Category Archives: Assorted Nerdiness

Perform Accurate Original Language Searches in Logos Bible Software

If you have a basic knowledge of Biblical languages, you can follow this guide to search the Bible for the exact phrase you’re looking for. Practice so that after a minute of typing you will be able to say with confidence how many times a phrase appears in the NT and in the LXX. I will use my recent search for the relevant passages in the “faith in Christ” vs. “faithfulness of Christ” debate as an example.

1. Find a Lemma

Start by typing “lemma:” to make sure you find all the variations of the word. Then type “g:” for Greek or “h:” for Hebrew, and start typing the transliteration of your word (e.g. pistis for πίστις). Logos will give you a few options to transform your transliteration into real Greek or Hebrew,

2. Use BEFORE to Connect Another Word

The search above means that Logos will look for “faith” before the word “Christ,” and the maximum distance will be two words. Examples of these being two words apart would be pistis Iesou Christou or pistis tou Christou. Instead of words, you can specify a distance of characters; Logos likes to use BEFORE 4 CHARS to find words right next to each other, but to me it seems better to specify words. (Why include the atricle o but not tou?) Instead of BEFORE, you can use WITHIN if you’re not picky about order.

3. Use @ to Specify Part of Speech

Above, I type “@” directly after Christos to select the genitive case. You can also use “@” by itself to select any genitive noun, for example.

Use OR to broaden your search

Here I want to also find the phrase “faith of Jesus.” If I want to be thorough, I can use OR to also look for the verb form of faith, pisteuo. You can also narrow your search by using AND.

Switch to the Septuagint

Once you’ve crafted your perfect search, easily switch from the New Testament to the LXX or Josephus or whatever else you want to search.

This step doesn’t make much sense for the example I’ve been using, but when I use “@” without a lemma I can look for any genitive after pistis; shot in the dark, but the 1 Maccabees verse looks relevant. Note that I switch to NRSV to translate this one.

CDC Recommends Wearing Masks While Eating Big Macs

August 15 – Due to alarming numbers of deaths from heart disease, the CDC has released new guidance to slow the spread of cholesterol.

Since March of 2020, about 1 million Americans have died of heart disease, compared to 600,000 COVID deaths. But recent studies show that cloth masks, while not very effective at blocking viruses, are very effective at keeping out salt and trans fats.

When asked about the CDC’s guidance, Dr. Anthony Fauci commented “I’m no cardiologist, but it is logical that very little meat will be able to get through a cloth mask. If you wear a cloth mask over an N95, I would say that the risk of consuming harmful substances is negligible.”

Depending on how many people comply with the guidance, it might be necessary to require masks for all Big Mac consumers who do not show proof of healthy blood pressure. The CDC may also declare a nation-wide cook-at-home order. Experts say it will be worth it all if it saves one life.

Against Shepherd Book

Book’s last words were refuted by his death: “I don’t care what you believe in, just believe in it.” These words are in line with this pastor’s ministry throughout the one season of Firefly. For example, when River tried to “fix his Bible” by rewriting parts of Genesis, he said “it’s not about it making sense. It’s about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change you.” Does it not matter what you believe in, as long as you believe in something?

Refutation From Serenity

Shepherd Book was killed by an Alliance that strongly believes in something. They wanted to create a universe without sin. They believed in this strongly enough to kill children and pastors to make it a reality. They believed in this even though their first attempt at it accidentally killed an entire planet and unleashed destruction on surrounding planets. The mere fact that they believed in something did not make them better people.

Captain Mal chooses to fight the Alliance precisely because he does not hold the belief that people can be made better. In the end he is willing to die for his belief that everyone needs to know about the Alliance’s failed experiment. Mal has different beliefs than the Alliance, and that makes them mortal enemies.

Refutation From 2 John

John begins the letter by saying that “all who know the truth” love the church he is writing to (2 John 1). This is because this truth is objective and powerful, dwelling with us in the Person of the Holy Spirit (2 John 2, c.f. John 14:16–17). Faith in the truth inevitably makes one a better person.

John does not contrast love with hate, but with false teaching (2 John 6–7). When discussing men who deny the doctrine of the incarnation, John does not consider that their false beliefs might make them better people. Their ministry of deception is wicked works (2 John 11) that threaten to destroy the church (2 John 8).

Just as the different beliefs of Mal and the Alliance made them enemies, the false teachers are natural enemies of the true church. Whoever believes the false teachers “does not have God” (2 John 9). The church cannot receive these men as brothers, nor show hospitality that would support their ministry (2 John 10). This would be like harboring a mass murderer so he can continue his shooting spree.

The plot of Serenity and the Bible agree that false beliefs create enemies, and can send you to the Special Hell.

Can People Be Improved?

In the spirit of confronting false beliefs, I have to mention that Mal and the Alliance were both wrong. The Alliance thought that sin could be removed from the world by science and human power. Mal thought that people could not be improved at all, so they should be left alone. The truth taught in 2 John is that people can be improved, but only by the power of God by belief in the truth. The Bible only has transforming power because it is true. It is powerful because it was spoken by a very real God, who abides with His people forever.

SFUSD Votes to Name All Schools After Jesus Christ

San Francisco, CA— After days of deliberation, San Francisco Unified School District has decided to name every school in the district after the only person they could think of who has never done anything wrong: Jesus Christ.

The process started when the school board realized that all of their schools were named after people who have held racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or able-ist beliefs at some point in their lives. This was clearly unacceptable, and they made the common sense move to remove the names.

“Imagine being a BIPOC student at a school named after a racist like Abraham Lincoln,” explained one school board member, “or an LGBTQIA+ student at a school named after a homophobe like Senator Dianne Feinstein. All-too-common situations like those are literally violence.”

The problem came when the board struggled to think of anyone, living or dead, who has never held a belief that is now taboo. They considered generic names such as “San Francisco Elementary School,” but quickly realized that San Francisco is Spanish for Saint Francis, who founded an order of monks that colonized California. In fact, putting any Spanish name on a building reeks of cultural appropriation.

“Naming everything after Jesus was the obvious choice. Everyone knows that he tolerated all kinds of people, and would never judge them.”

The district is having some doubts after some problematic Bible verses were brought to their attention.

“Who knows? Maybe we’ll just forget names and give each school an interpretive dance.”