Tag: Bible

TBS Reformation Reference Bible Review

TBS Reformation Reference Bible Review

 

My favorite KJV publisher has done it again; The Trinitarian Bible Society has introduced the Compact Westminster Reference Bible, Reformation Commemorative Edition. Since that happens to be a lot of name, I will refer to it, moving forward, as the Reformation Reference Bible.

The Reformation Reference Bible was design by TBS with active missionaries in mind and, in the process, created one of the best compact Bible that you will be able to acquire. It is ideal for the minister on the go, the missionary, or the Christian in need of a portable Bible. Before we go any further, I need to provide a short disclaimer: (The Reformation Reference Bible, in brown meriva calfskin, free of charge by Trinitarian Bible Society {TBS} in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own and TBS had no influence over the review process.)

 

Translation Choice

TBS only publishes English Bibles in the King James Version. For some, this is not an appealing choice. In that old Baptist tradition, however, I tend to enjoy it. KJV is universally recognizable and after 400 years it remains one of the most dominant forces in the English speaking world. It is majestic, reverent, timeless; KJV represents the pinnacle of the English language.

 

References

Westminster Reference Bible, both full size and compact, contain over 200,000 references and it is, truly, without rival. Only two Bibles even come close to the Westminster in terms of references, Thompson Chain Reference (100,000 references in 8,000 topical chains) and New American Standard Bible Side Column Reference Bible (95,000 references). TBS takes its references from what can, easily, be called the best reference Bibles ever produced, the Concord Reference Bible from Cambridge and the Self-Interpreting Bible by Rev. John Brown of Haddington. These references make this a pure study Bible; it lives up to the Reformation Principle that Scripture Interprets Scripture. In point of fact, if the Reformation Reference Bible or the full size Westminster Reference Bible was the only Bible that you owned, you would have a life time of self-interpreting helps to carry you through your study/lesson prep.

 

Size

Page Size: 6.5″ x 4.6″

Thickness: 1.2″

Print Size: 7.3 point

 

I have to hand it to TBS here: I normally do not use compact Bibles because of the font size. The Reformation Reference Bible is as close to the perfect compact edition of the Bible that you can get your hands on.

 

As a carry Bible

The Reformation Reference Bible is one of the most portable KJV Bibles that I have ever carried; It is close in size to the other compact from TBS, the Classic Reference Bible. It fits perfectly into a small pocket into my briefcase. As mentioned earlier, it is designed for the minister or missionary who constantly finds himself on the go.

As a teaching/preaching Bible

I do most of my teaching one on one or in fairly small groups and, to my surprise, I found that I had no issues with the font size in the Reformation Reference Bible. I compared the fonts in the Reformation Reference Bible, the Cambridge Cameo Reference, the Cambridge Pitt Minion Reference Bible, an Oxford Brevier Blackface Reference Bible and the TBS Classic Reference Bible and the Reformation Reference Bible was the most readable of the group, especially with the references. I tried using this in multiple light settings and found that it was up to the challenge; even in direct sunlight I had no issues reading the Bible.

Physical Form

True to form, TBS uses an ironed calfskin on this Bible and it is extremely touchable; this type of leather is called Meriva Calfskin and I admit I am not altogether certain what that means. I am not sure, but I think that Reformation Reference uses the same calfskin as its larger sibling. There is a paste down liner; I am not a fan (this is actually my only complaint) but many of my colleagues appreciate a paste down liner. In my case I prefer a leather lined cover, but its not a deal breaker.

The paper is nearly identical to its big sibling so I will repeat what I said previously… 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.

 

Of the Bibles that I compared this too, I find the Compact Westminster to be most comparanle to the Oxford Blackface.

 

Overall Impression/Final Thoughts

The Compact Westminster Reference Bible, Reformation Commemorative edition is, without doubt the best compact KJV Bible available. I heartily recommend purchasing one.

 

 

Choosing the CSB

Choosing the CSB

Yesterday, we announced, on social media, that Exploring the Truth is transitioning to the Christian Standard Bible as our main text for Scripture. Several people have wondered why that is, and I would like to answer that question for you, dear readers, today.

 

There are several reasons why we chose to move to the CSB. They are as follows:

 

As literal as possible, still easy to read

The whole reason we have a Bible is to read it; the English used in the translation should be at a level easily understood by most, if not all, of its audience. Many of our beloved readers are not based in the United States and do not have English as a primary language, so choosing a Bible that is easy to read and understand was a critical factor in this decision. I also wanted to utilize a Bible that was still as literal as possible (as opposed to a more meaning based translation); I do not have a problem with meaning based translations but for study, literalness must be the primary consideration.

 

I have used the CSB’s predecessor, the HCSB since 2005, as a supplementary text and I can say with absolute confidence that the CSB is well worth making the move. I would like to share some information from Holman Bible Publishers about the translation methodology:

 

” The CSB was created using Optimal Equivalence, a translation philosophy that balances linguistic precision to the original languages and readability in contemporary English.

