Tag Archive for 'Bible'

Just me, the Bible and the Holy Spirit

You have read the Bible so frequently, so thoughtfully, so earnestly, so prayerfully that it comes to you without direct effort on your part where to locate a passage and you label it instinctively. And when the facts of Scripture are all in your head and heart, you can safely trust the Holy Spirit to interpret those facts, and you need not that any man teach you, and therefore the only thing to seek and to secure is to become familiar with the contents of the Word—thoroughly cognizant of all the facts of Scripture, and read them so often that you see them on the page where they occur, even with closed eyes.

–KEITH L. BROOKS, Complete Summary of the New Testament

Is this what would be called fundamentalism?

What’s very strange about this is that it’s on Biblia.com, which is “Part of a family of services from Logos Bible Software”. Isn’t the document which that quote was taken from all the reason we need not to use Bible software, especially one that has the ability to build a library of books into it?

Then it proceeds to give a summary of the Bible, which we shouldn’t need if we read it over and over with the help of the Holy Spirit and nothing else, as long as we have “seven conditions under which Bible study may be prosecuted with success”.

I’m confused.

Also see:
Spurgeon In Defense of Commentaries

Twitter Quotes

Here are some quotes from Twitter that I like. Most of these were Retweeted by people I follow (not a lot) and were originally Tweeted by the author except the book quote. I’ve filled out words that were truncated. I hope you don’t mind some commentary.

Comments always welcome.

Jesus Christ is greater than the Bible. But diminishing the Bible for the sake of Christ always loses Christ.

–John Piper

Why does it take so much stuff (lights, instruments, good singers) for us to be excited about Christ?

–David Platt

Our willingness to make others a success is a great measure of the purity of our ambitions.

–Dave Harvey, Rescuing Ambition – Looks like a good book; interview with author at link. I have a friend who has this attitude towards me. When he first expressed it I was at a loss. This is a good model for our marriages.

We know it’s wrong to worship immorality—but it’s also wrong to worship morality.

–Tullian Tchividjian

Resting on God’s grace does not relieve us of our holy obligations; rather it should enable us to fulfill them.

–Bryan Chapell

So many pastors guilt their congregation into doing good (like “tithing” 10% to the church they attend, which I just heard Charles Stanley say), which only makes for a temporary commitment, and always making the right decisions (which he also said, but it is part of being obedient) but leave out the grace part which is the work of the Holy Spirit helping us to want to do good in the first place (Phil 2:13) whether it’s serving or spiritual disciplines, and then enabling us to do it (2 Cor 9:8). It’s our job to pray for this (John 16:24) and to be obedient (1 Pet 1:15-16). (I’m sure there’s a better one than John 16:24 for this application.)

The pursuit of holiness must be anchored in, and motivated by, the grace of God; otherwise it is doomed to failure.

–Tullian Tchividjian, quoting Jerry Bridges?

To say something good about Charles Stanley–I heard him explain the Gospel in a very straightforward, Biblical way and was mesmerized. It was great.

The Fear of the Lord

I felt like compiling a list of verses where “the fear of the Lord” is mentioned. I chose the ESV translation because it had the most instances (26) of the ones I looked at. I used Bibleworks for this and did some Search and Replace to get it formatted to this blog’s usual style.

On most systems you can float your cursor over the reference and click on ‘More’ in the lower left to see the context, which I would highly recommend, although it will be one verse in the NLT. Once you get there you can choose another translation if you wish and then click ‘more’ again to get to the context. It really is quick and easy.

I hope this is somehow of benefit to someone. I liked looking through it.

2 Chronicles 14:14
And they attacked all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the LORD was upon them. They plundered all the cities, for there was much plunder in them.

2 Chronicles 17:10
And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, and they made no war against Jehoshaphat.

2 Chronicles 19:7
Now then, let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the LORD our God, or partiality or taking bribes.”

2 Chronicles 19:9
And he charged them: “Thus you shall do in the fear of the LORD, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart:

Job 28:28
And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'”

Psalm 19:9
the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.

Psalm 34:11
Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Psalm 111:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:29
Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD,

Proverbs 2:5
then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 8:13
The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.

