Author: Matt Sherro

New Disciples Day One: The Beginning of Sin

New Disciples Day One: The Beginning of Sin

Genesis 3:1-19 (NLT)

The Man and Woman Sin

The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.“It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man[a] and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”

11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

12 The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”

“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”

14 Then the Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this, you are cursed
more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly,
groveling in the dust as long as you live.
15 And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike[b] your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

16 Then he said to the woman,

“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy,
and in pain you will give birth.
And you will desire to control your husband,
but he will rule over you.[c]

17 And to the man he said,

“Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree
whose fruit I commanded you not to eat,
the ground is cursed because of you.
All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you,
though you will eat of its grains.
19 By the sweat of your brow
will you have food to eat
until you return to the ground
from which you were made.
For you were made from dust,
and to dust you will return.”

Footnotes:

  1. 3:8Or Adam, and so throughout the chapter.
  2. 3:15Or bruise; also in 3:15b.
  3. 3:16Or And though you will have desire for your husband, / he will rule over you.

 

 

A Righteous Branch From David’s Royal Family

A Righteous Branch From David’s Royal Family

Isaiah 11:1-16

This chapter is a prophetic picture of the glory of the future kingdom, which will be set up when David’s Son returns in glory

“The stump of Jesse” (11:1).

‘Jesse’ was King David’s father; the ‘shoot… out of the stump of Jesse’ is a king from David’s dynasty. The imagery of the previous section continues here, linking the second and third sections of the poem. Whereas the high trees representing Assyria’s imperial haughtiness will be cut down to size (10.33-34), real strength will emerge from the lowest part–the ‘stock’ (lit. “roots”)–of the humble tree representing David’s dynasty. Isaiah’s insistence on humility and displeasure with human conceit determine the contrast between the images of trees in 11.1 and 10.33-34; If the translation ‘stump’ is correct, then this passage may presume that the Davidic dynasty will (or has) come to an end; this reading would deviate significantly from Isaiah’s notion that Davidic kings will reign eternally (2 Samuel 7.8-16; Psalm 89.20-37). But the Hebrew “geza'” refers not only to a ‘stump’ of a tree that has been cut down but also to the trunk of a living tree. The latter translation does not presuppose the dynasty’s downfall.

Indeed,  trunk is a better choice here as the Messiah will be the king from David’s line who will rule eternally.

The Sprit of the Lord and the Messianic King (11:2)

“The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him: The Branch that comes from the apparently dead stump isn’t just barely alive. It is full of life, and full of the Spirit of the LORD. The Messiah has seven – the number of fullness and completion – aspects of the Spirit of the LORD.

 

  1. He has the Spirit of the LORD. It is not a false spirit or a deceiving spirit or even the spirit of a man. The Spirit of the LORD God of Israel rests upon the Messiah. Once Jesus rebuked the disciples saying, You do not know what manner of spirit you are of (Luke 9:55). Jesus was of the Spirit of the LORD, and He knew it.

 

  1. The Spirit of wisdom is upon the Messiah. Jesus is perfectly wise in all things. He showed it among us during his earthly ministry, and He shows it now in His ministry towards us in heaven. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says that Jesus became for us wisdom from God. It isn’t just that Jesus has wisdom; He is wisdom!

 

  1. The Spirit of… understanding is upon Him. Jesus understands all things, and He understands us perfectly. He is perfectly suited to be our sympathetic High Priest in heaven (Hebrews 4:15-16). Understanding in Hebrew has the idea of a sharp sense of smell. Trapp says it describes Jesus’ “Sharpness of judgment in smelling out a hypocrite… His sharp nose easily discerneth and is offended with the stinking breath of the hypocrite’s rotten lungs, though his words be never so scented and perfumed with shows of holiness.”

 

  1. The Spirit of counsel is upon Jesus. He has perfect counsel to give us at all times. He has both the wisdom and the understanding to be a perfect counselor!

 

  1. The Spirit of… might is upon Jesus. He has the power to do what He desires to do. Many would help us if they could, but are powerless. Others may have the power to help us, but don’t care about us. Jesus has both the love and the might to help us.
  2. The Spirit of knowledge is upon Jesus. He knows everything. He knows our hearts, He knows all the facts. Many times we have made decisions that seemed strange or wrong to others because they didn’t have the knowledge that we have. Jesus has knowledge that we don’t have, so it shouldn’t surprise us that sometimes His decisions seem strange or wrong to others.
  3. The Spirit of… the fear of the LORDis upon Jesus. He willingly kept Himself in a place of submission, respect, and honor to God the Father.” ~ Guzik

This passage is behind the term the sevenfold Spirit of God used in Revelation 1:4, 3:, 4:5 and 5:6. It isn’t that there are seven different spirits of God, rather the Spirit of the LORD has these characteristics, and He has them all in fullness and perfection.

