Bible and Mission Links 36

Some quirky Bible stuff, something on persecution, some inspiring mission stories and a consideration of the role of short-term dentists.

Interesting Bible Stuff

The title of this article is misleading, it isn’t about the oldest Bible in the world, but it is about the oldest illustrated copies of the Gospels.


On a different note entirely, Ian Paul explores the significance (or otherwise) of the catch of 153 fish in John 21. On a slightly related Theme, James Bejon tweeted an extraordinary analysis of the last few chapters of Ezekiel, which he subsequently made available on (you may need to register to see it).


I loved this short piece about the way that Ubang (Nigeria) men and women speak different languages. I vaguely remember that something similar happens in the west of Ivory Coast among the Toura people.

World Church

This is very interesting (and sad) about why the church in Korea has stopped growing.

It’s not hard to see what’s going on—“the younger generation is leaving the church in startling fashion,” said Steven Chang, a New Testament professor in Seoul. The reasons are complex, ranging from Western secularization to materialism to high-profile corruption in the church.

There has been a fair bit about the persecution of Christians in the news lately; from a report by the Bishop of Truro, to this article on the penalization of Evangelicals in Russia.


Coincidently, I have come across two articles suggesting that we need to rethink the language around short term mission trips. I thoroughly enjoyed the introduction to this one from Craig Greenfield.

Imagine if I wrote this letter to my local dentist.

“Dear Sir, I’d like to come and be a dentist for 2 weeks. I’ve been meeting once a month with a small group of others who also want to be short term dentists, and we have our t-shirts printed and we’re ready to come.

PS. Can you drive us around, translate for us, and help take cool photos for our Facebook pages?”

I’d like to be a fly on the wall when the dentist received that letter.

We don’t have short term Social Workers, or short term Bio-Scientists.

We don’t have short term Gastro-enterologists or short term Politicians.

So why, why, why, WHY, do we have short term Missionaries in ever-increasing numbers?

We don’t have short term Social Workers, or short term Bio-Scientists.We don’t have short term Gastro-enterologists or short term Politicians. So why, why, why, WHY, do we have short term Missionaries in ever-increasing numbers? Click To Tweet

The other article isn’t so funny, but it is thought-provoking.

I write a fair bit about money and mission – always a delicate subject. This article covers the way in which one agency has had to settle a lawsuit with donors. While this one is not actually about mission agencies, but it would be naive to think that agencies are immune from the temptation that it describes.

I firmly believe that church leaders should visit their mission partners and this article agrees.

When you sent your mission partner out, part of the partnership package was mutual encouragement. Sitting across the sofa from your mission partner, you’ll provide 10 times as much encouragement as you can on the phone. And encouragement can be just what your mission partner needs to keep them doing what they’re doing!

This story is remarkable (don’t take my word for it, read it), while this one describes some very real struggles while helping to break some mission stereotypes.

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