Proverbs 9:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

Proverbs 10:27
The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.

Proverbs 14:26
In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.

Proverbs 14:27
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

Proverbs 15:16
Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.

Proverbs 15:33
The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

Proverbs 16:6
By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.

Proverbs 19:23
The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.

Proverbs 23:17
Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.

Isaiah 11:2
And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

Isaiah 11:3
And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear,

Isaiah 33:6
and he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is Zion’s treasure.

Acts 9:31
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.

2 Cor. 5:11
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.

Also see:

Getting the Bible for the first time

Can you imagine really getting the Bible for the first time ever in your language? Can you imagine reading and memorizing the Bible and nothing but the Bible? Of course there are advantages to all of the books we read. I thank God for these teachers and authors regularly. But I wonder if I read the Bible enough even though I read it everyday. I read the Bible in 6-8 weeks once and I can’t remember if I read anything much of anything else during that time. It was great. It seems I could remember almost everything I read until much of it faded after a few weeks. It would be awfully hard for us to pull ourselves away from other books for a time and just read the Bible.

Some will say this is Bible worship. I say pooey on them. This is the Word of God that is “alive and active. It cuts more keenly than any two-edged sword, piercing so deeply that it divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it discriminates among the purposes and thoughts of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 REB)

HT: Kathy, a Facebook friend

Quote of the Day: Sickness

The universal prevalence of sickness is one of the indirect evidences that the Bible is true. The Bible explains it. The Bible answers the questions about it which will arise in every inquiring mind. No other systems of religion can do this. They all fail here. They are silent. They are confounded. The Bible alone looks the subject in the face. It boldly proclaims the fact that man is a fallen creature, and with equal boldness proclaims a vast remedial system to meet his wants. I feel shut up to the conclusion that the Bible is from God. Christianity is a revelation from heaven. “Thy word is truth.” (John 17:17)

–J.C. Ryle, Sickness (Sermon)

Quick REB Editions Question

I have the edition that’s has a red cover and red on the outside of the pages and it’s like a pew Bible. I’m wondering if the one with the green cover is any different.

REB Bible

Switching to the REB?

I just switched to the HCSB! I read the NIV for over 20 years. I got tired of it and found others I liked better. I used the NRSV for three years which I felt was more “accurate” and “literal” which were both extremely important to me. I got tired of the antiquated language. I didn’t know about the HCSB when I chose the NRSV. Either that or I didn’t pay attention to it unfortunately. I read the HCSB on and off for a year to really make sure I wanted to switch to it because I don’t want to switch often.

But now I’m really getting to like the REB. It can be difficult because some of the language is British in nature (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and it uses some big words. But they aren’t afraid to use a wide vocabulary to express the meaning of the languages. At the same time it’s not difficult to read and doesn’t contain as much Biblish as many others, and it’s unique.

One problem I’ve found with trying to find a translation that’s close to how I speak is I’m always coming across things where I think, “I would never say it like that.” Even the NLT has a little annoyance for me where they use the word for instead of because which isn’t how hardly any of us speak nowadays. We don’t say, “I’m going to the store, for I am hungry.” Although ironically, even though I’m waffling about my primary translation, there is no question that the NLT remains my secondary translation that I use in a specific way.

So how about reading a translation that doesn’t sound how you speak, but at the same time isn’t KJV tradition Biblish? That way I wouldn’t constantly be thinking, “I wouldn’t say it like that.” Our friend who used to blog, and uses the REB, ElShaddai Edwards made a great comment on Facebook. He said something to the effect of we might write differently than we speak, and we may want to read a Bible that’s in a somewhat different ‘register’ than we speak too. (This doesn’t include Esteban). I’m not saying the REB is anything at all like my writing, at third grade reading level in my estimation, I’m just saying.

In my estimation, the REB is the best literary translation of the popular ones out there but it’s not difficult to read except for some words that need to be looked up and it makes some passages exceptionally clear.

