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Archive for January, 2012

Bible Reading Resources for the New Year

“God’s people live and flourish only by believing and obeying his Word. Scripture is useful not by some mystical operation but through the very ordinary means of teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. By these means the Bible shows itself very profitable.” – Mike Bullmore, The Gospel and Scripture: How to Read the Bible

With the start of the new year many of you have some strategy for reading the Bible, whether through an established reading plan or on your own. We’ve compiled a list of 7 Crossway and ESV resources than can be helpful companions for your Bible reading this year.

Reader’s Bibles

1. ESV Single Column Legacy Bible. This is an ideal Bible for those wanting to read through Scripture at a steady pace. The text is laid out in a single column format, and section titles are placed in the margins, letting you move from passage to passage with minimal distractions. This is also a great edition for reading the Bible in its own context.

2. Literary Study Bible. Edited by Dr. Leland Ryken, this study edition is similar to the Single Column Legacy Bible in that the text is laid out in single column, paragraph format, with minimal distractions. The book introductions and interspersed study notes are designed to guide the user in a literary reading of the Bible. This is an excellent edition for reading through the Bible while taking special note of its literary features.

Devotional Books and Bibles

3. The One Year Bible®. The popular One Year Bible is available in the ESV translation. In this edition the text is broken up into select readings that are then compiled for each day. Readers who follow along throughout the year will work through the entire Bible.

4. Oswald Chambers Devotional Bible. The full ESV text is accompanied by 365 devotional excerpts of works by Oswald Chambers. Readers can glean insight and spiritual wisdom from the famous Scottish pastor throughout the year.

5. For the Love of God (Vols. 1 & 2). Using a slightly modified version of the famous M’Cheyne reading plan, D. A. Carson provides devotional commentary for readings assigned to each day of the year. Following the M’Cheyne reading plan and using For the Love of God as companion volumes, readers will work through the New Testament and Psalms twice and the rest of the Bible once.

Digital Resources

6. ESVBible.org. Users can sign up for a free account and gain access to 12 different reading plans. Each plan includes links to the pertinent passages and tracks your progress through the year. In addition, the reading plans integrate with all of ESVBible.org’s other features, including highlights, notes, and for-purchase study modules.

7. Downloadable Reading Plans. The ESVBible.org reading plans are also available for download on esv.org. Users can subscribe to the reading plans by RSS feed, email, iCal calendars, or print them off.

There are also tons of reading plans available on sites like YouVersion.com, Biblegateway.com, and many others. For other ideas, be sure to check out our previous post on 2012 book and Bible reading plans from a few weeks ago, as well as Justin Taylor’s post on reading plans for the new year.

Whether you use an established reading plan or follow your own strategy for reading the Bible, we want to encourage you to make this a year of immersion in God’s Word!

January 10, 2012 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Andrew Tebbe @ 8:00 am | (10) Comments »

An Interview with Dr. James Hamilton on “Revelation: the Spirit Speaks to the Churches”

Revelation

Dr. James M. Hamilton, author of God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment, just came out with the newest in the Preaching the Word commentary series—Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches. If you aren’t familiar with the Preaching the Word series, they serve as excellent devotional as well as sermon prep resources. Hamilton was kind of enough do to a brief Q&A with us:

Why should pastors preach on Revelation?

1. Because all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable (2 Tim 3:16).
2. Because a blessing is promised to those who read, hear, and keep what Revelation reveals (Rev 1:3).
3. Because lots of people are intrigued by and eager to be taught Revelation.

What’s the best way to prepare to interpret apocalyptic literature in general and Revelation in particular?

I am convinced that the best way to interpret apocalyptic literature and Revelation is by the light of other Scripture. The apocalyptic world view is the biblical world view. We need to soak ourselves in all of Scripture so that we recognize the allusions to other passages in Revelation, and often the meaning of those other passages are crucial to understanding what John is saying in Revelation.

The ancient hermeneutical rule is still the best one: Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture.

If a pastor knows that his congregation takes a very different view of Revelation than he does, how should he go about preaching the book? Should he be trying to convert them to or away from a dispensationalist perspective and why?

As we preach through Revelation we should wrestle through the text and do our best to explain it, and there are appropriate ways to describe how our conclusions relate to the various perspectives. Again and again as I preached through the book, I found myself saying something like this: even if we disagree on how the details of this passage are to be interpreted, we can nevertheless agree on how we are to respond to this text today.

I don’t think we should worry about whether someone comes down as a dispensationalist or not. We want them to heed the message of the book, and we want the text to speak for itself.

What is the relationship between the judgments that accompany the seals, trumpets, and bowls? Are these sequential or recapitulatory?

