Set This On The Table, Part IV

Well, let’s get on with the last entry of Set This On The Table. It’s been a long month for me, so I’m going to wrap this up.

 

Wrapping this Up

Usually when I write something on this blog, I try to have a point in writing it. I started this series with the intent to unpack the Bible the way one would unpack an episode of Doctor Who, or Supernatural. Analyzing to the point of over-analyzing.

But that was the only point, and not really a good one. I needed a new one.

And the other day, I got one.

I’m not analyzing Scripture for this one; I’m leaving a challenge with you.

My challenge is to never let the Bible become boring.

It’s as simple as that. I believe the Bible is one of the most truthful books, with a little bit of something for everyone. Like action and adventure? Read Judges, 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel, in that order. Like romance? Try the book of Ruth. Like watching a grand story unfold of how God sets the stage for his Son to enter the world, then puts that Son into the world to die for our sins (paying a price so valuable it could only be paid with the blood of God Incarnate), and then proceed to raise Him from the dead? Read the entire Bible front to back.

If anything, this series was to prove a point that the Bible is very interesting. There’s a lot of incredible things that get underplayed (or overplayed, depending on your Bible study plan). When Christ was on Earth, he spoke of children and childlike humility. (Matthew 18:3-5) Maybe that is a hint to approach the Bible with a sense of childlike awe and wonder.

I leave this challenge to you and close the series. I’ll be back next week, talking about geeky/nerdy stuff again.

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Set This On The Table, Part III

Welcome back to Set This On The Table, the series where I look at the Bible and the awesome things in it, and analyze those things as Tumblr, Reddit, or any fandom community would.

I’m writing this very last-minute, as I have been ill all week. Don’t worry. I’m recovering. Slowly.

No matter. Let’s look at the New Testament, focusing on the miracles of Jesus.

 

Turning Water into Wine

So, let’s set the scene. Jesus is at a wedding party, and the hosts ran out of wine. Long story short, Jesus takes several barrels of water and turns them into fine wine.

Hold up. He turned water into wine?

Let’s break it down. I did a quick Google search for the “chemical composition of wine” and was taken to a site dedicated to winemaking, Wineskills.co.uk. They have a page on the chemical composition of wine that was quite informative. (Link at the end of the article.)

What their research showed was that wine is only about 80% or 90% water. The rest is alcohol, sugar, and other various chemicals.

Okay. According to the chart, most of the alcohol in wine is actually ethanol, which has the chemical formula of C2H6O. So Jesus would have had to take maybe one tenth of the water and turned it into ethanol, probably breaking apart and re-arranging a few oxygen molecules to make the carbon.

And that’s just for one of the many chemicals needed to make wine. There are others that Jesus would have had to know and transform, requiring near deific knowledge and definitely requiring deific power to do this. Even with today’s technology, we probably couldn’t turn water into cheap wine, let alone fine wine.

 

The Healings…All of Them

Speaking of deific power, how about all those times that Jesus healed somebody. There’s another thing we can’t replicate with today’s medicine.

I mean, Jesus went from town to town healing their sick. Not like colds and coughs sick. No, he healed people with leprosy, paralysis, other disorders, and even death—ailments that would have made the patient unclean, aside from being hard to cure.

Leprosy, according to WebMD, can be cured with antibiotics, as it is a bacterial disease. However, it can only be completely cured if caught early on; people who have had it for a while are out of luck, because leprosy actually can cause nerve damage. Even as far as our modern medicine can go, we cannot fix nerve damage, if I’m not mistaken.

Which probably rules out curing paralysis then.

And…death.

You know, to be honest, if these miracles are not a sign that Jesus is God, I don’t know what is.

 

And that concludes this entry. I’ll be finishing up the series next week.

 

 

Bibliography:

“Leprosy Overview.” WebMD, n.d. Web. 20 July 2016. [http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/leprosy-symptoms-treatments-history?page=2]

“WINEMAKING.” Chemical Composition. Wineskills, n.d. Web. 19 July 2016. [http://www.wineskills.co.uk/winemaking/winemaking-knowledge-base/chemical-composition]

Set This On The Table, Part II

Welcome back to “Set This On The Table,” the series where I look at the Bible and unpack what’s inside it from an analytical angle. For this one, I’ll be looking at one more case in the Old Testament.

 

How to Burn a Water-Logged Altar:

One of my favorite acts of the Old Testament prophets is Elisha summoning a pair of bears to beat up the youths harassing him over his hair loss. But another one of my favorites is the time when Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal and let God prove His power, as recorded in I Kings 18.

The intriguing part of this passage is when God sends down fire, and it burns the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the water, as well as the ground around it.