In the many places throughout Scripture where a word-for-word rendering is clearly understandable, a literal translation is used. When a word-for-word rendering might obscure the meaning for a modern audience, a more dynamic translation is used. This process assures that both the words and thoughts contained in the original text are conveyed as accurately as possible for today’s readers.

 

On one hand, the CSB provides a highly accurate text for sermon preparation and serious study, translated from the biblical languages by scholars who love God’s Word. On the other hand, it doesn’t compromise readability and clarity for those who may be less familiar with the traditional (and sometimes difficult) vocabulary retained in some translations.”

 

Translation Footnotes

One of the most distinctive features of the HCSB are the footnotes and those carry forward to the the CSB. These footnotes include variant readings, textual notes, and alternate translations. The footnotes are an excellent help for sermon preparation, writing Sunday School lessons, or just plain personal study.

 

Availability of the Translation

B&H Publishing makes the CSB available in a variety of formats. You will find it for free, online, at http://csbible.com. It is available, currently, at MyWSB from WORDsearch, as a module for Accordance, and Logos with full availability for all major Bible software by the end of the summer. Naturally, there will also be physical copies in store as of the first week of March.

 

There are a host of other reasons for choosing the CSB but these three were the major deciding factors for me in choosing the CSB.

 

I commend the CSB to you for your study. May it help you to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our glorious Lord.

Apostle’s Creed (Our Essential Creed)

Apostle’s Creed (Our Essential Creed)

Below, you will find the foundational statement of faith of all Reformed Christians. Officially codified in AD 390, this is a concise statement on the essentials of Christian Orthodoxy.

 

I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:

The third day he rose again from the dead:

He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

I believe in the Holy Ghost:

I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:

The forgiveness of sins:

The resurrection of the body:

And the life everlasting. Amen.

God reveals His Covenant Name: I AM

God reveals His Covenant Name: I AM

 

Exodus 3:13-15Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

13 Then Moses asked God, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them: The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what should I tell them?”

14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.[a] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the Israelites: Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever; this is how I am to be remembered in every generation.

Footnotes:

Exodus 3:14 Or I AM BECAUSE I AM, or I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE

 

This is absolutely delicious. When asked for His Personal Name, God answers with a verb phrase. If I could geek out for a minute…

When God reveals His Name, it is in the first person singular imperfect tense, imperfect being not complete rather than deficient.

I have to wonder if Moshe (Moses), upon hearing that Name, scratched his head and something akin to, “you are Who?” I AM WHO I AM is beautifully ironic; it is, at the same time, a totally sufficient answer and an open door to discover the Lord. Later, Iesus (Jesus) would give the final exegesis of the Father in His I am statements but in the meantime, the Lord God, the First Person of the Trinity, made several revelations of Himself via compound Names throughout the TaNaKH (Old Testament). They follow:

  • Yahweh Jireh (Yireh): “The Lord will provide.” Stresses God’s provision for His people ( 22:14).
  • Yahweh Nissi:“The Lord is my Banner.” God is our rallying point and our means of victory; The Lord God, the King of Heaven is the one who fights for His people ( 17:15).
  • Yahweh Shalom:“The Lord is Peace.” The Lord is the source of our peace and rest ( 6:24).
  • Yahweh Sabbaoth:“The Lord of Hosts.” A military term; the Lord is the commander of the armies of heaven (1 Sam. 1:3; 17:45).
  • Yahweh M’Kaddesh/Yahweh Mekoddishkem: “The Lord your Sanctifier.” The Lord as our means of sanctification or as the one who sets believers apart for His purposes ( 31:13).
  • Yahweh Ro’i: “The Lord my Shepherd.” The Lord is the Shepherd who cares for His people as a shepherd cares for the sheep of his pasture ( 23:1).
  • Yahweh Tsidkenu: “The Lord our Righteousness.” The Lord is the means of our righteousness. This righteousness is imputed to the justified believer ( 23:6 and Epistle to Romans).
  • Yahweh Shammah: “The Lord is there.” Portrays the Lord’s personal presence in the millennial kingdom ( 48:35).
  • Yahweh Elohim Israel: “The Lord, the God of Israel.” Identifies Yahweh as the God of Israel in contrast to the false gods of the nations ( 5:3; Isa. 17:6).

 

No matter how you portray it, Beloved, YHWH has always been and always will be. He will be the same eis ton aionos tou aiono (unto the age of the ages/forever and ever/eternity).

 

Let us pray:

 

YHWH our God, your Name is beyond splendid. There is nothing to equal it and no superlative adequate to describe the glory of Your Name. Teach us who You are in each Name so that they are written on our hearts then You will be our God and we will be Your people. May Your name be glorified with majesty upon majesty and every homage that can be imagined. Amen.

 

Until next time, Worship Vigorously, Serve Actively, Teach Faithfully and may mercy, grace, and peace be multiplied unto you

People You Should Know: Abraham, Isaac,  Jacob, and Joseph

People You Should Know: Abraham, Isaac,  Jacob, and Joseph

In the Old Testament, we find 4 very important people: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Here is a brief overview of what we can learn from them.

Where can I find their stories?

Abraham: Genesis 11-25

Issac: Genesis 17:15-35:29

Jacob: Genesis 25-50

Joseph: Genesis 30-50

What are they known for?