 

The Spirit of the LORD: These seven characteristics describe the nature of the Spirit of the LORD. They also describe the nature of Jesus. There is no difference between the nature of Jesus and the nature of the Holy Spirit. When we see Jesus, we see the Father (John 14:9). When we see the Spirit of the LORD at work, it should look like the ministry and the nature of Jesus.

Excursus: THE SPIRIT OF GOD

Many people in the Bible were filled with the Spirit to do great things.

  • Joseph: Genesis 41:38-39
  • Bezaleel (craftsman): Exodus 35:31
  • Eldad and Medad (prophesy): Numbers 11:26-30
  • Balaam: Numbers 24:2
  • Othniel: Judges 3:10
  • Gideon: Judges 6:34
  • Jephthah: Judges 11:29
  • Samson: Judges 13:25; 14:6,19; 15:14
  • Saul: 1 Samuel 10:5-6,10; 11:6
  • David: 1 Samuel 16:13
  • Saul’s messengers: 1 Samuel 19:20
  • Elisha: 2 Kings 3:15
  • Amasai (chief captain): 1 Chronicles 12:18
  • Azariah (prophet): 2 Chronicles 15:1
  • Jahaziel: 2 Chronicles 20:14
  • Zechariah: 2 Chronicles 24:20
  • Christ: Isaiah 11:2
  • Ezekiel: Ezekiel 2:2
  • Mary: Luke 1:35
  • Elisabeth: Luke 1:41
  • Zacharias: Luke 1:67
  • New Christians: Acts 2:4; 10:44
  • Stephen: Acts 7:55
  • Philip: Acts 8:39
  • Peter: Acts 10:19
  • Ephesian Christians: Acts 19:6

 

How Messiah judges (11:3-5).

The traditional ideal of royal justice involved extraordinary judicial insight (1 Kings 3.4–28) and harsh justice on oppressors (Psalms 72; 101)

The theme of motive introduced in 10:7-11 is amplified here to include the totality of actions and intent. As God, the Messiah knows reality perfectly, so He is able to judge “with righteousness.” His decisions, so unlike the decisions of human government that weigh a person’s wealth or social standing, will be “for the poor of the earth.”

The fact that His judgment will be enforced absolutely is expressed in the image of striking the earth “with the rod of His mouth.”

Acting as God’s representative, the Messiah will execute judgment on the wicked and the oppressors and will offer God’s protection and blessing upon the righteous, who are lowly and humble

The Kingdom to Come (11:6-9).  A description of the Messianic kingdom. Some interpreters take these conditions to be literal, describing those that will actually exist in the new heaven and the new earth (65:17-25); this would be the position that we hold as Dispensationalist. This would involve a radical change in the natures of the animals involved. This picture of cruel beasts regenerated with a new nature that makes them protect their natural prey portrays a reign of peace and security. This can only be realized in the return of the Messiah to establish the kingdom of God (65:17 – 25; Rev 21:1 – 8).

The point is that of v. 9: where the Messiah rules, where “the knowledge of the Lord” prevails, there will be no place for violence or destruction. Precisely how that is to be realized must be left to the imagination; it will be utterly different from anything citizens of the present fallen creation know. It may now be realized person by person, but one day it will be universal.

“A banner for the peoples” (11:10-12).

For the Gentiles will seek Him: Literally this says Ha’Goyim (the Nations) will seek Him.  The glory of the reign of the Messiah will be not only for the Jew, but for the Gentile also. He shall stand as a banner to the people, lifted high to draw all peoples to Him. We have begun to see this is the church age and it will culminate in the Millennial Kingdom when all the saved from all tongues and tribes come to attend the Messiah and worship before His Throne.

 

Side note: The banner was used before to call the nations to judgment against Israel (Isaiah 5:26). Now the banner calls the nations to the blessings of the Messiah.

The second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left: In the reign of the Messiah, there will be another Exodus of the Jewish people, delivering them not only from Egypt, but from all nations where they have been dispersed. In this final Exodus and return to the Promised Land, all of Israel (that is, the righteous remnant) will be restored, forever to be God’s people and the delight of His heart.

Perfect Peace in the Kingdom (13-16)

Nations that have constantly harassed God’s people have finally met their judgment. Jesus will righteously judge and recompense the nations. They will turn their weapons into farming equipment. “Neither shall they learn war anymore (2:4)

At last the end of war, which has plagued man since the fall is ended. War along with its master, Death, has no place in the everlasting kingdom. In Adam’s fall we were denied Eden, in Messiah’s perfect reign, a paradise better than Eden is given us. Messiah the King will be our God and we will be His people and we shall enjoy Him forever.

