FEATURES 04 Christian Integrity Richard Masih
05 A Different Ball Game
06 Class Room Ethics Lydia Edwin
08 Personal Ethics In A Corporate World Joseph Oommen
10 What About Paying Taxes? Michael Thomasraj
11 Thou Shall Not Pirate Sakthivel Sundaresan
13 Piracy: A Christian Point Of View Thomas Abraham
14 It’s Mine... Not Yours... Joseph Devadason
16 What’s So Bad About Plagiarism? Nigel Ajay Kumar
17 Freely Recieved... Freely Give! Ajay Jacob
Editorial Dear Readers,
Soul Connec t Vol. 2 No. 2, Apr - Jun 2013
Greetings to you from Kingdom Friends Network. The sixth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is over but the nation is still reeling under betrayal and disbelief. Yet again, the gods of cricket have let down its die-hard devotees. The recent spot fixing scandal has not only brought disrepute to a few dishonest players, the involvement of a top brass from a franchise has made the entire league a questionable one. Rohit Roy, a TV celebrity said, “Most frustrating for a cricket lover who lays out all his emotions while the game is on and quite a long time after... Sad.” Chetan Bhagat tweeted, “IPL is private teams playing for money. If you think it’s more than that, the joke is on you. its entertainment for TRP. Anything goes.” Hard core cricket fans may still crowd stadiums to watch a game (as observed during the final of IPL – 6 at Kolkata) in spite of recurring scandals. Nevertheless, the truth is IPL has lost its credibility to a great extent. Integrity is one of the essential virtues. Most of the dictionaries define integrity as ‘soundness of moral character or honesty.’ Whether in cricket field or in class room or in work place or at home, integrity is indispensable. The moment a player is found to be dishonest, he or she loses the trust of a million fans. The moment a husband breaches the trust of his wife, the relationship heads straight for a toss. The moment a student deceives her teacher, real learning takes a beating. Without integrity healthy relationships are impossible. Without integrity working together is impossible. Without integrity real growth is impossible. Integrity is a virtue that needs to be guarded with utmost care. When a person loses his or her integrity, it is very difficult to regain it. I’m reminded of a small demonstration I saw during my theological studies at SAIACS, Bangalore. My professor, Dr. Graham Houghton, was taking a class on Integrity in Leadership. He showed us a whole egg in his hand and at the wink of an eye he dropped it on the ground. The egg shell broke into several pieces with a cracking sound. Then he looked at us and said, “Your integrity is like a whole egg, handle it with care. Once you drop it, it will be almost impossible to bring it back to its former state.” In this issue of SOUL CONNECT we take a look at the importance of Christian integrity in various walks of life. The quest for integrity is not without its challenges. Sometimes, the line between right and wrong is not crystal clear – it is either blurred or subtle. Likewise, it is difficult to strike a Bible-centered balance in our pursuit of righteousness. We face the danger of falling either into legalism or liberalism. It is my prayer that God would give you a quest for integrity as you read some of the key issues discussed in the magazine. Yours in Kingdom Mission, email@example.com (Editor-in-chief)
Sam K John.
Purpose: SOUL CONNECT exists to inspire its readers to live for Christ and His Kingdom. It seeks to apply the Word of God to contemporary issues Christians face in their day to day life. Also, it aims at instilling a passion for world missions
Permissions & Disclaimer: Contents copyright © 2012 by Kingdom Friends Network. All information is published in good faith. The publisher and the editors are not liable for inaccuracies. Publication of any item does not reflect the official stand of the magazine. Publisher: Kingdom Friends Network (KFN) is a registered religious trust (324/12-13/IV). www.kingdomfriends.net Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: Kingdom Friends Network, #7 Shalom Eden Rock Layout, Byrathi, Dodda Gubbi Post, Bangalore – 560077. How to Receive: SOUL CONNECT is published quartely. If you like to recieve hard copy by post, send us your postal address. For soft copy visit our website. This magazine is financially sustained by free will contributions. Account Details: KINGDOM FRIENDS NETWORK, Union Bank of India, Bangalore-43. Current Account no.: 522701010036531 IFSC code: UBIN0552275 MICR code: 560026023
Layout Design: Editing Help: Debbie Sunil Photos: ShutterStock.
Editorial Board: Joseph Devadason, Shibu K Mathew, John Jebaraj James, Ashwin Ramani & Nalini Parmar 3
CHRISTIAN INTEGRITY By Richard Masih dawn on us – 1. Our Lord always told the truth. 2. We being His followers should also always tell the truth. 3. We should take his words seriously – whether they are his teachings, commands, promises, or warnings.
This world is full of
falsehood. For example: False prophets (2Peter 2:1; 1John 4:1), false visions (Jeremiah 14:14), false dreams 23:32), false hopes (Jeremiah 23:16), false teachers (2Peter 2:1), false doctrines (1Timothy 3:1); false apostles (2Corinthians 11:13), false brothers (2Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:4), false christs (Mark 13:22) and false gods (Psalm 4:2; 40:4). We need to be aware of these and not be misled by them. They are found in our Churches, Fellowships, Organizations and Institutions. They are dangerous to our Christian faith and freedom. In contrast to these, our Lord was a man of integrity. Even his enemies conceded to this fact. They said, “Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are” (Matthew 22:16). Our Lord said 24 times in the Gospel of John “truly, truly” (ESV) or “verily, verily” (KJV) or “I tell you the truth” (NIV) – 1:51; 3:3, 5, 11, 19, 25; 6:26, 32, 47, 53; 8:34, 51, 58; 10:1, 7; 12:24; 13:16, 20, 21, 38; 14:12; 16:20, 23; 21:18. Please read all these verses in the Gospel of John. As we do so, three factors 4
The Bible expressly tells us that our Lord never told a lie. “He committed no sin, and no deceit found in his mouth” (1Peter 2:22; Isaiah 53:9b). The Bible is also witness that our God whom we worship never tells lies. There is a phrase in Titus to this fact, “…which God, who does not lie…” (1:2). Numbers 23:19 is more eloquent, “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” The answer is clear. He acts what he speaks. He fulfills what he promises. The third Person of the Triune God also never lies since he is the Spirit of truth and holiness (John 16:13; Romans 1:4). Then why should evangelical Christians, born again believers, pastors and preachers, full time Christian workers and missionaries, church leaders, elders, deacons and Bishops, executive Directors, CEOs, committee and board members tell lies? Why should even husband and wife lie to each other? Why should parents lie to children? Why should children lie to parents and to one another? Why should pastors and congregation lie to each other? Thank God, not all do, but some or may be many do for selfish reasons, ulterior motives, to cheat and
to deceive, to safeguard their power and position and for securing foreign fund. We make false promises, write false reports, and give false accounts, false impressions, false hopes, false prophecy, false teachings and false testimony. It’s all because we have no fear of God. We don’t take the Bible as our final authority in all matters of faith and conduct. We still have the same old nature ruling in and over us. We are very strictly told that we are not to lie to one another – “Do not lie” (Leviticus 19:11b). “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body” (Ephesians 4:25). “Do not lie to each other” (Colossians 3:9). The Bible has much more to say against telling lies (Proverbs 12:19; 19:5, 922; 26:26). It’s in the nature and character of the devil to tell lies. “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:4). When we lie habitually we show that we have his nature and character in us. Let there be Christian integrity among God’s people in their profession, proclamation and practice. Richard serves with the UESI as a minister at large based in New Delhi. e-mail: email@example.com.
