Dan at Charis shares his journey through the ESV cross references for a particular verse. He starts in Proverbs, heads through 1 Samuel, and ends up in Judges:
A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger….
I’ve had all too many opportunities to witness the negative power of a harsh word, but the Nabal story takes this a step further by showing the chain of consequences. Nabal’s harsh word stirs up David’s anger, and David comes very close to doing a seriously foolish thing. As Abigail frames it, David’s anger could have harmed his rule later in life. We also see that God steps in to take care of the situation, bringing punishment on Nabal by His hand. Finally, Abigail offers a picture of a wisdom and discernment, and her intervention also illustrates that “a soft answer turns away wrath.” Reading 1 Samuel 25 reminds me that one of the ways to keep myself from the harsh word is to step back and consider the bigger picture, to imagine the chain of consequences that is likely to result from anger. Similarly, the few verses from Judges give me a clear picture of what a “soft answer” looks like—making it easier for me to apply.
Brent talks about how he uses the Classic Thinline and Journaling Bibles (which share the same typesetting and thus match page-for-page) together:
I have always had a major conflict in my reading and studying the Bible—to write or not to write? I have a Bible I like to preach from. I actually have four copies of the same Bible. Two big and two small versions. They are all paginated the same, which is a great. For example, Matt 5:1 is in the exact same place in the big Bible as it is in the little Bible, very awesome for someone who remembers things by where they appear on the page. When I preach I leave the big Bible open to the main chapter I’m focusing on and range with the smaller one. I’m not sure if other Bibles or Versions (NKJV) do the pagination thing. So I bought two sets just in case they decide to stop making them or something.
Brent illuminates one of the advantages of reusing typesettings in different editions and sizes: you can transition between them easily.
The blogger at Under the Sky praises the ESV Children’s Bible:
They are ESV Children’s Bibles and are excellent! I never thought those words (about any children’s bible) would cross my lips. These are different altogether though than most because God’s word is not watered down as it is in many other children’s bibles. It is the real Bible, but with study helps for children, a clear, thorough and understandable section in the back that is so helpful! I could not believe it was available so I bought three for my oldest children.
We are now using their memory verse section in the back and I am being blessed by it. It has been too long since we have really endeavored to memorize God’s word here and we are starting afresh.
Learn more about the Children’s Bible.
Ray Pritchard writes (in part):
This is my third translation in 30 years of ministry. I started with the NASB in the late 70s, switched to the NIV and have used it ever since. Starting this week, I’ll be preaching from the ESV. These days there are many good translation options, some would argue almost too many. It’s hard to imagine that any modern translation will hold sway like the venerable King James Version did for so many years. Some people lament the fact that we don’t have a unified Bible translation in the evangelical world, but that’s like lamenting that instead of the “Big Three” TV networks that once dominated the scene, we now have hundreds of choices. I’m glad that Bible students have many translations to read, and I’m glad that most of them are available online.
My personal favorites are the ESV, NIV, the NET Bible, NASB, KJV, NLT, CEV, and the Message. I enjoy reading a wide variety of translations/paraphrases because each one gives you a slightly different picture of what the Bible writers were trying to say. I know that some people (lots of people, actually) feel very strongly about their favorite translation. I don’t have a dog in that fight. I’m switching to the ESV because it seems like the right time for me to do it.
Ray Pritchard has also written several Crossway books.
Davide’s Notes has cataloged every mention of an animal in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). The post is pretty technical but strangely interesting once you get into it.
When considering zoological terms, it is clear that many times we miss a familiarity with animals that was common in biblical times (and in biblical locations). This means that it is sometimes difficult for us to clearly understand even simple figurative meanings. A plain example is the sheep: to people used to tender flocks, or in general to observe sheeps around them, it is fairly natural that this animal might represent the tendency to get lost, to wander around, being exposed to all sorts of dangers. Take Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” The similitude was vivid and obvious to the ancient Israelite, perhaps it is not anymore to our modern eyes.
Of note, too, are the details each gospel writer chooses to share or omit. For example:
In the “qui me confitetur” passage (Mt 10:26-33 // Lk 12:2-9), the zoological term used by Matthew and Luke (strouthion, sparrow) is the same. There is a difference in counting, though: Mt 10:29 has “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?”, while Lk 12:6 has “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?” It is possible that Matthew has a reference here to the two small birds mentioned in the ceremonial of purification from leprosy of Lev 14:49ff – and it is possible that Luke wants to show that, if with one assarion (rendered “penny”), a very small coin (the tenth part of a drachma), one can buy two sparrows, with two pennies one can buy not four (2 x 2), but five of them – to stress how little value these birds had….
Note: we transliterated the Greek.