 

A Righteous Branch From David’s Royal Family

A Righteous Branch From David’s Royal Family

Isaiah 11:1-16

This chapter is a prophetic picture of the glory of the future kingdom, which will be set up when David’s Son returns in glory

“The stump of Jesse” (11:1).

‘Jesse’ was King David’s father; the ‘shoot… out of the stump of Jesse’ is a king from David’s dynasty. The imagery of the previous section continues here, linking the second and third sections of the poem. Whereas the high trees representing Assyria’s imperial haughtiness will be cut down to size (10.33-34), real strength will emerge from the lowest part–the ‘stock’ (lit. “roots”)–of the humble tree representing David’s dynasty. Isaiah’s insistence on humility and displeasure with human conceit determine the contrast between the images of trees in 11.1 and 10.33-34; If the translation ‘stump’ is correct, then this passage may presume that the Davidic dynasty will (or has) come to an end; this reading would deviate significantly from Isaiah’s notion that Davidic kings will reign eternally (2 Samuel 7.8-16; Psalm 89.20-37). But the Hebrew “geza'” refers not only to a ‘stump’ of a tree that has been cut down but also to the trunk of a living tree. The latter translation does not presuppose the dynasty’s downfall.

Indeed,  trunk is a better choice here as the Messiah will be the king from David’s line who will rule eternally.

The Sprit of the Lord and the Messianic King (11:2)

“The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him: The Branch that comes from the apparently dead stump isn’t just barely alive. It is full of life, and full of the Spirit of the LORD. The Messiah has seven – the number of fullness and completion – aspects of the Spirit of the LORD.

 

  1. He has the Spirit of the LORD. It is not a false spirit or a deceiving spirit or even the spirit of a man. The Spirit of the LORD God of Israel rests upon the Messiah. Once Jesus rebuked the disciples saying, You do not know what manner of spirit you are of (Luke 9:55). Jesus was of the Spirit of the LORD, and He knew it.

 

  1. The Spirit of wisdom is upon the Messiah. Jesus is perfectly wise in all things. He showed it among us during his earthly ministry, and He shows it now in His ministry towards us in heaven. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says that Jesus became for us wisdom from God. It isn’t just that Jesus has wisdom; He is wisdom!

 

  1. The Spirit of… understanding is upon Him. Jesus understands all things, and He understands us perfectly. He is perfectly suited to be our sympathetic High Priest in heaven (Hebrews 4:15-16). Understanding in Hebrew has the idea of a sharp sense of smell. Trapp says it describes Jesus’ “Sharpness of judgment in smelling out a hypocrite… His sharp nose easily discerneth and is offended with the stinking breath of the hypocrite’s rotten lungs, though his words be never so scented and perfumed with shows of holiness.”

 

  1. The Spirit of counsel is upon Jesus. He has perfect counsel to give us at all times. He has both the wisdom and the understanding to be a perfect counselor!

 

  1. The Spirit of… might is upon Jesus. He has the power to do what He desires to do. Many would help us if they could, but are powerless. Others may have the power to help us, but don’t care about us. Jesus has both the love and the might to help us.
  2. The Spirit of knowledge is upon Jesus. He knows everything. He knows our hearts, He knows all the facts. Many times we have made decisions that seemed strange or wrong to others because they didn’t have the knowledge that we have. Jesus has knowledge that we don’t have, so it shouldn’t surprise us that sometimes His decisions seem strange or wrong to others.
  3. The Spirit of… the fear of the LORDis upon Jesus. He willingly kept Himself in a place of submission, respect, and honor to God the Father.” ~ Guzik

This passage is behind the term the sevenfold Spirit of God used in Revelation 1:4, 3:, 4:5 and 5:6. It isn’t that there are seven different spirits of God, rather the Spirit of the LORD has these characteristics, and He has them all in fullness and perfection.

 

The Spirit of the LORD: These seven characteristics describe the nature of the Spirit of the LORD. They also describe the nature of Jesus. There is no difference between the nature of Jesus and the nature of the Holy Spirit. When we see Jesus, we see the Father (John 14:9). When we see the Spirit of the LORD at work, it should look like the ministry and the nature of Jesus.

Excursus: THE SPIRIT OF GOD

Many people in the Bible were filled with the Spirit to do great things.