Cricket is India’s most popular sport and often times elevated to the level of a religion. I am a cricket enthusiast myself though I don’t worship the game. The extent of craze associated with Cricket has made it a top money spinner. Unfortunately, the game has been drawn into great disrepute because of all kinds of ‘fixing’ scandals. Games have been deliberately lost and players have performed below par for the sake of money. What is amazing is that cricket players who make it to international teams or major leagues are paid handsomely. In spite of the luxury and affluence that comes some of the players fall gullible to the temptations of becoming richer. A number of these cricketers come from humble middle class family backgrounds but succumb to the pressures of being in the spotlight and get carried away. What they do not realize is that the desire to grab and accumulate money comes with a huge price tag. In the end promising careers end so abruptly and one can only feel sorry for the potential that goes waste.
Can we learn some lessons from these fixing scandals? I certainly believe so. A number of us are driven by the desire to become rich. Money becomes the sole dictating factor behind all decisions and ultimately it leads us to the pathway of destruction. The Bible has a lot to talk about the subject of finances. Apostle Paul told his young disciple Timothy, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Tim 6:9-10). These are wise words that speak profoundly to our present generation. The greatest of deception is the belief that the pursuit of money brings pleasure. People who believe this deception end up with great regrets when they reach the fag end of life. They might have successfully accumu-
lated lots of material things but in the process they deprived themselves of things which are of lasting value. The money they so treasured gave them temporary excitement but did not fill the void in their hearts and left them totally shattered and disillusioned. Whether we are cricket players or software professionals or engineers or doctors – let us learn to re-order our priorities of life. Becoming rich and famous is not the end goal of life. We will find inner meaning and purpose when we learn to align our life with the principles of the Bible. Instead of loving money, we should learn to love God and love our fellow people. Let us take heed the words of Jesus Christ, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt 6:1921). Jesus did not condemn money in itself but the hoarding of money which is nothing but sheer greediness. When we live only with a perspective of this life on earth then a reservoir of money and carnal pleasures will appear glamorous. But when we live in light of the life to come such
glamorous things turn pale and we will be motivated to go after spiritual riches. Ashwin is an associate pastor of the Centre Street Church, Calgary, Canada.
What are you willing to do for $10,000,000? Two-thirds of Americans polled would agree to at least one, some to several of the following: *Would abandon their family (25%) *Would abandon their church (25%) *Would become prostitutes for a week or more (23%) *Would give up their American citizenships (16%) *Would leave their spouses (16%) *Would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free (10%) *Would kill a stranger (7%) *Would put their children up for adoption (3%) Source: James Patterson and Peter Kim / The day America told the truth
Class Room Ethics By Lydia Edwin
Class room is the place where young
minds are ignited with various intellectual concepts, shaped and honed to make lasting inventions and discoveries, and latent talents and skills are kindled to attain their fullest potential. It is inside the classroom, that a student seeks to gain identity, lays the bricks of lasting friendships, learns to look at the big world outside, takes a re-look at his/her own values and beliefs system and gradually grows up to maturity. This growth which can either be positive or negative, is chiefly dictated by the CHOICES the student makes every day inside the classroom. For a Christian student, the class room definitely provides the most challenging opportunity to live for Christ. 6
A successful Christian life inside the class room demands a prayerful personal life and a meticulous academic life. A personal life centered on His Kingdom (Matthew 6:33), a vibrant personal relationship with God, lubricated by an ardent study of God’s word and prayer and graced with an accountable and godly fellowship is very important. A meticulous academic life does not necessarily imply highest grades and outstanding performance; rather it is about how careful you are about academics. Being punctual to every class, being sincere in meeting up all deadlines, being polite and humble, treating every teacher and every other student respectfully and being proactive in the class are essential ingredients
of a Christ-glorifying academic life. There are many ways through which a Christian student can make an indelible mark on the lives of his/her fellow students and even on his/her teachers inside the class room. I just would like to pen down three important issues:
In Your Convictions: Be a Peer Influencer
Paul writes in Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs] …” These are the days when students decide what to eat, drink, wear, watch, where to go, what to own etc. only based on their peer group. With the ever-frightening question of ‘how far’ one could go, which threatens the
very essence of personal holiness and integrity, a Christian student needs to have his/her value system and convictions rooted and grounded in God’s unchanging word. Bob Hartman, in the song “Strong Convictions”, found in the album Petra-Wake-up Call, writes: “Secular and sacred blur, without even raising a flag When so many masters call, Is it the tail or the dog that will wag? With some among us weak at the knees, And many others who do as they please There still remains a witness, The few who will stand and say I’ve got strong convictions ‘bout the way that I live, I’ve got no concessions that I’m willing to give, Strong convictions that are worth living by, Strong convictions ‘till the day I die” A Christian student needs to have strong bible-based convictions on, how he/she completes his/her assignments, how he/she behaves inside the examination hall, how he/ she conducts himself/herself with other students and teachers, how he/ she spends her leisure time, how he/ she spends his/her money, time etc. Strong convictions based on God’s word are highly contagious. Such convictions are empowered by the grace of God and ultimately glorify God.
