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Archive for February, 2008

What to Do with February 29?

You won’t find today, February 29, on most Bible reading plans. If you’re reading through the Bible in a year, what are you going to read today?

Some people break up the readings—they read half of the reading for March 1 on February 29, and they read the other half on the following day. If you’re behind on your readings, why not use this extra day to catch up? Or use the day to start anew.

Others treat the day as a special “jubilee” day:

Fortunately for me, February 29th falls on a Friday this year, which is my normal day off from my secular job. As a result, I can devote that day to the Lord’s glory as a “Day of Jubilee”. The current plan (subject to change) is to engage in the following readings:

The entire Gospel of John. Psalms 22, 23, and 24. (The trilogy of Suffering Servant, Good Shepherd, and Glorious King.) Isaiah 53.

As you can see, this plan is fully Christocentric. It is my prayer that Christ be at the center of my life, not only on February 29th, but each and every day.

You could try a different reading plan for the day. The Book of Common Prayer Daily Office, which follows the liturgical calendar, has no problem with February 29. Daily Light also has readings specifically for February 29.

You may want to do something else—it’s up to you. But as with every day, do something to glorify God today.

February 29, 2008 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:02 am | (2) Comments »

New “Bible for Life” Radio Spots (February 2008)

We’ve released ten new spots in the “Bible for Life” radio campaign. Each one-minute spot has someone reading a passage from the ESV and meditating on it.

This month features Mike Yankoski, Cheri Fuller, one about William Wilberforce, and others.

Listen to all the spots at www.bibleforlife.org.

February 27, 2008 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:01 am | Comments Off »

Using the Greek New Testament for Devotions

Duncan Forbes at his eponymous blog has been writing recently about how he uses the Greek New Testament for devotions:

For the last 2 years I’ve been using Greek primarily for exegesis for sermons. In the last month however, I tried something new, and started using a Greek text for my devotions. I knew someone years ago who did this, but since then have never heard anyone encourage this.

My own limited experience of the last month has been that reading the New Testament in Greek is a wonderful devotional experience. Hopefully through this blog, I can encourage it amongst others—especially you ex-Bible college students who don’t use your Greek anymore!

So far he’s written about five benefits that this method offers:

  1. Introduction / encouragement
  2. The slowdown factor
  3. Seeing the perfect tense
  4. Spotting wordplays
  5. Spotting Jesus’ nuances

Even if you don’t know biblical Greek, you can partially recreate the experience Duncan describes by comparing different English translations or by doing your devotions in the ESV Reverse Interlinear New Testament.

February 25, 2008 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 11:25 am | (3) Comments »

A TruGrip Tale

See more TruGrip Bibles. The 180 Youth Ministry blog has a top-ten list of why the ESV TruGrip Bible is their favorite Bible. But even more interesting is the story they share:

So I was talking to my friend this week who gave me the Bible and telling him how excited I am about it, when he said a really odd thing. He said, “If you find someone who you need to give that Bible away to, I’ve got another ESV Bible I’d like to give you.” I said “OK,” all the while thinking, “Why would I give away this Bible—my favorite Bible.” Well the very next day, I had a kid on my school bus ask to read my Bible. Of course I let him and before he got off the bus, he asked if he could have it. Weird, isn’t it! So I’m giving him my Bible, which is all cool in itself. But the story doesn’t end there…

Head over to the 180 blog to find out how the story ends. Hint: it ends well.

February 22, 2008 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:09 am | Comments Off »

Characterization in John 11

The Logos Bible Software Blog posted last week about whether the “changes in names, or the orders of names, that you see in the New Testament” are insignificant stylistic variation or are important. Steve Runge writes of the story of Jesus raising Lazarus (John 11:1-5):

In v. 3, Mary and Martha are referred to collectively as ‘the sisters’. Lazarus is referred to as ‘he whom you love’. Why not just call him ‘Lazarus’? One reason for making a change like this is to make the reader think about Lazarus in a particular way…. In this case, the sisters are appealing to Jesus not just to heal Lazarus. They are appealing to Jesus’ love for Lazarus as an encouragement for him to come and heal their brother. Calling him ‘he whom you love’ also lets us know that Jesus has a close relationship with Lazarus, something that is important for understanding Jesus’ actions later in the story.

This strategy of switching from a proper name to a thematically-loaded expression is frequently used to characterize participants in a particular way. It forces us to think about them in a way that we would not otherwise have had in mind. Such changes are often motivated by wanting us to think about a particular person in a particular way, based on its importance to the big idea of the passage. In the context of John 11, this thematic characterization lets us know that when Jesus does not immediately heed the sisters’ request that he is not blowing them off because he doesn’t care about Lazarus. It also lets us know why he weeps in v. 35.

The post goes on to discuss this passage in more detail and gives a few more examples from throughout the Bible. The Logos blog is doing a whole series on the Lexham Discourse New Testament, which aims to make visible some rhetorical and grammatical devices that would otherwise be impossible to see without knowing Greek.

February 20, 2008 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:52 am | Comments Off »