  • Joseph: Genesis 41:38-39
  • Bezaleel (craftsman): Exodus 35:31
  • Eldad and Medad (prophesy): Numbers 11:26-30
  • Balaam: Numbers 24:2
  • Othniel: Judges 3:10
  • Gideon: Judges 6:34
  • Jephthah: Judges 11:29
  • Samson: Judges 13:25; 14:6,19; 15:14
  • Saul: 1 Samuel 10:5-6,10; 11:6
  • David: 1 Samuel 16:13
  • Saul’s messengers: 1 Samuel 19:20
  • Elisha: 2 Kings 3:15
  • Amasai (chief captain): 1 Chronicles 12:18
  • Azariah (prophet): 2 Chronicles 15:1
  • Jahaziel: 2 Chronicles 20:14
  • Zechariah: 2 Chronicles 24:20
  • Christ: Isaiah 11:2
  • Ezekiel: Ezekiel 2:2
  • Mary: Luke 1:35
  • Elisabeth: Luke 1:41
  • Zacharias: Luke 1:67
  • New Christians: Acts 2:4; 10:44
  • Stephen: Acts 7:55
  • Philip: Acts 8:39
  • Peter: Acts 10:19
  • Ephesian Christians: Acts 19:6

 

How Messiah judges (11:3-5).

The traditional ideal of royal justice involved extraordinary judicial insight (1 Kings 3.4–28) and harsh justice on oppressors (Psalms 72; 101)

The theme of motive introduced in 10:7-11 is amplified here to include the totality of actions and intent. As God, the Messiah knows reality perfectly, so He is able to judge “with righteousness.” His decisions, so unlike the decisions of human government that weigh a person’s wealth or social standing, will be “for the poor of the earth.”

The fact that His judgment will be enforced absolutely is expressed in the image of striking the earth “with the rod of His mouth.”

Acting as God’s representative, the Messiah will execute judgment on the wicked and the oppressors and will offer God’s protection and blessing upon the righteous, who are lowly and humble

The Kingdom to Come (11:6-9).  A description of the Messianic kingdom. Some interpreters take these conditions to be literal, describing those that will actually exist in the new heaven and the new earth (65:17-25); this would be the position that we hold as Dispensationalist. This would involve a radical change in the natures of the animals involved. This picture of cruel beasts regenerated with a new nature that makes them protect their natural prey portrays a reign of peace and security. This can only be realized in the return of the Messiah to establish the kingdom of God (65:17 – 25; Rev 21:1 – 8).

The point is that of v. 9: where the Messiah rules, where “the knowledge of the Lord” prevails, there will be no place for violence or destruction. Precisely how that is to be realized must be left to the imagination; it will be utterly different from anything citizens of the present fallen creation know. It may now be realized person by person, but one day it will be universal.

“A banner for the peoples” (11:10-12).

For the Gentiles will seek Him: Literally this says Ha’Goyim (the Nations) will seek Him.  The glory of the reign of the Messiah will be not only for the Jew, but for the Gentile also. He shall stand as a banner to the people, lifted high to draw all peoples to Him. We have begun to see this is the church age and it will culminate in the Millennial Kingdom when all the saved from all tongues and tribes come to attend the Messiah and worship before His Throne.

 

Side note: The banner was used before to call the nations to judgment against Israel (Isaiah 5:26). Now the banner calls the nations to the blessings of the Messiah.

The second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left: In the reign of the Messiah, there will be another Exodus of the Jewish people, delivering them not only from Egypt, but from all nations where they have been dispersed. In this final Exodus and return to the Promised Land, all of Israel (that is, the righteous remnant) will be restored, forever to be God’s people and the delight of His heart.

Perfect Peace in the Kingdom (13-16)

Nations that have constantly harassed God’s people have finally met their judgment. Jesus will righteously judge and recompense the nations. They will turn their weapons into farming equipment. “Neither shall they learn war anymore (2:4)

At last the end of war, which has plagued man since the fall is ended. War along with its master, Death, has no place in the everlasting kingdom. In Adam’s fall we were denied Eden, in Messiah’s perfect reign, a paradise better than Eden is given us. Messiah the King will be our God and we will be His people and we shall enjoy Him forever.

 

NKJV Premier Collection Large Print Thin-line Review

NKJV Premier Collection Large Print Thin-line Review

 

Let me start with saying that this is the NKJV I have always wanted. Many of my teachers use the NKJV and I love to follow along with them but I have never really found a satisfying NKJV. Something always felt lacking: the font was too small, or there were too many helps, or it was too big…you get the idea.

I am happy to say that the Premier Collection NKJV Large Print Thin-line hits every sweet spot for me; I think it will for you too.

Product Description from Thomas Nelson

The slim design of the NKJV Large Print Thinline Reference Bible means you can bring it along, wherever your day takes you. When you open it up, you’ll discover the exclusive Thomas Nelson NKJV Comfort Print. typeface in large print, designed to provide a smooth reading experience for more engagement with God’s Word. And with features like a complete cross-reference system, book introductions, a concordance, and full-color maps, you’ll have the tools to get more out of God’s Word without having to pack more.

