As I go throughout my life, currently in a university setting, I find that at times my life feels like an endless checklist of items.

I like to make lists, to-do lists especially. It is a way that I set temporary, short-term goals and consistently work to complete them one by one, crossing each item off of the list upon accomplishing it. I like the satisfaction I get from crossing each item off of a list, and finally, reaching the point where all the items are crossed off - All of the goals on the list have been completed.

It certainly isn't a bad thing that I choose to make these lists of obligations and appointments; it keeps me very organized and always working towards accomplishments. The problem comes in when I finish a list - I then start with another blank slate, fill another piece of paper with goals and objectives. It is a constant reoccurring process.  As soon as one list ends, another begins. is "The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts." One of their main goals is to create a database including a digital photograph of ever single New Testament manuscript in existence. It's an incredible endeavor! Be sure to click over and check out images of the actual documents that our present day Bibles are made from! (I used a portion of one of these images for the picture in Part 3 of the recent series.)

Part 3: The New Testament: Transmission and Textual Criticism

The Great Bible
Photo Credit
Wycliffe and Tyndale
Due to the language that this paper is being written in, the development of the English translations are the ones that will be covered in detail. The first English translation was made by Wycliffe in 1380, and updated in 1388. Wycliffe faced a great deal of persecution during the making of his translation. The church wanted to keep power in the hands of the priests and keep the common people in the dark.

Part 2: The Old Testament: Transmission and Canon

New Testament Manuscript
Photo Credit:
Manuscript Location:
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
The books that make up the Old and New Testament canon were transmitted down to today’s Christians in quite different fashions. The Old Testament was mainly transmitted via professional scribes who copied it. Many of the people of the time were not capable of reading and writing, so there were people specifically trained to copy the scriptures. These people were called scribes. This was their occupation, and as such they did a high quality, professional job. There were very stringent guidelines in place dictating how exactly the scribes were to go about copying the scriptures. For instance, they had to count all of the letters on a completed page, to verify that they had done an acceptable job. If they had more than three errors per page, they were required to start over. This ensured a very, very accurate transmission of the Old Testament down to current times.

Read Part 1: "Errors" and Inerrancy

Cumran Cave 4: Where the
Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
Photo Credit.
How, then, did the Old Testament come down to us living in the 21st century? The Old Testament originally came from the Jews. It was, and still is, their holy book, their revelation from God, which is written down in the TaNaK in Hebrew, and was translated into Greek in the Septuagint. The Jewish oral tradition also passed down the view of our modern 39 books of the Old Testament, in a slightly merged form of 24. Josephus records that the Jews kept to a list of 22 holy books, which, in actual fact, equals the 39 books currently held in the protestant Old Testament. So, Christians carry the same general view of the Old Testament, but they also add the New Testament to it to make up what is called the Bible.

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When trying to determine if the Bible can be trusted, the first thing we must do is examine the scriptures and decide for ourselves if they contain any errors. But first, what is the definition of an error?

What Is an Error?
An error is essentially something that is stated incorrectly, or a statement that exists which is in direct contradiction to a known fact. However, apparent errors in grammar or spelling do nothing to erode scriptures reliability, for grammar and spelling are simply human conventions, things that humans have come up with, and which are subject to change over the course of time. 

The Bible
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The issue of whether or not the Bible is trustworthy is in its very essence a critical topic. If the Bible is not worthy of having trust put in it, as a Christian, your eternal salvation, and indeed, your foundation and basis for all motivation in life collapses in a pile of rubbish.

You must be pretty sure that the thing in which your faith is put in has a backbone to it, and will be able to stand an objective examination of reliability. If the Bible proves not to have such a backbone, those who count themselves Christians will have to drastically rethink their entire view of life’s meaning and goals.

Although the following websites inevitably offer second hand scripture (to be explained in an upcoming post), they are extremely useful collections of information through which a great deal can be learned. These are three sources that I turn to for interpretation, conviction, clarification, and direction in my life as a Christian. The writers from each offer tangible real world applications of biblical concepts and are grounded with a solid foundation on Jesus Christ.

The Resurgence

"The Resurgence is a movement that resources multiple generations to live for Jesus so that they can effectively reach their cities with the gospel by staying culturally accessible and biblically faithful."

On a Mission
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It seems as if I am daily asking myself what exactly my attitude about the world and my life should be. Do I need to constantly train my thoughts on heaven and eternity? Is it okay to enjoy living life and the fun diversions that life presents? What should my attitude about work be?

As I was reading John 17 today, I found Jesus’ answer to what our perspective on life should be. John 17 is a word-by-word account of Jesus’ prayer for the disciples as he was about to leave them. Down around verse 15 or 16 (I was reading in the Message Remix), Jesus prays, “I’m not asking that you take them out of the world.”

