Bible and Christian book reviews, along with original articles.
Author: Bob Snyder
I am a Reformed Baptist. I've been married to my dear wife since 1991. I've raised 4 kids, and am now a grandpa. I write Bible reviews, Christian book reviews, and articles for my site, SnydersSoapbox.com
The preachers of the false gospel of health and wealth, otherwise called prosperity preachers misunderstand, or purposefully mislead people to enrich themselves. True Christians have everything their brothers and sisters have, and as they have need, are provided for, in Christ, by the means He has ordained via their brothers and sisters. Peter asked, and Jesus answered him. Look at this passage from Mark 10, and see if you understand how this is to be. “28 Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.”29 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake,30 except one who will receive one hundred times as much now in the present age—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.31 But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”” Mark 10:28-31 L.S.B. (Legacy Standard Bible) Do you see it? Wherever you go as a Christian, you will have homes to stay in, food to eat, and family. Don’t miss the part about persecutions. This is our share as well. If you are in Christ, you will suffer for your faith. The promise of eternal life is for the age to come. So you won’t have you name on property deeds, and titles, but you will have what you need, and you will have life eternal. Thank God, and praise Him, our Creator, Master, and Savior.
It seems there is a trend occurring with movies and television programs. I could be wrong. I would like to read what you think in the comments. I’ve noticed that the individual hero archetype is being exchanged for an intentionally diverse and sometimes perverse collective of people. The last few movies I’ve watched, and some of the new shows made by the streaming platforms seem to feature diverse collectives, or teams, working together to overcome the antagonist. The protagonist is being replaced. One example of this that is fresh in my mind is the new Matrix movie. Not only was Neo not the main hero, but he seemed like a pathetic, week, shadow, of his former machine dominating self. I won’t spoil the film for you. If it weren’t for all the people helping him through the story, he’d have never made it to the end. I know, many of you will say, “But, in the original movie he was helped by the team of people on the Nebuchadnezzar,” and you’d be right. The difference is that the story was obviously about him being, “the one,” and he was. In these newer films and programs the focus is more on the collective team, rather than any one individual hero type protagonist.
It seems to me that the shift is intentional. I don’t think the people paying for these movies and shows to be made want people to view themselves as heroes. I think they want us to value the collective instead of an individual who excels. They sell you on the idea that it is in the name of diversity and inclusion, but when everyone is special, no one is. They might say, “It is more realistic that a team would be needed.” To that I say poppycock! These people are doing things that are all based in fantasy, and you are telling me about realism? No, I think there is a more sinister intent behind the scenes. The message is, men are not the future. Light skinned people are over. The virtues of the past, are offensive. We are your replacements, and you’d better role over and take it.
Here is one big reason why the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Christians. They deny the deity of Jesus, and as a consequence the Trinity. They believe he was the archangel Michael, who was transfigured by God the Father into the man Jesus. They believe he was a created being. They believe he was just a man. This is a quote from their website,
“Jesus’ opposers accused him of making himself equal to God. (John 5:18; 10:30-33) However, Jesus never claimed to be on the same level as Almighty God. He said: “The Father is greater than I am.”—John 14:28.
Jesus’ early followers did not view him as being equal to Almighty God. For example, the apostle Paul wrote that after Jesus was resurrected, God “exalted him [Jesus] to a superior position.” Obviously, Paul did not believe that Jesus was Almighty God. Otherwise, how could God exalt Jesus to a superior position? —Philippians 2:9.
Jesus was accused of making Himself equal to God. Why else would these people want to stone Him to death. The one verse of scripture they quote is ridiculous because it proves the opposite point they are trying to make when you simply read a few verses previous, and prior to it.