Features include:

  • Complete cross-reference system
  • Concordance
  • Lightweight for easy travel
  • Full-color maps
  • Easy-to-read 11-point print size

Product Information

Format: Genuine Leather
Number of Pages: 1248
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 10.00 X 6.75 X 1.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0785220887
ISBN-13: 9780785220886
UPC: 9780785220886
Series: Comfort Print
References: Cross References
Text Color: Black Letter
Text Size: 11 Point
Thumb Index: No
Ribbon Marker: Yes
Spine: Sewn
Page Gilding: Gold

 

Note: Thomas Nelson provided this Bible free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own. 

Cover and Binding:

Like the other Premier Collection Bibles, this one is black goatskin but there is something different about it. It feels better to the touch, not only suppler but more granular. Because I sometimes walk and hold my Bible while preaching, the tactile experience is very important to me. The leather is very, very soft and the grain is just pronounced enough to excite every nerve ending in my fingertips. I absolutely love the feel of this Bible; your Bible should be one that is a delight to have in your hands so that you will want to spend time in the Word regularly.

Naturally, in a premium Bible, you will find a sewn binding and the Premier Collection is no exception. The sewn binding means that it will easily lay flat on your pulpit or in your hand. This Bible is also perfectly balanced for one handed use, almost like Nelson looked for the most peripatetic pastor they could find and then built this particular Bible around his needs.

Portability

Thin-line Bibles are designed for portability and easy carry. At around 1-inch thick, a true thin-line will easily fit in your briefcase or purse. While Nelson did not provide the weight to me, I would be shocked if this Bible weighed in at more than 1.5 pounds. You can easily carry this Bible around for quite some time without your arms getting tired. It is, most definitely, as light as it looks.

Font and Layout

The Comfort Print Font really shines in this particular Bible. The 11-point font is laid out in a double column paragraph format with the references laid out at the bottom. At first I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this because all of my NKJV have either center-column references or end of verse but I really like this layout. You can read without interruption and, if references are necessary for the task you are completing, the references can easily be found.

Paper

The paper, even though the same as the others, feels just a touch thinner and lighter. This is, of course, a trick my mind is playing on me since it is the same Bible paper that can be found in the other Premier Collection Bibles.

For marking in this Bible, a ball-point pen or colored pencil is indicated. Anything else will most probably bleed through.

In the Pulpit

Preaching from this edition was surprisingly easy. Normally, I would always preach from a verse by verse format as that has been my norm for 22 years. However, I am pleased to say that I was able to handle the text without any issues. I pastor a house church and use medium white light to illuminate my pulpit. There were no issues of glare at all which is a problem attendant to many other Bibles.

The black ink that Nelson used is just right; it is a deep and rich ebony that is wonderful on the eyes. Some Bibles lack consistency in the way the ink is laid on the paper but there are no issues here.

Overall Impression/Final Thoughts

You cannot really call a Bible lust-worthy. You can, however, call it pulpit worthy and this is the most pulpit worthy NKJV I have seen. For the price, you cannot go wrong. If NKJV is your translation of choice, then this needs to be your Bible. The only way Nelson could improve upon this would be to make it wide margin and that would, perhaps, be gilding the lilly.

 

 

 

Biblical Theology Study Bible Review

Biblical Theology Study Bible Review

 

Three years ago, Zondervan and D.A. Carson released one of the most in-depth study Bibles that is available, the NIV Zondervan Study Bible. It has now been improved upon and re-released as the NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible. The name change was made to better reflect the intended purpose of the Bible. Doubtlessly, it also helped eliminate confusion between the NIZ Zondervan Study Bible and the NIV Study Bible which is also published by Zondervan.

Note: Zondervan provided a hard cover edition free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.

Product Description from Zondervan

Discover how the details of Scripture come together to form God’s grand narrative of redemption! The NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible is an excellent resource for those seeking to understand the individual parts of Scripture, and how those parts join to create a cohesive whole. Deepen your knowledge of God’s Word with insightful book introductions, sectional introductions, and 20,000 study notes written by a team of over 60 trusted theologians and Bible scholars explaining specific verses and themes.

 

Features Include:

  • 28 theologically rich articles by authors such as Tim Keller and Kevin DeYoung
  • 20,000 verse-by-verse study notes
  • Hundreds of full-color photos
  • Over 90 Maps
  • Over 60 Charts
  • Book Introductions
  • Over 60 trusted contributors
  • Cross-references
  • Concordance
  • Single-column
  • Black Letter
  • Two ribbon markers
  • Zondervan NIV Comfort Print® typeface
  • 5 point Bible text; 6 point study notes text

Please Note: The NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible was previously published as the NIV Zondervan Study Bible. Study notes and content are the same. Updates include: the new Zondervan NIV Comfort Print® typeface; a new three-column layout; hundreds of pages thinner and more visually appealing.