80's Hair
Found in the Flickr Creative Commons
Growing up as a kid and a teenager, I remember watching movies from the 80's and thinking "Wow, did people really dress like that back then? That is so cheesy!" Of course, I was only born in '88 so I could ridicule the teased out hair and high jeans without any of that reflecting back on myself.

I've recently found several movies on Netflix released back in the mid 90's that I had never heard of before that sounded interesting, so I sat down and watched them. They were entertaining movies, don't get me wrong, but there were multiple times when I just thought to myself, "Wow, I cannot believe how cheesy the 90's were!" I was only a kid during the 1990's, but even as a teenager in the 2000's (is that how we're referring to the last decade?) I remember listening to a lot of 90's music and watching 90's movies and genuinely enjoying it without realizing how lame some of it may have been

(Full Disclosure: I still love 80's rock and a lot of 90's metal, hardcore, and grunge.)

Welcome to our second resource roundup! This week I wanted to take some time to highlight three distinctive articles from John Piper's Ministry Blog, Desiring God. From a Christian perspective, these articles have provided me with added insight and I hope they will spark interest in you as well!

Desiring God is a collaboration of resources, most of which are authored and/or produced by Pastor John Piper of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. If you would like to learn more about what Desiring God is all about, a short mission statement for their ministry can be found here.

Life Is Not Trivial

Despite the fact that this article was written more than 30 years ago, it still rings true to this day. In this post, Piper explores the idea of life being insignificant and meaningless, and concludes that such a thing would be impossible based on the way nature exists, from what he reads in scripture, and what he feels as a human being.

Through the conversations that I have had with many Christians in the past, one of the most frequent subjects, when it pertains to faith, is the hardships surrounding living life as a Christian. It can be overwhelming at times to see our shortcomings - to live in our failures and sin. By struggling through tough times, and even living in the good ones, our faith may seem like it is not backed by a sense of passion and fervor that - deep down - we know should be there.

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As Christians - We know that Christ lived as an example, died as a sacrifice, and rose as our savior; but somehow, it just doesn't feel like this message is truly affecting our lives. If we're found in a state like this, our faith may seem completely dry, combined with a feeling of apathy, or indifference.

We've all been there before - Or if we haven't, it's safe to say that we will experience these feelings at some point in time in our spiritual walk (most likely).

So what causes this spiritual deadness? What makes us feel like our faith is unproductive, stagnant, and dry?

In Prison
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Can you be a prisoner to your philosophies? Yes! And even if you’re a Christian, if you’re not on the lookout you can be taken captive by fallacious teachings:

Colossians 2:8 (Niv): “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

What a serious verse! I think this may be the Bible verse that best epitomizes the mission of Cranial Collision. We don’t want to be taken captive by the faulty philosophies of this world. In order to keep up our guard against them, we diligently seek to train our minds to identify bad reasoning and to recognize the truth. And we write these posts for you to help you do the same thing.

Welcome to our first Resource Roundup! Since there are so many Christians that God has already blessed with amazing gifts of preaching and teaching, we thought that it would be a good idea to put together a post every week with a handful of links to resources that we think are extremely useful and insightful.

Another reason we are putting together these posts is because, again, this mission is bigger than just us! We don't live in a vacuum--we have millions of brothers and sisters in Christ spread all around the world. Let's get to know them and interact with them a bit!

Now on to the post:

Don't Shoot Other Christians

A week. A day. A minute. A second.

Lately, the concept of immediate time has plagued my mind with unfaltering constancy.

Many of us, at one time or another, have probably felt as if the days and weeks that we live pass by too quickly, or not quickly enough. Have you ever found yourself looking back on a much anticipated vacation, trip, or experience and wondering how it passed by so fast? The moments, and years that have brought us to this point can only be viewed now as memories - And in hindsight, one's life history may seem like it has happened in the snap of the fingers.
Total Relaxation
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I wrote a blog post on my career-focused website a few weeks ago that was focused on the value of taking a break from the constant pressure of work and life. In the post, I referenced the Biblical command to take a day of rest every week. You can read those concluding paragraphs here:

See: there is something to be said for resting and re-energizing. Just today I read an article on The Resurgence  emphasizing the importance of scriptural rest. I know this command and know why it's true, but as I look back over the past few months, I've realized that I really haven't ever taken a full day off and just relaxed. I always seem to cram something into my free time. If I'm not working my day job, in class, or doing homework, I try to do some blogging. I'm constantly squeezing in some rough draft writing, editing, polishing, publicizing, et. all.

From here on out, I'm going to try to consciously take one day per week to de-stress, relax, and refuel for the coming week. By doing so, I anticipate that my overall productivity will increase: a win-win!