Monday, 31 August 2020

Monday quote

Civilization—safe, peaceful, and merciful—breeds smaller, duller men than barbarism, which perhaps is why civilization never survives for long.

Peter Hitchens

Monday, 24 August 2020

Monday quote

The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both.

Milton Friedman.

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Referencing day counts in Acts

Acts gives a good example of inclusive reckoning of days when reporting Peter's visit to Cornelius. After Cornelius's vision of an angel he sends messengers to Peter who returns with them to preach the gospel. Note the day count in Acts 10.

Day A B C D
Event Cornelius's vision Peter's vision Leave Joppa Arrive Caesarea
Comment About the 9th hour of the day The next day The next day the following day
Reference 10:3 10:9 10:23 10:24
Exclusive reckoning 0 1 2 3
Inclusive reckoning 1 2 3 4
Example Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

All the days are accounted for from the time Cornelius first saw the vision. Peter talks with Cornelius about the same time of day as when Cornelius first saw the vision—the 9th hour.
About the 9th hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, "Cornelius."
"4 days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the 9th hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing..."
Our culture uses exclusive reckoning. Let's say Day A was a Monday. When referencing Monday we would say
  • on Tuesday: yesterday or 1 day ago;
  • on Wednesday: the other day (though this is non-specific) or 2 days ago; and
  • on Thursday: 3 days ago.
But Cornelius says 4 days ago. This means the counting starts with 1 not 0 in this instance. Presumably the use of "next day" and "following day" allows for "previous day" ie. yesterday. Referencing Monday we have
  • on Tuesday: previous day;
  • on Wednesday: 3 days ago; and
  • on Thursday: 4 days ago.
This is a legitimate way of numbering days. However I am not certain that this is a consistent feature when referencing days, months and years throughout the Bible. Compare Mark and Luke.
And after 6 days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. (Mark 9:2)
Now about 8 days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. (Luke 9:28)
The important thing is to be aware of it and allow for variable accounting of time in Scripture.

Monday, 17 August 2020

Monday quote

If the Bible is in any sense God’s Word, as it repeatedly claims (2 Timothy 3:16) then it carries his authority. And to deny that authority is not to let God out of a human box but to let humans out of a divine one.

Mark Ward.

Monday, 10 August 2020

Monday quote

Everywhere, except in theology, there has been a vigorous growth of scepticism about scepticism itself.

C.S. Lewis, "Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism", Christian Reflections.

Monday, 3 August 2020

Monday quote

Those mothers who aborted their baby girls are now looking for a girl for their son? They don't deserve us.

Tian Hong Bu

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