Sunday, June 11, 2006

Ten Commandments for the Internet Age

Thou shalt not have any other Providers before me.

Thou shalt not make for thyself a sacrilegious image using Photoshop or Powerpoint.

Thou shalt not bow down and worship thy technology for I am a jealous God punishing the third and fourth generation of computer programs with bugs and viruses and the blue screen of death.

Thou shalt not misuse the name of the Lord using emoticons, symbols, java scripts or other flippant forms of expression.

Remember the Shut Down time and do not Restart during it. Six days ye shall compute and do all your email and word processing but on the seventh day cease, to make room for the Word Perfect.

Honor your parents' computer illiteracy and answer their snail mail so you may live long in the land.

Thou shalt not murder thy computer just because Microsoft Works is an oxymoron.

Thou shalt not commit adultery by means of cyber porn.

Thou shalt not steal another’s data, identity, nor illegally download or copy things.

Thou shalt not give false testimony on a blog against thy neighbor whilst hiding behind a pseudonymous blog name.

Thou shalt not covet thy sister’s laptop, nor her printer, nor her Ipod, nor her cellphone, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.



jean said...

Love it!

:mic said...

. . .or just buy a MAC. . .

Chong Choe said...

Dr. Witherington,
I really enjoyed this! Do you mind if I share it with a few of my coworkers?

Ben Witherington said...

Share it with whoever you like Chong,


Marc Axelrod said...

This could be in our next church newsletter. Thank you for posting!

see-through faith said...


massivetruth said...


PamBG said...

Love it! Thanks so much. Linking to this.

Greg Simmons said...


But would your computer itself qualify as an idol that you worship too many hours during the week?

Jim Martin said...

This is great!

gavin richardson said...

you had to go and throw one of those sabbath commands in there.. bloggers don't know how to rest

Symbals said...

And talking about Internet age and Technology, television viewing by 6-11 year olds will increase some 150% during the summer months. In addition, adult and adult female viewing patterns during that time remain unchanged during the summer, implying that much of the increase in children's viewership is unsupervised. (Nielsen Ratings) The impact of this increased viewing could be quite bleak. Consider:

Adolescents who watch more than three hours of TV daily are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior as adults. (CNN reporting on Columbia University study published in the journal, Science; March 2002).

A University of North Carolina Study concluded that the earlier children are exposed to sexually charged television and other media, the earlier they have sex.

Nearly 61% of all television programming contains violence, with children’s programming being the most violent ( The Parents Television Council (PTC) recently released a study showing there are more violent images on children’s television in the U.S. than on adult-oriented T.V.

Parents need to be aware of the dangers they are inviting into their home each day—particularly during the summer months. TiVo, through its new feature KidZone being rolled out on Thursday, provides parents with an easy-to-use tool for determining what programming will be available to their children in consultation with programming guides from respected experts. Here is what people are saying about TiVo KidZone and the issue of children and T.V.:

“The TV remote can be as dangerous as a stick of dynamite in the hands of an 8-year-old. TiVo KidZone is the safety valve parents need-to guard the minds, hearts, and sensibilities of their most precious gift: their children."

– Max Lucado, New York Times best-selling author

“There’s a big difference between children’s media and what children watch. In the future, blocking will become less important than trusted guides.”

– David Kleeman, President, American Center for Children and Media

“Parents have a right to have their kids watch T.V. without being shocked at what’s on. Easy-to-use tools need to be in place for parents to use.”

– F.C.C. Commissioner Michael Copps

“If a person walked into your house and said and did some of the things children have access to through the media—T.V. and internet—you’d call the police! We have to admit that our children are becoming more tech savvy that their parents can ever hope to be. Technology is out-pacing our ability to respond to it. TiVo is another example of enabling parents to control what their kids are exposed to.”

– U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)

“As a father of two teenagers, I understand that parents are the first line of defense—I commend TiVo for providing parents such a valuable and easy to use resource to determine what programming is best for their kids. This major breakthrough of technology through public and private cooperation directly addresses the goals that Congress and the FCC had in mind when they created the Children’s Educational and Informational programming category.”

– U.S. Representative Fred Upton (R-Mich), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet

More resources about the topic and related articles:

For detailed statistics on children’s TV viewing habits, KidZone fact sheet, high-res photos, and a complete online press kit, visit

For additional information about how TV affects our children, visit

TiVo Announces New Enhancement to TiVo KidZone (

What do I need to know about children and television? (University of Michigan Health Systems -

Common Sense Media – Family Movies Reviews, Movie Rental Reviews, Family Movies, TV Reviews, Web (

Interviews are available with TiVo executives and partner organizations. Contact: Tiffanie Wallace or Karen Dye (770) 813-0000.