“…18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God…” John 5:18
All one must do is read John 1 you say? Well the JW’s have their own version of the, ahem… “bible” called the New Word Translation. It isn’t actually a true translation. It is a hack job done by their scripture twisters to make it say what they want it to say. They change John 1 into saying that, “and the Word was a god.” That quote comes from their website where they have their N.W.T. available to read for free. Here is what the Bible really says in John1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was in the beginning with God.3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.5 And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it.” John 1:1-5
“14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.15 John bore witness about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has been ahead of me, for He existed before me.’”16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” John 1:14-18
Let’s not overlook the fact that Jesus accepted worship from people as God. If He was not God, He would have rebuked them for worshipping Him, or else He would have been guilty of sin.
“And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”32 And when they got into the boat, the wind stopped.33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are truly God’s Son!”34 And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.35 And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent word into all that surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick;36 and they were pleading with Him that they might just touch the fringe of His garment; and as many as touched it were cured.” Matthew 14:31-36
This is where the wise men came to Him, “And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.11 And after coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi departed for their own country by another way.” Matthew 2:10b-12
“8And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.” Matthew 28:8-9
“Then He said to Thomas, “Bring your finger here, and see My hands; and bring your hand here and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are those who did not see, and yet believed.”” John 20:27-29
These sections of scripture should be enough to show that either Jesus was actually God, and so worshipping Him was not a sin, and it was not a sin for Him to accept that worship, or He was a liar, and a sinner for portraying Himself as God and accepting worship as God. The entire Biblical context provided from the beginning of the Old Testament, to the end of the New Testament makes it clear that Jesus is God incarnate. To deny the deity of Christ is to prove that you do not know Him.
We haven’t even addressed the ἐγώ εἰμί (ego eimi) statements Jesus made. When Jesus says, “I am” He is declaring that He is YhVh. It is a direct relation to the proper name of God which God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. For a fuller treatment of this information you can read this article from Dr. James White.
“1 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples. 2 Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples. 3 Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, *came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and *said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. 6 So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Therefore He again asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,” 9 to fulfill the word which He spoke, “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.” 10 Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”” John 18:1-11
This is a quote from the MacArthur Study Bible on this last bit of scripture,
“John 18:4–8 Whom do you seek? By twice asking that question (vv. 4 7), to which they replied, “Jesus of Nazareth” (vv. 5 7), Jesus was forcing them to acknowledge that they had no authority to take his disciples. In fact, he demanded that they let the disciples go (v. 8). The force of his demand was established by the power of his words. When he spoke, “I am he” (v. 6), a designation he had used before to declare himself God (8:28 58; cf. 6:35 8:12 10:7 9 11 14 11:25 14:6 15:1 5), they were jolted backward and to the ground (18:6). This power display and the authoritative demand not to take the disciples were of immense significance, as the next verse indicates. John 18:8”
As many of you know, we have been waiting for orders of this edition to ship. Some of us had per-ordered it in August of 2020. The one I ordered finally arrived. I knew what to expect from Jongbloed (Youngblood) as I have reviewed several premium editions over the years passed. All of them were printed and bound by Royal Jongbloed in the Netherlands. This edition did not depart from that standard set by Jongbloed in the past.
This edition was shipped in a cardboard shipping box via the U.S.P.S. The hardcover comes in a bubble envelope. The cowhide paste-down came in a smaller box. The goatskin edition arrived undamaged, and in perfect condition. The Bible was packed along with the Bible Armor carrying case. The package was cushioned with brown paper. The Bible Armor was in a plastic bag. The Bible was bubble wrapped. It was also wrapped with two paper bands, as is usual with premium goatskin edge-lined Bibles. These bands keep the supple leather from becoming deformed, and in the case of a semi, or full, yapp they keep them bent in to the text block. In times past, full yapp covers kept the text block protected. Keep in mind, these Bibles should never be stored vertically on a shelf! Never! When can you store them vertically on a shelf? NEVER! Glad we got that straight.
