QOTD: Ignatius to the Smyraeans

I came across this rather interesting play on words in Ignatius’ letter to the Smyraeans the other day and thought it might be fun to share it with you. I have bolded the words in Greek and the corresponding translation. The passage is from 5.2, which is concerned with Ignatius’ opposition to the Docetists—a heretical Christian sect that claimed Christ only appeared in the flesh. Here is the passage:

τί γάρ [με] ὠφελεῖ, εἰ ἐμὲ ἐπαινεῖ τις, τὸν δὲ Κύριόν μου βλασφημεῖ, μὴ ὁμολογῶν αὐτὸν σαρκοφόρον; ὁ δὲ τοῦτο μὴ λέγων τελείως αὐτὸν ἀπήρνηται, ὢν νεκροφόρος.

For what does it benefit me if someone praises me but blasphemes my Lord by not confessing that he is a  flesh-bearer. And the one who does not say this denies him completely being a corpse-bearer (or clothed in a corpse).

This poignant little play on words illustrates what Ignatius claims throughout the letter: Jesus’ possession of a physical body and his real sufferings are both the source of our salvation and the hope of our resurrection. Thus, the one who denies that he lived in the flesh has no hope of life but bears about himself his own corpse.

Speaking of Ignatius and the Apostolic Fathers, you should check out the work that Brian Renshaw and Shawn Wilhite are doing over at Apostolic Fathers Greek Reader.

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James Boice

Have an extra C note sitting around the house and don’t know what to do with it? You can always put it to excellent use by donating it to a great cause: getting me the 27 volume set of James Boice’s expositional commentaries.

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Greek Grammar Students Won’t Believe What’s Now Available …

Learn to Read NT GreekYou got me. The title of this post was “cleverly” made to get you to click on it. In all seriousness, though, if you are a Greek Grammar student and you use David Alan Black’s Learn to Read New Testament Greek, you will want to listen up.

I’m sure you already know that there is an answer guide in the back of the book for the exercises. Have you ever hoped that there was a parsing guide for all the verbs as well? If so, you are in luck! I’ve just finished creating a parsing guide for all the exercises, including the New Testament passages in the final few chapters. And you can have it for the low low price of nada, nothing, zilch, zero … free. You can find it over at the My Tools page on the New Testament Greek Portal or here.

By the way, if you haven’t been to the New Testament Greek Portal, you will definitely want to check it out. It is full of countless free resources that will aid you in your study of New Testament Greek.

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Essential Logos 5 Tools

When I started at Logos this summer, I was immediately introduced to two tools: Text Comparison and Passage Analysis. If you have Logos and don’t know about these tools, you will be happy you stumbled upon this post. A day has not going by where I haven’t routinely used them in my study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians.

The Text Comparison Tool:

To find this tool, select the “Tools” menu at the top of the program and select “Text Comparison”:

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When you select the text comparison tool, a sidebar will appear within the program:

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The sidebar will display as many different versions of the Bible you have in Logos/select. Here I have the LEB, ESV, NASB, NRSV, HCSB, KJV, and the RSV selected for 1 Thessalonians 3:1. Whatever passage you happen to be working in, you are able to pull up the different English translations to see how they have interpreted the passage. The advantage to using the text comparison tool is that it doesn’t take up too much screen space, won’t require you to open each individual translation, and can be opened and closed in a matter of seconds.

The second tool I’ve found to be indispensable is the “Passage Analysis.” When you are looking to determine what discourse features constitute a new point, paragraph, subunit, or unit in the Greek text, you might be interested to see how the various translations have divided the text. To get a visual snapshot of this, select the “Tools” menu, and then the “Passage Analysis” option:

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The title for each unit as well as the length of the unit is set side by side for comparison. In the above photo, you can see that HCSB, LEB, and NASB believe a division exists at 1 Thessalonians 3:1, whereas the ESV, NLT, and NRSV see it as a continuation of the section begun in 1 Thessalonians 2:17. This tool allows students of the Bible to know where there is unanimity and disagreement over pericope divisions. Though it doesn’t provide the reasons that influenced the translators’ decisions, it will give the student a starting point for further investigation.

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Lifestyle Change

In my youth, I was active. You would not find my nose buried in a book. I was always playing baseball, basketball, paint ball, roller skating, swimming, and skateboarding. During high school, I skateboarded relentlessly. I built my own ramps and grind rails. After school meant jumping stairs, developing combinations into and out of grinds. Breaking my leg didn’t even stop me. (I even skateboarded while I was on crutches with a cast on.)