In Your Words: Make a Positive Impact
Inside the class room, a Christian student can make a big positive impact by the words he/she chooses to speak. One reason why depression, addictions, suicides…have become a commonality among students, is that they really don’t find hope anywhere. Repeated failures, relationship breakups, inferiority complex, identity crisis, mediocre performance… these are some of the battles that are baffling the students of this day. The need of the hour is one child of God, empowered by the presence of God with words filled with grace and healing. If you have a word of good cheer, encouragement,
motivation and hope, you can bring life into your classroom.
In Your Reactions: Show Christ
J Allan Peterson in his book, Your reactions are showing writes, “it is not your planned and practiced actions, but your spontaneous, unconscious and unscheduled reactions that reveal who you really are.” Inside the classroom, when you are in trouble, when your friends misunderstand you, when your grades are down, when you are falsely accused, when injustice is meted out to you, when you find yourself in an embarrassing situation, when you feel miserable, how do you react? Come what may, just the quiet assurance that God is in control of every minute detail of your life, can definitely help you and enable you to be still and know that He is God indeed. Christ-like reactions in difficult situations inside the class room can draw your friends to God.
Dr. Madison Sarratt taught mathematics at Vanderbilt University for many years. Before giving a test, the professor would admonish his class something like this: “Today I am giving two examinations--one in trigonometry and the other in honesty. I hope you will pass them both. If you must fail one, fail trigonometry. There are many good people in the world who can’t pass trig, but there are no good people in the world who cannot pass the examination of honesty.” George Sweeting
The biggest challenge for a Christian student is to live the type of Christianity inside the classroom that other students would feel challenged to follow. Years spent inside the classroom are few Opportunity to show Christ’s love is very few May your life, words and convictions glow As you intercede for your friends and in His steps follow. Lydia teaches in EEE Dept at the Karunya University, Coimbatore.
Few things are more infectious than a godly lifestyle. The people you rub shoulders with everyday need that kind of challenge. Not prudish. Not preachy. Just cracker jack clean living. Just honest to goodness, bone - deep, non-hypocritical integrity.” Chuck Swindoll
A father was filling out an application form for his daughter who was seeking entrance to a very exclusive college. He came to the question on the form which asked whether the applicant was a leader. In honesty he wrote, “No, but she is a good follower.” The application was sent in and a month later a letter arrived notifying him that his daughter had been accepted. At the bottom of the page the dean had written, “Since the entering class of 500 has 499 leaders, we thought that there ought to be room for one follower.” Dale Kruegar 7
PERSONAL ETHICS IN A CORPORATE WORLD BY Joseph oommen In
the early 2000’s when the Enron and WorldCom financial scandals were exposed, the Chairman and CEO of one of the Fortune 500 companies said that the world will not see a similar situation in his company. This statement was based on the company’s core value of ethics and the internal controls in place to govern the business transactions. However, every year several ethical violations are reported resulting in disciplinary action including termination from services of the company. The unethical behaviors seen are – seeking gifts or bribes, falsification of expense accounts, falsification of records, submision of falsified certificates at the time of employment, not being truthful in the investigations, sexual harassments, conflict of interests, inappropriate use of company assets, unauthorized commitments and others. Every time in the investigations the same question is asked – Why did the individual behave in such an unethical manner specially when the policies of the company are clearly stated and communicated every year? One of the major reasons found is that the personal ethics of the individual which governs the individual’s social and business related behavior does not align with the organization’s expectation of ethical behavior. Personal ethics are influenced by the behavior of families they grow up in, by peers, by life experiences, by the culture they live in and personal values and morals. 8
Today we live in an environment which is constantly activating the greed in man, causing man to behave in an unethical manner. The intense competition in the school system and the pressures of achieving high performance drives students to cheating and plagiarism. Similarly the desire to hold well paying jobs drives applicants to lie on their CV’s and to even submit falsified certificates. The constant bombardment of the media to have
all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” The thought process of the rich man in Luke 12 when he saw the abundance of the crop from his field is a good example of greed for more. He thinks of several “I will….” statements to satisfy his materialistic desires. The Word of God describes greed as part of our earthly nature which needs to be put to DEATH, which is IDOLATRY (Col 3:5). Ephesians 5:3 says that among believers there should not be even a slightest hint of greed, because it is improper for God’s holy people. The question is how do we practically live ethically correct lives in an increasingly perverse world.
Your Identity and Purpose:
more of everything – choice food, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, exotic vacation – causes dissatisfaction with the current and activates the greed for more. The desire to earn more drives people to unethical behavior. The driving force is GREED. Greed is defined as the inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one’s self, far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort. Jesus said (Luke 12:15) “Watch out! Be on your guard against
We the saints of God, disciples of Jesus Christ in this world need to anchor ourselves daily on who we are in Christ Jesus. In Christ, we are the children of God (John 1:12), a new creation (2 Cor 5:17); redeemed by His blood and forgiven (Eph1:7); chosen to be holy and blameless in His sight (Eph 1:4) and God’s workmanship created to do good works (Eph 1:10). As a child of God my Father has lavished His love on me through His Son, He lives in me through His Spirit (Spirit of Truth), my citizenship is in heaven and I am His representative here on this earth. I will walk daily to this calling.
Set Your Hearts and Minds on Things Above:
Colossians 3: 1- 5 says “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your
hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things”. Indeed, when we do this, the words of the chorus “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of the earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glorious face” will become practically true. The driving forces of this world – greed, lust, carvings of our sinful nature will diminish in its power.
God is Your Provider and Rewarder:
Eph 6:6, 7 “Do the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do...” God knows exactly our situation, the pressures, stresses, demands, conflicts, outcomes of decisions…….. everything is laid bare before His eyes. Take comfort in this and expect your reward from the King of Kings.
