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Encouraging Report from TGC International

ESV HeaderWe’ve had the privilege of partnering with The Gospel Coalition’s International Outreach on several projects in recent years, including work to distribute copies of the ESV Global Study Bible overseas in 2013. Through this partnership, Crossway and TGC International Outreach raised the funds to distribute more than 2,500 Global Study Bibles and distribute them to ministry leaders in 28 countries.

Bill Walsh of TGC International Outreach reports:

Our purpose was to make these available to our worldwide missions network with the goal of putting these study bibles into the hands of pastors primarily in the Global South who badly need them. We believe that God has uniquely blessed us with a truly global network of like-minded churches and missions who are able to put these bibles directly into the hands of church leaders who typically lack good access to biblical teaching and training.

Walsh goes on to share what recipients had to say about the ESV Global Study Bibles:

With the recent Typhoon, many pastors have lost everything, including their Bibles. We plan to send these ESV Global Study Bibles to pastors who have lost their Bibles in the flood.

Many promising Bible schools and students in Asia have no English Bibles to study from or if they do it may be as in Myanmar, where they have 13 students and only 5 Bibles (all different versions). These Bibles will have an impact all over Northern India and Northern Myanmar.

I expect these study Bibles to be the most significant resource for ongoing study and preparation for teaching.

Students in Cambodia are so eager to learn the bible and learn English; we hope these bibles will serve both purposes and have the students understand the deep meaning of the gospel.

Read the encouraging report in full.

March 20, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,ESV,ESV,News & Announcements,Publishing,Study Bibles,The Bible | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:44 am | 0 Comments »

How to Read the Bible in Seminary

ESV Bible header

There is more to seminary, and the whole Christian life, than the necessity of pursuing daily soul survival in the Scriptures, but this need must not be overlooked. An otherwise impressive theology degree is utterly unimpressive if your soul has shriveled in the course of study. As Christians, daily Bible intake is to our souls what breathing, eating, and drinking are to our physical bodies. As the incarnate Word himself says, quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4)

How to study the word for more than words:

First, seek to make your seminary studies devotional. Pray for God’s help before class, before studying, before writing a paper or taking a test, and during all these activities. Continually consecrate your studies to Jesus and ask him to freshly meet you in them, keep your spiritual blood flowing, and keep you soft to his grace.

It is important for every Christian, and perhaps especially for seminary students, to never come to the Scriptures with anything less than a devotional approach. Whatever the assignment, intentionally seek the growth and warming of your soul. There’s no spiritually neutral gear when handling the Bible. You don’t need to learn the lesson far too many have experienced about trifling with holy things–you either survive or shrivel.

Second, set aside at least a brief season daily to focus on feeding your soul. Find a good patch in the Scriptures (maybe through an annual Bible-reading plan), one you’re not studying in preparation for a class, a test, or a sermon, and graze a while, just for your spiritual well-being. Crumbs from such a meal will inevitably bless those to whom you minister, but try not to make your future flock (or present ministry) your explicit focus in this feeding. The aim is the daily strengthening and sustaining of your soul.

An often-helpful reminder to seminary students is to not read merely for information. Such information, glorious as it is, won’t keep your heart soft and your soul breathing. What we desperately need is spiritual sight of the living Christ. We need the person of Jesus himself, whom we find in and through the Scriptures. Our souls long for a living connection with the living God-man. We were made for this.

Therefore, be on the unashamed lookout for Jesus and his gospel, for soul-satisfaction that runs up verses and doctrines to a person, the God-man, rather than terminating on concepts and ideas. In an explicitly “devotional” time, set out to explicitly enjoy Jesus in the Scriptures as your great end, not as a means to anything else, whether it is a class assignment or ministering to others in some way.

You can never afford to settle for anything less than the words of the Bible, but extreme as it may seem, your soul needs more than words, more than facts, more than studies and new head knowledge. You need the Word himself. Your soul needs Jesus to survive. And for now, the devotional imbibing of the Scriptures is an essential way to find him.

