A Snyder’s Soapbox Review of the, “John MacArthur Study Bible in the E.S.V. Translation” with a Genuine black leather cover.

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     I know this Bible has been out for quite some time, but Crossway was kind enough to send one out for review. This is one of their Bibles I have not reviewed yet, and perhaps you haven’t looked into it yet either. I have two other John MacArthur Study Bibles. One is from Thomas Nelson, and it is a N.A.S.B. The other is the 25th Anniversary Edition in N.K.J.V. The things that struck me between the three different editions are the qualities of the papers, the printing, the spine/binding, and the cover options. In all of the qualities, except one, the Crossway comes out on top, and not just by a little.

     The genuine leather cover is more like a genuine calfskin leather, and not at all like the pigskin leather that came on the Thomas Nelson made N.A.S.B. The quality of the 25th Anniversary N.K.J.V. leather cover was slightly better than the Crossway edition’s. The 25th Anniversary edition’s cover was a bit thicker, perimeter stitched,and had an inner liner which moire silk. You would not expect a simple genuine leather edition to come anywhere near the quality of a premium Bible, but it does. The spine of the 25th anniversary edition has raised hubs, the other two do not. This is not a big deal. It is only decorative.

     The paper on the Crossway far exceeds the quality of the other two. The other two are less white, and have almost a newsprint color to them. They are also made of toothier paper. The Crossway is smooth, and white, but not too bright. It is just bright enough to offer the proper contrast between the uniformly, and sharply printed font.

     The spine of the N.A.S.B. from Thomas Nelson is not sewn, but glued. It is a case/perfect bound Bible. The Crossway, and the 25th Anniversary N.K.J.V. are both sewn. The Crossway is about the same thickness as the Thomas Nelson. Both are much thinner than the 25th Anniversary N.K.J.V. I’m not sure why it is so thick. I’m guessing it is due to the type of paper. They all have relatively the same amount of content. They could all use better ribbons. The Crossway has nicer maps, of course 🙂 If you are interested in it,hurry up and get it while it is on sale for Christmas!

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     The Crossway, English Standard Version, in genuine black leather comes in a two piece retail box. The box isn’t as sturdy as some other boxes, but I would still hold onto it to store your Bible in when not in use. The Bible itself is full of helpful features that will be of great value to you while you endeavor to learn more about the God who saves.  

Here is a list of the Bible’s features from Christianbook.com’s product page; 

Features

  • Complete ESV Bible text
  • Nearly 25,000 explanatory notes from Dr. John MacArthur
  • Bible text in 8.7 point type, 7.6 point study notes
  • More than 140 two-color maps, charts, timelines, and illustrations
  • Complete introductions to each Bible book
  • Concise articles on How We Got the BibleHow to Study the Bible, and Introduction to the Bible
  • 80,000 cross-references
  • An extensive concordance
  • Bible reading plans
  • Index to Key Bible Doctrines
  • Outline of Systematic Theology
  • Presentation Page & Family Record Section
  • Center-Column References
  • Timeline of Old Testament Kings and Prophets
  • Timeline of New Testament Chronology
  • Harmony of the Gospels
  • Durable smyth-sewn binding
  • Presentation page
  • Family record pages
  • Ribbon marker
  • Gold page edges
  • 8-point text size
  • 9.75″ x 7.00″ x 1.75″

Product Information

Format: Genuine Leather
Number of Pages: 2144
Vendor: Crossway
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 9.50 X 7.00 X 1.75 (inches)
ISBN: 143352144X
ISBN-13: 9781433521447
References: Center Column|Cross References
Text Layout: Double Column
Text Color: Black Letter
Text Size: 8 Point
Note Size: 7 Point
Thumb Index: No
Ribbon Marker: Yes
Spine: Sewn
Page Gilding: Gold

You might have noticed there is a discrepancy between the two lists, one says the font is 8.7 pt. for the main text, and 7.6 pt. for the notes, the other list says it is 8, and 7 pt.  When I contacted Crossway they confirmed that the font is 8.5 pt. for the main text, and 7.5 pt. for the notes.  They also provided me with the font type, which is ITC Stone Serif.

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For people who are curious, this Bible is printed, and bound in China.  I know, I know, Chinese made stuff is junk…  Well Crossway has ensured that the quality is top notch.  I’m not sure how they do it, but I would like to find out.  Hopefully one day, I’ll get the chance. 

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 The cover has a nice grain to it, and a perimeter groove on the outside.  The inside liner looks like your typical vinyl.  There is a nice gold perimeter ornamentation hot-stamped on the inside of the cover as well.  The page edges are gold guilt, and there are head and tail bands too. 

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 My biggest gripe about cheap Bibles is that they use glued spines, and all the pages fall out.  They are also notoriously difficult to keep open, or get to lay flat.  You won’t have that problem with a good sewn spine.  The Crossway MacArthur Study Bible has a nice sewn spine as you can tell from the following pictures.  It also has one ribbon marker.