Allow His Spirit to be the Lord of Your Life:
Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who communicates, convicts, reveals, comforts, counsels. Do we hear Him? Do we allow Him to express His view on the situation? Hence as Eph 6:18 says, Pray in the Spirit in all occasion, pray with all kinds of prayers and request, pray with an alert mind and obey Him as he reveals. Walk and keep in step with Him.
Be Prepared to Pay the Price:
The darkness hates the children of light as the fruitless deeds of darkness are exposed. There could be exclusion from workgroups, insults, feeling of loneliness, withholding of rewards and promotions, forced transfers and terminations. Please read 1 Pet 4:1219. Note the phrases – ‘Rejoice, You are blessed, Spirit of Glory rests on you, Do not be ashamed.’ Let us Com-
mit ourselves to our faithful Creator and continue to do good. 1 Pet 4:19 Joseph works with a MNC as a senior manager.
In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” Warren Buffet
What qualities in employees irritate bosses the most? Burke Marketing Research asked executives in 100 of the world’s 1000 largest companies. At the top of the list was dishonesty. Mrac Silbert, whose temporary employee firm commissioned the study, says, “If a company believes that an employee lacks integrity, all positive qualities--ranging from skill and experience to productivity and intelligence--become meaningless.” Six other factors were discovered, making a total of “seven deadly sins” that can cause you to lose your job. They are listed below in decreasing order of irritation value. 1. Arrogance, ego problems and excessive aggressiveness. 2. Absenteeism and lateness. 3. Not following company policy. 4. Failure to follow the rules made by the management. 5. Whining and complaining. 6. Laziness and lack of commitment and dedication. If you don’t care about the firm, they won’t care about you. Source: The Pryor report, Vol.6 No: 1A, 1989.
The little boy was sent by his mother to buy a 65 cent loaf of bread. While the baker was putting the bread into a bag, the boy noticed that the loaf looked rather small. “Isn’t that a small loaf of bread for 65 cents?” the boy asked . “You’ll have less to carry,” replied the baker. The boy put 50 cents on the counter. “You’re 15 cents short,” said the baker. “That’s right, “ replied the boy. “You’ll have less to count.” Source unknown 9
‘Tax’ is a bad word anywhere in the world. We hate to pay tax because it’s our hard earned money. Of all the great inventions of the human mind, discovering newer methods of tax evasion stands tall. ‘Good’ governments, they say, lower tax and make people happy but ‘bad’ governments raise taxes and lose the next election. Taxes drew the same negative response even in Jesus’ time. People just hated the sight of the tax collector. Have you noticed how in the gospels tax collectors were always clubbed along with ‘sinners’? The religious elite often referred to ‘tax collectors and sinners’ in the gospels (See Mt.9, 10; 11.19; Lk.7.34; 15.1). Do you hate tax collectors and paying taxes? There is bad news for you. Jesus paid taxes! Tax was so important that Jesus even performed a ‘fish-miracle’ for the money. He made Peter take his fishing rod and walk all the way to the sea. Before sending him, Jesus told Peter that He, as king of the earth, need not pay tax but he did not want to offend anyone and become a bad example. And so we see how even the King of the earth and Peter, his ‘subject’ both paid tax. Interestingly, among all the gospels, Matthew, the former tax collector, promptly records the incident (Mat.17.24-27.) I can almost see Matthew smiling at me and saying, “Look I told you... Tax is not a 10
bad word, after all!” And if you think it was just a one off incident and Jesus paid it only because his enemies tried to find fault with him, there is more bad news for you. We hear Jesus, our Lord, teaching, ‘Give to Caesar’, when his enemies asked him about paying taxes to Caesar. (Mat.22: 15-22). Paul, the Apostle also insists that we pay taxes. In Romans 13.1-7, he clearly instructs, ‘if you owe taxes, pay taxes’ (v.7). And in the preceding six verses, he gives us clear reasons why we cannot dispute paying taxes. I will leave you with a summary of his argument: We pay taxes to authorities > As God’s children we must submit to authorities > All authorities have been established by God > Those who rebel against authorities only rebel against God > Instead of rebelling, let us pay tax and submit to authority > Finally, if we do not pay taxes, two things happen: One, you will be rightly punished by authorities. Two, you will always be guilt ridden in your conscience. I quote verse 5 in full: ‘Therefore, it is necessary to submit to authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience’ (NIV). I urge you to reflect on Paul’s teaching and arrive at a good Biblical conclusion on this thorny issue.
We live in an age of protests & demands for rights. Many admire Paul for his teaching on freedom but become very uncomfortable when he teaches on submission, especially to earthly rulers. But truth be told, no matter how ego centric or corrupt they might be, the authorities above us are installed by God. Our God is the Lord of lords and King of kings and He is in control of the affairs of this world. He installs kings and dethrones them (Daniel.2.21). And so as Christians, if we respect our God, we must submit to authorities. That is precisely Paul’s argument. If Paul can say so when he lived under a somewhat unfair Roman rule, we must not throw up excuses under a relatively liberal regime. Peter may have grudgingly walked to the sea and back to pay his taxes but later transformed by the Truth, totally agrees with Paul. In his first letter, he (2.13-14) instructs: 1 Peter 2:13-15, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” (KJV) ‘Taxes’, Michael Bloomberg said, ‘are not good things, but if you want services, somebody’s got to pay for them so they’re a necessary evil.’ But taxes from another point of view – the Biblical view – is not simply about paying for government services but about respecting the authority that God has installed above us. This may be a bitter pill to swallow but it is part of our Christian witness in a dark world. Michael serves as pastor teacher of a church based in Banglore. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles Babbage, the father of com-
puters, would have had very little idea about the explosion of PCs,World Wide Web and the most recent tablets...when he was taking that small step of making an analytical engine to solve his calculations for the Astronomical Society. Computers have evolved much over the years since that humble attempt. Today computers are used in everything.... from selling buckets to launching rockets. Computers have become an inseparable part of human life in this modern era. Hence it is very important to know how to use our computers legitimately. A computer is nothing but a machine with its hardware and software components. Hardware is what a computer user can visually see, touch and feel. Your keyboard, mouse, monitor, CPU and whatever is inside the CPU are components of hardware. Software is a component which makes use of the hardware components and gets the things done for you. For ex-
ample Windows XP or Windows 8 are operating system software.... without these your computer is like a dead body. So in order to have a computer which is useful and running... it ought to have both the hardware components and compatible software.