When I went to college, however, all that changed. Of course I took my skateboard with me. I couldn’t imagine not using it. Well, theology and language gripped me. Semester after semester went by without using it. Semester after semester my library grew and my need to learn never seemed to be satisfied. Gradually, my active life became settled. I was living a primarily sedentary life.

Moving to Bellingham changed all that. Though I hadn’t ridden a bike since middle school, I found myself buying a bike. (For the record, bikes are not cheap.) Here’s my simple 3-speed bike.

photo 1Now, the way I’ve titled and written this post might lead you to the wrong conclusion, so I should be honest at this point. My decision to buy a bike [✕ was not born out of some inner desire to become active again. Nor was it born by an act of sheer will power to force myself to get in shape. No. Nothing quite so noble.✕] My decision to buy a bike  [✓ was one of necessity.✓]  We have one car here. Since Mary Beth works from home and the baby stays at home, she needs to have the ability to get in the car and take him to the hospital in the event something happens. With vehicular transportation not an option, and since work is only two miles away, I opted for the bike instead of relying on city transit.

I’m not the only one in the family with a bike, though. Mary Beth got one too. She, unlike me, actually had a choice in the matter. A real life example of how she is a better, let’s be frank, person than I am. Here she is with her new bike and a friend to tag along behind!

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I must say, despite my tongue in cheek tone, that there are some real benefits to biking around Bellingham. For one, I’m already losing weight. 2lbs in about a week. Not much, but I take my victories where I can find them. A second benefit is the fact that I’m becoming more active without having to sacrifice my desire to study and write. It only takes me 15 minutes to get to work. After the short bike to work, I’m awake and ready to go. The ride home lets me clear my mind and refresh myself. Finally, it’s a good family activity. We just got back from a ride down to the bay. The view was absolutely gorgeous. Take a look for yourself.

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Adventure to Bellingham

I have been quite absent lately. As many of you know, that is due to our family’s relocation to Washington state. Well, we have arrived safely and are settling in quite nicely. We might even make it out to the farmer’s market with Elijah this afternoon (it’s only 10:00AM here as I write).

In order to catch everyone up, I thought I might give you a post of pictures.


(Elijah in his car seat ready for the adventure)

IMG_1558(A mountain as we leave NC)

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 (Our first rest area)

For some reason, we didn’t get any pictures of Dustin and Melissa. (In truth, I couldn’t keep my eyes open past 9:45. Long day in the car.) We stopped at their house for the night in Indianapolis. Dustin was my roommate at Moody. A warmer welcome could not have been asked for. I look forward to seeing them on the return trip!


(Wind farms in Illinois)

IMG_1574(Playing catacombs with the Talbots)


(We had the distinct pleasure of hearing Kyle preach Sunday evening. He was teaching through a survey of the Bible. That night he covered Judges and Kings. [Thank you Kyle and Laura for the place to stay, the great food, and wonderful company.])


(On the road again)


(Here we are at a Wisconsin gas station. Yep, that’s right, an entire aisle of cheese at the gas station. Can you guess what we did? Yep! We ate cheese curds. Elijah, for the record, loves them.)


(We found a Walmart along the way and bought Elijah a new pair of shoes)


(Here he is walking around after we ate Five Guys for dinner)

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(Here are the Badlands of North Dakota. Absolutely breathtaking)


(Mary Beth overheard a little kid at this rest area laughing about how small our car and Uhaul looked in comparison. I snapped this shot for a bit of perspective. The tractor trailer cab is almost twice the size of the trailer. Nevertheless, pulling a trailer up the mountains is grueling work.)


(When in Montana, we stopped for gas and found the Montana Wheat Bakery and Deli next door. We couldn’t help ourselves. Here is a Honey Walnut Cinnamon Square. We got it and a sandwich with chips for only $10. Steal of a deal, if you ask me.)


(Here are some snow capped mountains)

When we arrived at the apartment, we were thrilled to find this little Mexican restaurant nearby.

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Needless to say, it was delicious and we have eaten there several times already. These pictures are making me hungry. Lunch is in 2 hours and I might be in the mood for another burrito.

That was our trip. It was pretty low key. We left on Saturday morning and arrived in town Wednesday afternoon. We would have liked to have seen the sights, but we knew that we were on borrowed time with Elijah. Also, and I’m not sure if you know this, but many of the national parks don’t allow dogs, which sorta complicated matters. There’s always the return trip when it’s a bit cooler and more acceptable to leave the dogs in the car while we tour Little Big Horn, Yellowstone, etc.

Stay tuned for pictures of our new digs. (We still have a few more things to pick up before “letting you into our home.”)

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On the Road

We have left and are officially out of NC!



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