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I really like the simple style of the spine.
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One of the things I like about this Bible is the use of the color blue for the chapter numbers and features.  

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This is a black letter edition, with double column, paragraph layout.  The cross references are in the center column, and the notes are on the bottom.  With the quality of paper, and printing this Bible is not hard on the eyes.

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After looking over this Bible, and comparing it to other editions, I can give it a thumbs up.  It is a great value, especially when it is on sale.  You can get your copy from Christianbook, or Amazon.  Make sure to check out all of the pictures of this Bible on the Flickr page.

Here is an excerpt from A.W. Pink’s commentary on Exodus.

This section is about how the materials of the tabernacle were typological representations of Christ.

Historically, we may admire the fruit of God’s grace working in the hearts of His redeemed so that they willingly offered the required materials. Their offering was so spontaneous and full (see 35:21-29) that we are told, “And they spake unto Moses, saying, the people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary, so the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much” (36:5-7). But behind the historical we are to look for the spiritual, and behold here a lovely type of the voluntariness and joy of the Lord Jesus, who freely and gladly became flesh, thus providing God with a perfect Sanctuary as He tabernacled among men! “And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver and brass; and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen; and goats, and rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers skins; and shittim wood; oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate” (v. 3-7). Each of these articles tells forth one of the manifold perfections of Christ. The gold, His Divine glory. The silver, the redemption which He wrought and bought for us. The brass, His capacity to endure the wrath of God against our sins. The blue, His heavenly origin. The purple, His royal majesty. The scarlet, His earthly glory in a coming day. The fine linen, His holiness made manifest by His righteous walk and ways. The goats’ hair, His atonement. The rams’ skins, His devotedness to God. The porpoise skins, His ability to protect His people. The shittim wood, His incorruptible humanity. The oil for the light, His Divine wisdom. The spices, His fragrance unto God. The precious stones, His priestly perfections. We do not now offer proofs for these definitions nor enlarge upon their blessedness, as, God willing, each one will come before us for fuller consideration in the articles to follow. With the above verses should be compared Exodus 38:24-31, where the Holy Spirit has given us the respective weights of the gold, silver and brass. Careful students have estimated there would be fully a ton and a quarter of gold, which at modern value would be worth upwards of one hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds, or eight hundred and sixty thousand dollars, but allowing for present day purchasing values, worth much more. Of silver there would be fully four tons and a quarter, and worth forty thousand pounds or two hundred thousand dollars. Of brass (more likely, copper) there was also over four tons. In addition, there were the textile fabrics, blue, purple, scarlet and fine twined linen, besides goats’ hair, rams’ and badgers’ skins, and large quantities of shittim wood, the amounts of which are not recorded. Last, but not least, were the precious stones for the breastplate of the high priest. All of this indicates the great costliness of the Tabernacle. At modern values its materials would be worth at least a million pounds or five million dollars. How this, in type, told of God’s estimate of Christ; how it shows us the Father saying, This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!

The Three Keys to Proper Biblical Interpretation.

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We’ve all seen preachers who take part of verse out of context, and combine it with other fragments to twist the Bible into saying something it doesn’t just to prove a point.  We’ve seen them commit pastoral malpractice by abusing the word of God.  Here is an example.  The Bible says of Judas, “…went away and hanged himself…”

We also know it says, “…“Go and do likewise.”…” Judas hung himself, no go and do likewise…  Do you see how easy it is to teach people damnable heresy, and make it look Biblical?

We call this proof texting.  It is like eisegesis on steroids.  Now granted, most preachers don’t attempt to teach things so blatantly harmful, but in their appeals to itching ears they have done more damage than any temporal erroneous teaching could do.  They haven’t preached the word, and they haven’t taught you the way of life.  They are leading their followers straight to Hell.  Conscious eternal torment…  Think about that for a moment.  They aren’t preaching eternal living, they are teaching eternal dying!

All we need to know to properly interpret scripture as Christians are the 3 keys, context, Context, CONTEXT!  Let’s look at the 2 verses I cited/twisted and see what they look like with just a bit more context.

(Matthew 27:1-10 NASB)

“  1Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death; 2and they bound Him, and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate the governor.

      3Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” 5And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. 6The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” 7And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. 8For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “AND THEY TOOK THE THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER, THE PRICE OF THE ONE WHOSE PRICE HAD BEEN SET by the sons of Israel; 10AND THEY GAVE THEM FOR THE POTTER’S FIELD, AS THE LORD DIRECTED ME.””

(Luke 10:25-37 NASB)

“   25And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” 27And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 28And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE.” 29But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

      30Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. 31“And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32“Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33“But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, 34and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35“On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ 36“Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” 37And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.””