The text block is the same one used in the hardcover, and cowhide Bibles. There are two cowhide options. You can purchase the edge-lined, or the case bound edition. The hardcover’s text block does not have rounded corners. It comes with two ribbon markers. The Cowhide Bibles, and the goatskin have rounded corners. They all have rounded spines. The hardcover, and the cowhide paste-down/case bound Bibles have the narrower 1/4” ribbon markers. The two edge-lined editions come with three of the wider 3/8” ribbon markers.
The covers are dramatically different in tactile experience as well as smell. The edge-lined goatskin of course is the most supple. The paste-down cowhide is comparable to a Cambridge calfsplit leather. The surface is not as glossy and smooth. The leather editions all smell like… leather. What did you expect?
Each edition comes with head and tail bands that match the covers. The edge-lined ones have five spine hubs. The paste down and hardcover have gold colored foil heat stamped lines where the hubs would have been. All of them have, “Holy Bible, LSB Legacy Standard Bible, Steadfast Bibles,” heat stamped in gold colored foil on their spines. All of them have smyth-sewn spines. They all employ a 9.5 point font, that is line matched. That means that on the page facing you the text is printed directly over the unturned pages text so that the lines of text line up over one another. This helps reduce eye strain while reading, and helps if you are prone to headaches while reading for prolonged periods of time. Since these editions are printed on a cream colored french milled 32 g.s.m. Bible paper as well as having line matching, and modern printing, they are all a pleasure to read regardless of which edition you decide to purchase. From the value of the hardcover to the suppleness of the premium goatskin cover, you’ll enjoy the same text block. This text block is something you have to see. Finding this quality in a $40 Bible is very uncommon.
The text is in a single column, verse layout. Paragraphs are denoted by the verse number or a letter being bold. There are section headings in bold print. Page numbers are at the top center in read. Chapter numbers are in drop cap style and printed in red. This is a black letter edition. It is a text edition so there are no cross references or study notes. Italics denote English words that do not appear in the original languages, but are implied by them. An asterisk lets you know that the Greek verb was present tense, but rendered with an English past tense in order to conform with modern usage. Personal pronouns referring to God are capitalized where appropriate. Small caps are used when a passage from the OT is being quoted by someone in the NT, or when they are paraphrasing a citation from the OT. Brackets let you know you are looking at text that does not appear in the oldest collections of text, and probably were not in the original autoscripts.
All but the hardcover had art gilt page edges. For those who do not know what this is, it is a red pigment under the gold colored finish on the page edges. Like many book features today, they are decorative. This was not always the sole purpose of these features in the past. Spine hubs were where the signatures were sewn into cords in the spine. Head and tail bands were where the signatures were tied in. Art gilt page edges kept the moisture of a humid room from penetrating deep into the text block. You get the idea. Much of the decorative features were once functional.
If you have ever purchased a Shuyler Bible from evangelicalbibles.com, a premium E.S.V. or a premium Cambridge edition, you are probably already familiar with the quality of Bibles printed and bound by Jongbloed. If you have not seen, or held one of these editions, you should consider the investment. Expensive Bibles may seem like an extravagant expenditure to you, and they may be, depending on your budget. If you can afford one, it is a good investment. These Bibles will last a very long time if properly cared for. You could foreseeably hand this Bible down to your children, or grandchildren. Think about what it would mean for a believer a couple generations away, to be reading the very same Bible you held in your hands all of those years. They could read your notes, look at your underlines, and understand a connection to you, even though you went on to be with Christ years before they were born. I would love to have something like that from my grandparents.
My subjective opinion is that this Bible is of such similar quality to other Bibles produced by Jongbloed, and the price being comparable, there is no reason not to purchase one. Couple those facts with the fact that I believe the LSB will demonstrate that it is the new champ when it comes to communicating accurately the intended meanings of God the author, and you have a winner. I could go on about the paper, and the printing, and the high quality materials and manufacturing processes, but the real star here is the accuracy of the LSB translation itself. The men at Master’s have done a fine job, and I plan on scrapping all of my other daily use Bibles to replace them with LSB editions as they become available. I am looking forward to a thinline for carrying around, a MacArthur study Bible, and a full cross reference large print. In conclusion, visit 316publishers here, and go buy one that fits your budget, and get to reading!
