Strange Text

Yesterday in church, I was following along in the text for the sermon. I carry my ESV compact bible to read in church. As I was reading, I noticed something strange in the inner margin.


It appears to be Chinese characters. I’ve never seen this before–anyone have any idea why these are here? Is this a common occurrence?

Αυτω η δοξα

Miscellaneous, New Testament

Jesus and the Napkin

I was asked at church this week about the napkin mentioned in John (20:7), namely if there were any significance to it being folded. I knew where this was going because I’ve heard/read of this before. Basically it is said that the folded napkin in the tomb finds parallel in the Jewish master/servant relationship. Supposedly a servant would never attend to the table after a meal unless the master was finished. The master would indicate that he was finished with his meal by tossing his napkin (with which he cleaned his hands and face) on the table. If he were not finished, he would fold it neatly as to indicate to the servant he would return to the table. Thus, Jesus’ folded napkin indicates that he would be returning.

After reading through the few commentaries on John I have and reading a few other resources (a search for articles on the matter yielded zero results), I have found nothing that even remotely suggests such a practice as the background. In fact, most of what I read indicates that the orderly placement of the burial cloths suggests Jesus’ body was not taken by grave robbers, who would have had no interest in the tidiness of the tomb.

I am sure this idea is as popular as it is because it sounds good as an illustration, but my initial digging has left me no reason even to suspect that this is the reason for John’s inclusion of the detail.

If you know from whence this little gem of a story came or if there is indeed any good reason to think it true, I’d be glad to know!

Out of curiosity, what are some of your favorite illustrations you’ve heard that have given you pause?

Αυτω η δοξα


I’m a Twit(terer)

So, I did it–I drank the kool aid, swallowed the hook, etc, and joined Twitter. Why, you ask? For one reason–to boost my entries in various publisher and band giveaways. I’ll follow a few friends and family, but I couldn’t care less what celebrities and athletes (most of whom are genuine twits) have to say, so I won’t be clogging my feeds with their nonsense.

Follow me if you like: JasonGardner79

Αυτω η δοξα

Humor, Miscellaneous

Just the evidence I needed!

I don’t mind dressing up a bit for Sunday morning service. I don the requisite suit, button-up shirt, and neck tie and have been for years. Sunday nights are much more casual–nice blue jeans, button-up shirt, and non-tennis shoes. However, I’ve entertained the notion lately of leaving the neckties in the closet, at least for the summer months. I actually like the look of the coat and tie, but let’s face it–they can be a bit uncomfortable. Aside from that, it’s hot in the summer here in the south (you northerners really don’t know what a hot summer is!) and the time it takes us to get all six of us from the vehicle to the church is plenty of time for my collar to become dampened with sweat. Yes, it’s cool in the building, but by then the damage is done.

But now there is evidence that compels to leave the neckties in the closet–scientific evidence that it’s best not to where them!

According to public health officials in the U.K., who are trying to reduce the number of hospital-acquired infections, are forbidding doctors from wearing neckties because they

  • “are rarely laundered”
  • “perform no beneficial function in patient care,” and
  • “have been shown to be colonized pathogens.”
As we all know, such studies are always right and there is no hope of new and different findings to contradict these claims. Therefore, I shall relegate my neckties to the closet as an act of goodwill toward my parishioners–I don’t want them to get any germs that may be residing in my neckwear!
Αυτω η δοξα