Abraham:

  • Had faith that pleased God
  • “Father” of the Jewish People
  • Well respected in the land and was known for protecting family at any cost
  • Known for Great Hospitality
  • He was a wealthy land owner with much livestock

Isaac:

  • Miracle child born to Abraham and Sara in old age
  • First descendant in fulfillment of God’s Promise to Abraham
  • Twin sons, Jacob and Esau: Isaac favored Esau and tried to move the line of God’s Promise through Esau
  • Nearly sacrificed on Mt. Moriah (Calvary in the NT) as part of a test of faith

Jacob:

  • Father of the 12 Tribes of Israel
  • Worked 14 years to marry Rachel
  • Shrewd business man

Joseph:

  • Sold into slavery by his brothers and then rose to become ruler in Egypt
  • Well known for personal integrity

Was there a major failure

  • Under pressure from foreign leaders, Abraham distorted the truth
  • Isaac played favorites between his sons and alienated his wife
  • Jacob tended to try to rely on his own resources instead of seeking help from God
  • Joseph’s youthful pride caused problems with his brothers

What lessons do they teach us

Abraham

  • God desires dependence, trust, and faith in Him
  • God chooses a people as a channel to reveal Himself

Isaac

  • God’s plans and promises are larger than specific people
  • God remains faithful even though we are faithless

Jacob

  • All human actions, good or evil, are woven into God’s plan and under his control
  • Security does not lie in our own wealth but in God

Joseph:

  • Life’s circumstances do not, per se, matter but our response to them is of great importance
  • No matter what situation we find ourselves in, God is Sovereign and in control
Professor Grant Horner’s Reading Plan (the Plan I will use in 2017)

Professor Grant Horner’s Reading Plan (the Plan I will use in 2017)

Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System & Bookmarks

Horner Plan

I have, recently, shared a couple of reading plans with you and, now, I want to share, with you, the plan that I will be using in 2017, Professor Grant Horner’s Reading Plan. This will be an especially ambitious plan for me because, even though, I read my Bible every day, I do not usually consume this level of content on a daily basis. If you follow this plan you will read ten chapters of the Bible per day. Yes, you read that correctly, 3650 chapters of the Bible in a year. There area 1189 chapters in the Bible which means that you will read the Bible 3.06 times in a year. Since you will go through different sections each day, you will get a better idea of how the Bible relates to itself and how to better interpret it.

Which Bible goes best with the Horner Plan?

There are three Bibles that I recommend with this plan: The Crossway ESV Single Column Legacy Bible, the Tyndale Select NLT Reference Bible or the Cambridge Clarion (ESV, NAS, KJV, NKJV, NIV). I will be using the ESV first and then the Select NLT for the 2nd time through. I will decide on which Bible to use for the 3rd time through when I get there.

If you only have 1 Bible, do not feel bad. Study with what you have. If you are going to buy a new Bible for this plan, here is what I would recommend:

  • Get an easy to read translation. Here is where NIV and NLT really shine
  • Buy a single column paragraph format Bible. I love verse by verse for preaching and study but to get this in depth, you will want as few distractions as possible.
  • Lastly, get a set of colored pens and use them for your notes while you read the Bible
Guided Tour of the Bible

Guided Tour of the Bible

Also from our friends at Zondervan, we have, here, a guided tour of the Bible…

If you click on the link below you will find a downloadable PDF to help you follow along.

Zondervan_-_180_Day_Guided_Tour

(Adapted fromt the NIV Student Bible. c.2002, 2011 by Zondervan. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)

The plan offers a kind of bird’s-eye-view.
The daily readings consist of 180 selected passages, including at least one chapter from each of the Bible’s 66 books. You can read both the chap- ter and its accompanying note in 15 minutes per day.

This “Guided Tour” is exactly that, a guide-as- sisted tour of the Bible’s high points. Such a plan is no substitute for mastering the whole Bible, of course, but it may help lower barriers and point the way down a path for further study. Think of it as an introductory tour through a great art muse- um. You won’t get to see every painting in the mu- seum, but you will learn the basic layout, and may also acquire a taste for art that will entice you to return again and again.

With a few exceptions, the Biblical material appears in rough chronological order. You will read the psalms attributed to David as you read about David’s life. You will read the prophets along with their background history. Portions from the Gospels, too, are interspersed, giving a composite picture of Jesus’ life on earth; and Paul’s letters are scattered throughout the record of his life. This arrangement should help convey the Bible’s “plot.”

