Tag Archives: Bible

Reading the Bible Through

Early one January an adult Sunday school class had just begun its session. The Bible teacher got up and asked a simple question. He had asked this question in other classes and venues, and knew what the answer would be. “How many of you have read the Bible all the way through”? He asked for a show of hands. Many in the class looked at each other and seemed a little ill-at-ease with the question. One lady in the back of the room raised her hand. In classes of 25 to 30 students, this was normal: one or two believers had actually read the Bible through. The rest were embarrassed; inevitably tried to justify their response with mumbled replies.

We now face the beginning of a new year. There are many who will be trying to design improvements to their physical situation or emotional wellbeing. A few will be concerned about their spiritual growth and behaviour and will resolve to read the Scriptures on a regular basis.

Reading the Bible through is one of the most basic and helpful ways to provide growth and maturity in the Christian heart and life.

Some people like to try to read the Bible through in a year. This is a noble task. For many, however, it creates some problems.

open BibleIn our current day and age, many people—especially younger people—have difficulty reading complete books. Some have difficulty with well-written paragraphs. Still others can only comprehend short cropped phrases. For many people reading and writing is confined to 140 characters or less. Some have difficulty following an argument from paragraph to paragraph. All these things affect their understanding of what is formally written, leaving them unable to comprehend what’s on one page of the Bible, much less what’s on the rest of the pages.

A second difficulty with reading the Bible through can be lack of interest—spiritual, doctrinal or subject matter. It is difficult to read the Bible for some because they just aren’t interested in what is in the Bible. It is important that each time you begin your Bible reading you take time to pray and ask the Lord to help you with your interest, diligence and understanding. Ask God to teach you by his Spirit through his Word.

A third problem involved with reading the Bible through is time. There are so many pulls on our time each and every day that we don’t have any moments to spare to come aside and read the Bible. We make good progress at taking ten or fifteen minutes to spend time with the Lord in his Word, but then one thing or another manages to steal that time away.

Thus, it takes quite a commitment to begin daily Bible reading, and particular diligence to read it consistently and all the way through.

The most important thing in deciding to read the Bible on a daily basis is to remember that you are meeting God through reading his Word. You are doing this for your relationship with him and your spiritual growth. It is to know God better.

There are several practical ways of reading the Scriptures and of reading all the way through. First is the need to set aside time to do so; second is determining how you’re going to do it. Would morning or evening be best? Third is should you endeavour to read through the Bible in one year, or two, or five? Will you read straight from Genesis to Revelation or use some other system?

There are many tools which are available for the believer. There are numerous translations in English—some are good, while others are a detriment to spiritual growth. There are devotional Bibles which have the text divided into 365 day increments for convenience. Many Bibles have a Bible reading plan located in the back of the Bible, and there are many Bible reading plans available on the Internet. The wonderful Christian blogger Tim Challies has a recent article on this.

Some people like to read the Old Testament text in the morning and the New Testament text in the evening. Thus they start and finish the day in God’s Word. They will often start in Genesis and Matthew, and just plough through.

There are many who will try to read the Bible through during the calendar year 2017, and while this is a noble endeavour, it can be rather difficult, particularly if you set a specific amount to read daily. There may be certain days that will interrupt the reading schedule because you are ill or traveling or for some other valid reason, and you will struggle to catch up. If you do not have time to go back and catch up on your reading, it is perfectly acceptable to pick up again on the next day and continue on. You may miss some of the details or context, but you will be able to continue without the burden of having to make up readings which slow you down and eventually cause you to stop altogether. Being able to brag that you have read every single verse of the Bible is not why you have committed to reading the Scriptures. It is important to read the Bible completely even if you miss several small sections.

Dr Allen Fleece recommended that you could spend thirty days in a book of the Bible. He recommended starting with Romans. You read as much as you can each day, and when you reach the end you start over. You do this for thirty days. Then you continue in 1 Corinthians for thirty days. Some people like to add “Spiritual Vitamins” by reading a chapter of the book of Proverbs each day of the month.

Some people read the Bible all the way through, not concerned with when they finish. They average a chapter or two a day, and take time to slow down if necessary to ensure they understand what they’ve read. They take their time day-by-day in God’s Word.

It is my hope and prayer that you will make a decision and a commitment to read God’s Word consistently in the coming year, that you will understand what you read and that you will be able to have a much closer relationship to God through his Word. God is as willing as he is able to assist, help and bless you in this.

