Baptist Standard

Hey Dallas Morning News: Bible contains two books of Timothy, and Peter didn't write them

Hey Dallas Morning News: Bible contains two books of Timothy, and Peter didn't write them

Imagine if a sportswriter covering the Dallas Cowboys (who are on quite a roll!) didn't know the difference between a touchdown and a two-point conversion.

Or if a journalist reporting on the Texas Rangers (my beloved Texas Rangers) failed to understand how a batter could swing and miss at strike three — and still reach first base safely.

Now contemplate this for a moment: What if —  a la Donald "Two Corinthians" Trump — a major newspaper's reporters and editors failed to realize that the apostle Paul wrote two letters, not one, to his "son in the faith" Timothy? Or even that Paul, not Peter, was the one who penned them?

Welcome to the Dallas Morning News of 2016 — a once-great newspaper with a once-unrivaled team of Godbeat pros.

These days, this — referring to Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas — is what passes for religion reporting in the Texas newspaper:

In another video he posted Wednesday morning, Jeffress pointed to the Book of Timothy, where Peter instructed Christians to pray for all leaders. He tweeted that he would have the same message if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency.

For everyone reading this in the Dallas Morning News newsroom (and that's no longer a large group of people, which is part of the problem), those New Testament epistles are known as 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy. (Or for president-elects who might ever need to mention them out loud, think First Timothy and Second Timothy.

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Pew Research survey on global religious gender gap deserves far more coverage

Pew Research survey on global religious gender gap deserves far more coverage

Years ago while living in northern Virginia, I was a mentor to a Muslim family that had been forced out of Iraqi Kurdistan. One of the things I noticed about them is they were rarely at the mosque. The women (and there were four daughters in this family) never went, except when they needed a marriage contract signed. The father occasionally attended.

Now, I’ve sat in the women’s sections of certain mosques and it’s not a great experience. You can’t see or hear a thing, it’s unbelievably crowded and there are small children racing around. No wonder my Kurdish female friends never went. Compare that to most churches I’ve visited where the majority of worshipers were women.

There's a story there.

So I was not surprised to read about this gender difference in a Religion News Service piece chronicling Pew survey data on the phenomenon. Here’s what it said:

(RNS) Fewer men than women show up in U.S. churches, and women are markedly more likely to pray and to hold up religion as important.
But in Muslim nations, it’s the women who are missing in action at the mosque -- and yet they’re on par with men in upholding almost all the Muslim pillars of faith.
Those are among the top findings in a new Pew Research study of the gender gap in religion, drawn from data in 192 nations, released Tuesday (March 22).
The overall conclusion: Women, particularly Christian, are generally more religious than men worldwide. An estimated 83 percent of women around the world identify with a faith group, compared with 80 percent of men, according to the report.

Now that 3.5 percent percentage point gap may not seem like much, but it means that 97 million more women than men worldwide identify with a faith group.

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