Piracy: A Thievery
Hardware components are those that are very much visible, while software components are like the spirit of a man...very much in there, yet cannot be seen. It is inevitable for everyone to pay for the hardware cost, but tainted minds play with software components. A computer user should be paying for both hardware and software costs (for copy righted software like windows XP, Windows 8, MS office and many others). But the software running on many of our computers is illegitimate and being used without proper license i.e. running with what is called â€œpiratedâ€? software. So what does it mean to use pirated software?
What is software piracy? The word piracy is often used for thieves who attack the ships and rob the ships. Software piracy means using copyrighted software without paying anything to the company who produced that software. It is an act of robbing companiesâ€™ intellectual property for a selfish cause. Microsoft Corporation, being manufacturers of windows operating systems, has been the worst victim of software piracy. You would have used at least one system which either uses a pirated windows OS or at least a pirated MS office suite. Every year 71060 people lose their jobs in US..... $12.5 billion dollar is lost in music industry... 95 % of the music downloaded online is illegal...75% of the computers in the world are having at least one pirated software. These are astonishing statistics. Yet it is difficult to get rid of piracy as people do not want to spend. It is also saddening to know that Christians, whose lives are supposed to be of high 11
standard, are also heavy users of pirated software. Many use pirated software either knowingly or unknowingly. People who do not know about piracy, ought to be taught. But what about the people who know about piracy, yet do it willingly by convincing their conscience that it is not a big sin? Well! What can I say? There is no classification in sin. If we are using any single software illegitimately, we can be pretty sure that we are violating God’s command “Thou shall not steal”. That is a sin against the Lord. Plain and simple!
Open Source: A Way Out
Like everything else, God has given options and choices not to go against Him. I believe that open source software is God’s great gift for people like us who are not able to afford costly software suits. If we do not want to pirate, which in my humble opinion should be our attitude as Christians, there are only two options for this. Firstly, we pay the price for the software and use it only within the copyrighted agreement which sometime means using the software only in one computer. The second option is to use open source software suits. What is the meaning of open source software? A software that is freely available on World Wide Web along with its source. Any user can download it freely, use it freely and distribute it freely. Yes! these software suits are absolutely free. There may be some challenges in using them, yet it is worth an attempt to eradicate piracy, to stand for our ethical values and more importantly to honor God. I have listed out some of the open source software suits which people can use for their everyday computing experience. Operating Systems (Alternative to windows XP, vista and windows 8) Ubuntu - A highly user friendly Linux operating system. Either it 12
can be downloaded from internet or a copy of the CD can be acquired by writing to the Ubuntu team. Fedora, CentOS and Debian are other flavors of Linux operating systems. Moreover, they require less memory, are faster than Windows and not susceptible to viruses. Office (alternative to MS office suit) LibreOffice is free software for word, XL and powerpoint software as an alternative to MS office. Media VLC is very good audio and video player. In fact it is much better than any paid media players. Browsers Firefox
Graphics Gimp is a wonderful alternative to adobe photoshop. If you have any specific requirements, write to us and we will try to help you. Sathivel is a software professional working with a MNC in Bangalore. Email: email@example.com
I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.” Lillian Hellman
Several years ago, in Long Beach, California, a fellow went into a fried chicken place and bought a couple of chicken dinners for himself and his girl late one afternoon. The young woman at the shop inadvertently gave him the proceeds from the day’s sale - whole bag of money instead of fried chicken. After driving to their picnic site, the two of them sat down to open the meal and enjoy some chicken together. They discovered a whole lot more than chicken--over $800! But he was unusual. He quickly put the money back in the bag. They got back into the car and drove all the way back. Mr. Clean got out, walked in, and became an instant hero. The guy with the bag of money looked the manager in the eye and said, “I want you to know I came by to get a couple of chicken dinners and wound up with all this money. Here.” Well, the manager was thrilled to death. He said, “Oh, great, let me call the newspaper. I’m gonna have your picture put in the local newspaper. You’re the most honest man I’ve heard of.” To which they guy quickly responded, “Oh no, no, don’t do that!” Then he leaned closer and whispered, “You see, the woman I’m with is not my wife...she’s uh, somebody else’s wife.” Source: Charles Swindol, Growing Deep in Christian Life
is widespread among Christians. I once attended a believers’ camp where a senior missionary was taking the evening devotion. He was using Microsoft Power Point. On the top left of every slide were the words ‘This copy of MS office is not licensed’!
Forms of Piracy
The most common form of piracy is the use of unlicensed copies of software. Often, a vendor will install an unlicensed copy of Windows on a computer along with a “free” copy of Microsoft Office and conscientious buyers follow a ‘feign ignorance’ policy. Then there are hacks – ways of cracking the security system that prevents software from being copied. There is obviously no ignorance here. Sometimes copies may be made of legitimately licensed software, like a song or a movie. If you upload a copy of a song you purchased so that others can download it, that’s piracy. If you download a copy so uploaded, that’s also piracy. (A number of popular videos are now available on You Tube for viewing. However, the You Tube terms make it clear that only if You Tube provides a download link, you can download the video legally).
Reasons for Piracy
Pricing is the most common reason behind piracy. A licensed copy of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office can together cost almost as much as a computer – if not more. For our business we recently spent more than a laptop’s cost on a license for a software whose evaluation copy is free only for non-commercial use. Sometimes law may prevent the sale of certain software in foreign countries thus making piracy the only way out for foreign users. Moreover, Governments in developing countries tend to ignore piracy in favour of widespread penetration of technology.
Is Software Piracy Wrong?
Is piracy wrong? To start with, it is a violation of law. The maker of a piece of software – a music file or a video file or system file or an application file or an embedded file – may not want to give it away free of cost, just like the maker of a car or bike. Hence, a software product is usually protected by a copyright. Copyright is the right under extant law of the creator of anything to exclsive ownership. Therefore, software piracy is nothing but copyright violation. Stealing another’s property cannot be condoned by Christians. Unlike a car, software can be copied (stolen) easily and therefore it is almost impossible to get caught. This is the main driver of piracy. God sees everything (Heb 4:13), whether people do or not – and yet we bank on not getting caught by men. We try to circumvent issue of piracy by offering justifications – Microsoft prices its software too high, or I cannot complete my project without it. Or the best excuse: it is for ministry, not for myself! If a car is too expensive can we steal it? What if it is for ministry? If a car is critical to ministry, do we not trust God to provide it? Does God need stolen software to take his work forward, when for twenty centuries he did not?