As Dr Fleece used to put it, “When you open your Bible God opens his mouth; when you close your Bible God closes his mouth”. Make your commitment today.

Blessings,

GW Anderson
Spoudason Services

 

George W. Anderson taught at Columbia International University before becoming the Editorial Manager as well as an Editorial Consultant of the Trinitarian Bible Society in London. Mr. Anderson offers his knowledge and expertise at Spoudason Services, a research & teaching consultancy in Bible, NT Greek, hermeneutics & theology for Bible students, SS teachers, pastors & missionaries.

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The Essential Greek New Testament for the Absolute Beginner

We are excited to release the Essential Greek New Testament for the Absolute Beginner (thank you, James, for the title).

This book represents a new approach to the study of the Biblical Greek by allowing an absolute Greek beginner to start “reading” the Greek New Testament from the first day. As such, it will establish itself as an indispensable resource for those who would like to get a glimpse of the New Testament in the original. The compilation of resources will also be useful to those who have some knowledge of Biblical Greek.

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Spurgeon: You cannot read the Bible, while anything that man writes is greedily devoured

“… many of you will read a novel from beginning to end, and what have you got? A mouthful of froth when you have done. But you cannot read the Bible; that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten, locked up in the cupboard of neglect, while anything that man writes, a catch of the day, is greedily devoured. …

I bring the broad charge against you. Perhaps ye say, I ought not to charge you with any such thing. I always think it better to have a worse opinion of you than too good an one. I charge you with this: you do not read your Bibles. Some of you never have read it through. I know I speak what your heart must say is honest truth. You are not Bible readers. You say you have the Bible in your houses; do I think you are such heathens as not to have a Bible? But when did you read it last? How do you know that your spectacles, which you have lost, have not been there for the last three years?”

from the sermon “The Bible” by C.H. Spurgeon

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The ASV, a Forerunner of Trustworthy Modern Bible Translations.

The American Standard Version of the Holy Bible was first published in 1901.

It has been hailed as one of the most accurate English translations of the Bible and earned the reputation of being the Rock of Biblical Honesty. Although the English used in the American Standard Version is somewhat archaic, it isn’t nearly as hard to understand as some passages of the King James Version. Other names for the American Standard Version are Standard American Edition or Revised Version.

You can purchase your copy of the ASV Bible on Amazon.com or at the OSNOVA store.

The ASV Bible is the result of cooperation between British and American scholars who worked on the revision of the King James (Authorized Version) Bible between 1872 and 1901. The goal was to provide readers with accurate, literal, word-for-word translation of the Holy Scriptures. The revisers retained the archaic language of the KJV in most instances. ASV has served as the basis for a number of modern translations and paraphrases, such as Revised Standard Version, Amplified Bible, New American Standard Bible, the Recovery Version, the World English Bible, and the Living Bible.

“A fascinating fact about the ASV”, writes Pastor Brett Maragni, “is that both the RSV (Revised Standard Version) and the NASB (New American Standard Bible) are revisions of the ASV. Since the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) and ESV (English Standard Version) are both revisions of the RSV, that means the ASV, second of course to the King James Version, is perhaps the most influential literal translation produced in the English language. That is remarkable considering you have to search high and low to find a copy to purchase.”

You can read more about this Bible translation at OnlineBible.org.

Have you ever heard of the ASV Bible?

What is your preferred Bible translation?

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The Liberating Power of the Gospel

Freedom is precious. Hundreds of thousands of lives are sacrificed for freedom, billions of dollars are spent to preserve it, countless books, songs and poems exalt it. Freedom is a desire of every human being. Yet not every kind of freedom is true.  There is a true Freedom – freedom from sin and death – offered freely by the One who has already paid the price.

Jesus, through His Word, the Bible, has the power to “proclaim freedom to the prisoners” and “to release the oppressed”. We as His followers have the privilege to partake in sharing the Good News of His redemption.

Here are just a few ministries that through the Word of God bring freedom to those oppressed by sickness, addictions, and sin:

1. OneHope is a ministry, spreading God’s Word to millions of children and youth throughout the world. One of their video testimonies tells about a young boy from Russia whose life was completely transformed by the Book of Hope:

This video is close to our hearts as we are from Ukraine, next door to Russia, and the children in our country face the same problems.