One thing I have to say about waffling though is, I wonder how much of it is just liking something that’s different. I don’t know if that’s the case here. So I will spend a lot of time with it like I did the HCSB. It may be a phase. I may end up preferring the HCSB with its correct rendering of John 3:16, slaves instead of servants where appropriate, because instead of for in many instances (like Matt 5:3ff), more familiar language etc. Can’t go wrong either way.

In looking at many of the memorized passages, I was very impressed this time around. I also read through Proverbs and had a great time with it.

Here are some passages that I thought I’d point out:

Romans 8:5-6 REB
Those who live on the level of the old nature have their outlook formed by it, and that spells death; but those who live on the level of the spirit have the spiritual outlook, and that is life and peace.

Romans 8:5-6 TNIV
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind controlled by the sinful nature is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.

Read Louis’ post On Having a “Controlled Mind”.

From what I have read in commentaries, this verse in 2 Corinthians expresses the meaning much better or makes it easier for me to understand:

2 Cor 5:17 REB
For anyone united to Christ, there is a new creation: the old order has gone; a new order has already begun.

2 Cor 5:17 TNIV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

The NIV says, “The old has gone, the new has come!” I think the TNIV is an improvement, but I always though this meant the old man has gone and the new has come. The REB is explicit about what has gone and come.

Those are just a couple of examples and I’m sure people could come up with examples where they think the REB falls short. I just wanted to post a couple of examples to illustrate what much of this translation does for me.

I’d love to hear thoughts on what was written above about reading a Bible that’s different than what you speak, which was always the opposite of my aim, but also very understandable (while expanding one’s vocabulary in the case of the REB) and not filled with Biblish that’s just a revision of what came before and before and before…

I leave you with my favorite passage that I’ve read so far. Compare it with any other modern translation.

2 Cor 4:7 REB
But we have only earthenware jars to hold this treasure, and this proves that such transcendent power does not come from us; it is God’s alone. We are hard pressed, but never cornered; bewildered, but never at our wits’ end; hunted, but never abandoned to our fate; struck down, but never killed. Wherever we go we carry with us in our body the death that Jesus died, so that in this body also the life that Jesus lives may be revealed.

Also see:
The Revised English Bible (Top Ten Bible Versions #6)

HCSB, NLTSB, ESVSB and NIV Bible Resources

There has been a little bit of interest in the HCSB lately so I thought I’d remind people (I had forgotten myself) of the HCSB Bible Translation Web Sites blog post. I removed the bad links. There may be some new ones I’ve missed. If you know of any, let me know and I’ll add them.

There are quite a few links to the old This Lamp but they work.

Also on this blog you’ll find:
NLT Study Bible Reviews Roundup
ESV Study Bible Reviews Roundup

which I haven’t checked for dead links.

Near Emmaus has a post titled NIV Around the Blogosphere

Bible Contradictions

At the risk of offending some people, I think that to look for and believe there are contradictions in the Bible is because of unbelief. I would rather really look into it and find ways of defending the living and active document that God inspired than be suspicious.

I’ve also always believed that there are difficult portions to cause us to trust it by faith as opposed to judging it. Matt Perman has a different take on that idea and writes about the Bible’s “contradictions”.
A Few Thoughts on the Fast Company Article, “What the Bible Got Wrong”

HT: Justin Taylor

A thought on the new NIV

I used the NIV for a couple of decades, got tired of it, switched to the NRSV for three years and am now using the HCSB as my primary translation and NLT as my secondary, which is the first time I’ve had a secondary translation that’s always close by in addition to using many others for comparison. (These are the same as Rick Mansfield who is quoted below but this is just coincidence.)

So I don’t have much interest in the new NIV. It’s nearly the same as the 1984 NIV and the TNIV. I’m sure it has some improvements and compromises here and there. I’m neutral on the gender neutral (or gender accurate) issues and aside from that I liked every change I saw in the TNIV. But one thing that bugs me is they still have a need to stick to the 400 year old English with John 3:16. They are just scaredy cats when it comes to that verse–no two ways about it. I try to keep things positive here but this just irks me. Will that many people not buy this Bible because this well-known verse is finally changed to modern language?

Rick Mansfield explains it very well and I too look at this verse when a new translation comes out for the same reason.