 

The Plot Unveiled
Day 1. Genesis 1: A Book of Beginnings Day 2. Genesis 2: One Shining Moment Day 3. Genesis 3: The Crash Day 4. Genesis 4: Crouching at the Door Day 5. Genesis 7: Under Water Day 6. Genesis 8: The Rainbow Day 7. Genesis 15: The Plan Day 8. Genesis 19: A Catastrophe Sent from God Day 9. Genesis 22: Final Exam Day 10. Genesis 27: Jacob Gets the Blessing Day 11. Genesis 28: Something Undeserved Day 12. Genesis 37: Family Battles Day 13. Genesis 41: Behind the Scenes Day 14. Genesis 45: A Long Forgiveness
Birthing a Nation
Day 15. Exodus 3: Time for Action Day 16. Exodus 10–11: The Ten Plagues Day 17. Exodus 14: Miracle at the Red Sea Day 18. Exodus 20: The Ten Commandments Day 19. Exodus 32: The Dream Dies Day 20. Leviticus 26: Legal Matters Day 21. Numbers 11: Trials in the Desert Day 22. Numbers 14: Open Mutiny Day 23. Deuteronomy 4: Never Forget Day 24. Deuteronomy 8: Dangers of Success Day 25. Deuteronomy 28: Loud and Clear Day 26. Joshua 2: New Spies, New Spirit Day 27. Joshua 6: Strange Tactics Day 28. Joshua 7: Slow Learners Day 29. Joshua 24: Home at Last Day 30. Judges 6: Unlikely Leader Day 31. Judges 7: Military Upset Day 32. Judges 16: Superman’s Flaws Day 33. Ruth 1: Tough Love
The Golden Age
Day 34. 1 Samuel 3: Transition Team Day 35. 1 Samuel 16: Tale of Two Kings Day 36. Psalm 23: A Shepherd’s Song Day 37. 1 Samuel 17: Giant-Killer Day 38. Psalm 19: Outdoor Lessons Day 39. 1 Samuel 20: Jonathan’s Loyalty Day 40. Psalm 27: Ups and Downs Day 41. 2 Samuel 6: King of Passion Day 42. 1 Chronicles 17: God’s House Day 43. Psalm 103: The Goodness of God Day 44. 2 Samuel 11: Adultery and Murder Day 45. 2 Samuel 12: Caught in the Act Day 46. Psalm 51: True Confession Day 47. Psalm 139: David’s Spiritual Secret Day 48. 1 Kings 3: Raw Talent Day 49. 1 Kings 8: High-water Mark Day 50. Psalm 84: Home Sweet Home Day 51. Proverbs 4: Life Advice Day 52. Proverbs 10: One-liners Day 53. Proverbs on Words: Verbal Dynamite Day 54. Song of Songs 2: Love Story Day 55. Ecclesiastes 3: A Time for Everything

The Northern Kingdom
Day 56. 1 Kings 17: The Prophets Day 57. 1 Kings 18: Mountaintop Showdown Day 58. 2 Kings 5: Double Portion Day 59. Joel 2: Word Power Day 60. Jonah 3–4: Beloved Enemies Day 61. Amos 4: Street-Corner Prophet Day 62. Hosea 1, 3: Parable of Love Day 63. Hosea 11: Wounded Lover Day 64. 2 Kings 17: Postmortem
The Southern Kingdom
Day 65. 2 Chronicles 20: Meanwhile in Jerusalem Day 66. Micah 6: Pollution Spreads Day 67. 2 Chronicles 30: Hezekiah’s Festival Day 68. Isaiah 6: Power behind the Throne Day 69. Isaiah 25: Eloquent Hope Day 70. 2 Chronicles 32: Battlefield Lessons Day 71. Nahum 1: Enemy Justice Day 72. Zephaniah 3: Rotten Ruling Class Day 73. 2 Kings 22: Boy Wonder Day 74. Jeremiah 2: National Adultery Day 75. Jeremiah 15: Balky Prophet Day 76. Jeremiah 31: Israel’s Future Day 77. Jeremiah 38: A Prophet’s Perils Day 78. Habakkuk 1: Debating God Day 79. Lamentations 3: Poet In Shock Day 80. Obadiah: No Room to Gloat
Starting Over
Day 81. Ezekiel 1: In Exile Day 82. Ezekiel 2–3: Toughening Up Day 83. Ezekiel 4: Write Large and Shout Day 84. Ezekiel 37: Resurrection Time Day 85. Daniel 1: Enemy Employers Day 86. Daniel 3: Ordeal by Fire Day 87. Daniel 5: Like Father, Like Son Day 88. Daniel 6: Daniel’s Longest Night Day 89. Ezra 3: Home at Last Day 90. Haggai 1: A Needed Boost Day 91. Zechariah 8: Raising Sights Day 92. Nehemiah 2: A Man for All Seasons Day 93. Nehemiah 8: Mourning into Joy Day 94. Esther 4: A Race’s Survival Day 95. Malachi 2: Low-grade Disappointment
Cries of Pain
Day 96. Job 1–2: Is God Unfair? Day 97. Job 38: God Speaks to Job Day 98. Job 42: Happy Ending Day 99. Isaiah 40: Who’s in Charge? Day 100. Isaiah 52: The Suffering Servant Day 101. Isaiah 53: Wounded Healer Day 102. Isaiah 55: The End of It All
A Surprising Messiah
Day 103. Luke 1: One Final Hope Day 104. Luke 2: No Fear Day 105. Mark 1: Immediate Impact Day 106. Mark 2: Signal Fires of Opposition Day 107. John 3: Late-Night Rendezvous Day 108. Mark 3: Miracles and Magic Day 109. Mark 4: Hard Soil Day 110. Mark 5: Jesus and Illness Day 111. Matthew 5: Inflammatory Word Day 112. Matthew 6: Sermon on the Mount Day 113. Matthew 13: Kingdom Tales Day 114. Mark 6: Contrast in Power Day 115. Luke 16: Of Two Worlds Day 116. Luke 12: Jesus on Money Day 117. Luke 18: Underdogs

