We’ve passed the Autumnal Equinox, so however you slice and dice it, Fall is here. The temperatures have dropped a bit, but it’s still warm for late September here in Eastern NC. And with the rain we’ve been having, it can get a bit muggy which isn’t pleasant. But cooler days are coming, I’m sure.
But enough about the weather! You want to hear how things are going with moving house. I don’t have much to report, although we did achieve a milestone this week: we signed all the documents to get the mortgage process going. My goodness what a lot of documents–disclosures and approvals and certify-you-saw-this, and affirm-you-agreed-to-that… it took about an hour and a half to get through everything! The next big milestone is today, when we have the house inspected. If the Lord wants to grind this process to a halt, this would be another place he could do it. I’ll let you know how it goes…
The first couple of links today are of a Biblical nature. We begin with a report from the New York Times back in April, talking about new archaeological discoveries that demonstrate literacy in the Holy Land as far back as 600 BC. Of course, as a Christian, I have no problem with the idea that people of that region were literate well before then. I certainly don’t subscribe to the view of “most scholars” (as the article states) who date the writing of the Hebrew Bible later than 600 BC. There are plenty of scholars who agree with a much earlier date for the writing and compiling of the Torah and other Old Testament texts. While this discovery doesn’t prove the earlier date, it certainly lends physical credence to that position.
And then, just this week, we are told new technology has been applied to a burned scroll containing a portion of the text of Leviticus, enabling scholars to read it. The scroll was one of a number discovered in the 1970s that have remained unread because experts feared trying to unroll them lest they fall apart. Forty-plus years on, modern digital technology can do what scientists back then couldn’t: scan the burned scrolls and digitally unroll them to reveal the text within without damaging the scrolls themselves. This technique was applied to one burned scroll, revealing text from the first two chapters of Leviticus. Experts in paleography date the scroll to the first century A.D. And those that can read it confirm that the text is identical to the Hebrew text as we know it today. This means we can be sure that the Hebrew text of Leviticus 1 and 2 we have today is the same as that which would have been around at the time of Christ. I think this bolsters our confidence that the text of the Bible has come down to us almost intact. What disputed readings remain between manuscripts are largely minor questions of spelling and word order. Even a radical skeptic like Bart Ehrman admits as much–at least in his scholarly books. The real issue people have with the Bible is its authority, and that’s a whole other discussion for another time. 🙂
Here’s a link of interest to my writer friends. Author Sarah Dessen stumbled upon rejection letters she received from agents back in the mid-90s when she was in the query trenches. Back then querying was done almost exclusively by snail mail. Sarah, now a New York Times Bestselling Author, posted some of these rejections (concealing the names of the agents) to give encouragement to aspiring writers.
Finally, some sad news for those who swear by the Five Second Rule. What’s the Five Second Rule? The Five Second Rule claims that any food dropped on the floor can be eaten, provided it is not left on the floor for more than five seconds. The popular theory is that it takes more than five seconds for bacteria and other nasties to infect the food. But according to a new study, that’s baloney. It seems bacteria will transfer onto the food in less than a second. The good news is, the number of bacteria increases the longer you leave the food, so while the Five Second Rule doesn’t eliminate the possibility of ingesting bacteria, it does lessen the odds of ingesting a lot of bacteria. Well… that’s something!
That’s all for this week. How has your week been?