Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Selling Photos of Scripture To Raise Money

Dan Wallace of Parchment and Pen/Reclaiming The Mind exploits photos of some Scripture manuscripts as a fund rasier:

OK, I admit it: this is shameless of me. It’s tactless, mercenary, and almost despicable. Nevertheless, I’m going forth with it because I believe that, in this case, the ends justify the means. Not that I’ve changed my ethical convictions, but rather than the ends are so vital that a “certain moral flexibility” (as Martin Blank said in his self-description in Grosse Point Blank) is tolerable. And if not tolerable, at least I can always ask for forgiveness (I’ll take that route over asking for permission any day! (;-)).

Here’s my spiel: This past Saturday evening was the annual fundraiser dinner for the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. As many of you know, we are trying to raise $500,000 for 15 months’ worth of photographic expeditions, starting next month. After the fundraiser, we now have over $150,000 toward that lofty goal. We are extremely grateful to all who have contributed to the work of digitally preserving ancient copies of the Word of God. We did a new thing at the dinner, and it’s something that I’d like to pass on to you who live in the USA. We had some blow-ups of manuscript photographs for sale. The size was 18” x 24”. Each was laminated and was glued to a stiff backboard. The resolution was outstanding. Each picture is numbered on the back; we will only make 500 copies. Then no more. Each comes with a certificate giving the details of what’s in the image, including the age of the manuscript, the text, etc. (A much briefer description is found below.)

The images are for sale at $150 apiece. Half of that money constitutes a tax-deductible donation to CSNTM; half is the market price of the image. Shipping is extra: $10 for the continental US. Many of you live in the Dallas area and could pick up the picture yourself, thus saving on shipping costs. Some of you may wish to add more to the check as a donation to CSNTM. We’ll note the difference and send you a statement to that effect.

Wallace is right, this is shameless, dispicable, and tactless. He should be ashamed, selling photos of Scripture's manuscripts. Whatever his excuse is, it doesn't pass Scripture's test:

2Co 2:17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

2Co 4:2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God.

1Th 2:9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.

1Ti 6:20 O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called "knowledge," 21 for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.


Reformed Mama said...

Hi Denise~

Haven't seen too much of you over at Biblicalthought...we miss you!!

It has been a little crazy over there with some of the "characters" who have dropped by lately...I think we're back on track now!

I wanted you to know what a blessing your blog is. I've read several of your articles and I am always encouraged to "press on" after reading them. What strength our Lord has given you!

No matter what we're blogging about over at BT or what you're writing about here I know it will be seen through Scriptural glasses...a rare attribute among fellow Christians these days.

It is sad to see things happening such as you write about in this post...shameful. Thank you for bringing it to our attention!What a comfort to know that nothing happening in our world today comes our way but that it first passed through our Father in heaven.

Thanks again for your work and your refreshing Biblical world view..."fight the good fight"...we are with you.

God's grace!

Denise said...

Thank you reformedmama for your encouragement! Its so great to find like-minded believers, isn't it?

I'm so greatful for the comfort of Scripture. It has been my joy in the midst of a very long trial in my life, particularily this past year. I rejoice with you in confidence in the God who is Ruler over all He has made...and we know the end!!

Press on soldier! The battle is His, but we fight the war through Him and by His means!!