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Blackberry in Church?

Bob at Theology, Technology, and Anything In Between blogs about using a cellphone PDA in church:

I recently forgot to bring my Bible to church, and then remembered that I could use the NET Bible and ESV, by surfing to their websites. I know people at our church who have Bible software for their Treo, so I thought I should try it.

It’s not too bad. I like being able to access a different translation, especially one with translators notes, during a sermon. I helps to bring some perspective if there are different ways in which a word is being translated, or could be used.

Are we heading into a world where churches let you text the pastor your questions during a sermon? (At least a couple of churches already do.) We’re not saying it’s a good or bad thing, but it presents one possible direction in which the church is heading.

Oh, and we’ve mentioned the ESV Mobile site, haven’t we?

March 21, 2007 | Posted in: Digital,ESV | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:29 am | (3) Comments »

Suggestions for Reading Scripture in Gathered Worship

Josh at Eucatastrophe101 offers tips for how to better read Scripture in gathered worship.

Josh’s thoughts about practicing beforehand to get a sense of the passage’s flow are especially important. Skill at oral interpretation (of the Bible or anything else) comes with experience. And remember, if you’ve practiced but still flub a word during the public reading, it’s OK—really.

March 19, 2007 | Posted in: ESV,General | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:04 am | 1 Comment »

ESV Available Free in Bible Explorer

The ESV recently became available as part of the free Bible Explorer program, from the makers of WORDsearch Bible Software.

Bible Explorer lets you see passages and references to them in related books.

March 14, 2007 | Posted in: ESV,General | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:19 am | 1 Comment »

Apply Exegetical Sermon Techniques to Your Bible Study

Paul at Cup of Coffee Talk has been blogging about how to prepare an exegetical sermon. Paul has made an extra effort to make his posts applicable to general Bible study—in other words, the tips he provides will help you study a passage in-depth even if you don’t plan to preach a sermon on it.

Here’s what he’s blogged so far:

  1. Reading and Prayer. “As I am preparing to preach a passage the first thing that I do is read over the text in English praying my way through the passage…. In this step I simply try to take the passage in, and let the Holy Spirit use it in my life. During this time I read through the passage that I will be preaching on, as well as immediate and greater context. I try my best not to be thinking about outlines or commentaries in this step.”
  2. Grammatical Analysis. “Normally I simply print out the Greek text of the passage with plenty of space to write between the lines. I then identify all the words and how they fit grammatically. Finally, I produce my own translation of the passage….. If you do not know Greek then you… can take the English text and find the nouns and verbs and pronouns. Look at every word and try to determine how it functions grammatically within the passage. You will not believe how profitable this short exercise will be in your own study of God’s word.”
  3. Diagramming. “There are many forms that are used to do this, but I use a simple block diagramming method. For those of you who do not know Greek I would highly encourage you to still use this method in English. The idea is to push all of the important verbs to the left, and all of the modifiers to the right.” (pdf illustration)
  4. Analytical Outline. “This step takes the Greek grammatical work that we did in the last step and transitions into an English outline. This outline simply takes the text and breaks down the logic of the passage (which was determined in the previous section).”
  5. Homiletical (Preaching) Outline. “We have attained as much of the data as we can and it is time to put ourselves to work on presenting this data in sermon form. This is where to ‘art of preaching’ comes in. We must figure out how to take our hours of study and convert [it] into less than an hour. And in that time we must also remember that the very souls of our listeners might very well be at stake. This makes the ‘art of preaching’ the most sacred of all arts.”
March 13, 2007 | Posted in: ESV,General | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:11 am | 1 Comment »

Bible Interpretation Toolkit

Richard at food4thought blogs about a book that lists sixteen tools to have in your biblical interpretation toolbox. We quote excerpts from his post here, but head over to Richard’s blog for more details.

  1. Author’s Purpose
    We need to get beyond what is said, important though that is, to asking the question why it’s been said.
  2. Context
    We need to understand how what we’re studying fits in with what precedes it and what follows it.
  3. Structure
    In paying attention to the structure of a passage we need to ask first, “how has the author broken down his material into sections?” and secondly, “how do those sections fit together?”
  4. Linking Words
    Linking words help us see the logical flow of an argument because they reveal the cause and effect relationships between different statements.
  5. Parallels
    Biblical poetry makes great use of parallelism.
  6. Narrator’s Comment
    Particularly in narrative sections the author may interrupt the narrative flow to provide a much needed commentary on what’s going on.
  7. Vocabulary
    The Bible like every other field of expertise has its own distinctive vocabulary.
  8. Translations
    Comparing a dynamic equivalent [DE] translation like the NIV or NLT with an essentially literal [EL] translation like the ESV or the NASB can be a useful exercise.
  9. Tone and Feel
    When we come to the Bible we need not only pay attention to the point being made but also how it is being made.
  10. Repetition
    When an author repeats something it’s usually because he wants to get our attention.
  11. Quotation/Allusion
    Bible writers often quote from other writers and it can be helpful to look up the original context of a quotation.
  12. Genre
    Genre is a way of classifying media according to their type or style rather than specific content or storyline.
  13. Copycat
    Sometimes we’re supposed to follow the example of people we read about in the Bible, though not always! We need to be wary of making narrative normative!
  14. Bible Timeline
    We need to locate the events in salvation history.
  15. “Who am I?”
    This helps us work out whether we’re supposed to identify with any character within a passage.
  16. “So What?”
    We need to read the Bible and ask, “what does this mean for me and my life?”

These tools are from Dig Deeper!, a book that’s not available yet in the U.S.

March 9, 2007 | Posted in: ESV,General | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:33 am | 1 Comment »