The BibleGateway.com’s Top 100+2 –

Countdown Verses #6 - #3


Proverbs 3:1-12, Countdown # 6, 7: Proverbs 3:5, 3:6
Genesis 1:1 – 2:3, Countdown # 5, 46, 62: Genesis 1:1, 1:26, 1:27
Philippians 4:4-20, Countdown # 4, 9, 24, 25, 67: Philippians 4:13, 4:6, 4:8, 4:7, 4:19
Romans 8:1-17, Countdown # 3, 80, 81: Romans 8:28, 8:38, 8:39 – Part 1
Romans 8:17-39, Countdown # 3, 80, 81: Romans 8:28, 8:38, 8:39 – Part 2

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Proverbs 3:1-12, Countdown # 6, 7: Proverbs 3:5, 3:6 (6/29/12)

You know the difference between preachin’ and meddlin’, right? Preachin’ steps on my neighbor’s toes, and meddlin’ steps on my toes. Alternatively, preachin’ gives me comfort, and meddlin’ makes me uncomfortable.

Our Countdown Verses #6 and 7 are preachin’. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” I like the idea that I can trust the LORD, and especially that if I acknowledge him, he’ll clear the road for me!

Unfortunately, these verses are preceded and following by some meddlesome instructions: Obey! Stay away from evil! Give God your money! Embrace correction! It’s not surprising that none of those verses made the top 100.


Genesis 1:1 – 2:3, Countdown # 5, 46, 62: Genesis 1:1, 1:26, 1:27 (7/2/12)

Occasionally you read some excellent theology in novels. In several of Terry Pratchett’s books (e.g., Wee Free Men), there’s a race of 6-inch Pictsies called the Nac Mac Feegles. The Mac Feegles believe that they are dead, because this place that they live in (roughly speaking, earth) is so wonderful that they must be in Heaven!

When you think about it, the place that we are in is wonderful. Just think about apple trees, or whales, or robins, or babies! The writers of Genesis explain this in a very simple way: God made everything, and it is good!

Our Countdown Verses #5, 46, 62 bracket the story of creation:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. … God said, "Now we will make humans, and they will be like us. We will let them rule the fish, the birds, and all other living creatures." So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women. (CEV)


Philippians 4:4-20, Countdown # 4, 9, 24, 25, 67: Philippians 4:13, 4:6, 4:8, 4:7, 4:19 (7/3/12)

Wow! Five countdown verses in one chapter?? People love Philippians 4!

Actually, Paul loved the Philippians, and they loved him, which accounts in part for the joyful tone of this little letter. Furthermore, he didn’t have to lecture them about bad behavior, reprove them for bad theology, or exhort them to mission work. What a relief to Paul! Wouldn’t it be great if our own congregations were as loving, believing, and generous as the church at Philippi?

Here are Countdown Verses 9, 25, 24, 4, and 19 from the International Standard Version:
Romans 8:1-17, Countdown # 3, 80, 81: Romans 8:28, 8:38, 8:39 – Part 1 (7/4/12)

I said to my Greek study buddy the other day that the best way to translate Paul would be with a PowerPoint presentation:
She agreed that there is some truth to that. After thinking it over, I’ve decided that circles and arrows would also be helpful. Paul’s arguments are so complex and so tightly reasoned, and his sentences are so long (and this is me talking!), that finding the appropriate starting and stopping points for the context can be difficult.

There are no countdown verses in today’s reading. This is the first half of the shortest reading I could find that gives the context for the three countdown verses we will see tomorrow. Notice that the CEV (probably just like whatever translation you normally read) makes short, easy-to-read sentences out of Paul’s argument. That almost completely destroys Paul’s original structure, but oh well.


Romans 8:17-39, Countdown # 3, 80, 81: Romans 8:28, 8:38, 8:39 – Part 2 (7/5/12)

I totally understand why the countdown verses in this passage are so popular. They are positive, uplifting, and – above all – clear. Unfortunately, Paul seems to have just stuck them in at a couple of points when he was overcome by the beauty and kindness of God. Although I suppose you could say that they are illustrations of what Paul is talking about, they don’t have a lot to do with the overall argument, which is roughly as follows:
Notice that the last bullet is something of a restatement and summary of the first bullet.

Countdown Verses #3, 80, and 81 are somewhat extraneous to this argument:

More BibleGateway.com’s Top 100+2 is coming soon.
Countdown Verses #100 - #95
Countdown Verses #91 - #82
Countdown Verses #75 - #70
Countdown Verses #69 - #63
Countdown Verses #60 - #53
Countdown Verses #50 - #44
Countdown Verses #43 - #39
Countdown Verses #38 - #33
Countdown Verses #32 - #23
Countdown Verses #21 - #15
Countdown Verses #14 - #8
Countdown Verses #6 - #3
Countdown Verses #2 - #1a
Countdown Verse #1

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