This post was adapted from How to Stay Christian in Seminary by David Mathis and Jonathan Parnell.

David Mathis

David Mathis (MDiv, Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando) is executive editor at desiring God.org and an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Bethlehem College and Seminary. David and his wife, Megan, have two sons.




Jonathan ParnellJonathan Parnell (MDiv, Bethlehem Seminary) is a content strategist at desiringGod.org and has spent the last nine years of his life studying on seminary campuses in North Carolina and Minnesota. He and his wife, Melissa, live in Minneapolis and have four children.




March 13, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Books,Church Leadership,Life & Doctrine,Ministry,The Bible,The Bible,Theology | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:30 am | (3) Comments »

Christ in All of Scripture – Ephesians 2:4-7



Ephesians 2:4-7

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

The heart of the gospel pumps bright red in the first two words of verse 4. In verses 1–3 we see that mankind was dead, disobedient, demonic, and destined for destruction. We were prodigals, scoundrels, vile, impure, unholy, treacherous, lecherous, self-absorbed, self-exalting, out-and-out rebels. That’s the bad news. And then this good news: “But God!” We were dead, but God made us alive in Christ. We were not strugglers in need of a helping hand or sinking swimmers in need of a raft; we were stone-cold dead—spiritually lifeless, without a religious pulse, without anything to please God. But he loves the loveless, gives life to the lifeless, and is merciful to those deserving no mercy.

This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.


March 10, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Biblical Studies,ESV,Gospel Transformation Bible,GTB,Life & Doctrine,New Testament,The Bible | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »

An Interview with Crossway Employees

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We asked a few Crossway employees to answer a question regarding their journey with Scripture. May their responses be an encouragement to you.

Q: What is a passage of Scripture that has been meaningful in your life and why?

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

“This amazing verse comes towards the end of an amazing chapter of an amazing book. It speaks of an almighty, sovereign God who is not unapproachable or remote, but who can be known and loved and who knows those who love him, whom he called from the fathomless eons of eternity. This God knows what is good for his children, whom he loves, and causes whatever happens to those who love him to be ultimately for their eternal good. He is the author of our salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ and definer of good and love, most perfectly expressed in his beloved Son.

This verse has been with me throughout my Christian life, sometimes as a comfort, sometimes with conviction, and sometimes as a challenge; but always revealing that God is God: all-knowing, all-loving, all-good, and all-wise. I marvel that he loves such a sinner as me, and yet I can love him who first loved me. I am blessed to be in such nail-scarred hands.”

Anthony Gosling
Vice President, Sales

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. – Titus 3:4-7

“Titus 3 is one of my favorite passages. Paul provides practical instruction for living out our faith, specifically in how we treat one another. Our motivation to ‘show perfect courtesy toward all people’ (Titus 3:2) comes from recognizing that God lavished love and mercy on us when we were far from worthy of such grace. A reminder of just how bleak our lives were prior to salvation (Titus 3:3) is immediately followed by one of the most beautiful pronouncements of the gospel in all of Scripture.”

Erika Allen
Editor, Bibles

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. – Philippians 2:19-22

“For the last several years I’ve reflected often on Paul’s words in this passage. I’m challenged by what Paul identifies here in Timothy–a man who has chosen to live triply for others. Paul commends Timothy’s genuine concern for the Philippians, his service to Paul (as a son with a father in the gospel), and his focused commitment to Jesus Christ. This passage grabs me as a powerful summary of the kind of man I want to become: spending my life for the good of others, serving and supporting my colleagues, and in all things seeking the interests of Christ our Lord.”