 

The Font

This is the new Comfort Print Font from Harper Collins and, generally, it is phenomenal. I must confess, though, that I find it semi-challenging. While I can read it, my eyes get tired after around 30 minutes of use.

 

The Translation: NIV

NIV is brought to us by Biblica.  Here is some information from Biblica and my thoughts will follow:

  • ACCURATEThe NIV translators are united by their conviction that the Bible is God’s inspired Word. That, along with their years of studying biblical languages, helps them to capture subtle nuances and the depth of meaning in the Bible.
  • CLEARIf the first recipients understood God’s Word when they heard it, so should you. That’s the driving force behind the NIV’s commitment to clarity. The Bible should be every bit as clear to you as it was to its original audience.
  • BEAUTIFULBible reading isn’t just a solo exercise; it’s meant to be a shared experience. That’s why the NIV translators prioritize literary beauty, resulting in a Bible translation that’s suitable for public reading and use in churches.
  • TRUSTWORTHYThe NIV is translated by an independent, self-governing team of Bible scholars. No publisher, commercial or otherwise (not even us!), can tell them how to translate God’s Word. The translators come from dozens of denominations and churches, and they can only make changes to the text if 70% of the committee agrees — safeguarding against theological bias.

 

NIV and I are nearly the same age (1978 vs 1982) and so it is no stretch to say that I grew up with the NIV and I would say that a good many of my generation have as well. To be fair, the KJV and NASB have also been with me and I love all three.

NIV is incredibly easy to understand but it is still rigorous enough for the serious student of the Word to dig in, grow, and learn. I go back and forth with various translations and the main reason I keep coming to the NIV is its familiarity. NIV is both an old friend and a trusted source of wisdom and it lives up to Biblica’s statement that the Bible speaks.

I want to make a statement as a pastor: You can trust your NIV. There are well meaning Christians who will tell you that the NIV has been “corrupted” or something of the sort; it has not. New Greek manuscripts are being discovered regularly and, unlike other languages, English has a tendency to be fluid so, sometimes, it is needful to update. It is vital that you find a translation that you can read and understand and NIV will fill that place nicely.

 

CONTENT REVIEW

Introductions

There are Section Introductions and Book Introductions. The introductions are fairly in-depth including an excellent outline.

Study Notes

In addition to a biblical-theological focus, the study notes aid the reader in gaining a better grasp of the text within its biblical, theological, grammatical, cultural, and social context. There are 20,000 plus notes available and they are laid out in a 3-column format at the bottom portion of the page. The study notes are so detailed that every single category of Christian, from the new disciple to the seminary student, to a seasoned pastor will be able to benefit from the content.

Margin Content

The margin content contains three parts. First, there is room for personal note taking, assuming you have the ability to write in a small enough font. Secondly, the cross references are located in the outside of the margins. Thirdly, there are optional alternate readings of parts of verses.

Maps, Charts, and Pictures– These things are all over the place! They have a map for Jacob’s journey in Genesis, a chart for the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart in Exodus, a chart showing the distance in miles between OT cities, a picture of King Tut’s golden chariot in 2 Chronicles, a map and diagram of the familial house of Herod in Matthew, an extensive chart harmonizing the Gospels, and even a chart contrasting the Levitical priesthood with Jesus’ priesthood in Hebrews. The pictures are in full color. The more you read the text of Scripture the more you will see the value and helpfulness of the extensive charts. The chats are as helpful to understanding the text as the study notes.

Articles

The articles in the Biblical Theology Study Bible focus on 28 of the most common biblical-theological themes in the Bible. Themes like the gospel, the glory of God, creation, sin, law, covenant, priest, temple, justice, worship, and mission are expounded upon and set within the context of the whole revelation of Scripture.

Overall Thoughts

The Biblical Theology Study Bible is an excellent resource that definitely has a place in your pastoral ministry. There are some font challenges for me but they are not sufficient to degrade my opinion. I do recommend it but I will not tell you how to use it since there is not a wrong way to use it.

 

 

Large Print Westminster Reference Bible Review

Large Print Westminster Reference Bible Review

TBS has painted the peacock. I described the KJV Westminster Reference Bible as the KJV perfected and yet TBS made it better. This Bible fits the nickname of “sword.” Here are the dimensions:

Page Size:265 x 188mm (10.4″ x 7.4″)

Thickness:34mm (1.3″)

Print Size:11.8 point

Product Code:120LP/UBK

ISBN:9781862284753

 

The Cover and Binding

Calfskin with a paste down liner. In the case of a Bible this large, a paste down liner is actually a preferable choice. In fact, I suspect that if it were leather lined it would be completely impossible to use one handed; candidly single handed use is very challenging but I have large hands so I can pull it off.