Don’t forget to look at my flickr albums for these editions for more detailed images.
Here is just one interesting translation choice the translators of the Legacy Standard Bible (L.S.B.) made that I think is an improvement. I have found many so far.
1995 New American Standard Bible (N.A.S.B.)
2020 New American Standard Bible (N.A.S.B.)
English Standard Version (E.S.V.)
Legacy Standard Bible (L.S.B.)
21 The LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.
And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.
And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.
And Yahweh said to Moses, “When you go to return to Egypt, see to it that all the miraculous wonders which I have put in your hand, that you do them before Pharaoh; but as for Me, I will harden his heart with strength so that he will not let the people go.
The italic formatted text in the LSB is used to denote English words that do not appear in the original language texts, but are implied by them.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the LSB uses Yahweh for the tetragrammaton instead of the conventional, “LORD.” This is a more accurate translation. I understand why it wasn’t changed sooner, but I am glad to see that it has finally happened. This was a bold and encouraging move.
The next thing you’ll see is that the other translations read, “…When you go back to Egypt…” The LSB uses, “…When you return to Egypt…” This may seem like a distinction without difference, but I appreciate the effort to be as accurate as possible. I think we would all infer that the implication of, “to go back” is that Moses is going back to Egypt, and that it was there that he had come from. Even so, “return” removes all doubt that this is what was meant.
The hand and a man’s work, or what he is doing, are related in Hebrew. An open hand can even mean power like יָד yâd earlier on in the verse. So seeing the connection here we can understand why the other translations went with, “…put in your power…” Since the LSB uses, “… put in your hand…” we can see the correlation directly from the text without the necessity of getting the concordance, and Hebrew lexicon out. Again, there is nothing wrong with the other translations.
This is the section that really gets me. I am starting to love the LSB. Instead of, “…but I will harden his heart …” The LSB uses, “… but as for Me, I will harden his heart with strength…” I may be wrong. I’m not a Hebrew expert, but from what I can gather there is an implication of strength or fortification in Hebrew word חָזַק ḥâzaq that is lost in the other English translations. The LSB puts that intended meaning back into the text. To back up just a bit, I also like how the first part of the sentenced is phrased as well. In English we always capitalize, “I.” When you capitalize personal pronouns in a translation to denote deity, and the letter, “I” is always capitalized it can perhaps cause a bit of confusion. By phrasing it the way they did, they kept the meaning, and helped the reader understand that it was God doing the hardening.
I am really enjoying this translation, and hope that you will order yourself an LSB. Here is the link to 316publishing.com where you can order one. They are the sole retailer of this translation.
I’ve been reading, “The Christian in Complete Armour” by William Gurnall from The Banner of Truth Trust. I have to say, it is quite different than what I suspected. This edition is a three volume set of paperback books, and is very affordable. If you are looking for some moving devotional material I highly recommend it. Here is a short excerpt from one of the sections.
“For it is God’s Word which teaches us how to put on Christ and His graces so that we are fitly armed. Never flatter yourself into thinking you can do without this priceless book. We have all known those who content themselves with a profession of Christ and a smattering of gifts and works, and do not wish to know if there is more to the Christian life. They are the ones whose graces freeze when winter winds buffet their souls. But the saint whose faith has been insulated from error by the truth of the gospel will be able to withstand all Satan’s icy blasts.” William Gurnall’s The Christian in Complete Armour from The Banner of Truth Trust. WWW.BannerofTruth.org
Those of us who are in Christ sometimes think that today is much worse than in the past. We see polarizing messages from all forms of media. The news can be selected by which camp you live in. Government schools indoctrinate children. Social media treats you like a trained chicken tapping a lever for food pellet, or in this case, and endorphin boost. Movies, and music, cooperate with the government schools, and further pervert the minds of the youth against us, against God. They are being taught to reject God, and to treat the idea of being thankful to God as a reminder to an unjust, colonizing past. We know the lies. We want to make others see the truth, but unless God opens their eyes, and makes them able, they will continue to shake their fists, and grit their teeth, as they live raucous lives, and die angry, unfulfilled, and alone. Hell is a long time my friends.
