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Dan Wallace Starts a Blog

Daniel B. WallaceIf you’ve studied New Testament Greek, you know who Daniel Wallace is (not to be confused with the author, angler, and alligator wrestler, the rheumatologist, or the Star Wars geek). His Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (also available from Logos Bible Software) is an essential resource for intermediate Greek students. Not only does it provide an excellent overview of the grammar and syntax of the Greek NT, but it also offers some fresh perspectives on difficult passages. I don’t always agree with Wallace’s exegesis, but I find his views helpful and thought provoking.

Wallace has contributed online through the Pen and Parchment blog and the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts blog, but now he has his own blog, which you can find at DanielBWallace.com. I’d encourage you to check it out and subscribe to the RSS feed (or if RSS still mystifies you, sign up for the email or bookmark the site).

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Why InDesign Crashes When Placing Word Documents and How to Fix It

Adobe InDesign CS5 has stopped workingI occasionally create PDF documents using Adobe InDesign. The source document always comes from Microsoft Word. More often than not, when placing (think importing) the document in InDesign, it crashes and says, “Adobe InDesign CS5 has stopped working. A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.” It gives no indication of what the problem might be, forcing me to search the Word document to see if I can locate the issue myself.

I proceed by dividing the document in half and then trying to import each half. The one that fails, I divide in half. I repeat this process over and over (and over) until I’ve located the page or paragraph with the problem. Since there’s no visible problem with the text itself, I use PureText to wipe out all the formatting and problem code and then reformat it by hand to match the original. It’s not a fun process, but it gets the job done.

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Memorial Day vs. Trinity Sunday

Today was a special day in many churches around the world. Some churches in the US anticipated Memorial Day and remembered those who have fought to defend our nation’s freedoms. Others celebrated Trinity Sunday and reflected on the Christian doctrine of the Trinity—God’s being both one and three. Some may have done both; others neither. I’m curious what your church did.

Take the poll.

[poll id="5"]

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I’m Out to Lunch

Someone from Elgin, Illinois (which I figured out by looking up his IP address) just tried to leave this encouraging comment on my contact page:

I just saw your post about Gilbert Bilezikian may I say that you my friend are out to lunch and need to read you bible more careful and instead of speaking out against this wonderful man why not engage him in a  public debate you may learn something from him.

Here’s a corrected edition for easier reading:

I just saw your post about Gilbert Bilezikian. May I say that you, my friend, are out to lunch and need to read your Bible more carefully. Instead of speaking out against this wonderful man, why don’t you engage him in a public debate? You may learn something from him.

I’ve received a couple of comments like this recently, so I thought I’d share some thoughts and give some suggestions for commenting on my blog.

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My Alma Mater Makes National News

Nope, not Bob Jones this time, for which making national news is fairly commonplace.

Heritage Christian School in Findlay, OH, a ministry of Calvary Baptist Church and the small school where I attended from kindergarten through 12th grade, has been getting a lot of unwarranted bad press over the last few days for suspending a senior who knowingly and willingly disobeyed schools rules—ones he and his parents had agreed to abide by—by attending the local public high school’s prom with his “girlfriend” (in a video interview, the girl said that they’d been dating for all of “a week and a day”).

The story was picked up by a number of news sources:

One of the videos is on YouTube and is embedded below.

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Bill Clinton: “I’m too much of a Calvinist.”

Bill ClintonI saw this video this morning and just have to pass it along.

[Edit: The video is no longer available.]

Here’s a transcript of the short exchange:

John Roberts: US News & World Report this week commissioned a poll that surveyed a bunch of women in American asking what role you should take on with your wife as Secretary of State. Thirty-seven percent, the greatest number of women, said, “House husband.” We’re wondering what you think about that.

Bill Clinton: I—well, you know, it’s funny. I told her when she left that I—that I wish now that I was an ordinary citizen, because I wish I could go with her and be there when she comes home at night and do for her what she did for me when I was President. But it’s not in the cards. I’m—we’re doing the best we can to work through this and do the right thing.

John Roberts: Would you ever be comfortable being a house husband?

Bill Clinton: No. I have to go to work. I’m—I’m too much of a Calvinist. If I don’t work every day, I get nervous.

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Long Strings of Genitives in the Greek NT

The last two Sunday mornings at church I’ve seen some lengthy strings of genitives. Last week was 1 Timothy 6:14, and this week was James 2:1. I remembered seeing some even longer ones in the past, so I thought I’d do a quick search and see what I would come up with.

This was pretty easy to do with the OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament. I simply called for a genitive word and asked for it to be repeated x number of times. I refined the number to give me hits I was looking for. (Download the query if you want, and put it in your My Documents\Libronix DLS\SyntaxQueries folder.)

The award for longest string of genitives goes without contest to Luke, who in Luke 3:23–38 strings together a massive 153 genitives.

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MS Word Tip: How to Replace Hyphens with En Dashes

Though most people don’t know (or care when told), the correct character to use for a range of numbers is the en dash (–), not the hyphen (-). Even if you’re committed to using en dashes between digits, hyphens are a tad easier to type,1 making a find and replace necessary at some point. If you’re diligent and use the en dash faithfully, you will undoubtedly get a rogue hyphen in there somewhere if you do any copying and pasting from the internet or other documents that don’t consistently use the correct character.

A simple find and replace (- for –) would do the trick—if you wanted to replace all hyphens with en dashes. But you don’t want to do this, since hyphens in hyphenated words are correct. :) Alternatively, you could run that query but, instead of replacing them all at once, replace one at a time only the ones that appear between digits. But this could be time consuming on a large document like a dissertation. Another option would be to set up a query to find 0-0 and replace it with 0–0, then 0-1 with 0–1 and so forth, but that would require 100 different searches and probably take longer than the previous method! The previous method could probably be simplified by dropping the second digit since there aren’t likely to be any instances when you’d have a digit followed by a hyphen not followed by another digit. That would make only 10 find-and-replace queries. So this is as least doable, though still not ideal.

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Footnotes

  1. To type an en dash in Word, you can either use the default key combination Ctrl + – (the one on the keypad) or create your own shortcut. My shortcut is Ctrl + – (the one on the main part of the keyboard).
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Most and Least Religious States

A new Gallup Poll evaluates states according to their religiousness.

Want to be almost certain you’ll have religious neighbors? Move to Mississippi. Prefer to be in the least religious state? Venture to Vermont.

A new Gallup Poll, based on more than 350,000 interviews, finds that the Magnolia State is the one where the most people — 85% — say yes when asked “Is religion an important part of your daily life?”

Less than half of Vermonters, meanwhile — 42% — answered that same question in the affirmative.

. . .

Overall, Gallup researchers found that 65% of all Americans said religion was important in their daily lives.

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An Emoticon in a Lincoln Speech from 1862? ;)

A blog post at the City Room Blog at NYTimes.com has received some attention this week. In “Is That an Emoticon in 1862?” the author explores whether a ;) in a transcript of a Lincoln speech is an emoticon or a typo. Some are convinced that this is the earliest example of an emoticon. Most seem to think it’s simply a typo in the form of accidental transposition (e.g., see the comments here and here).

Here’s an image of the text under discussion:

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