Tag: Bible

NLT Christian Basics Bible Review

NLT Christian Basics Bible Review

 

 

NLT Christian Basics Bible Review

 

As I am preparing to step into a Senior Pastor role, I find myself looking at resources for the disciples who come to church and today I would like to introduce you to one of the two Bibles newly saved disciples will be offered, the NLT Christian Basics Bible. (Disclaimer: unlike other review Bibles, this was not sent by Tyndale nor was a review solicited; this is completely on my own.)

 

First, some information from the publisher:

New to the Bible? The Christian Basics Bible is for you! It can be difficult for readers who are new to Scripture to explore the Bible’s teachings and to understand how Christian beliefs are established in its pages. The Christian Basics Bible is filled with features designed to help readers-especially those new to the Bible-connect biblical teachings to Christian beliefs and to see how those beliefs apply to their lives. By delivering the right amount of both information and application, the Christian Basics Bible can become the catalyst that helps you to live a vibrant Christian life guided by God’s Word.

Product Information

Format: Imitation Leather
Number of Pages: 1700
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 1496413571
ISBN-13: 9781496413574
References: Cross References

 

 

Initial Thoughts:

I was rather surprised with the Christian Basics Bible; my original expectation was something geared more toward teens or perhaps children and I was not expecting much theology. I half expected the Christian Basics Bible would just call out the major stories that most people would already be familiar with. Instead, you actually get Theology, and good Theology at that.

 

Translation Choice:

The editors chose the NLT and they could not have made a better choice. The NLT is translated using English at an early middle school level, approximately 6th-7th grades. The “Meaning Based” or “Thought-for-Thought” approach is what gives NLT its broad appeal; if you did not know it, outside the United States, NLT is in a statistical tie with the NIV for the dominant English Translation and I find that it is perfect for someone who has English as a second language.

Front Matter:

First up, we are given a Read This First Article. This article is a brief overview of the Christian Basics Bible and a guide to using it.

Becoming a Christian

This article provides a guide to how to become a Christian and begin a life of discipleship. The article discusses the need for a savior, the need to repent, and how to do so. There is a sample prayer provided to help the new disciple in confessing sin and yielding to the Lordship of Christ.

Now That You Are a Christian

Following on the Becoming a Christian article, this article guides new disciples through the beginning stages of the process of becoming a disciple of Jesus. The article references several topical articles located throughout the Bible that will provide guidance in starting that relationship.

What is the Bible

This is the longest of the three articles. It covers Bible history, the major sections of the Bible, and the languages of the Bible. The article also covers the overall message of the Bible as well as its priority in the life of a believer.

A Timeline of the Bible

This is an estimated chronology of when the events in the Bible happened. It is fairly self explanatory.

 

Main Study Helps

Book Introductions

Like any good study Bible, each book comes with its own introduction. Each introduction has a 1-paragraph summary of the book. The What’s It All About section provides an overview of the book and where it fits in the overarching story of redemption. The What Does It Mean for Us section gives us a glimpse of how the truths of each book applies to our lives today. Lastly, the Overview Section provides a brief outline of the book.

 

Topical Articles

Interspersed throughout the Bible are topical articles related to what it means to be a Christian. Each article concludes with a reference to another article that is related to the topic being studied.

 

Back Matter:

Reading Plans

Plan 1 takes 28 days and gives an introduction to the Bible. Plan 2 will take approximately 180 days and provides a panoramic picture of the Bible. There is not a Plan 3 but that isn’t a drawback. By the time a new disciple completes plans 1&2, there should be enough familiarity with the truth of Scripture to be able to decide what is desired to be studied next and select an appropriate study plan.

Basic Truths of the Christian Faith

At first glance, you would think this is a concordance, but you would be mistaken. This is a topical guide to the major subjects a Christian would be expected to deal with in their life. There is an introduction to the topic followed by an expository outline to the reader through the topic.