I’m as guilty as the next person. I get angry when I see lies being extolled as the truth. I get angry when young minds are perverted, but do I give thanks? Do you thank God? After all, He provides for us all, even those who hate Him. All the world is stealing His air, robbing His larder, and squandering their days in selfish pursuits of fleshly pleasures. Now, for Christians we should be living in the Spirit. We should be denying the sinful desires of the flesh, but some are so weak that they are barely hanging on by the whites of their finger nails to a ledge of faith that can only confess, “I am yours Lord. Save me!” The world refuses to thank God.
“For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.” Romans 1:21-23
Let’s not be like those enslaved to the sinful world system that is leading to eternal death. Let’s stand out, and contrast the world system of death, and dying. Let’s show the world what true life, and liberty look like in Christ. We should proclaim all the truths of God. We should let our behavior be consistent with belief in the truths of God. When the world says, “They are too old to be of any good. Let them be euthanized. It is better use of the environmental resources for them to die now.” Let us say, “Dear one, you have lived a life of labor, and love before the Lord. Let me now help you, and care for you, the way you lovingly cared for me as a child. Recount your life’s history to my children, so they might be wiser.”
Abortion, adultery, sexual perversion, idolatry in all of its forms, (planet/environment worship) veganism, (which can be animal worship) hatred in all of its forms, (sectarianism, bigotry based on skin color or nationality, (socially constructed and called racism used for division) political ideology, etc. are all part of the larger world view of death. This world view is founded on lies, and murder.
Satan murdered the human race by his lies, and demonstrated his hatred for God by the murder he worked. “1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:1-5”
Jesus said this to the Jews who were trusting in their descendance from Abraham, “39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 8:39-47
The world does what their father does. They hate, lie, and murder. They don’t see it that way. They can’t see it that way. When they look at the Church, they see in us, what they are. They accuse us of being, and doing what they themselves are guilty of. Worst of all, they accuse their Creator. He is odious to them. They have enmity with God.
“as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; 12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.” 13 “THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,” “THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”; 14 “WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”; 15 “THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD, 16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS, 17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.” 18 “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”” Romans 3:10-18
“14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:14-16
“You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4
What is the alternative to death and dying eternally? It is life, and living eternally. How are we to live knowing that we are surrounded by death, murder, perversion, and lies? We are to be truly alive in Christ. The stark contrast between the two realities is a testimony to God’s goodness, longsuffering, patience, mercy, and grace. We should respond with love, and with truth. We cannot love without being honest.
“We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:19-21
“6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Romans 5:6-11
“9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. The Christian’s Walk 17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. 26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. CHAPTER 5 Be Imitators of God 1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” 15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” Ephesians 4:9 – 5:21
The system of true life is of God. Those who have been translated from death to life now live for God’s glory, and that living is their greatest joy, and fulfillment. It is found in God. He is the truth, the life, and the way. He is the one true and living God. Jesus exampled the triune God to us. He lived a perfect, and sinless life. He is our spotless Passover lamb. We have learned to truly love because He has showed us love by way of the cross. There, our precious Savior did bleed, and die. He atoned for our sins, and was resurrected on the third day. He conquered sin and the grave. We should respond with a humbled heart, that repents of sin, and trusts not in its own works, but the justifying work of Jesus our God!
