Entries in Bible (5)


Woman Finds 65-Year-Old Childhood Essay in Used Bible

Paul Bersebach/Orange County Register/Zuma/Newscom(SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.) -- As Marion Shurtleff was on her way out a bookstore in San Clemente, Calif., she remembered that she had meant to buy a few extra Bibles for her Bible study group.

Shurtleff, 75, asked an employee if the store had used Bibles and he pointed her in the right direction. There were four or five versions, so she quickly picked two, paid and left.

She noticed later on that one of the Bibles had some folded yellow papers inside but thought nothing of them until about two months later when she found herself with some free time and decided to take a look at the papers.

What she found floored her.

"I opened it up and on the inside facing page...I started shaking," Shurtleff told ABC News. "There was my name and my telephone number and I recognized my handwriting."

There were three pages of thin yellow paper with a Girl Scout essay written in pencil. Shurtleff wrote it 65 years ago when was 10 years old.

"When you're a Girl Scout and you apply for a badge, you use your Girl Scout handbook and write a report on the requirements," she said. "This was for the Foot Traveler's Badge."

The paper described a day-long adventure in which Shurtleff and a few other girls had chronicled walking "a lot of different places" and how long it took them to get from place to place in her then home of Covington, Ky., which she left in 1963.

Covington is more than 2,000 miles away from San Clemente.

She wrote about the items she carried and different rules like, "Don't walk on the grass" and "Don't harm the bark of a tree."

At the end of the day she had taken the street car home, she wrote.

"I was amazed," Shurtleff said of finding and reading the pages. "I was stunned. I shook. I cried. I had goosebumps."

She now calls the event her "OMG story," since she said all of her friends have reacted to the story by exclaiming, "Oh my God!"

She didn't recognize the Bible and saw that it had been printed in 1986, long after she wrote the essay.

"The Bible wasn't mine and the Bible was printed in 1986 so it's not that old," she said. "Where the document was from the time I wrote it until 1986, I still have no idea."

Shurtleff wanted to solve the mystery of who had saved her Girl Scouts paper. She went back to the bookstore and asked if they could tell her who donated the Bible.

They said privacy rules prevented them from giving her the person's name or contact information but if she wanted to write a letter, they would pass it along.

With the help of some local media, Shurtleff eventually connected with the woman who had donated the Bible.

"When I contacted the lady who had donated and she remembered the Bible and she remembered turning it in, but she and her husband had talked about it and didn't remember anything in the Bible," Shurtleff said.

When asked about the possibility that maybe she had the papers all along and they had found their way into the Bible, Shurtleff said she had ruled that out.

She said she has moved around the country many times throughout her life and kept her possessions to a bare minimum.

"I didn't keep anything sentimental and the number of times I moved...I have been down to almost not taking anything with me so I would have known if I had that in my possession," she said.

Shurtleff said that she believes her former Scout leader in Kentucky has since passed away so her only clue is the name "Bonnie Gene Edwards," who signed the end of the paper and wrote "okay." She doesn't know if Edwards is someone from her school, a fellow Scout or another Scout leader.

Shurtleff has been in touch with the coordinator of her class reunions who is sending her the classbook to see if she might recognize anyone else in it who might have an idea.

In the meantime, Shurtleff said she's taking the wandering papers as a sign from God.

"I guess God wanted me to have this and maybe it was supposed to remind me of an earlier time in my life or just let us know that strange things happen and we should believe," she said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Texas Cheerleaders Fight Back over Bible Verses

ABC News(KOUNTZE, Texas) -- Cheerleaders in a small East Texas town that worships two things -- God and football -- are now fighting back after the Bible verses they painted on banners to display at games were banned.

The cheerleading squad at Kountze High School, just north of Beaumont, Texas, would show their support for the team, and also display their religious beliefs, by painting Bible verses on the banners players run through before every game.

"We just wanted to encourage the boys," one cheerleader said.

The banners apparently offended someone, though, and that unidentified person complained to an atheist group, which argued that the Bible banners amount to a public school's advocating a particular religion, which is unconstitutional.

"This is not a Christian school and they cannot misuse their authority," Annie-Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, said.

Ultimately, school superintendent Kevin Weldon forced the cheerleaders to stop using scripture on the banners.  That was when the squad members put down their pompoms and picked up the phone, calling attorney David Starnes, who argues that the banners are not school sponsored.

"It was student led...student initiated," Starnes said.

The girls came up with the idea by looking at the social networking website Pinterest, where they saw that cheerleaders in Georgia had done the same thing with their banners a few years ago. Those were banned by their school, too.

The community is now cheering for the cheerleaders, with signs of support and online.  A Facebook page dedicated to their fight now has nearly 50,000 followers, which is 25 times more people than live in the town of about 2,000.

Kieara Moffett, a cheerleader at Kountze High School, said that the she believes this is about freedom of expression.