Joshua Brainard said...

Hey Dr. Witherington

I've got a question for you. Quick question? How do you make sense of Daniel 11:40-45 where critics say this is a failed prediction of a third campaign by Antiochus IV? If you have got the time for a couple lines, I would really appreciate it, cause its really getting to me. Thanks.


Ben Witherington said...

Hi Joshua:

It is not impossible that that text in Daniel relates to Antiochus Epiphanes (see my Jesus the Seer on Daniel), but I doubt it is what we would call a false prophecy. It could also relate to Alexander the Great. What it probably does not have anything to do with is current or near future Middle East situations.


Bill Barnwell said...

Ben, judging from these comments, you don't see anything in Daniel that points to a further eschatological "antichrist", correct? Also, reading, "Jesus, Paul, and the End of the World" it seems as if you hold out expectation for such a person to arise based on II Thess. 2:1-12, correct? Are there any other passages you see regarding an eschatological "antichrist" figure?

Ben Witherington said...

I find the term 'antichrist' not very useful for this discussion, as it is applied to extant teachers in the Johannine community who were not political rulers at all. The terminology is not found anywhere else in Scripture. The 'man of lawlessness' on the other hand is clearly a ruler figure, as is Mr. 666 in Revelation. I would suspect that what John of Patmos thinks is that there will indeed be a climactic pagan ruler like unto Nero/ Domitian or Nero redivivus. Perhaps this means we should expect him to persecute Christians, but of course neither Nero nor Domitian knew Christian theology, unlike the anti-christian teachers mentioned in the Johannine Epistles. We need to beware synthesizing together disparate and different concepts in the NT.



Bill Barnwell said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bill Barnwell said...

How do we know though there is futher application of the 666 figure? I think many, including yourself in your Revelation commentary that I'm also reading, have made a good case that this points or looks back to Nero depending on when one dates Rev. If that is the case, how can we be sure there will be further application? The man of lawlessness Paul describes also sounds like somebody who was going to come on the scene very soon after he was writing that letter, however, I've found the preterist attempts to label this figure as some unnamed 1st century Jewish agitator or Roman imperial figure not very persuasive.

I also would like to get more of your take on the Olivet Discourses sometime. The "ABAB" interpretation you only touched upon in the footnotes of "Jesus, Paul, and the End of the World." Unless I am not there yet, so far you seemed to mainly merely assert this interpretation instead of spending a great deal of time dissecting that text. I'm not saying I don't agree with it, I just want to understand it better. For example, if you say that vv. 24-27 in Mk. 13 are part of the "B" section of Mark, why would this refer to something almost 2000 years after what is being dealt with in the "A" section if we take vv. 1-23 as referring to the lead up to the fall of the Temple (as verse 30, "this generation" seems to suggest). Also, the bigger problem in my mind is that both Mark and Matthew connect the cosmis disturbance language with happening "in those days, following that distress" or "immediately after the distress of those days." A natural reading of the text certainly would appear to connect those verses to what preceded it. Plus, as you yourself pointed out in the earlier book, the cosmis language is used several times in the OT when describing judgement upon nations. If this is judgement on Jerusalem and it is the Roman army that is the "abomination of desolations" (Lk.21:20) could this also not be prophetic judgement language (The celestial disturbances and "coming on a cloud" imagery") separate from the literal visible coming in the future (Acts 1:11, I Thess. 4:13-18, and perhaps end of Olivet Discourse in Mk. and Matt.)?

I just need more guidance here. I guess I know I'm a partial preterist but I'm not sure to what degree. I like the position you stake out in both books I'm reading right now which appear to be a hybrid of partial-preterism and non-dispensational futurism, but I can also see how much of these texts could be strictly limited to their first century context.

Ben Witherington said...

Hi Bill:

I have a detailed treatment of Mk. 13 in my Mark commentary, so you might want to check that out. What I demonstrate in Jesus the Seer is the way apocalyptic juxtaposes the near and the final horizons. One of the clearest evidences of the plastic or malleable nature of apocalyptic imagery can be seen in comparing Ezek. 1 with Rev. 4-- the throne chariot vision. Obviously the main reason to see Mr. 666 as a multi-valent symbol is that John of Patmos believes there will be a millenium, a return of Christ, and a new heaven and a new earth which are not 'continuous' with the current events, but rather break into history at the end. One of the major themes in Revelation is that only God can be the executor of the justice that is depicted in the book, not human armies.



Elizabeth said...

Ben, I generally come to your blog for a dose of thoughtfulness after an evening of beebopping around a generally silly blogosphere...but here you are making me laugh out loud TWICE in one evening!

Thanks for the grins,


P.S. i'm with Mic - just buy a Mac!!