Responses to Jesus
Day 118. Luke 15: Master Storyteller Day 119. John 6: Food that Endures Day 120. Mark 7: Poles Apart Day 121. Matthew 18: Out of Bondage Day 122. John 10: No Secrets Day 123. Mark 8: Turning Point Day 124. Mark 9: Slow Learners Day 125. Luke 10: Mission Improbable Day 126. Mark 10: Servant Leadership Day 127. Mark 11: Opposition Heats Up Day 128. Mark 12: Baiting Jesus Day 129. Mark 13: A Day to Dread Day 130. Mark 14: A Scent of Doom
Final Days
Day 131. John 14: One Final Meal Together Day 132. John 15: Vital Link Day 133. John 16: Grief into Joy Day 134. John 17: Commissioning Day 135. Matthew 26: Appointment with Destiny Day 136. Matthew 27: No Justice Day 137. Mark 15: Removing the Barrier Day 138. Matthew 28: A Rumor of Life Day 139. John 20: The Rumor Spreads Day 140. Luke 24: The Final Link
The Word Spreads
Day 141. Acts 1: Departure Day 142. Acts 2: Explosion Day 143. Acts 5: Shock Waves Day 144. Acts 9: About-face Day 145. Galatians 3: Legalism Day 146. Acts 16: Detour Day 147. Philippians 2: Downward Mobility Day 148. Acts 17: Mixed Results Day 149. 1 Thessalonians 3–4: Preparing for the End Day 150. 2 Thessalonians 2: Rumor Control Day 151. 1 Corinthians 13: The Love Chapter Day 152. 1 Corinthians 15: The Last Enemy Day 153. 2 Corinthians 4: Baked Dirt Day 154. 2 Corinthians 12: Boasting of Weakness
Paul’s Legacy
Day 155. Romans 3: Remedy Day 156. Romans 7: Limits of the Law Day 157. Romans 8: Spirit Life Day 158. Romans 12: When Christians Disagree Day 159. Acts 26: Unexpected Passage Day 160. Acts 27: Perfect Storm Day 161. Acts 28: Rome at Last Day 162. Ephesians 2: Prison Letter Day 163. Ephesians 3: Success Story Day 164. Colossians 1: Spanning the Gap Day 165. Philemon: A Personal Favor Day 166. Titus 2: Paul’s Troubleshooter Day 167. 1 Timothy 1: Growth Pains Day 168. 2 Timothy 2: Final Words
Vital Letters
Day 169. Hebrews 2: The Great Descent Day 170. Hebrews 11: What Is True Faith? Day 171. Hebrews 12: Marathon Race Day 172. James 1: Walk the Talk Day 173. 1 Peter 1: Converted Coward Day 174. 2 Peter 1: Hidden Dangers Day 175. Jude: Sounding the Alarm Day 176. 1 John 3: Merest Christianity Day 177. 2 and 3 John: Pesky Deceivers Day 178. Revelation 1: The Final Word Day 179. Revelation 12: Another Side of History Day 180. Revelation 21: An End and a Beginning

 

Overview of the Bible Reading Plan

Overview of the Bible Reading Plan

From our friends at Zondervan Publishing, here is a reading plan to give you a solid overview of the Bible. (Adapted fromt the NIV Student Bible. c.2002, 2011 by Zondervan. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)

 