"They have the right to say whatever they want," she said. "But it's our religion and we want to portray that."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Woman Uses Bible Verses to Ward Off Attacker

George Doyle/Thinkstock(SHELBY, N.C.) -- A North Carolina woman read the Bible to her attacker for an hour and a half after he slashed her throat before the man apologized and left.

Lindsay Wood, 32, of Shelby, N.C., had just arrived home from Bible study on Wednesday. Wood asked her 15-year-old son to collect the trash can from the curb. During this time, Wood’s attacker walked into her home and slashed her neck.

“She told him please not to hurt her, that she loved the Lord and her son,” neighbor Faye Cooke told ABC affiliate WSOC.

Police said Wood’s son heard what was happening and hid in the backyard out of sight while Wood continued to reason with the man.

“She offered her car up, as well as money,” Rick Stafford, a captain in the Shelby Police Department told WSOC.

But the man took none of those things.

Despite her injuries, Wood opened her Bible and read to her attacker.

He listened. She even invited him to her church.

After an hour and a half, her attacker apologized and left.

Wood is in the hospital recovering from her injuries, which required 20-25 stitches and staples in her neck.

Meanwhile, police are hoping to apprehend the man, who didn’t seem to want anything more than to hurt an innocent person.

“We want him off the street,” Stafford said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio´╗┐


As May 21 Doomsday Looms, What's Behind Armageddon Appeal?

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- This Saturday in Times Square, amidst bewildered tourists and hot dog vendors, Robert Fitzpatrick will be waiting for the world to end.

The 60-year-old MTA retiree from Staten Island joins the hordes who follow the Biblical calculation of Family Radio preacher Harold Camping.  Camping predicts that the end of days is near -- in fact, it's May 21, at about 5:59 p.m. ET.

"Judgment day will begin very shortly before midnight Jerusalem standard time.  I think it's going to be instantaneous.  Everything will be destroyed and God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth," says Fitzpatrick, who spent his $140,000 life savings to have 3,000 posters put up in New York City's subway and bus system, warning of this impending End of Days.

Though many are chalking up this May 21 hysteria to religious zeal, leaders among mainstream Christian denominations have largely condemned date-setting, citing Bible verses that say no man can know the time of The Rapture.

Why are Fitzpatrick and those on Family Radio's recent proselytizing tour convinced that the end is upon us, despite centuries of failed predictions?

That's hard to answer, but psychologists and religious scholars say it derives from a number of very human urges: from the fear of death to the desire for justice to the fatalistic despair that this world is too broken to ever be fixed.

Although there's no way to gauge how many people actually think the world will end with a bang (or a whimper) on Saturday, doomsday is big in the U.S.

"Thirty to forty percent of Americans report believing that the end times are coming eventually, so while most reject the teachings of Camping, there is a strong strain of this kind of thinking in this country," says Christian Lane, author of The Age of Doubt: Tracing the Roots of Our Religious Uncertainty.

So for some, anxiety spurred by the recent natural and economic disasters makes apocalyptic thinking more appealing, he says.

"It becomes easier to convince people that things are getting worse and that the answer will come through divine dispensation, rather than have them face the fact that humanity must fix its own problems."´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Booty Recall: Bishops Drop Word from Bible

Phot Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- American Bishops have come out publicly against gratuitous booty.

To be more precise the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has ordered up a new translation of the Bible, one that -- among other changes -- replaces the word "booty" with "spoils."

But before anyone howls about censorship or the purity of the original text, church leaders are swift to point out that the latest translation aims to be more accurate, more contemporary and even more poetic. The newest edition of the New American Bible, the English-language Catholic Bible, comes out on Ash Wednesday, March 9.

"Our official line is that this is the Bible in high-def," Mary Elizabeth Sperry of the U.S. Conference told ABC News. "It's not a new Bible; it's not a new story. It's the same text you've known but hopefully you'll be able to see it in great detail."

Ergo, "booty" is out and "spoils" of war -- which is simultaneously truer to the original intent of the text and less likely to set off a round of giggles in Sunday school -- is in.

Earlier this year, a Mark Twain scholar kicked up a storm of controversy when he oversaw the publication of a new version of "Huckleberry Finn" -- one that swaps the "N-word" which occurs 219 times throughout, for "slave."

But Bible scholars insist that their new translation is a completely different animal. Fifty scholars, linguistics experts, theologians and five bishops spent 17 years on the project. They extensively consulted original manuscripts, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and archaeology findings (or, if you will, booty) unearthed since research behind the current text, published in 1970.

"I actually think it's a good idea," says Curt Niccum, an associate professor at Abilene Christian University who was not involved with the project, told ABC News.

"Similar examples would be the words 'gay' and 'grass' and 'getting stoned'," he said. "All of those ideas are in the Bible, but because our language changes, translations have to better convey the original intent. Avoiding snickers is part of that."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio