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The Sin Of Sodom Wasn't What You Think It Was.

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Genesis 19 tells the story of the destruction of the city of Sodom. It's kind of intense.

Maybe we shouldn't start with the end of Sodom. That would make for a rather short post. Let's back up. Here's what we know about Sodom according to the book of Genesis.

The first mention of Sodom, found in Genesis 10:19, is a rather inconspicuous one. In describing the territory of Canaan, Genesis says it extended "from Sidon, in the direction of Gerar, as far as Gaza, and in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha" (NRSV).

I'll be honest. I can't plot these places on a map of ancient Canaan. Frankly, I'm ok with that. For the sake of illustration, let's just say it's a little like describing the United States as extending as far northwest as the state of Washington, as far northeast as Maine, as far southeast as Florida, and as far southwest as California. No offense, Hawaii and Alaska. Y'all are great. It's jus…

Nothing Worse Than Seeing Your Parents Naked

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There's a very strange story in Genesis 9:18-29. Folks have asked me about it a lot lately, so I thought it might be worth a closer look. The story takes place shortly after Noah and his family have survived the flood and God has made a covenant with them and with their descendants, promising to never again let the flood waters destroy all people.

Genesis 9:20 tells us that Noah was a man of the soil and planted a vineyard. It's good that he was a man of the soil, because I feel like white collar job opportunities would've been hard to come by so soon after the flood. The consumer base was awfully small at that time. What else was there besides the soil? Retail? Dot coms? No, you were pretty much stuck with farming. In time, Noah chose to imbibe from the fruit of his labor and he became drunk, eventually passing out naked in his tent.

One of Noah's sons, Ham (identified as the father of Canaan), saw his father naked. That's how the NIV translates it. In Hebrew, it&…

My Friend's Bible Has More Books In It Than Mine

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My Bible has 66 books.

66 seems like a lot.

It's hard to talk people into reading one book. But 66?

I don't even like to spell out the number 66 (so I don't). Why would anyone want to read 66 books?

But here's the thing. Not all Bibles have 66 books. Some have more than 66.

More? Really? More than 66? That seems excessive.

It's true. Some have more. You might know this if you have Catholic relatives. Or if you've used the popular Bible App.

Someone asked me about these extra books not long ago. She was using the trusty Bible App and the translation she selected, the Common English Bible, included them. My friend wanted to know if it was ok that an app identifying itself as "The Bible" included these books.

I have to be honest. I got way too excited about this question. I'm sorry. There's really nothing I can do to stop this sort of behavior. It's nice to get asked a question I can answer.

"My car is making a strange sound? Can you hea…