Glossary

There is a brief glossary which helps readers to understand the terms that Christians commonly use.

Visual Overview of the Bible

Lastly, there is a visual overview of the Bible. These are 14 full color maps and charts to help you visualize what you are reading about and make the Bible come alive.

 

Final Thoughts

This is not what I had expected and I am delighted by that fact. I have spent almost a month on reviewing the materials offered and I am well pleased. The theology is basic enough that a reader would have a solid foundation after following the 200 days of readings recommended in the reading plans but it will also provide a jumping in point for deeper discussion of theology.

This is one of two Bibles that we will be providing at Abounding Grace Baptist Church for those who are new disciples, the other being the Swindoll Study Bible and we will choose which one to give based on how much, if any, the new disciple already knows about the Bible. I highly recommend the NLT Christian Basics Bible.

 

 

NLT Reflections Journaling Bible Review

NLT Reflections Journaling Bible Review

 

 

Initial Thoughts on the NLT Reflections Bible

It’s no secret that I love a wide margin Bible and in the case of the NLT Reflections Bible, these are the widest margins I have, personally, seen in a Bible, 2.25 inches. Tyndale made the margins ruled which eliminates a huge problem for me; for some reason I cannot write in a straight line on un-ruled paper, so giving me ruled margins made me exceedingly happy.

 

There are 3 covers available, all with sewn bindings so they will lay flat. Tyndale sent me all three (free of charge in exchange for an honest review; my opinions are my own): Ocean Blue (actually more of a teal) cloth over board, Sketchbook (The cover feels very similar to a Moleskine notebook and is the same shade of black), and Mahogany Bonded Leather over board. Of the 3, the mahogany will be the one I carry most. I cannot explain why, but it seems to be the most “pastoral” and since it will be used in a church plant, it seems the natural choice.

 

From the publisher

Product Description

NLT Reflections is a handsome single-column, wide-margin New Living Translation Bible. Extra-wide 2.25″ lightly ruled margins make this Bible great for note-taking, journaling, recording prayers, doodling, drawing, and other forms of creative expression.

Special features include

  • A line-matching setting that’s designed to prevent text show-through
  • A durable sewn lay-flat binding
  • Matching ribbon marker
  • Elegant spine hubs
  • Presentation page
  • One-year Bible reading plan
  • 8-point text size
  • 75″ X 6.75″ x 1.50″

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 1704
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.50 X 6.38 X 1.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1496418042
ISBN-13: 9781496418043
Text Layout: Single Column|Wide Margin

 

Text Color: Black Letter
Text Size: 8 Point
Thumb Index: No
Ribbon Marker: Yes
Spine: Sewn
Page Gilding: None
Page Edges: White

The Paper & Font

The paper is a crisp white, not quite so bright that it would be difficult to read in the sunlight but not an off-white either; I guess that eggshell would be the best descriptor. Tyndale lists an 8-point font which I would have to say is the most readable 8-point font I have seen in a while. It is not the same font family as my KJV Concord Reference Bible but it is just as readable. Since I am planning to preach from the Reflections Bible, the font is the biggest factor for me; I am pleased to say that I have experienced no eyestrain when reading from this Bible.

Margins and their use

The margins, as I said earlier, are 2.25 inches and they are ruled for easy writing. I think there is one Bible with larger margins but it is only in KJV, if memory serves. In my case, the margins will be used for main points of sermons and word studies.

For writing your annotations, I recommend Papermate’s Better Retractable (shown in photo below) and I recommend Accu-gel Hi Glider for color coded marking. I have the six color pack and I am using the following color coding:

  • Green: Fruit of the Spirit/Christian Life/Discipleship
  • Purple: Kingdom of God/Eschatological Kingdom
  • Blue: the Godhead
  • Yellow: Prophecies of Christ, His Advents, & Ministry
  • Pink: Salvation
  • Orange: Ecclesiology

 

Naturally, your color coding may vary. There are many important topics that are worth color coding; in my case I chose the topics I believe are most important to a brand new church. How you color code is not as important as actually doing the color code. Color coding is one of several memory triggers that you can use to recall information quickly.