I look at John 3:16 in a new version, too, but not for the same reason. I always hope that it corrects traditional wording and communicates to a modern audience what the words that the gospel writer originally intended. When William Tyndale translated οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον as “For God so loveth the world…” (adapted by the KJV translators as “For God so loved the world…), his rendering was perfectly acceptable for his time. But for today’s audience, the meaning is wholly misunderstood.

People tend to read this verse as “God SOOOOOO loved the world…” but that’s not what it means. The word οὕτως, which is translated as the so in John 3:16 does not mean the understanding I described in the previous sentence. It means “referring to what precedes, in this manner, thus, so” (BDAG). Therefore, it’s not that the traditional rendering is incorrect. Tyndale intended his use of so to be understood in this regard, but today it’s almost always misread.

Every time a new revision of the NIV is released (and remember the 2011 edition is not the first revision; there have been two before it), I always hope that John 3:16 will be corrected from it’s potential to be misread. However, it remains untouched in this new version. Incidentally, the HCSB and NET Bible get it right, while the NLT actually reinforces the misreading!

Rick Mansfield, This Lamp

Here is the NIV (which even kept the antiquated word shall) and two that get it right:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. (HCSB)

For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (NET)

At what point can people let go of this? The HCSB and NET are not freer, thought for thought, dynamic equivalent, or whatever term you’d like to use. They aren’t as formal (equivalent) as some, but they are more on the literal end, or between the two philosophies which I suppose would be median translations, but don’t quote me on that and just ignore it if it’s gibberish.

The same goes for softening certain words like servants vs. slaves, which I won’t go into but is another reason I like the HCSB. (We are slaves of Christ, bought at a price.)

Sorry for the negativity. I most likely won’t be posting about the new NIV again because of lack of interest, although it’s a great translation and is very interesting and exciting to those who are considering switching. I also don’t think this issue is leading people astray or changes any important doctrine. I would just like to get into the 21st century as far as the language our Bibles use. We are so blessed to have so many to choose from and nobody is making me read it, but I do have to hear it and read it when it’s quoted. Then take some deep breaths.

Book Review: Ryken’s Bible Handbook

Ryken's Bible HandbookRyken’s Bible Handbook by Leland Ryken, Philip Ryken, James Wilhoit

This book was provided as a review copy from Tyndale House Publishers. This review has been a long time coming and in the future I don’t ever intend on letting a review go on this long since the time I receive the book. I thank them for their generosity and patience.

This book is for teachers and students of the Bible and I think it would also be good for parents to use with their kids. Even though it’s over 600 pages long, it’s a smaller sized reference book and isn’t comprehensive or meant to be. It’s a concise handbook on how to read and study each book of the Bible. Anyone familiar with studying the Bible will benefit from this book.

Each chapter is devoted to a book of the Bible and includes things such as Author’s Perspective, Audience Perspective or Implied Audience, Special Features, Challenges Facing the Teacher or Reader of the Book, How to Meet the Challenges, Form, Genre, Structure, Outline, Timeline, Characters, How To Apply the Book, Key Verses etc. Don’t let that overwhelm you. Each part is concise and very useful and not every chapter has every one of those.

I especially like The Most Common Misconceptions of the Book since this is one thing I’ve been working on for a few years now whether it’s books, passages, verses, etc. I also like Perspectives which are quotes on the book at the end of each chapter by various authors and scholars and somewhere in each chapter there may be a quote dealing with a subject of the book. I also like various Did You Know? inserts which are short factual items related to the book that are helpfully shaded in gray (see below).

Also sprinkled throughout the book are one page articles on the major genres of the Bible and other topics anywhere from How We Got the Bible at the beginning to Apocalyptic Writing in the end. My one complaint is that these articles don’t look different enough from the rest of the book. It’s easy to keep reading and not always realize it’s the start of the article. The typeface is different but that’s the only thing that sets it apart other than the title. A border or shaded background would be helpful.

The very idea of a “Christless sermon” appalled Charles Spurgeon and in the same vein this handbook always looks for how OT books point to Christ but doesn’t press the point too far if it’s scant.