Let’s look at that again. Fire burns at different temperatures depending on the fuel. The fire boiled out the water, meaning it must be hotter than 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and hotter than as the water boiled instantly. The combustion temperature of wood is over twice that, measuring at 451 degrees. Since it was able to boil the water and burn the wood to dust instantly, it must be a lot more than that.

This gets to the tricky part. The fire was hot enough to burn the rocks, which I take to mean it boiled the rocks. To turn rocks into it’s liquid form, lava, it has to be heated to upwards of two-thousand degrees. I can only assume that the temperature at which lava boils is upwards of eight-hundred thousand degrees (800,000). At this point the ground around the altar and the sacrifice on the alter would be long gone.

Moreover, some translations read that the dust itself was consumed.

Okay, let’s break this down. There is a scientific law that states matter cannot be destroyed, it can only change form. So either God took everything on the fire and transmuted it into air, or He broke the laws of physics. This is God; both are possible. Either way, the splitting and fusion of the atoms would result in a nuclear explosion for each speck of dust.

Whatever heat was coming off (the minimum being an assumed-not-calculated 800,000 degrees Fahrenheit, on top of millions of nukes going off) would have spread. This is the simple rule of the convention of heat. If you’ve ever stood by a campfire, you know not to sit too close. You’re not in the fire, but you still feel the heat.

My point is that only God could hose down a four-foot circle on the earth with enough heat and energy to level a continent, and His prophet standing nearby didn’t break a sweat.

Just gonna set that on the table.

 

That concludes this entry. Next week I’ll be talking about the New Testament, looking at the Miracles of Jesus.

 

Let’s Connect:

@Isaac_Trenti

@CorrelationBlog

Set This On The Table: Part I

Introduction:

Here at the Correlation, we take it upon ourselves to show the correlation (hence the name) between our fandoms and our faith. We’ve written about how Doctor Who depicts prayer, how anime as a genre depicts the church, and Captain America: Civil War…twice.

But one thing I’ve noticed, all respect due to my fellow writers, we’ve mainly been opening with a fandom. Don’t get me wrong, this is “our nerd blog.” I myself have taken a few posts to geek out about things without leaving a moral, Christian or otherwise.

That said, for the month of July, I’ll be reversing our M.O. and starting with Scripture, looking at the Bible as though it was a fandom.

Why? Because, to be honest, I am a bit jealous of fandoms. As far as literary criticisms go, I believe Tumblr could do it as well as a room full of people with doctorates. I’ve seen people from different backgrounds pick apart and analyze screenshots of Doctor Who, Supernatural, and the like. Internet users across the globe get together and share things they noticed. And that’s what I’m going to do, only with the Bible.

So, without further ado, I’m going to Set This On The Table for you to see, and hopefully get a better—or more interesting—understanding of God’s Word.

Let’s start at the beginning…

 

 

Noah’s Ark [not our Noah, but…you get it] and Dinosaurs

…Or thereabouts.

It’s become common for people, notably comedian Tim Hawkins, to note that the story of the Flood is not kid-friendly. All but eight people died, all but two of each clean animal drowned, and the entire Earth was covered in water for forty days.

I, like many before me, asked myself: how did the dinosaurs fit on the ark?

I mean, the dimensions are quite clearly laid out in the Bible. (My translation of Genesis 6:15 measures it at 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.) It would be a challenge to fit all of them, right?

Actually, I crunched the numbers, and it turns out the ark is big enough to fit at least two of the largest dinosaurs with room to spare. As long as they didn’t move for those forty days, Noah would have had nothing to worry about. However, the ark could only hold two of those dinosaurs and probably not the rest of the fossil record, so what about the other dinosaurs?

I wish to hypothesize that not all of them fit because not all of them made it to the flood. I crunched more numbers, and roughly one thousand years transpired between the Fall and the Flood. It’s likely a lot of dinosaurs could have been hunted to extinction by the time the Flood happened, either for self-defense or a tasty meal. Or for sport. “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.” (Genesis 6:11, NIV) Plus, some of the people living on the earth were Nephilim, so several species being hunted to extinction is not too far-fetched.

 

The Ten Plagues of Egypt

As much as I love the Bible, I can’t help but think its records of some things are nonchalant. The plagues in Exodus feel like one example. Or ten examples.

For the sake of time, I’ll unpack the most “harmless” of the plagues: gnats.

Looking at the Ten Commandments, it makes me wonder why God didn’t call in a massive dust storm over Egypt. The way I see it, He did. He called in a dust storm where every speck of dust had a brain of its own. And could work its way into the open windows, doors, keyholes, and roofs of the buildings. Egypt could prepare for a dust storm, but not one that could think.

I wasn’t an insectophobe, but I think I am now.

 

And that concludes this entry. I’ll be continuing this series for the month of July, Lord willing.

 

Let’s Connect:

@Isaac_Trenti

@CorrelationBlog

 

Bibliography:

NIV Study Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. Print.