Ministry is not dependent on resources, technology, talent or even money: the Holy Spirit is the one who guides, leads and provides power for ministry. (Jn 16:13, Acts 1:8). When we use pirated items for God’s work, we are basically saying that the arm of the Lord is too short. The same argument is true for your home, office or academic needs as well. Can we bring glory using stolen goods to Him who said “Do not steal”? If we really need something, we must buy it. Of course, there are free software available in the market as alternatives. A simple Google search is sufficient to throw up open source alternatives for any kind of need. There will always be some disadvantages of free stuff over paid stuff. But we can choose to either live with it, or pay for licensed software. There is no other option for a Christian! While some people pirate the work of others, many others work in their free time to create great products (software) which can be made available freely to the world. As Christians we must contribute to this task in whatever way we can, and at the very least, use such products. Thomas is an IT professional and Tent maker who works with SocIT, based in Palampur, Himachael Pradesh. 13
It's mine... Not yours... A critical and ethical perspective on the patent wars between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics
Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics
Co. Ltd. are engaged in legal battles, in about 10 different countries, alleging each other of patent infringement. It began in April 2011 when Apple filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the US against Samsung with the allegation that the South Korean company copied the revolutionary Apple iPad and iPhone. Samsung denied infringement and countersued with the allegation that Apple infringed on its patents. Samsung argued that many of Apple’s claims of innovation were either obvious concepts or ideas stolen from Sony Corp. and others. These patent wars don’t seem to end in the near future but are likely to continue.
CUTTHROAT COMPETITION: IS IT A NECESSITY? These two companies are involved in an intense battle because both of them are vying for supremacy in the mobile market. Such cutthroat competition can be witnessed in many industries today. But, that is not a necessity.
Positive-Sum Competition Michael Porter, Professor at Harvard Business School and a leading 14
authority on competitive strategy, suggests positive-sum competition. Under positive-sum competition, companies don’t attempt to match competitors’ every move. Instead, they develop clear strategies around unique expertise in those areas where they can become distinctive. If every company finds a unique need that it can set out to meet and if it delivers something different from its rivals, then multiple rivals can exist. Positive-sum competition is healthy for all competitors as well as for the customers and the society at large.
Blue Ocean Strategy W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, in their book Blue Ocean Strategy, suggest that organizations can create new demands in uncontested market spaces, rather than compete head-to-head with other players. Based on their extensive study, they argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating untapped new market spaces. They observe that there are unlimited opportunities for all of us.
PATENT ENFORCEMENT: IS IT A NECESSITY? Companies do come up with new inventions. They do patent such inventions. But there is no compulsion that they have to enforce their patent rights. Some companies enforce their patent rights; some don’t. Here are a few examples:
Monsanto Monsanto stringently enforces its patents on seeds. Monsanto takes to court farmers who involve in patent infringement. According to Monsanto, “For every $10 a farmer pays for our technology, we re-invest $1 back into R&D”. Research at Monsanto focuses on reducing pesticide use, reducing the necessity for irrigation or rain, reducing the need for fertilizers like nitrogen and enabling plants to do more with less in the future.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Bristol-Myers Squibb invests heavily in R&D. They aggressively leverage a broad range of strategies and tools to discover and characterize new compounds. They rigorously protect their intellectual proper-
ty, which enables them to conduct important clinical research to develop innovative medicines to treat serious diseases.
Johnson & Johnson The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced that they don’t intend to enforce the patents they own and control on the antiretroviral (ARV) drug darunavir. They have given generic manufacturers the right to manufacture high quality darunavir product used in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Least Developed Countries. This makes affordable generic versions of darunavir which are used for the treatment of people living with HIV in countries with the highest rates of HIV infection and economic vulnerability.
Mercedes Benz In 1951, Benz patented the occupant safety cell. Patent law allows the company to retain full control over its invention. Yet Mercedes chose not to enforce its patent rights on the crumple zone so that its competitors could also adopt the technology. As a result, tens of thousands of lives were saved globally. Some patent holders dedicate their invention to the public. With such an approach, the patent holders forego their rights as they choose not to pursue infringement actions.
IS PATENTING ALWAYS POSSIBLE? Services are intangible offerings and so it is not easy to patent. Hence, service firms cannot fight against imitation. But this disadvantage has spurred service firms to be more vibrant by continual innovation.
IS IT YOUR ‘ORIGINAL’ IDEA? Though patent is granted to inventions that are genuinely new, we all will agree
with the expression that became popular as Isaac Newton wrote it in one of his letters. He wrote, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” All of us are seeing further because we are standing on the shoulders of giants. Whatever is innovated today is built on the innovations of the past. Can someone come up with an invention from scratch, all by himself or herself ? Not really. Then, what is there to fight about inventions?
BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE When we apply biblical principles to patent wars, two guidelines are very clear: 1) It is not right to copy someone else’s work without permission or acknowledgement. Doing so is stealing. People or corporates imitate because they have this wrong underlying assumption that someone else’s idea is better and that they cannot come up with new marketable ideas. 2) One can give up his or her patent right. It is not necessary to fight for our rights when someone copies our work. Jesus Christ gave up his rights. Apostle Paul, a follower of Christ, gave up his rights. As followers of Christ, we can also give up our rights when someone else infringes into it. Even secular corporates give up their patent rights for the benefit of larger good. Joseph teaches management and seves as the vice-principal of Kodaikanal Christian College (KCC), Kodai.