Here’s my conclusion, the exposition of which can be found in the book: the opening of the seals in Revelation 6 corresponds to what Jesus describes in the Olivet Discourse in the Synoptic Gospels. In my view, this material describes all of church history between the two comings of Christ. The trumpets and bowls symbolize the climactic instance of the new-exodus plagues, pointing to the final redemption of God’s people. I think that the literary structure of Revelation indicates that the trumpets and bowls are complementary depictions of the final judgments that precede the coming of Christ.

What’s with the exodus imagery in Revelation? Didn’t Jesus fulfill the new exodus and return from exile in his death and resurrection? Why are we getting that imagery again in Revelation?

I would argue that we see multiple instances of the new-exodus pattern in the book of Ezra. Thus, Ezra 1–6 depicts a new-exodus at the decree issued by Cyrus, and then Ezra 7–10 depicts another new-exodus at the return authorized by Artaxerxes. The OT, then, sets a precedent for interpreting God’s actions for his people in light of the exodus pattern. The NT authors follow this precedent by interpreting the redemption Jesus accomplished in light of the exodus, the church’s ongoing life in light of Israel’s sojourn to the land of promise, and the final redemption of God’s people as the climactic exodus-style deliverance.

At the exodus from Egypt, God redeemed Israel from slavery in Egypt. At the cross, God redeemed his people from slavery to sin. At the return of Christ, God will redeem his people from bondage to corruption.

Redeemed from Egypt, God renewed Israel’s experience of his presence by giving them the tabernacle, and then he took them to the land of promise where the temple would be built. Redeemed from sin, God made his people the temple of the Spirit (1 Cor 3:16), and we sojourn toward the new Jerusalem (Heb 12:22). Redeemed from bondage to corruption, God’s dwelling will be with men (Rev 21:3), and God and the Lamb will be the temple (21:22) when the new Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven (21:10).

James M. Hamilton is associate professor of biblical theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and blogs at For His Renown. Learn more about Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches and God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment.

January 9, 2012 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Biblical Studies,Church Ministry,Interview,Life / Doctrine,New Testament,Preaching / Teaching | Author: Angie Cheatham @ 8:23 am | 1 Comment »

Giveaway: Single Column Legacy Bible

Yesterday we posted 4 reasons why we’re excited about the new ESV Single Column Legacy Bible.

To celebrate its arrival, we’re giving away three copies of the Brown/Saddle TruTone edition.

To enter the drawing, simply post a comment on who your favorite man, woman, or child is from the Bible and why (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are off-limits). Next Tuesday at noon we’ll pick three winners and notify them by email and send each winner one copy of the brand new Single Column Legacy Bible.

Enter today!

UPDATE: The contest is now closed. The winners have been chosen and notified. Thanks for your participation!

January 6, 2012 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Andrew Tebbe @ 1:56 pm | (466) Comments »

New January Titles from Crossway

Here’s what’s new this month on the Crossway shelves:

| Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Angie Cheatham @ 8:00 am | 0 Comments »

4 Reasons We’re Excited About the Single Column Legacy Bible

The Single Column Legacy Bible has just arrived in the Crossway warehouse and is starting to ship. We’re excited about this new edition for at least four reasons.

1. It features a fresh, new design. Every once in a while it’s fun to try new things, and with the Single Column Legacy Bible we started from scratch. It’s based off the Renaissance ideal for a perfect page (HT Robert Bringhurst), which means there’s a precise layout of the text and the margins – what Renaissance thinkers considered perfect proportions. Below is an example of the interior. You can also download a pdf sample.

2. We aimed for a high standard of excellence in production. This is one of the finest-quality Bibles we publish. Because of the nature of this project, we wanted to use select production materials and processes. The paper, binding, and printer were all carefully selected to ensure the quality of this edition.

3. It’s our first Bible that uses line-matching. Line-matching is a process that aligns the text on both sides of a page, minimizing the see-through of text. If you look at your current Bible, chances are you’ll notice slight deviations in how the text was placed on each page. This is because Bible printing presses run the paper at incredibly fast speeds, and it’s very difficult to get the text printed exactly the same on each page. Line-matching is a process that solves the problem and leads to a more visually appealing, readable edition.

4. It’s designed specifically for undistracted reading. Because we wanted this to be an ideal “reader’s Bible,” we chose a single-column format and opted to not include cross-references, introductions, or other special features (although there are maps and a concordance in the back). We also placed the section titles in the margin instead of in-line with the text. The result is an edition where the reader can move smoothly from passage to passage without jumping around or being distracted by added textual divisions.

You can read more about the Single Column Legacy Bible on its product page. It’s available in four covers: two TruTones, a genuine leather, and a top grain leather. We hope you check it out and are pleased with the results!

January 5, 2012 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,ESV,News | Author: Andrew Tebbe @ 1:00 pm | (101) Comments »