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:
- Introduction / encouragement
- The slowdown factor
- Seeing the perfect tense
- Spotting wordplays
- 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.
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.
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.
ESV Gift and Award Bibles are now available. These inexpensive Bibles are designed to give away on special occasions—graduations, baptisms, and the like. You can also buy these Bibles in packs of 24 for half-off the retail price.
The ESV Deluxe Compact TruTone Bible will be available in four styles later this spring. The Bible is similar to the current Compact TruTone Bibles but features:
- A larger font (6.55 points vs. 6.2 points for the existing Compact TruTone)
- A different font (Lexicon No. 1 vs. Berkeley)
- A slightly larger physical size (3.875″ × 6″ vs. 3.75″ × 5.75″)
- A layout designed specifically for this page size
- The words of Christ in black (vs. the words of Christ in red)
Here’s what the inside looks like (also see PDF sample pages):
For the font geeks out there, AIGA gives some background on the Lexicon font:
Originally designed for use in a Dutch dictionary, Lexicon by Bram de Does was the first comprehensive text type family. It consists of two main branches: Lexicon No. 1 (short ascenders and descenders) and Lexicon No. 2 (normal ascenders and descenders) each with twelve variants (six roman and six italic weights) that themselves have five sub-variants (old style figures, tabular old style figures, tabular lining figures, expert set—small capitals and tabular old style figures, and a pi font with superior and inferior figures and special diacritics). The concept of variable ascender and descender length had previously been explored by de Does in Trinité (1982), a photocomposition face.
Finally, here’s what the marketing folks would like you to know:
The ESV Deluxe Compact Bible takes the features that have earned the ESV Compact Bible such popularity and enhances them for even more user-friendliness.
The ESV Deluxe Compact Bible’s slightly larger trim size, larger font, and double-column format allow it to retain its classic portability while improving its readability. This Bible—with its four distinct TruTone® cover designs and color choices—will be a favorite of all who like to take God’s Word wherever they go: from daily commuters to faithful students, world travelers to busy moms.
- Size: 3.875″ x 6″
- 6.55-point type
- 1,184 pages
- Black letter text
- Introductions to each book
- Double-column format
- Ribbon marker
- Presentation page
Update: The Deluxe Compact TruTone Bible has a sewn binding, not glued.