Tag: Gods Word

The Baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:9-11)

The Baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:9-11)

Mark 1:9-11 (GWT)

John Baptizes Jesus

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River. 10 As Jesus came out of the water, he saw heaven split open and the Spirit coming down to him as a dove. 11 A voice from heaven said, “You are my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with you.”

Mark 1:9-11 (NKJV)

John Baptizes Jesus

It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up [a]from the water, He saw the heavens [b]parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Footnotes

  1. Mark 1:10NU out of
  2. Mark 1:10torn open

 

Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan: Jesus was not baptized because He needed cleansing from sin; He was sinless, as John himself understood (Matthew 3:14). Instead, Jesus was baptized in keeping with His entire mission on earth: to do the will of the Father and to identify with sinful man.

It is important for us to remember that Jesus was NOT required to do either of these things. He did not need to be baptized (but was as a model of obedience for us), neither did he have to die on the cross. HE CHOSE THE CROSS because it was the good pleasure of the entire Godhead to redeem a people unto themselves and the cross was the price of that redemption. Only God Himself could satisfiy the blood price of redemption because it had to be sinless and so the Divine Son was incarnated to live a sinless lite and overcome the curse so that He could presnt a redeemed people to God the Father.

This next section poses no small problem for the modalist/oneness believer. The entire Trinity is simultaneously present at the baptism of Jesus

 

You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased:

When this voice of God the Father spoke from heaven, everyone knew that Jesus was not just another man being baptized. They knew Jesus was the perfect (in whom I am well pleased) Son of God, identifying with sinful man.

Many claim that Jesus never claimed to be God. Aside from the fact that this is patently untrue, even if He had not declared His deity, God the Father declared the deity of the Son. In calling Him “my son” God the Father identified the Son as also being God.

In Psalm 2 (An incredibly Messianic Psalm) YHWH speaks to the Lord and says, “Thou art my Son. Today I have begotten thee.” Furthermore the Father, speaking to the Son, says “Thy Throne, O God, is forever. (Psalm 45:6, Hebrews 1:8)

This strange scene displayed a humble beginning:

  • Jesus: A common, unremarkable name.
  • From Nazareth: An unremarkable, despised village.
  • Of Galilee: The unspiritual region, not the “Bible belt” of the area at that time.
  • Was baptized: Identified with sinful man.
  • In the Jordan: An unremarkable – often even unpleasant – river. “Early rabbinic tradition explicitly disqualifies the River Jordan for purification, [according to] The Mishnah, ParahVIII. 10.” (Lane)

 

The scene also puts the glory of Heaven on display.

The heavens parting: Heaven opened wide for this. The ancient Greek for this phrase is strong. It has the idea that sky was torn in two, “being rent asunder, a sudden event.” (Bruce) Think about this for a minute…God Himself parts the Heavens  to view the baptism of the Son. No doubt the entire Host was watching as well.

The Spirit descending: The Spirit of God was present, and in some way His presence was discernable. Like a doveLuke 3:22 puts it like this: And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him. In some way the Spirit was present and “flew down” on Jesus like a dove. Think back to Genesis 1: The Spriti of God was moving over the surface of the deep; the Hebrew actually says was brooding, like a mother bird gathering chicks under her wings.

We gloss over this frequently, but think about if for a second…God Himself manifests His presence at the baptism of the Son. The entire Godhead is present at the Baptism. Talk about a showstopper!

A voice came from heaven: It’s rare in the Bible when we read that God speaks audibly from heaven, but this is one of those glorious occasions. At the Transfiguration, God’s voice from heaven sounds like thunder but we have no such indication in this passage. It is possible that only Jesus knew what was being said but I rather doubt that. We can, logically, deduce that all present heard the voice and knew what was being said.

You are My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased:

I want you to think about a passage that we don’t usually associate with the baptism of Jesus but that is apropos nonetheless. Consider John 1:1-3. The connotation here is one of intimate fellowship. Consider also, John 1:18 where the Son was in the bosom of the Father. Intimate fellowship, face to face communication.

An error to correct:

Many use this passage to suggest that baptism is the symbol of the New Covenant. They are incorrect. The sign of the New Covenant is in John 14:17, the Indwelling Holy Spirit. See also 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

I will share a separate lesson on the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit at a later time.

God’s Word Translation Wide Margin Bible Review

God’s Word Translation Wide Margin Bible Review

 

I love a good wide margin Bible and the one I am reviewing, here, is one of the best that I have seen at this price point. Before we go any further, I would like to point out that God’s Word to the Nations Missions Society provided this Bible free of charge in exchange for an honest review and I was not obligated to provide a positive review. My opinions are my own.

The Translation

I am opening the review by revisiting the translation first. God’s Word Translation (hereafter GW) is done in a style called Closest Natural Equivalent.  It is a type of meaning based translation that, as its name suggests, attempts to render the original languages into the closest English possible. If I had to put in a reading comprehension scale, I would say probably 4th to 6th grade.

As English has become one of the two most used languages on the planet, GW is uniquely placed among English translations of the Bible because of its ease of comprehension.  Many of my readers have English as a second or third language and when one of them asks me to recommend a Bible, GW is one of my top choices (I always give three recommendations so that the choice belongs to the reader.)