I think it is obvious to all, that proof texting occurs.  As Christians, if we don’t know our Bibles, and Lord well enough, how can we defend ourselves against these false teachers?  Read the word of God.  Know God.  Then you can tell if someone is preaching a false one.

Post Midterms…

As we move past the midterm elections, remember that God is sovereign.  He is in control of everything.  He owns everything.  He raises nations up, and brings them low.  While His children were being persecuted by the Romans, He remained God.  While His children are being persecuted around the world today, He remains God.  Regardless of how the elections went for you, He is God.  Live for His glory in the dark, and dead world.  Share the good news of Christ Jesus’ crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection with everyone.  Remember His words to the remaining disciples before His ascension, “… 16But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age…”(Matt 28:16-20)

Our true King is Christ, and our true citizenship is in His kingdom!  Hallelujah Christ arose!

Low in the Grave He Lay

1 Low in the grave He lay—
Jesus my Savior!
Waiting the coming day—
Jesus my Lord!
Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!
2 Vainly they watch His bed—
Jesus, my Savior!
Vainly they seal the dead—
Jesus my Lord!
3 Death cannot keep his prey—
Jesus, my Savior!
He tore the bars away—
Jesus my Lord!

www.gosnellmovie.com

After watching this film, there is one obvious question that comes to mind, “What is the difference?”  Even the high priced defense attorney brings this question to light while questioning the upscale female abortionist.  What is the difference between what Gosnell did and what abortionists do every day?  They go into the womb, where a living human being awaits birth.  They extinguish the life of a living soul with various barbaric means.  Then they deliver that corpse of a murdered person.  If by chance, one is birthed alive, they lay it on a table to die an excruciating death of exposure, dehydration, and starvation.  Gosnell seems downright merciful comparatively.  When the person is born alive, he used scissors to severe the spine, and kill them.  You see, there is no material difference between these two murderers.  Sure, there are some differences in the details, and methods, but the results are the same, the brutal usurping of God’s right to give, and end life.  The blood of the infants cries out to God for justice.  On judgment day, all of those who are complicit will answer for their heinous crimes.

Where Does Your Assurance Come From?

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When we come to God to repent of our sins, do we come to Him feeling unsure, and insecure, about our repentance?  Are we ashamed that we sinned again?  Are we doubtful about our regeneration and justification, because we don’t feel as bad as we should about our sin?  Do we put off coming to Him to repent, because we are ashamed of how we failed again, how we sold Him over for some temporary pleasure, not much unlike how Judas Iscariot, who betrayed our beloved Savior for a mere 30 pieces of silver?  I want to be careful, so as to not appear to give license to sin, but if you are having doubts, let me ask, is your focus on your sin, how you failed again, and how you don’t feel bad enough, how you don’t deserve any good thing from God?  If that is the case let me suggest that you are trusting in yourself, rather than in the finished work of Christ.  If it is all about how you do, or don’t do, then it isn’t about who did.

Jesus is our righteousness.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” (Eph 2:8) When you, or I have sinned, we need to come to God, in the name of Christ Jesus our Savior.  Come and plead, ask for forgiveness, not because of anything of ourselves, but because of what Jesus accomplished.  “Lord, forgive me please.  I’ve sinned again.  I did “X” and deserve your wrath, but Jesus bled, suffered, died, and was resurrected Lord, for me…  Forgive me Lord because of Jesus’ Thank you, Amen.”

Lay hold of what Christ accomplished!  Claim it, cling to it, believe it, and live according to the reality of it!  It is the most real thing ever done for you, for any of us.  No person, has ever offered you any love that could compare.

A Snyder’s Soapbox Review of, “The Fatal Flaw: Do the teachings of Roman Catholicism Deny the Gospel?” Kindle edition, by Dr. James R. White.

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I know this book has been around a while, and it isn’t a very big book, but it is new to me, and possibly to some of you. This is such a useful book, I figured you should know too. By now I think it is obvious that I agree with much of what Dr. White writes. I find his work to be accurate, nuanced, and properly tempered by scripture. It is scholarly, includes bibliographies of cited sources, and still completely suitable for the laymen. This book is no different. Dr. White cites long tracts of text from Vatican II, and the Council of Trent. This way nobody can claim that the citations were out of context, or twisted. The focus is on the Roman mass, and purgatory, as well as the ramifications they have on the work of Christ, the gospel, the authority of scripture, objective truth, the doctrine of justification, and your eternal destination.

I would recommend this book for your Christian library. I think it distills the essential differences between the Roman works righteousness system, and the true gospel of Christ, and His imputed righteousness. This book would be great as a hand out to people who are in similar cults, like Mormonism, or Jehovah’s Witnesses. They would be able to see their own doctrine as very similar to that of the Roman system.

You can get your copy of the kindle version here, or the paperback.  This ISBN number is for the paperback.

  • ISBN-13: 978-0925703101