Introduction to the Bible
This is a plan to begin reading the Bible. These two-week reading courses take you quickly into passages every Christian should know. Of the 1189 Bible chapters, why begin with these? First, they are frequently quoted or referred to elsewhere. Second, they are relatively easy to read and understand. Each section is designed to take 2 Weeks to complete so that at the end of 14-20 weeks you will have laid a solid foundation of Bible reading and will have set the discipline of personal time in the word.
1. Two Weeks on the Life and Teachings of Jesus
Day 1. Luke 1: Preparing for Jesus’ arrival. Day 2. Luke 2: The story of Jesus’ birth. Day 3. Mark 1: The beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Day 4. Mark 9: A day in the life of Jesus. Day 5. Matthew 5: The Sermon on the Mount. Day 6. Matthew 6: The Sermon on the Mount. Day 7. Luke 15: Parables of Jesus. Day 8. John 3: A conversation with Jesus. Day 9. John 14: Jesus’ final instructions. Day 10. John 17: Jesus’ prayer for his disciples. Day 11. Matthew 26: Betrayal and arrest. Day 12. Matthew 27: Jesus’ execution on a cross. Day 13. John 20: Resurrection. Day 14. Luke 24: Jesus’ appearance after resurrection.
2. Two Weeks on the Life and Teachings of Paul
Day 1. Acts 9: The conversion of Saul. Day 2. Acts 16: Paul’s Macedonian call and a jailbreak. Day 3. Acts 17: Scenes from Paul’s missionary journey. Day 4. Acts 26: Paul tells his life story to a king. Day 5. Acts 27: Shipwreck on the way to Rome. Day 6. Acts 28: Paul’s arrival in Rome. Day 7. Romans 3: Paul’s theology in a nutshell. Day 8. Romans 7: Struggle with sin. Day 9. Romans 8: Life in the Spirit. Day 10. 1 Corinthians 13: Paul’s description of love. Day 11. 1 Corinthians 15: Thoughts on the afterlife. Day 12. Galatians 5: Freedom in Christ. Day 13. Ephesians 3: Paul’s summary of his mission. Day 14. Philippians 2: Imitating Christ.
3. Two Weeks on the Old Testament
Day 1. Genesis 1: The story of creation. Day 2. Genesis 3: The origin of sin. Day 3. Genesis 22: Abraham and Isaac. Day 4. Exodus 3: Moses’ encounter with God. Day 5. Exodus 20: The gift of the Ten Commandments. Day 6. 1 Samuel 17: David and Goliath. Day 7. 2 Samuel 11: David and Bathsheba. Day 8. 2 Samuel 12: Nathan’s rebuke of the king. Day 9. 1 Kings 18: Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Day 10. Job 38: God’s answer to Job. Day 11. Psalm 51: A classic confession. Day 12. Isaiah 40: Words of comfort from God. Day 13. Daniel 6: Daniel and the lions. Day 14. Amos 4: A prophet’s stern warning.

1. Two Weeks on Becoming a Christian
Day 1. Genesis 3: The first sin creates a need. Day 2. Isaiah 52: Salvation prophesied. Day 3. Isaiah 53: The role of the suffering servant. Day 4. Luke 15: Three stories about God’s love. Day 5. John 3: Jesus explains “born again.” Day 6. John 10: The good shepherd. Day 7. Acts 8: Conversions spread outside the Jewish community. Day 8. Acts 26: Paul testifies of his conversion before a king. Day 9. Romans 3: God’s provision for sin. Day 10. Romans 5: Peace with God. Day 11. Galatians 3: Salvation unavailable by obeying the law. Day 12. Ephesians 2: New life in Christ. Day 13. 1 Peter 1: Future rewards of salvation. Day 14. 2 Peter 1: Making your salvation sure.

2. Two Weeks on Prayers of the Bible
Day 1. Genesis 18: Abraham’s plea for Sodom. Day 2. Exodus 15: Moses’ song to the Lord. Day 3. Exodus 33: Moses meets with God. Day 4. 2 Samuel 7: David’s response to God’s promises. Day 5. 1 Kings 8: Solomon’s dedication of the temple. Day 6. 2 Chronicles 20: Jehoshaphat prays for victory. Day 7. Ezra 9: Ezra’s prayer for the people’s sins. Day 8. Psalm 22: A cry to God for help. Day 9. Psalm 104: A prayer of praise. Day 10. Daniel 9: Daniel’s prayer for the salvation of Jerusalem. Day 11. Habakkuk 3: A prophet’s prayer of acceptance. Day 12. Matthew 6: The Lord’s prayer. Day 13. John 17: Jesus’ prayer for his disciples. Day 14. Colossians 1: Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving.

3. Two Weeks on the Holy Spirit
Day 1. Judges 14: The Spirit gives Samson strength. Day 2. 1 Samuel 10: King Saul’s experience. Day 3. Matthew 3:1–4:10: Role in Jesus’ baptism and temptation. Day 4. John 14: Jesus promises the Spirit. Day 5. John 16: The work of the Spirit. Day 6. Acts 2: The Spirit comes at Pentecost. Day 7. Acts 10: The Spirit guides Peter to accept Gentiles. Day 8. Romans 8: Christians’ victory in the Spirit. Day 9. 1 Corinthians 2: Wisdom from the Spirit. Day 10. 1 Corinthians 12: Gifts of the Spirit. Day 11. 1 Corinthians 14: Gifts of tongues and prophecy. Day 12. Galatians 5: Life in the Spirit. Day 13. Ephesians 4: Unity and gifts. Day 14. 1 John 4: Signs of the Spirit.

4. Two Weeks on Women of the Bible
Day 1. Genesis 2: Eve, the first woman. Day 2. Genesis 18: Sarah laughs at God’s promise. Day 3. Genesis 24: Rebekah’s marriage to Isaac. Day 4. Genesis 27: Rebekah, the manipulative mother Day 5. Judges 4: Deborah’s leadership frees her people. Day 6. Ruth 1: Ruth and Naomi’s deep friendship. Day 7. 1 Samuel 1: Hannah prays for a son. Day 8. 1 Kings 17: A poor widow and the prophet Elijah. Day 9. 1 Kings 21: Jezebel, an emblem of wickedness. Day 10. Esther 2: Esther is chosen as queen. Day 11. Esther 4: Esther’s courage at the risk of death. Day 12. Luke 1: Mary and Elizabeth receive great news. Day 13. Luke 2: Mary gives birth to Jesus. Day 14. John 11: Mary and Martha and their brother’s death.

