Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Christmas Story Told in Israeli Language

World’s second-oldest Bible fragment posted online

Cambridge digitized a 2,000-year-old fragment of the Bible containing the Ten Commandments, part of the Shema prayer.

Nash Papyrus.  
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The University of Cambridge posted online thousands of pages from fragile religious manuscripts earlier this month.

One of the documents scanned and uploaded to the Cambridge Digital Library is the Nash Papyrus, a 2,000-year-old fragment containing the Ten Commandments and part of the Shema prayer discovered in Egypt in the late 19th century.


Church service cut short ... for service to others

FULLERTON – Brianna Fain stood over a bowl of dried vegetables Sunday morning, ready to package bags of food to be sent off across the world to those in need in Vietnam.
The 11-year-old, blue-eyed blonde donned a red hairnet and quickly opened small plastic bags, handed them off to her mom, Carrie Fain, 51, who held one open for her, scooped some dried vegetables and placed them in the bag. Brianna's sister, Jennifer Fain, 13, was in charge of placing the soy protein. Their dad, Glen Fain, 58, then filled the bag with rice.

And repeat.
The family took part in First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton's Eve before the Eve project, a challenge by senior pastor Mike Erre to his congregation to leave the church and physically spread Jesus' work into the community.
"If you think the church stops when you walk out the door, you're mistaken," he told his congregation Sunday during the 8 a.m. service. "What you do now is just as legitimate as what you did the last half-hour sitting here."
When Brianna learned from her parents a couple of weeks ago that Sunday's church service would be cut short and that she would be spending several hours packaging food for those in need across the world, she was ready to make it happen.
"I wanted to do this because when people eat this, they'll know that people care about them," she said.
About 1,500 to 1,700 people signed up for activities the church had organized, including packaging food to send to Vietnam through the Stop Hunger Now organization, buying groceries for a widow or a single mom who lives on their street and delivering it, buying a cup of coffee for a Salvation Army bell ringer or handing out gifts to the homeless in Walmart parking lots. Some went caroling at assisted-living senior communities. Some stayed to pray.
Erre said he decided make this Sunday about serving others because it's the epitome of the Christmas story.
"The Christmas story is fundamentally about God becoming flesh and taking on a human form," he said. "We can talk about how much God is good, but if the church is not embodying those concepts in the flesh, then no one is going to be interested in hearing our talk."