Bible at a Glance

Two gems for the big picture folks:

  1. At OpenBible.Info, there’s a Bible Book Browser Visualization that you might find pretty cool. It shows all the books of the Bible in a treemap and color coded and sub-divided by section (Law, Prophets, etc…). When you hover your mouse over the books, a popup appears showing you the chapter headings from the ESV Bible as you read. Pretty cool if you want to look at a glance…
  2. I got this email the other day from my mom and thought it was cute. Enjoy… “Kid’s Bible in a Nutshell.”

    Children’s Bible in a Nutshell In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, ‘The Lord thy God is one, but I think Anyway, God said, ‘Give me a light!’ and someone did. Then God made the world. He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren’t embarrassed because mirrors hadn’t been invented yet. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden. Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn’t have cars.

    Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel. Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something. One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham.

    Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.

    After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast.

    Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat. Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh’s people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable. God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include don’t lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor’s stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.

    One of Moses’ best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town. After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn’t sound very wise to me. After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed upon the shore. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don’t have to worry about them.

    After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of the New Testament. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn, too, because my mom is always saying to me, ‘Close the door! Were you born in a barn?’ It would be nice to say, ‘As a matter of fact, I was.’) During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Republicans. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him. Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the Republicans and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn’t stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead. Any way’s, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

The Tabernacle

We talked Wednesday night about how the Tabernacle passages are a little bit different than everything else we’ve read so far. These detailed instructions are an interruption in the stories and narratives we’ve been getting used to in the book of Genesis and first half of Exodus. For those of you like me, who are unable to visualize this stuff, I’ve compiled some links that might help you see the tabernacle and maybe see a bit more of its relevance and beauty.

All and all, what mattered about the tabernacle wasn’t the vast amount of gold or even the beauty of the artisans’ creation. Instead, it is the symbolism of God’s presence with man.

The Tabernacle with the Shekhina

The word tabernacle comes from the Latin tabernaculum, meaning tent. The Hebrew word used in scripture is Mishkan (משכן ) which meant residence or dwelling place. Pause for a moment and meditate on the idea of a literal house of God being built in your neighborhood. The mailbox would say God on it, I suppose. He has set up shop and moved in with his people — in the center of their community.

Now yes, we should have the same idea today…as we are his temple or his dwelling place…but they had the advantage of seeing it. Not only did they see the house, they saw the Shekhina, the glory-cloud of the presence of God. They saw his cloud and fiery pillar. They saw his wind as it parted the Red Sea. They saw the glowing of Moses’ face as he came down from Mt. Sinai the final time.

Then they saw God’s glory descend on the camp and dwell among them in the tabernacle. I’d call that a special place!

Here’s some links if you want to look at some models of this place:

  • Photos of a Model with Scripture.
  • Drawings of the furnishings. Attempts to explain symbolism. (You can buy your own “make-your-own-tabernacle” kit here, too…)
  • 3-D Walkthrough of the Tabernacle. This one is obscenely cool. You have to download an Internet Plugin, and you probably need broadband internet…but if you can manage that, you get to simulate actually walking through the tabernacle. You can examine the furnishings…and it gives you a really good sense of the scale of the place. (If I can figure out how, I’m going to show this in class next Wednesday night…)
  • The 3-d Bible Project. (Sponsor of the above. Also has temples, etc…)
  • The Jewish Encyclopedia Tabernacle Entry provides an interesting point of view. It’s missing the Christian fulfillment of symbolism, but it’s coming from people who certainly have the best scholarship about the tabernacle itself.
  • Ron Wyatt was the Nashville doctor-turned-amateur-archaeologist who thinks that he has found the Ark of the Covenant, Noah’s Ark, and the evidence for the true Red Sea Crossing Site. His work is very controversial — so investigate it on your own and feel free to draw your own conclusions…cause I’m not doing it for you! :)
  • Just for fun, since we’re talking about the Ark of the Covenant….

Enjoy! See you Sunday…