5. Two Weeks on Men of the Old Testament
Day 1. Judges 6: God calls Gideon to rescue his people. Day 2. Judges 7: Gideon conquers his fears—and his enemies. Day 3. 1 Samuel 3: God calls young Samuel. Day 4. 1 Kings 3: Solomon is given wisdom. Day 5. 1 Kings 19: Elijah runs for his life. Day 6. 2 Kings 5: Elisha heals a powerful foreign general. Day 7. Isaiah 6: God calls the prophet Isaiah. Day 8. 2 Kings 18: King Hezekiah under military siege. Day 9. 2 Kings 19: Isaiah speaks God’s word to King Hezekiah. Day 10. 2 Chronicles 34: Josiah sets his nation back on course. Day 11. Nehemiah 2: Nehemiah courageously begins rebuilding a wall. Day 12. Jeremiah 38: Jeremiah, in prison, refuses to change his message. Day 13. Daniel 1: Daniel risks his life in captivity. Day 14. Daniel 5: Daniel’s word to participants in a royal orgy.

6. Two Weeks on Social Justice
Day 1. Exodus 3: God hears the cries of the slaves. Day 2. Leviticus 25: The Year of Jubilee, a time of economic revolution. Day 3. Ruth 2: A poor woman finds help. Day 4. 1 Kings 21: Elijah speaks to a land-grabbing, murderous king. Day 5. Nehemiah 5: Nehemiah demands justice for the poor. Day 6. Isaiah 5: Warning to fun-loving materialists. Day 7. Isaiah 58: Worship that God appreciates. Day 8. Jeremiah 34: Freedom for slaves. Day 9. Amos 2: Sins against God by his own people. Day 10. Amos 6: Warning to the complacent. Day 11. Micah 6: What the Lord requires. Day 12. Luke 3: John the Baptist tells how to prepare for Jesus. Day 13. Matthew 6: Jesus speaks on material things. Day 14. James 2: How to treat the rich and the poor.

7. Two Weeks on God and Nature
Day 1. Genesis 1: God creates the earth. Day 2. Genesis 2: God creates human beings. Day 3. Proverbs 8: Wisdom’s view of creation. Day 4. Genesis 7: God preserves the species. Day 5. Job 38: The greatness of nature. Day 6. Job 39: The wildness of nature. Day 7. Job 40: God’s mastery of nature. Day 8. Psalm 8: Praise for the Creator. Day 9. Psalm 98: Nature joins in the praise. Day 10. Psalm 104: God sustains the earth. Day 11. Isaiah 40: The ruler of all creation. Day 12. Romans 8: The “groanings” of our present state. Day 13. Isaiah 65: Preview of a restored earth. Day 14. Revelation 22: The end of history.
Further Two-Week Courses for Personal Study
Two weeks on Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: Genesis 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 24, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33.

Two weeks on Moses and the exodus: Exodus 2, 3, 4, 7, 12, 14, 16, 19, 32; Numbers 14; Deuteronomy 1, 2, 4, 31.

Two weeks on David: 1 Samuel 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24; 2 Samuel 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18.

Through the Bible in 90 Days

Through the Bible in 90 Days

 

There is nothing more important to the Christian than time in the word. Below you will find a plan to read the Bible in 90 days (around 30-45 minutes per day). You can either click the words Bible 90 Days for a downloadable PDF or you can click the Scripture references below to read right on your device.

Bible 90 Days

 

Wash All The Sinners Away: The Flood Judgment

Wash All The Sinners Away: The Flood Judgment

Before we begin, I want to point out that we are all familiar with the Flood Narrative and in this lesson, we are looking more at the background and cause of the Flood Judgment.

Text: Genesis 6-9

Who are the players in this story?

  • Noah, a righteous man and preacher of righteousness
  • the Lord God
  • the “Sons of God,” who these are remains a mystery to this day. Some say they were the offspring of the righteous Seth while others think these are angels and perhaps fallen angels
  • The remainder of humanity

Words you need to know

bənê hāʼĕlōhîm (בְנֵי־הָֽאֱלֹהִים) the sons of Elohim (God)

There is no real consensus as to who these are. There are two major interpretations among scholars.

  1. The Offspring of the righteous line of Seth
  2. Fallen Angels: Early Christian writers such as Justin Martyr, Eusebius, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Commodianus believed that the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:1-4 were fallen angels who engaged in unnatural union with human women, resulting in the begetting of the Nephilim. Modern Christians have argued against this view by reasoning on Jesus‘ comment in Matthew 22:30 that angels do not marry, although it only refers to angels in heaven. Others saw them as descendants of Seth.

Saint Augustine subscribed to this view, based on the orations of Julius Africanus in his book City of God, which refer to the “sons of God” as being descendants of Seth (or Sethites), the pure line of Adam. The “daughters of men” are viewed as the descendants of Cain (or Cainites). Variations of this view was also received by Jewish philosophers.

