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.



opinionated said...

Love it!

Michael Thompson 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...


Anonymous said...


PamBG said...

Love it! Thanks so much. Linking to this.

Greg 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

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 Krecker 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!!