Actually Writing in the Bible

Typically, my annotations are word studies although, on occasion, I have been known to add some topical references. In the example shown in the photos, I have provided markings from the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 5. Because the Beatitudes fall into the category of Christian Life, I have marked them with the green accu-gel highlighter pen. You will notice that the coloring is noticeable but it is not so bright as to distract from the text. In the margin, there are some brief comments on the word makarios which we translate as blessed. The word to be studied is in red with the definition and references to Strong’s and Thayer’s in blue and my summary remarks in black.

I have also provided a picture of the opposite side of the page from where I made the markings. You can see the slightest hint of a shadow where I wrote but you cannot make out individual letters and the green highlighting barely shows any shadowing.

For Carry/Daily Use

For daily carry and use, this Bible is a great choice. The format lends itself to reading large amounts of text in a single sitting. Of course, the exquisite margins provide the perfect canvas to record your thoughts as you read devotionally or your study notes while you prepare your lessons. In the case of my wife, who has claimed the Ocean Blue, that point you want to remember from the Sunday Sermon fits here nicely as well. The overall size and weight of the Bible lends itself to one handed use without worrying if the Bible will fall out of your hand while reading. I am very peripatetic (walk while talking) and I have not noticed any issues with that habit and this Bible.

Overall Thoughts

I’m really enjoying the NLT Reflections Bible. It works out nicely for my purposes in using it as a pastoral tool. My only suggestion would be to add two more ribbons so that you can study the Old Testament, Psalms and Proverbs, and the New Testament simultaneously. I hope that, after reading this, you will get an NLT Reflections Journaling Bible and that you will customize your own study/devotional Bible.

 

 

Spurgeon Study Bible Review

Spurgeon Study Bible Review

Charles Spurgeon…The words are often spoken with reverence as if the words themselves define what it means to be a pastor. Spurgeon is often called the Prince of Preachers and deservedly so. However, there has always been one disadvantage…you cannot have Spurgeon in your living room teaching the Bible. Holman Bible Publishers and Allistair Begg have been able to remedy that with the Spurgeon Study Bible.

I was asked, by a friend, for a one sentence reaction to the Spurgeon Study Bible and here it is, “I liked the Spurgeon Study Bible review copy so much that I procured a goatskin one so that I will be able to use it till Jesus returns.”  (NOTE: The Hardcover in the pictures was sent free of charge in exchange for an honest review; the goatskin was not. My opinions are my own.)

Features include:

  • Introductory Biography of Charles Spurgeon
  • Study notes crafted from Spurgeon sermons
  • Spurgeon’s sermon illustrations placed on the same page as the associated biblical text
  • Sermon notes and outlines in Spurgeon’s own handwriting
  • “Spurgeon Quotables” inserted throughout the Bible
  • Book introductions with book overviews in Spurgeon’s own words
  • Two-column text
  • Concordance
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Presentation Page
  • Full-color maps

About the Translation

The Spurgeon Study Bible is published in Holman’s own translation, the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). CSB is an Optimal Equivalency or Mediating Translation; it does not swing too far on the thought-for-thought end of the translation spectrum nor does it swing too far toward the word-for-word end of the spectrum. I find it to be fairly in the middle.

The CSB is an excellent choice for teaching and study and, in fact, is one of the translations I use daily alongside NASB, NLT, and NIV. Several ministers that I know, personally, have switched to CSB and, frankly, the only reason I have not is because most of my audience was already using NLT before they became my audience and I felt it would be easier to use the Bible they already have rather than have them try to switch to what I’m using. I feel confident in recommending the CSB to you for your daily use.