TBS sewed the binding on the Large Print Westminster. I cannot imagine a scenario where a Bible this large would not be sewn. Sewing the Bible guarantees that it will last you a lifetime.

The References

200,000 references!! On this fact alone the Westminster rivals the Thompson Chain References and bests the NASB Side Column Reference Edition and its 95,000 cross-references as well as Crossway’s ESV Classic Reference Bible and its 80,000 references. I call it a rival because, even though it has 100,000 more references than Thompson, it does not offer the topical chains that Thompson offers.

Amazingly all three editions, Compact, Standard, and Large Print offer the 200,000 references. This is where the Westminster really shines. The references are a combination of those in the Concord Reference Bible and those from the Self Interpreting Bible.

Based on the references alone, TBS should do everything in their power to make sure that every pastor on the planet has an opportunity to own a Westminster Reference Bible. If you had no other Bible study tools and no other Bible, you could still go the rest of your life without running out of material to preach.

 

Translation

The Westminster uses the King James Version. This particular version of the KJV has notes that have been preserved from the original translators and carried forward to this edition. It is quite fascinating; not only do you get an introduction to each chapter, but you also get a peek into the minds of the most learned men who crafted what would become the dominant Bible in the English speaking world for over 400 years.

Font, Text Layout, Readability

This is a monstrous 11.8-point font. The layout is double-column verse by verse with the references in the side columns. Because of the generous font and amount of references, you are, sadly, left lacking a useful margin just like in the standard size and the compact. This time, I am actually glad that there is no serviceable margin; it would simply be too big.

Marginal Wordlist

Rather than placing that glossary in the back of words that are no longer in use or have changed meaning, the Westminster places updated words in the margin on the page where the word appears. They are keyed to the text with an asterisk. The margins include the asterisk, the original word, and a short definition. 

Tables of Weights and Measures

In the back is 5.5-pages of tables for weights and measures. They show the type of measure, equivalent Old Testament measure, equivalent New Testament measure, Hebrew and Greek words, approximate equivalent Imperial measure, approximate equivalent metric measure, biblical references, and the time that’s covered. The margins of the Bible include a symbol to tie the text to these tables.

 

Tables:

  • Old Testament Weights
  • Old Testament Lengths
  • Old Testament Liquid Measures
  • Old Testament Dry Measures
  • Old Testament Money
  • Old Testament Time
  • New Testament Weights
  • New Testament Lengths
  • New Testament Liquid Measures
  • New Testament Dry Measures
  • New Testament Money
  • New Testament Time

 

List of Words and Proper Names

Rather than having a self-pronouncing text, the Westminster has a 15-page list of words and names with self-pronouncing marks. It shows the syllables and shows how to pronounce consonants, blends, and nouns. It contains every name and foreign word. It also has a chart to show how to pronounce the symbols.

 

Reading Plan

In the back is the Robert Murray M’Cheyne reading plan. This is a two-year plan that takes you through the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice. The first year starts with Genesis and Matthew, and the second year starts with Ezra and Acts. It can also be used as a one-year plan, which would give you 4 readings per day with all four readings from different places in the Bible.

In the Pulpit

My podium is not particularly large and when the LP Westminster is opened on the pulpit, it covers the entire preaching surface and I love it! The Large Print Westminster and its references are so good, in fact, that you don’t even need notes. You can follow the references and have a perfectly prepared sermon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KJV Perfected: Westminster Reference Bible (Recovered)

KJV Perfected: Westminster Reference Bible (Recovered)

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In an earlier review that I wrote for Bible Buying Guide, I mentioned that I felt there were very few Bibles that deserved to sit on the same shelf as the venerable Thompson Chain Reference Bible (TCR). Imagine my surprise at not only finding a Bible worthy of the same shelf as the TCR but actually a rival to the throne. Enter the Westminster Reference Edition of the King James Bible from the Trinitarian Bible Society…

This is doubtlessly one of the top three reference Bibles available and with all the positives to discuss it is hard to know where to start.

 

References

On their website, Trinitarian Bible Society makes the bold claim that there are over 200,000 references. On this fact alone the Westminster rivals the Thompson and bests the NASB Side Column Reference Edition and its 95,000 cross-references. I call it a rival because, even though it has 100,000 more references than Thompson, it does not offer the topical chains that Thompson offers.

Ordinarily, I do not use the reference features in most of my Bibles, as they generally do not follow my train of thought. The Westminster, however, not only has references consistent with my train of thought, it also took me in a couple directions that I had not originally planned to go.

Translation

The Westminster uses the King James Version. Say what you will about the KJV, it is the perfect pairing. It feels distinctly pastoral; my first impulse after I opened it was to reach for my macbook and begin taking notes and that is the first time that has happened. Usually I go for my favorite passages of Scripture to capture that feeling of familiarity.

