps be the biggest challenge.

Q. Got a specific Scripture you connect with this project? A “verse of guidance?”
A. Yes. In fact, it is the passage from which I preached yesterday morning. Here it is:

“… with humility … welcome the word planted deep inside you — the very word that is able to save you.” (James 1.21 CEB)

I’ve memorized this passage and I encourage everyone who participates in the reading portion of this project to do so.

Q. I know you hate your handwriting. How do you see that working out for you?
A. I suspect most folks who put Scripture into their own handwriting strive not merely for accuracy of copy but, also to render it all in their very best penmanship. While the former will certainly have my grand attention, I will not care so much for the latter. After all, my best handwriting is not all that great. I can’t do “pretty,” but I can do “practical,” so I’ll concern myself with the practical and try to just let the rest go. Not sloppy, of course, but I’m not going to be OC about it either. I’m not doing this for looks, but for effect.

Q. What exactly will you write in and with?
A. That will vary through the course of the project as I’ll use different pens for different groups of the Bible’s literature. We’ll begin our reading (and my writing) in Luke-Acts and so I’ve decided to write that portion with a favorite rollerball pen and some journals given to me by my daughter and son-in-law.

links to 10 items worth your time

1. ‘No creed but Christ, no book but the Bible’

“In the assurance of eternal life given at baptism, let us proclaim our faith and say: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, communion of saints, forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.”

2. America Is Addicted to Outrage. Is There a Cure?

“Outrage has become the signature emotion of American public life.”

3. Mall’s end

“What will retail look like without stores? … enclosed-mall construction has all but stopped. … a question looms: what will happen to all this commercial real estate?”

4. Screening the human future: YouTube, persuasion and genetically engineered children

“Listening to He [Jiankui] is more like being yanked down a slippery slope.”

5. Genocides

“If we had lived back when our ancestors did, would we have spoken for justice? We do live in a time like our ancestors. … If you hold back from rescuing those taken away to death, those who go staggering to the slaughter; if you say, ‘Look, we did not know this’ — does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it? And will he not repay all according to their deeds?” (Proverbs 24.11-12 NRSV)”

6. Women in Proverbs

“The Book of Proverbs and women. What it says about and by women surprises.”

7. Climate change: Where we are in seven charts and what you can do to help

“… how warm has the world got and what can we do about it?”

8. Meet Zeno, the Tiny Sub Discovering the Secrets of Israel’s Coasts [very interesting!]

“…the Archeosub – an autonomous underwater vehicle, or AUV, called Zeno. It’s a tiny unmanned submarine that will be able to discover, survey and monitor large areas of the seabed.”

9. Levels of Literacy in the New Testament World

“… at least in urban settings, some meaningful levels of literacy were much more common that some have previously asserted.”

10. The 100 Best Pens

“Gels, ballpoints, rollerballs, felt-tips, and fountain pens — we tried them all.”