To be a little more specific on the translation, it is like the perfect combination of the NIV and the NASB. It is very readable though a little more challenging than the NLT but the translation is easily readable enough for students of any age. I always recommend using two translations in a study session and my favorite pairings for CSB are these: CSB/NLT for devotional readings and CSB/NASB for lesson prep and academic study.

The Introductions

The Introductions are 1-page each. They provide an overview of each book in Spurgeon’s own words as well as how the book contributes to the Bible. There is also some information about the structure of the book and the circumstances of writing.

You won’t find any outlines in the Spurgeon Study Bible. Normally this would annoy me, but in the case of this particular Bible, it actually makes sense. Spurgeon focused more on pastoral understanding of the Scripture as opposed to academic theology.

The Notes

The notes provided aren’t commentary in the traditional sense that you find in most study Bibles. These notes come from Spurgeon’s sermons. While they do not cover every single verse of the Bible, and I would not want them to, they provide an excellent understanding of how God spoke through the man who is arguably the greatest preacher since the Apostle Paul.

Translation Notes

The Translation Notes have been reduced in quantity to allow for the other notes on the Bible. They can usually be found in a green box under a column of text.

Spurgeon’s Sermon Outlines, Quotes and Illustrations

There are 20 one page outlines from Spurgeon. They’re from The Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon: His Earliest Outlines and Sermons Between 1851 and 1854, Volume 1 from B&H Academic.  They take two pages – one page is a facsimile of the hand-written sermon and the opposite page, you will find the sermon outline typed out.

You will also find quotes on particular passages of Scripture and sermon illustrations sprinkled throughout the text.

The Paper and Font

The paper here is fairly opaque. I would put it between 28 and 32 gsms. 2k/Denmark provided the design layout in their Bible Serif font. If you have ever seen a 2k/Denmark layout, they are incredibly easy to read. I did have a couple challenges but those challenges resulted from deficiencies in my own eyes and not anything to do with the font. The fact that this Bible is a black letter text is very useful when it comes to being able to read it.

My goatskin leather edition also includes tabbed indexing. These are small rectangular tabs cut into the text block as opposed to the rounded thumb-index type. Many of my colleagues have mixed feelings about indexing tabs but they can be useful. If you have not memorized the order of the books of the Bible, or if you are like me and sometimes need rapid reference to a particular section of Scripture, they can be most helpful.

Cover Options

There are 4 Cover Options available, Cloth Over Board, Black & Brown LeatherTouch, Burgundy & Marble Leather Touch, Black Genuine Leather (Actually goatskin). The cloth over board is very nice and sturdy and would be well suited for daily carry, especially for students. For taking into the pulpit, the goatskin is phenomenal. It is vinyl lined so it is a little stiffer than a leather lined Bible but this is in no way a negative as it will still lay flat due to its sewn binding.

What Holman is doing with their Bible covers is absolutely amazing. The LeatherTouch (imitation leather) is incredibly realistic and, I think, is even more convincing than what Crossway offers. The true surprise, though, is goatskin with tabbed-indexing for $99.99 which is normally what you would pay for a pigskin genuine leather.

I am not sure who the source of the leather is, or the bindery house, but it is very well done. The skin is very soft and smooth, almost like it was ironed goatskin but there is the tiniest bit of grain that you can feel as you run your fingers, slowly, over the leather.

Is Anything Missing

There are two features that are noticeably absent but their absence does not detract from this Bible: Book Outlines (mentioned earlier) and Center Column Cross References. The CSB Spurgeon Study Bible is not intended as an academic aid like most other study Bibles are; it is much more pastoral in nature. To me, it feels like you really do have Spurgeon in your living room mentoring you.

Final Thoughts

Spurgeon was, perhaps, the greatest pastor since the Apostle Paul and, in the Spurgeon Study Bible, you get to see the heart of the pastor and you get to be mentored by Spurgeon. I would rate the Spurgeon Study Bible a perfect 10.

 

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

 

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