There has to be some interpretation in a book like this but as far as I can tell it’s very neutral. Since my theological outlook is the same as the authors’, I may not be able to discern that as clearly as others. In any case, I can’t imagine anyone not benefiting from this book.

Part of the reason this review took so long is because I read each chapter before reading each book of the Old Testament this year (in addition to having surgery right in the middle). This was very helpful. It gave me a “heads up” on things to look for without telling me how to interpret it or without it being a commentary that I would want to read after reading that book of the Bible.

This is the only book that I can remember reviewing where I really don’t have anything negative to say other than the formatting issue of the article inserts. I often even try to find something negative so that I don’t sound like a shill for the publishers that provide review copies for me. I like it that much.

Buy it from:

Product Information:

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 19, 2005)
  • ISBN-10: 0842384014
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches

Movies the year I was born

Do you know who won the Oscars that year? The academy award for the best movie went to My Fair Lady. The Oscar for best foreign movie that year went to Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. The top actor was Rex Harrison for his role as Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. The top actress was Julie Andrews for her role as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins. The best director? George Cukor for My Fair Lady.


How far we’ve come in what we tolerate. Tolerance is not a good thing.

Ephesians 5:3-4 HCSB
But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. 4 And coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks.

1 Peter 2:11
Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you.

Jas. 4:2-4
You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and don’t receive because you ask wrongly, so that you may spend it on your desires for pleasure. 4 Adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.

Leviticus 19:18
Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.

Revenge is my weakness regarding movies. I can watch (I actually turn away) when there is inappropriate intimacy between females. I can’t understand why men would like that. If it happens in a TV show, it’s not entertaining. If it’s a part of a storyline, we won’t waste our time watching the show. So I know people can tolerate certain things in small amounts. When it comes to revenge, if it is the, or part of the plot in many movies, it brings bad thoughts and scenarios into my mind that can last for days or more. I need to avoid those at all costs.

I think the verses above are very instructive in what we choose for entertainment. Being holy isn’t a part-time job.

Comments welcome.

Also see:
Can I enjoy Art (Movies, Music, etc) produced by Unbelievers and glorify God?

Free Commentaries Online

Michael W. Halcomb writes about how College Press has put their entire commentary series online.
Free Commentaries: 25,000+ Pages

Also see:
IVP New Testament Commentary Series Online

The New CEB New Testament: Formatting

I won’t be doing a review of this, only commenting on how it looks.

I mentioned a while back how to get a free copy, which is no longer available.

I like the typeface a lot. It’s kind of a modified serif that’s closer to sans-serif than most. This is my second favorite that I’ve seen behind TNIV’s Thinline which is pretty much sans-serif. Most people like serif (like Times New Roman) for some strange reason so I’m in the minority there as I usually seem to be. It’s fairly large, a little large for me which is probably perfect for most people. The typeface is the same as in the PDF files, as mentioned below, as in this edition of the Bible.

This is like a medium sized paperback book with good paper, not thin “Bible paper”, and very black print (no red letter either!).

The text goes way out to the far edges of the page so there really isn’t any room for notes and it may be a little tough to read the inside margins.

I was happy to see it come with a bookmark. I love bookmarks and collect them.

Also, it has two color maps. What would a Bible be without maps?

This edition of the CEB Common English Bible New Testament is $5 and can be found at Amazon.com but I would strongly advise waiting for the whole Bible. There’s too much good stuff on who God is in the other part.

At first I thought they stole my splash image but I guess it’s a little different. Kidding. Besides, mine is coffee, which you can see below.

They have a nice web site where you can look up passages of the Bible, compare editions and translations, read PDF files of Genesis, Matthew and Luke among other things.

Common English Bible Web Site

Coffee Spash

Click for a larger one

Personal Quote

“Almost every time I study one of the books of the Bible I think it has become one of my favorites.”

Colossians is pretty special for me though, in addition to the Gospels, and Hebrews, and Ecclesiastes, and Revelation, and the prison letters and Proverbs. Next maybe Genesis? I like Titus and Philemon a lot too.

(For a while I’m going to try to post at least 6x a week. I can at least post a quote.)