Comparatively speaking, GW is very close to NLT on the Dynamic Equivalence end of the spectrum. I have been pairing it side-by-side with my NKJV and the experience has been very enlightening. I would compare it this way: NKJV is like talking to my peers (NKJV and I are both 37 and somewhat academic) and GW is like telling the same story to an Elementary Grade Sunday School Class. I would not say that it has a commentary feel when read in parallel but it does feel more like having a conversation with “regular people” as opposed to my theologically trained peers.

GW is a translation you can know and trust. Its position in my ministry is evolving. Currently, I am using it with new believers but I foresee it taking a more active role in my pulpit ministry. In many cases it will provide an excellent supplement to my NKJV. As a matter of fact, I can easily see the God’s Word Translation becomming one of my three main translations.

I find myself liking this translation much more than expected. It’s like spending time with my niece; I always come away more energized and having loved the time we spent together.

The Paper and Margins

The paper in this Bible and the margins are the shining stars. The paper feels to be about 36gsm. However, I have been advised that it is 39gsm. This is important becasue you want a thicker paper in a Bible that is designed for journaling etc. The paper is fairly heavy and opaque but the pages are still very easy to turn. The paper is kind of an off-white, not as cream colored as what Crossway uses but not a bright white either. I took it out into the Arizona sun and had no issues reading off the page; the glare that I expected was not there and neither was there much see through.

The margins are 1.5” and among the best that I have encountered in a wide margin Bible. My regular readers will know that I love a wide margin Bible and even had my favorite wide margin rebound in Bison Leather. Most Bible publishers consider a 1” margin to be wide but I don’t go less than 1.25” to call it a wide margin Bible so the margin size, here, makes it very easy to recommend the GW wide margin Bible to someone who wishes to get into Bible journaling. There is not really an inner margin (gutter) which I don’t consider an issue since I never write in the gutter anywhere.

In point of fact, I consider a wide margin to be the best format for a Bible. In a wide margin you have a true study Bible as you make a record of your studies and grow in your walk with the Lord.

The Cover, Font, Layout, and Binding

The GW wide margin is offered in a type of imitation leather called duravella. Much like trutone, it is a polymer based imitation leather that will easily hold up for 20 years or so. Depending on your usage it may last longer or you can follow some of my colleagues and rebind it in a more premium leather.

It is a sewn Binding which surprised me considering the price point. Sewing the binding matters because it ensures the Bible will last through years of use.

The layout is a line-matched single column paragraph format in a 10.5-point font. It is totally black letter, which in the case of a wide margin Bible is to be preferred. Many, myself included, annotate in red ink and a red letter Bible would most probably be a distraction. I would say, without reservation, that Crossway has found a rival in the typography department. Single-column paragraph format is not generally a favorite of mine due to visual acuity issues but this Bible is very easy on the eyes and a delight to read.

Would I Change Anything

There are a couple things I would add but they are mostly niggling details. I would like to see, at least, a second ribbon or, preferably, three ribbons total. The ribbons are frequently used to mark your place in a reading plan so I think we should always have at least three ribbons in a Bible.

The other addition that I would make is less niggling but I am not really certain how others would feel about it…I would like to see lined notes pages. I would, personally, prefer a couple lined pages with each book of the Bible and if not there, some at the end of the book itself. A Bible that is so clearly designed for note taking really demands that there be as much space as possible for doing just that.

How to Use

First and foremost, for pastors and other teachers, I would put lesson notes in the margins. Since we cannot always have lesson notes with us (I frequently find myself teaching with no advance notice) it is a definite plus to have teaching notes in the margins. As it happens, I like to place small word studies and key phrases in the margins of my Bibles.

For my non pastor friends, I recommend annotating points from sermons that you wish to remember. Symbols are often helpful and some even make drawings/charts to help remember.

As a Carry Bible

Some wide margin Bibles do not really lend themselves to being an Every Day Carry Bible. Thankfully, that is not the case with the GW wide margin Bible. At 6” x 9” it is fairly portable. I am pleasantly surprised, not by the portability of the Bible but at its readability. Normally, you do not get such a readable layout in this size of a Bible.

It’s fairly lightweight, maybe 32oz but I am not 100% certain. It is extremely easy to use one-handed. If you were so inclined, you would not have any issue using this as your main Bible.

Writing in the GW Wide Margin

I wrote in 2 places, for the review, and with 2 different pens. I do not, as a general rule, use a fountain pen to write in a Bible but I used a Pelikan m600 Souveran fountain pen with Diamine Imperial Purple ink on the presentation page. There was moderate show through but it is not in an area which will impact enjoyment of the Bible.

For the other writing, I used my normal Bible writing implement, a Uniball Jetstream. The Uniball did not leave any show through and I was rather impressed with that fact.

Many of my friends and colleagues use colored pencil for their marking and color coding, I recommend Prang as a 1st choice and Crayola as a 2nd choice, and the paper seems to be quite ideally suited to that.

I cannot recommend use of a Pigma Micron Archival Pen this time around. It is virtually guaranteed to bleed through

Final Thoughts

Overall I am much more pleased than I had expected. Considering a price point below $75, I had not expected the quality of paper that we are presented with. I am happy to say that I was wrong. The font and margins were in line with my expectations.

I would have to say, this is the perfect choice for 2020: a new format in a new translation that you may not have considered before. You may or may not make it your primary translation, but you should definitely use it. I think you may find the Bible speaking to your heart in new and exciting ways.