As David Guzik points out,

The sons of God saw the daughters of men: It is more accurate to see the sons of God as either demons (angels in rebellion against God) or uniquely demon-possessed men, and the daughters of men as human women.

i. The phrase “sons of God” clearly refers to angelic creatures when it is used the three other times in the Old Testament (Job 1:6, 2:1, and 38:7). The translators of the Septuagint translated sons of God as “angels.” They clearly thought it referred to angelic beings, not people descended from Seth.

ii. Jude 6 tells us of the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own habitation. Jude goes on (Jude 7) to tell us they sinned in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh. Here in Genesis 6, as in Sodom and Gomorrah, there was an unnatural sexual union.

iii. It is useless to speculate on the nature of this union. Whether it was brought about by something like demon possession, or whether angels have power permanently to assume the form of men is not revealed. But we should understand the occult is filled with sexual associations with the demonic, and there are those today who actively pursue such associations.

iv. Jude 6 also makes it clear what God did with these wicked angels. They are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness from the judgment of the great day. By not keeping their proper place, they are now kept in chains. Their sinful pursuit of freedom has put them in bondage.

v. 1 Peter 3:19-20 tells us Jesus went to these disobedient spirits in their prison and proclaimed His victory on the cross over them.

vi. An objection offered to this understanding is found in Matthew 22:30, where Jesus said angels neither marry nor are given in marriage; but Jesus never said angels were sexless, and He was also speaking about faithful angels (angels of God in heaven), not rebellious ones.

vii. From the book of 1 Enoch, which is not inspired scripture, but may still contain some accurate accounts: “And it came to pass that the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children … [They] took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments … And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants … And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways.”

What happened

Approximately 1100 years (more specifically around 1056) after Adam’s ejection from the Garden, God looked and saw that man’s thoughts were continually evil and He was “sorry that He created man.” Why? What was happening on the earth that caused God to feel this way?

Looking to Matthew Henry for a moment:

The charge was exhibited and proved against them, v. 5. The evidence produced was incontestable. God saw it, and that was instead of a thousand witnesses. God sees all the wickedness that is among the children of men; it cannot be concealed from him now, and, if it be not repented of, it shall not be concealed by him shortly. Now what did God take notice of?

1. He observed that the streams of sin that flowed along in men’s lives, and the breadth and depth of those streams: He saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth. Observe the connection of this with what goes before: the oppressors were mighty men and men of renown; and, then, God saw that the wickedness of man was great. Note, The wickedness of a people is great indeed when the most notorious sinners are men of renown among them. Things are bad when bad men are not only honored notwithstanding their wickedness, but honored for their wickedness, and the vilest men exalted. Wickedness is then great when great men are wicked. Their wickedness was great, that is, abundance of sin was committed in all places, by all sorts of people; and such sin as was in its own nature most gross, and heinous, and provoking; it was committed daringly, and with a defiance of heaven, nor was any care taken by those that had power in their hands to restrain and punish it. This God saw. Note, All the sins of sinners are known to God the Judge. Those that are most conversant in the world, though they see much wickedness in it, yet they see but little of that which is; but God sees all, and judges aright concerning it, how great it is, nor can he be deceived in his judgment.

2. He observed the fountain of sin that was in men’s hearts. Any one might see that the wickedness of man was great, for they declared their sin as Sodom; but God’s eye went further: He saw that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually-a sad sight, and very offensive to God’s holy eye! This was the bitter root, the corrupt spring: all the violence and oppression, all the luxury and wantonness, that were in the world, proceeded from the corruption of nature; lust conceived them, Jam. 1:15. See Mt. 15:19.

(1.) The heart was naught; it was deceitful and desperately wicked. The principles were corrupt, and the habits and dispositions evil.

(2.) The thoughts of the heart were so. Thought is sometimes taken for the settled judgment or opinion, and this was bribed, and biased, and misled; sometimes it signifies the workings of the fancy, and these were always either vain or vile, either weaving the spider’s web or hatching the cockatrice’s egg.

(3.) The imagination of the thoughts of the heart was so, that is, their designs and devices were wicked. They did not do evil through mere carelessness, as those that walk at all adventures, not heeding what they do; but they did evil deliberately and designedly, contriving how to do mischief. It was bad indeed; for it was only evil, continually evil, and every imagination was so. There was no good to be found among them, no, not at any time: the stream of sin was full, and strong, and constant; and God saw it; see Ps. 14:1-3.

So, man was so corrupt, that God decided to destroy them. On a side note, here we see the Doctrine of Total Depravity  on full display in the Old Testament.

The Flood Narrative is one that we hear quite often and sometimes it is easy to be trite and to miss the cause of the Flood Judgment, that human society had become so corrupted and evil that their very existence was such an insult to a Holy God that their entire destruction was necessary.

Discussion Questions

  1. What parallels are visible between our society and the society of Noah?
  2. What does God expect from you in such a wicked world?

Final Thought

For the glory of God’s justice, and for warning to a wicked world, before the history of the ruin of the old world, we have a full account of its degeneracy, its apostasy from God and rebellion against him. The destroying of it was an act, not of an absolute sovereignty, but of necessary justice, for the maintaining of the honor of God’s government.