This particular version of the KJV has notes that have been preserved from the original translators and carried forward to this edition. It is quite fascinating; not only do you get an introduction to each chapter, but you also get a peek into the minds of the most learned men who crafted what would become the dominant Bible in the English speaking world for over 400 years.

The Cover

Calfskin. Do I really need to say more? Well yes. While this is a genuine calfskin cover it is not floppy like a Side Column Reference. I will leave it up to you to decide it that is good or bad. For me it comes down to this, it feels just right in my hand. I don’t really have a better way to say it than that. When I hold this Bible, open or closed, it feels like it was meant to be in my hand.

Font, Text Layout, Readability

This is a very readable 9.6-point font. The layout is double-column verse by verse with the references in the side columns. Because of the generous font and amount of references, you are, sadly, left lacking a useful margin (By now you know that I love wide margins). On the other hand you do get what is probably the most readable handy sized Bible.

The Paper

The paper is a major win for this Bible. It’s cream colored with excellent opacity. Unfortunately, TBS does not offer much in the way of technical details on their website and, at the time of my writing, I have not successfully reached them to find out the specifications on the paper, though I am not certain that it matters unless, like me, you are a total nerd and cannot properly geek out without knowing such things.

I have used this Bible in several settings with various lighting conditions: at church with the bright lights in our massive auditorium, the break room at work, the restaurant with breakfast, and in the soft light of my bedside table (40W Bulb); in every instance it was totally successful. Sometimes, I enjoy a Psalm or two before bed and this is where I would usually find ghosting. There are one or two spots but if I were to complain about that, it would be nothing more than ungrateful nitpicking.

The texture and feel is amazing. Some paper feels abrupt, coarse and heavy. This paper, though, is quite soft and (if you will pardon the cliché) smooth like ice cream fresh from the churn. It begs to be touched, to caress the hand, to draw you into an interaction with the Word. I said earlier and I will repeat myself, this Bible, to my hands, feels like someone came and noticed every flaw, every callous, every ridge on my hands and then custom crafted a Bible just for me.

Actually, to say that it has excellent opacity was an understatement. From a normal distance I could not distinguish any ghosting or see through. I could see a little when I held up a single page, but as I said to go any further on that would be ungrateful nitpicking.

A Pastoral Perspective

The church I grew up in used KJV almost exclusively (NIV came to the mainstream in 1984 when I was 2), my first sermons were preached from KJV, and I still reach for it quite often. Until the Westminster Reference Bible, my choice of KJV was a cowhide Giant Print Reference Edition from Holman Bible Publishers and while it does have larger font, I am happy to say that my Westminster will replace it for most, if not all, KJV related needs.

You will find it to be an excellent pulpit Bible, a faithful companion during visitation, and an able companion for your study.

If you can only buy one more Bible, get this or the Thompson. If you can get both, do not hesitate to do so. At a price of $65-$80 for a calfskin you cannot go wrong. I also encourage the giving of this as a gift for your pastor. It will be a resource he treasures and uses well for a lifetime.

Until next time, Beloved, Worship Vigorously, Serve Actively, Teach Faithfully, and may mercy, grace, and peace be with you.

 

 

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Worship Part 2 (Guest Post)

Worship Part 2 (Guest Post)

From James Quiggle:

These are the principles of worship:

1. Worship requires an appropriate manner, time, place, and attitude.
2. Faith is necessary to worship.
3. Dedicating one’s self to God is worship.
4. Dedicating one’s service to God is worship.
5. Worship is not acceptable if the believer harbors sin in his (or her) heart.
6. Sin must be confessed and repented in order to worship.
7. The act of confession and repentance of sin is worship.
8. Worship is both private and public, in secret and shared.
9. Worship must be based in a salvific relationship with God in Christ.
10. Worship is a time of sharing with God and one another, i.e., a time of fellowship.
11. Obedience to God’s will is necessary to worship.
12. Submission to God’s authority is necessary to worship.
13. Worship is the appreciation and proclamation of God’s Person and works.
14. The practical aspects of worship can include singing, chanting, music, dancing, testifying, preaching, and teaching.
15. The result of worship is the God’s approval of the worshiper.
16. Every act of any significance begins with worship.

Second Week of Advent Readings

Second Week of Advent Readings

Sunday Isaiah 40:3-5

3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Monday Psalms 43:3-5

3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. 4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. 5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Tuesday Psalms 27:1-4

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. 3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. 4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

Wednesday Isaiah 11:1-10

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. 10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious

Thursday John 12:35-36

35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. 36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.

Friday Ephesians 5:6-14

6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

Saturday 1 Peter 2:5-9

5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

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