2. George and Sarah deVuyst are an example of a sacrificial ministry for the sake of God’s Kingdom. They have chosen to abandon the comforts of American life and suffer the inconveniences and “absurdities” of life in Ukraine along with their three children, so the Word of God is spread and instilled in the lives of Ukrainians.  We have been friends with George and Sarah for over 10 years now.

Here is a little video about Ukraine and the ministry of this amazing family we love dearly:

Read Sarah’s blog to learn more about their life and ministry in Ukraine.

2. Spring of Hope Kenya is a ministry we heard of through Paul Steinbrueck‘s blog, Live Intentionally.  SOHK provides a care center (orphanage) for children who have no extended family to care for them. They also work with at-risk children, who have been either street boy or girls (homeless) or children who, due to poverty or abuse, would not receive an education without outside assistance.

Through these faithful people, God has touched and transformed many lives.

Please pray for these ministries and ask God how YOU can be a part of His liberating work!

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Value of the Bible by Noah Webster

VALUE OF THE BIBLE

AND EXCELLENCE

OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION

FOR THE USE OF FAMILIES AND SCHOOLS
BY

NOAH WEBSTER, LL.D.


 

You can purchase your copy of Value of the Bible by Noah Webster on Amazon.com or at the OSNOVA store.

The general object of this little book is to show the excellence of the Christian religion, and of course, to prove the inestimable value of the book, in which this religion is revealed and inculcated. The writer has aimed to present to the reader the evidence of purpose or design in the works of creation; thus proving the wisdom and benevolence of the creator, no less than his unlimited power. So in the moral system, the adaptation of the laws of God to the best interests of men, both in temporal and spiritual things, is clear evidence of his wisdom and benevolence; and both in the physical and moral systems, the adaptation of means to ends affords indisputable proof of intelligence in the author.

“The Christian religion has already changed the aspect of a large part of the world. It has banished idolatry and pagan superstition from many countries; it has civilized and softened the manners of nations; it has mitigated the cruelties of war; it has inspired a spirit of peace; it has raised the female part of our species from degradation and slavery; it has founded charitable institutions to alleviate the sufferings of the poor; it has introduced the true principles of civil liberty; it has begun to arrest the barbarous practice of enslaving our fellow men; it has changed or is changing the character of the whole world. After a lapse of eighteen hundred years, men have learned that they are bound to labor for the furtherance of the gospel; that this is the great, the principal duty of all Christian nations, to which all other schemes of improvement are subordinate; and the work will prosper; the gospel will triumph, till all men living shall bow to the scepter of Jesus Christ.”

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Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown’s Commentary on the Whole Bible

A COMMENTARY, CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY, ON THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS

by Rev. Robert Jamieson, D.D., St. Paul’s, Glasgow, Scotland;
Rev. A. R. Fausset, A.M., St. Cuthbert’s, York, England; and
Rev. David Brown, D.D., Professor of Theology, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Available on Amazon.com and at the OSNOVA store.


Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown’s Commentary of the Bible has stood the test of time and remains the preeminent evangelical expository commentary of the Scriptures. It provides verse-by-verse exposition of most Bible passages in insightful, accurate, succinct, and easy to understand articles. Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, wrote about the JFB Commentary the following:

It [the JFB Commentary] contains so great a variety of information that if a man has no other exposition he would find himself at no great loss if he possessed and used it diligently.

For your convenience this commentary is available on Amazon and Amazon UK.

OSNOVA’s Kindle edition offers the excellent formatting and navigation that Christians have come to expect from OSNOVA Kindle publications. The OSNOVA Kindle edition incorporates an active table of contents, a joystick navigation between chapters and books, and a cross-reference system between the commentary and the included Bible (with Direct Verse Jump 2), which makes it easy to locate any place within the Commentary or the Scriptures in seconds. The table of contents allows navigation to any chapter of the Scriptures, with the hyperlinked dot to the right of each chapter leading to the corresponding place in the Commentary. Each title and each verse number in the included Bible is hyperlinked to the corresponding passage in the Commentary, and each reference in the Commentary is hyperlinked to the corresponding passage in the Bible. The complete instructions on how to use all navigation aids in this publication are found at the beginning of the book.

Do you use any Bible Commentaries during YOUR Bible Study?

What is YOUR favorite Bible Commentary?

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The New Testament in the Original Greek, Byzantine Textform 2005 (with Direct Verse Jump)

This Kindle edition from OSNOVA includes a number of navigational aids such as Direct Verse Jump and hyperlinked table of contents; short instructions on their use are included in the book itself with more detailed instructions available here.  Available only from the OSNOVA Store because Amazon has rejected the submission (reason: “unsupported language”).


