History of Christianity

Continuing the theme of history-based studies, the latest youth group study I led was on the History of Christianity. There is an incredible amount of literature available online, and we only covered a small fraction of events from Early Christianity and investigating the major groups of denominations. We also had a look at how Christianity and the churches in India formed particularly with their interaction with the western churches, and this was personally fascinating. Another group member covered the Crusades, while the Reformation will be covered in our next study. Here are the slides I used and make sure you have a look at the notes section for the talking points. I did use a special font for the title slide if it looks strange.

Islam

I decided to do a series of studies for our church youth group on various religions and started with Islam as Muslims form the second largest religious group globally. The intent was to cover the fundamentals of the Islamic faith, common terms that people may have come across, a brief history, and Islam’s relation to India, Christianity, and our local city. I’ve uploaded the notes I used.

History of the Bible

I ran a different type of study with our church youth group today where we investigated the history of the Bible. It was a combination of a trivia-style and lecture-style presentation and I’ve uploaded the notes I used. It took a little while to put it together – most of the time was spent reading on the Internet and distilling the important (and fun) facts – history can be a little dry. I have included references for most of the resources I used except Wikipedia (which is pretty much the foundation for most of the material). Having done this, I do have a greater appreciation for biblical scholars and academics.

Parallel Bible

My 85 year old grandma has been getting into reading various bible translations from her iPad. In order to improve her Hindi reading skills, she was looking for a side-by-side translation of a Malayalam bible and Hindi bible. While we could find Malayalam-English and Hindi-English versions, we couldn’t find a Malayalam-Hindi one that she could access on her computer or iPad.

I decided to help her out and the result is Parallel Bible. I have also uploaded the source code to Github.

The application is static site generator using Razor templates – I took this approach as I couldn’t host a Ruby on Rails or .NET website using my current hosting provider. It uses jQuery Mobile as my grandma uses her iPad for the majority of her browsing, and I wanted the site to be reasonably usable on a mobile. To run the application, the bible data itself must be downloaded for the English version, but is screen scraped for the Indian translations. The translations are then merged during the template execution process.

I did find it interesting that the number of chapters and verses did vary per translation. It was more frequent with the English vs Malayalam where there were quite a few instances of ±1 verse.