If you are in Christ, you can and should live peaceably with all men, as much as you are able, and demonstrate the love and truth of Jesus. He left us the mission of preaching His good news to all the world, and of making disciples of all men. Let us be about His business of bringing the elect in, and showing true love to the lost, dying, world. Be thankful for God’s plan. Be thankful for His work on the cross. Be thankful for your adoption, and all that entails.
If as a Christian you can find no reason to be thankful this year perhaps it is because you are focused too much on the problems of the world system, and not enough on the glorious Savior? If you are downcast, look up to Him! Fix your gaze on Him! Read His word! Think about the wonderful miracle He has worked in your new birth! Remember it! Remember His mercy, and love! Remember how you came to it! Thank God for all His provisions!
It’s November 19, 1945. A gallon of gas runs 21 cents, Harry James, Tony Bennet, and Dinah Shore are top of the pop charts, World War II has just ended, and Sandra Summers (Shumskis) is born. Her mother, the daughter of the wealthy Nacarado family, receives her with great joy. This is her second daughter, and Sandra is a mirror image of her except for her bright blue eyes. These she was given by her father, Bernard Summers (they changed their name from Shumskis), the son of poor Lithuanian immigrants. When they met dancing one night, they fell in love. The Nacarados disowned Lucille for this. She was to marry another well-to-do Italian man, a Catholic of course. Instead, she married this poor nobody whose parents were Russian Orthodox.
I wish I could say she never lived to regret this choice. Sandra told me of the many times her mother…
A review of the E.S.V. Panorama New Testament from Crossway.
The folks at Crossway were kind enough to send me this edition for review. I have to admit, I don’t know what to think of it, or what niche it fills in the Bible lineup. It is too tall to fit standing vertically on most bookcases. It is too thin to lay horizontally unless it is on the bottom of the stack or it will warp. It is to wide across to not stick out of most bookcases when laying flat at the bottom of a stack.
I understand that on each page there are pages worth of Bible so that the reader gets to follow the theme of a section uninterrupted longer. I don’t have a problem keeping ideas in context while turning pages. I don’t find it inconvenient, or difficult. I don’t imagine many readers do. It might be a problem for some people. Who knows? I don’t anticipate that it is a large enough problem to necessitate a volume like the Panorama. In other words, it seems to be a solution for a problem that I wasn’t aware of. That being said, I’m not the sole arbiter of problem declaration. I imagine someone saw a problem that needed fixing in their estimation and designed the Panorama.
I know it sounds like I’m knocking this edition, but I’m not. What it was designed for, it does. The paper is very thick, and doesn’t show any ghosting. The text is Crossway’s single column E.S.V. text, but it is laid out in double columns. Each page has what would amount to pages of text in a regular single column Bible.
Here is what Crossway has to say about this edition,
“The treasures found in God’s Word do not come to his people out of context. Even our most beloved verses of the Bible come in the midst of chapters, of carefully reasoned arguments, of intentional flows and patterns of thought—and of entire books. Therefore, the goal of the ESV Panorama New Testament is to allow readers to see as much of a biblical book at one time as possible. In this Bible, any one of 17 of the books of the New Testament can be viewed in its entirety, without the need to turn the page; the other 10 books comprise as few pages as possible. The advantages of a panoramic, two-page spread are many. For instance, users may desire to trace the use of key words or phrases across several chapters of biblical text, or throughout a Gospel or Epistle. The format of the ESV Panorama New Testament allows readers to follow the uses of such words or phrases while turning as few pages as necessary. Furthermore, this edition provides generous spacing between each line of biblical text, with plenty of room to mark or circle words being studied. This panoramic view of the New Testament also encourages readers to consider the large-scale outlines and thought patterns of the writers of Scripture. Preachers or teachers planning sermon series or Bible study lessons, for example, will be able to utilize this edition in a way that allows them to appreciate the major sections and transitions of the book under examination. Line spacing and margins allow for outlining or other ways of marking the biblical author’s flow of thought. These are just a few ways in which the ESV Panorama New Testament will facilitate users’ undistracted interaction with God’s Holy Word. In a style reminiscent of the large scrolls of antiquity, this Bible encourages readers to encounter the New Testament as it was first delivered—as complete Gospels, Epistles, history, and apocalypse. It is our prayer that this edition will foster users’ appreciation of the unity, depth, and beauty of our God’s precious and inerrant Word.”