The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In the last 1980’s in Columbus, Ohio, an armored car spilled $2,000,000 on the freeway. Only $400,000 was ever recovered, the rest disappeared with the throngs of people who stopped and scooped up the cash. Some folks were honest enough to return what wasn’t theirs: Melvin Kaiser gave back $57,000. Those who have studied human personality say that if we know the people who lost the money, we’ll generally give it back. However, if we don’t know them, 75% of the time we’ll keep the cash. Source Unknown
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.” Abraham Lincoln
I had been teaching my three-year old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord’s Prayer. For several evenings, at bedtime, she would repeat after me the lines from the prayer. Finally, she decided to go solo. I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer: “Lead us not into temptation,” she prayed, “but deliver us from e-mail Amen.” A Christian Dad. 15
Similarly, most preachers who plagiarise do it because of lack of time to prepare. Some even do it because they liked previous sermons and feel that message is relevant for their congregations to hear. In both cases, I find no malicious intent. If there are preachers who wilfully copy sermons to make themselves look like better preachers, then I haven’t met them.
I remember when I was in 7th grade
(in a Christian school), my teacher asked us to do a project on Paul’s missionary journeys. I spent the whole night copying from the book of Acts. I used the Good News Bible, so that it would look like my own words. My only real contribution was colouring the maps! Even though I managed to pass that project, I confess that in my 13-year-old-heart, I felt I had done something wrong. But I certainly did not know that what I had just done was called “plagiarism.” It was only when I joined theological studies that I heard about the seriousness of plagiarism. The act of copying someone else’s work and claiming it to be your own was a serious offence. A sin, even! So, I quickly learned the skill of using quotations and citations and to my knowledge I avoided plagiarism completely. Now, as a teacher, I see the situation from the other side. I see students who write assignments without admitting that their ideas actually come from someone else. Worse, I have seen students simply copy and paste from the internet and present a paper as if it was their own work. I also find plagiarism in church 16
sermons, where preachers repeat sermons they heard in their Bible Colleges (or even read on the internet), without giving credit to the source. Plagiarism (noun): The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own. Oxford Dictionary Simply put, all of this plagiarism is called cheating. Yet as a teacher I am constantly confronted with the question whether plagiarism is wrong. And honestly, sometimes even I am confused. In my experience, most students who plagiarise do not do it intentionally. In fact, most students plagiarise because they do not know how to distinguish their own voice from that of the scholars they read. The few who do plagiarize intentionally, do it because they are under a lot of stress, they do not have the time to understand and explain something in their own words. I have also met a few students who wilfully copy to get a better grade, but those students are rare.
To make matters even more confusing, Biblical writers (and other ancient writers) regularly used the works of others without acknowledging them. The Gospel writers wrote similar stories of Jesus, even drew from the Old Testament, without specifically mentioning where they got their information from. And compare 2 Peter chapter 2 with Jude. Both texts have remarkable similarities that suggest either one copied from the other, or they both had a similar source. Yet they too do not give credit to anyone. Evidently, in the ancient (Biblical) times, copying the work of others was not considered a serious flaw. So can it be argued that copying the work of others without malicious intent is ok? My answer? No. Times have changed. In today’s world plagiarism is a huge problem. In many higher academic institutions, a student can get suspended or even expelled if there are serious instances of plagiarism in his/her work. And at all costs, today, plagiarism must be avoided. However, what makes plagiarism especially wrong for me is that it goes against what God wants for us to do: to use our minds, to think for ourselves. Rather than thinking of plagiarism as simply not giving credit to sources, the problem I think is more about honesty and genuine thinking. We have been called, in both biblical times and I suggest in today’s world, to think, to consider
and to evaluate. As Christians we are to be ready to share our first-hand experience of God our Father and not simply talk of him through second-hand experiences. After all, we are called witnesses, aren’t we? And witnesses have seen things with their own eyes! Similarly, we are not called to be lazy Christians, simply copying the words of others and passing them on as our own, but rather we must be active Christians who examine what we hear. Consider the Bereans in Acts 17 as a case in point. In extreme cases when a student or pastor plagiarises intentionally to get more appreciation, it is wrong both on the grounds that it is cheating and also because the student is indulging in personal pride. However, for those students who unintentionally plagiarise, or even for preachers who run out of time, plagiarism is still wrong because it shows that we are not thinking for ourselves. As students or preachers, therefore, let us strive to examine everything we read, understand, explain afresh and give credit where it is due. For ultimately, we seek to honour our creative and most true God. Nigel is a residential teaching faculty at SAIACS, Bangalore. He specializes in Theology.
And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ I Kings 9; 4-5
Freely Received... Freely Give! (A Critique on Patent Laws & Copyrights) By Ajay Jacob
pharmaceutical industry stood before justice in India on the fools’ day, 2013. It surely represented justice to the common man against one company that belongs to the tribe of Pharma mongering businesses. (India’s top court dismissed a Swiss drugmaker’s attempt to win patent protection for its cancer drug Glivec.) Ironically, these businesses keep the world unhealthy though they claim to protect and improve health and well being through their ‘commitment’ to provide access to medicine for patients worldwide. However it is not difficult for any to understand that their bottom line is neither health nor well being but a morbid craze for profit, even if that means depriving the world of access to the essentials that save lives. TRIPs (Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights) is often quoted as the law that defines the ethics of practice. Conveniently, the Global Declaration on ‘Health for all’ in Alma Ata (1978) is forgotten. More importantly, the divine agenda that declares healing for all (Exo.15:26, Pro. 4:20-22) is grossly ignored.