James Kinnard
Executive Director, Marketing

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you! – Psalm 84:11-12

“There are so many meaningful Scriptures (naturally!), but one that I find myself going back to a lot in life is this verse in Psalm 84. Many times I find myself longing for different seasons of life or for specific prayers to be answered, especially when my plans differ from what God actually ordains in my life. When I read this verse, I’m reminded that he is sovereign and no matter my circumstances, whether he’s withholding something or allowing circumstances that are not ideal, that it is ultimately for my good. If it is good for me to have a particular job… he will let it come to pass. If it is good for me to have a family… he will let it come to pass. If it’s any good thing for me… he will allow it.

Knowing I am ‘blessed’ when I trust in him in all circumstances helps me to focus on the eternal value of each walk in life. I just love the visual of the Lord shining brightly on us as the sun, and yet providing a shield of protection when needed. His bestowing favor and honor for his work in our lives is just a beautiful picture of him pouring out grace in our lives.”

Danielle Dyba
Customer Service Representative

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. – Psalm 16:5–11

“These verses serve as a guidepost for me, pointing to what is most important. Regardless of the material possessions and career success I acquire in this life, the Lord is the most important thing I have. Through the work accomplished by Christ, the boundary lines of my spiritual inheritance ‘have fallen for me in pleasant places.’ Moreover, fellowship with the Lord leads to ‘fullness of joy’ and ‘pleasures forevermore.’ In times when desires for earthly things reign in my heart, I am both challenged and comforted by these words. What can be more satisfying than life in Christ? ‘Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices.”

Andrew Tebbe
Marketing Manager

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8

“Micah 6:8 is every legalist’s favorite verse, mine included. This verse aided in my middle school struggle to answer the question ‘What do I need to do to be right with God?’ As a budding legalist, naturally I was drawn to a list of specific requirements.

  • Do justice? Check.
  • Love kindness? Check.
  • Walk humbly, (not wanting to sound arrogant) check.

But, where I missed the main point, God was faithful to reveal himself.

Through his Word, God showed Christ taking the just punishment I deserved. He showed Christ displaying the greatest act of loving kindness. And he showed Christ walking humbly…even to death on a cross. In this way, Micah 6:8 has become even more meaningful to me than it ever could have been as a list of things to cross off. Instead, I see it as a list of things Christ has already crossed off on my behalf. Praise God!”

Ted Cockle
Design Coordinator

Do you have a passage of Scripture that has been particularly meaningful to you? Post to comments and share with us!


March 6, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,General,Life & Doctrine,Q&A,Spiritual Growth,The Bible,The Christian Life | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:55 am | (2) Comments »

Christ in All of Scripture – 1 Kings 3:5-14



1 Kings 3:5-14

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”

Without a doubt, this is one of the most remarkable passages in all of the Old Testament. The tale of Aladdin’s lamp pales in comparison! Here, the true and living God, the Creator of heaven and earth, stoops down and offers Solomon anything that his heart might have desired.

Solomon’s request for wisdom was certainly admirable, but it is even more important to note that he understood that the wisdom he needed to navigate life was from God. Apart from God’s provision, a blessed life would be unknowable —a point consistently reiterated in the wisdom literature of both the Old and New Testaments (cf. Prov. 2:6; James 1:5). Solomon’s request for wisdom embodied the important kingdom ethic that Jesus would later set before his disciples: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). And so it was. Solomon’s request was kingdom-centered, and God added to it (1 Kings 3:13–14).

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of this account is Solomon’s description of what motivated his request for wisdom: the “steadfast love” of the Lord (twice in1 Kings 3:6). Solomon’s humble request for wisdom was grounded in the reality that he had already received the greatest treasure in life—the steadfast love of his covenant Lord. Those who seek first the kingdom of God are those who first realize that they have been made members of that kingdom by God’s grace. The same steadfast love of the Lord that Solomon experienced some three thousand years ago has been made ours, all through the work of the human embodiment of this steadfast love: Jesus Christ.

This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.


March 3, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Biblical Studies,ESV,Gospel Transformation Bible,GTB,Life & Doctrine,Old Testament,The Bible | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:30 am | 1 Comment »