THE NEW TESTAMENT was written in Koine Greek during the first century AD. From the time of its original revelation, handwritten copies continually were prepared in order tomaintain and preserve that original text into the modern era. All copies made prior to the invention of movable-type printing were made by hand, resulting in various scribal alterations, most of these being of a minor nature. Although the autographs no longer exist and no two manuscript copies are completely identical, sufficient evidence exists by which one can produce an accurate representation of the original text by comparing and evaluating the overall manuscript consensus. Robinson and Pierpont have taken the utmost care in preparing that text for this edition.

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The Bible … God’s Word

God has revealed Himself through His Word to His people.

One of God’s mercies is that He allows us access to the Word in our own language. At the time of hundreds of English translations “competing” for our attention and each extolling its virtues, we may not realize how huge this is.
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Kindle Catholic English-Latin Diglot Bible (with Direct Verse Jump)

Kindle Catholic English-Latin Diglot Bible (D-R and Vulgate) (with Direct Verse Jump)
Kindle Catholic English-Latin Diglot Bible (D-R and Vulgate) (with Direct Verse Jump)

This is the Holy Bible, which includes parallel texts of the Douay-Rheims (English) and Clementine Vulgate (Latin) translations of the Holy Scriptures.

The Douay-Rheims Bible was translated from the Latin Vulgate and diligently compared with the Hebrew, Greek, and Bible editions in other languages.

The Vulgate was translated by St. Jerome in late 4th-century, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations. By the 13th century this revision had come to be called the versio vulgata, that is, the “commonly used translation”. The revision of the Vulgate was sponsored by Clement VIII in 16th century, which became known as the Clementine Vulgate of 1592. The Clementine Vulgate had been the standard Bible text of the Roman Catholic Church until 1979, when the Nova Vulgata was promulgated.

Features of this version of the Catholic English-Latin Diglot Bible:

– Direct Verse Jump, a revolutionary new method to open the exact verse you need in mere seconds (see below)
– two other ways to navigate between books and chapters: (i) using a hyperlinked table of contents; and (ii) pressing the joystick right or left to move between chapters of the Bible books. Once you learn all of the three navigation methods, you will be able to open any verse in your Kindle Bible as fast as (or even faster than) in your paper copy
– the complete text of the Douay-Rheims Bible and the Clementine Vulgate, including all of the deuterocanonical books
– correct chapter and verse numbering, which corresponds to the Vulgate (not the KJV)
– the texts of this electronic edition of the two translations have been painstakingly verified to be true to the paper editions
– the electronic transcription of the Clementine Vulgate was made available by Michael Tweedale and received approbation of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on January 9, 2006
– beautifully formatted
– easy to determine where you are in the Bible
– the traditional verse-per-line format
– as any Kindle book, the Catholic Diglot Bible is searchable; however, when you first install the file please wait for the Kindle to index the whole Bible (most of the time about 10 minutes; however, sometimes up to 8-10 hours). The file is large and it takes a long time to index. For this reason, the DVJ navigation method will be available only after the book has been indexed

Direct Verse Jump: new navigation method using the search functionality:

In this version, all you need to do is to type an abbreviated book name (see the table of contents for the complete list), then a period, then a chapter number, a period again, and then a verse number and finally press “enter” twice (you need not wait for the Kindle to display the search results) and you will be looking at that particular verse in seconds. If you only need to open the first verse of any chapter then the verse number is not necessary. Remember: do not forget periods and use only the book abbreviations, which are listed in the table of contents.

For example, if you wish to select chapter 3 of Genesis, you would:
1. type the standard abbreviation for Genesis (see the table of contents for a complete list), then period, and finally number “3”; in other words: ge.3
2. click “find” (or just “enter” if you have a Kindle 3) twice and you are there.

For John 3:16, you would type “jn.3.16” and double click “find” (or just “enter” if you have a Kindle 3).

Note that you should put the chapter number even for those books with only one chapter. For example, the Epistle from Jude verse 5 would translate to “jud.1.5” and a double click on the “enter”.

You may also be interested in an article Our English Catholic Bible by Rev. Sydney F. Smith in the Month (a Catholic magazine and review), vol. 89, June, July 1897

If you have any questions or concerns at all about this (or any other of my publications), please email me at osnova@gmail.com

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