After looking this edition over, and spending some time with it, I can say that it could help in tracing a thought through in context. If you find yourself having that problem, you could give this edition a try. Let me know what you think afterwards. I think the oddity of this edition might even be sufficient reason alone to purchase it for your collection.
This edition is well made. The gray cloth over board hardback cover is very handsome, and durable. The spine is sewn. The paper, as I said earlier is heavy and offers a nice contrast to the text. The layout is pleasant enough, and the text is free of distractions. There is room on most pages for some note taking. There are 3 very large blank pages at the back of the edition where copious notes could be written. There are no helps at the back of this edition. This is a black letter edition, and does not have a ribbon marker. The only exterior writing on this edition is in silver stamping on the spine. The spine is rounded however, the corners are not. The page edges are not gilt. This is a case bound edition. Overall, I find it well made, and legible.
Here are the stats from Crossway’s product page,
10″ X 12.5″
8.2-point Lexicon type
Thick, cream-colored book paper
Extra-large page size
Cloth Over Board
10.0 in x 12.5 in
February 26, 2021
All things considered, you can make an informed decision about purchasing this edition. If after reading this review you think this would be useful, or interesting to you, you don’t have to worry about the quality of the edition. It is in keeping with Crossway’s standards. If you are interested in picking up a copy you can purchase it through Crossway’s site, or Amazon. Make sure to check out the rest of the pictures I took of this edition on my Flickr page.
I was solicited to do this review by the author. He sent a copy of his book to me at no charge for the purpose of an honest review. First, I do not want to harm the author. Honesty demands that I give bad news as well as good news. The book is in dire need of editing, and rewriting. It was a difficult book to read. So much so, that it took away from the author’s message. The poor writing was so bad, I did not finish reading the book. You only need to eat so much of a sandwich made from rotten meat to know you won’t be nourished by consuming more of it. You would also know by that analogy that you may even be poisoned, and made sick by it. This is how poor the writing was.
I don’t want to give the impression that the review is based solely on the poor writing. It is also on the focus of the author which seemed to be an eschatological one. The book is a collection of short fictional stories, set in a diner, focused on the end times. I want to encourage the author here. Christian allegories, and stories, if done right, can be very inspirational, and thought provoking. When done wrong, they can lead people into heterodoxy, and be a waste of time. The stories that I read lead me to believe that the author should focus more on the glory of God, and seeking first His kingdom, and less on eschatological pursuits. In my opinion, he was passionate about what he wanted to communicate. He should take that passion, and use it to further improve his writing skills. It would help to take a few classes on writing, and literature. If that is out of the question, he should read the classics. If he coupled that with a class or two at a solid seminary, he might have something of value to add.
At the end of the day, his story telling skills are going to be subjective. If you like reading self-published books, with subpar writing, then you will like this book. I don’t. I usually grade a book for Christians either one of two ways. Does it add value to an individual’s personal Christian library? If the answer is, “No” I don’t recommend it. If the answer is, “Yes” I recommend it. In this case, the answer is no. I might change my mind if the author gets an editor to go through his work thoroughly, and he makes the necessary revisions. Again, what do I know? I’m just some guy, sitting at home, hacking away on an old Unicomp keyboard for his own web site. I apologize for the blunt summation, but I didn’t want to flatter the author, or protect his feelings, when he could really crank out some good work if he gets the education.
ps. Dave, you need to learn the difference between the book of Revelation, and revelations. You called the last book of the Bible, “Revelations” numerous times. Don’t start sentences with a conjunction.