The fools’ day verdict was just an aberration in an otherwise over cast sky that threatens to violently pour down on any effort that seeks alternatives of moral justice in human well being. But still I was jumping with joy as in this one legal battle I saw justice win. I rejoiced as I thought of my father in law, who a year back decided it was unethical and undignified to enroll into a pansy ‘charity programme’ of the same company that could have given him the drug at ‘subsidized’ rates… He chose a ‘lesser’ generic drug at a cost against compromising with what I recognize is the spirit of the age. It is in the acknowledgement of this context that I propose a relook at the Christian ethics of ministry, music, exposition of the word, literature, etc. In the early days of the AD, there was the declaration of the ‘Gospel for All’. In the most paradoxical reversal, Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God, offered His life as a ransom for ALL that human kind will cross over from death to life… freely given… that which we freely received. Today, do we share this Gospel seeing its indispensability 17
to the well being of mankind? How is it then that the Gospel, its exposition, worship that comes out of knowing God better, and other spiritual endeavors, can be governed by a political economy framework that was decided on by the most powerful in the world at a Hotel in Bretton Woods , at the heights of World War II in 1944?* The Bible says that the Gospel is the Power of God that brings salvation (Rom 1:16). And if it is that, then why are the ‘Christian’ publishers and distributors more keen on ensuring that their priority is no different from the priority of some pharmasuetical companies? We are informed amidst songs of worship and the exposition of the word as to how wrong it is to copy these songs and literature as it affects the circulation of the Gospel. The Gospel? No. It affects Harper Collins. Today Zondervans and Thomas Nelson have been bought over by Harper Collins owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation that today controls more than half of all Christian Literature being printed and circulated. If there are other publishers who have their business act together, then they will also come under the auction hammer. The hammer simply comes down on the highest bid... never even mind the bidder. Even on the worldly scale of integrity, the ethics of the likes of News Corporation just don’t weigh up. Where does one position Intellectual Properties in Christendom? Consider the following 4 points: 1. The Constantinian shift (313 AD). This compromised the ‘Christian’ from being a follower of Jesus Christ to the person who follows ‘Christianity’, the Empire’s official religion from the paradoxical position that clarifies death to the world and being alive in Christ to becoming one of the competing worldviews / religions that seeks currency through the exercise of political power. Its extension was seen in the powerful western civilization of 18
the later part of the earlier millennia. 2. Institutionalised Christianity with its colonial values and positions is still making world Christianity dependant on Western Christianity especially in the arena of knowledge and practice. 3. The proliferation of Gross economic and social injustice that is affecting a growing number of people globally that is perpetrated in the standoff between left biased pseudo intellectualism and right oriented capitalism.
How is it then that the Gospel, its exposition, worship that comes out of knowing God better, and other spiritual endeavors, can be governed by a political economy framework that was decided on by the most powerful in the world at a Hotel in Bretton Woods, at the heights of World War II in 1944? 4. Losing ground to the left on core principles of sharing knowledge, resources and power – now popular systems like ‘copyleft’ (as opposed to copyright), open source, wiki leaks have sprung up from left dominated intellectual spaces in the void created by the absence of Christ like practice of faith in life and society by the Christians. The casualty is often the prohibitive costs of access to the gospel, the meaningful sharing on insights, interpretations, commentaries, shared worship, music, experiences, encouragement, exhortation and the varied that could propagate Church. Those that cling to the TRIPs pattern of Christian propagation do so precariously at the cost of loosing their primary moorings on the scriptures and faith… and end up being the very merchant community that Christ drove out of the temple or the Pharisee like community who put Jesus on the cross.
But still God calls us to His rest… He says – “Hey there! All who are thirsty come to the water! Are you penniless? Come anyway—buy and eat! Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk. Buy without money— everything’s free! Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words…” (from Isaiah 55 of the Message version of The Bible). I am reminded of going to a Christian book sale… oh what a collection of junk. The only books that I finally bought that I saw value in were used books that were so old that it almost did not belong anywhere and it came to me almost free. I guess the best in life comes free. “Freely freely you have received… freely freely give… go in my name and because you believe… others will know that I live” Now, just a minute. What am I choosing between? The ‘need’ to receive these spuriously circulated ‘spiritual’ content by the same people who distribute anything at all that sells? Or the unlimited propagation of the Free for ALL Gospel, that is the power of God that brings salvation, its worship, its spirit lead exposition, exhortation, rebuke and encouragement? Come on… do i do business on that which i freely get? … give freely! *The Bretton Woods system of monetary management established the rules for commercial and financial relations among the world’s major industrial states. This was concocted by 730 delegates from 44 allied nations gathered in Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hanpshire, USA. As per what was decided in the Hotel in July 1944, this system is being held in proportion by multi lateral financial institutions such as IMF and the World Bank. Ajay works with a NGO based in Chennai.
the most importrmation of one of fo e th to d le s om One night in tel ro eon International. The shor tage of ho id G , es bl Bi g in ut the hotel in r distrib tried to check into , an ant organizations fo m ss ne si bu a . Nicholson, e the room with 1898, when John H would have to shar he at th ld to s wa in, he ked if it were all Bascobel, Wiscons sman Sam Hill, as le sa e th e, at m om re going to n his ro read his Bible befo d ul another man. Whe co he so le hi w friends e light for a o men became fir m tw he T right to leave on th d. ou al it ked him to read and professionals, sleep, Nicholson as n of businessmen io at ci so as an ed e of the assoform n. The sole purpos eo and a year later they id G , ro he t en e years that Old Testam unconver ted’. In th of s naming it after the nd ha e th in s, ‘put the word tel and hospital room ho in e bl ciation was to put Bi e th of translations in ns placed copies also sponsored new followed, the Gideo y he T . rld wo e th 0 years of s around ed. In their first 10 ed ne schools and prison ey th s ge ua ng scripbles in all la illion copies of the m 0 77 order to provide Bi an th e or m ns distributed existence, the Gideo es. tures in 172 countri
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The most widely translated Bible book is the Gospel of Mark, perhaps because it is the shortest and most action packed of the four Gospels of Jesus’ life and teachings. Mark is available in about 900 languages.
The oldest surviv ing Bible text is from Dead Sea Sc roll fragment, foun d near the shores of the Dead Sea in Israel. Written ab out 225 BC, the passage is from on e of the Old Test ament books of Sa muel.
Perhaps the m ost scandalous typographical in the Bible was er ror ever printe one that appea d red in a 1631 ed James Version, ition of King published just 20 year after th introduced. Th e translation w at was the time as when people w to get used to th ere still tr ying e new translatio n-and many wer preferring old e resisting, Geneva Bible. The British pri sential ‘not’ from n te r left out an esthe seventh com mandment. As Bible had God a result, the declaring that people should (Exodus 20.14) commit adulter . This edition b y ecame known Bible, or the A as the Wicked dulterer’s Bible . When the mis ered, printer R take was disco ober t Barker w vas fined hefty am pounds - enou ount of 300 gh money to b uy 300 acre farm at that time.
Source: The Bible: A History by Stephen M. Miller & Robert V.Huber