If you are like me, you probably have not heard of Christian Art Publishers or KJVBibles.com. It seems they are newcomers to the scene. We are all familiar with names like Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, Broadman & Holman, Christianbook.com, Lifeway.com. Unfortunately, some of the big names have been bought out by unbelievers over the years and don’t care as much about quality of materials or content. Hopefully we will see new independent companies/ministries arise who do care about quality of construction and content. We will see over time how things play out.
A representative of KJVBibles.com contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing one of their Bibles, and I was. They promptly sent me a copy of their Giant Print, thumb indexed, double column, red letter, edition, in brown genuine top grain cowhide leather. When I unboxed the copy, I discovered there was a minor defect. I informed them about it, and they sent me another copy without complaint, or difficulty. It arrived in the expected condition. Upon removing it from the shipping box, I was presented with a handsome two-piece retail box, that should be retained for storage when not in use.
Upon picking the Bible up, I could tell from the feel of the cover, and the looseness of the text block, that this was a good value for the suggested retail price. It is a visually interesting cover as well as tactilely. The words, “Holy Bible King James Version” are hot stamped in gold colored foil prominently on the front cover. The cover is perimeter stitched, and there are five decorative hubs ornamenting the spine. There is more hot stamping of gold colored foil on the spine. It reads from head to tail, “KJV,” “Holy Bible,” “King James Version,” and “CA” as a logo. The texture of the cover is not dramatically pronounced. It isn’t particularly thick either which explains the price.
The publisher’s page in the front indicates that the Bible was printed and bound in China. This also sheds light on the low price, but don’t let that scare you. Many Bibles are printed in China these days. The key is to implement strict quality control. If a publisher is able to do that successfully, you will receive a good quality product. Whether or not Christian Art Publisher has been able to do that will be seen over time.
The inside cover is lined with a sheet of what looks to be a thin vinyl sheet, glued down to the inside of the cover. I hope it holds up. It looks as if it could come unglued from the cover due to there not being any peach-flex acting as a stiffener and gluing surface. Of course, if there were, the cover would not be so flexible, and comfortable to hold, and there are worse things than an inner liner coming unglued. Personally, I wouldn’t mind if they were done away with, and another section of hide were used as an inner liner, but this would add to the cost of the addition. It is why the edge lined R. L. Allan’s, and Schuyler’s are at the top of the premium Bible market pecking order. The durability of this inner liner will also be seen over time.
As I mentioned earlier, the text block has just the right tension on the signatures to make it flexible, and durable. I was pleasantly surprised to see this. The page edge gilt took some flipping through the pages to get them separate. Take care not to tear them when separating the pages. I’m not one for thumb indexing. I find it slows you down, and the stickers have a bad habit of falling off. These do look like they are glued down well. Hopefully there won’t be any problems with them down the road.
The paper is a bit more toothy than what I am accustomed to in Bibles, but it does offer decent opacity at 75% and is 28 g.s.m. The 14 pt. font is nicely printed with sharp clean edges, and uniform consistency throughout. Even the red lettering is printed with similar quality. The red lettering is a bit lighter than some other publishers, but it is still quite legible thanks in part to the 14 pt. text.
The text is laid out in a double column, verse format, with footnotes, and limited cross references at the bottom. Due to the size of the text, and the volume, the page gutters are small. The looseness of the sewn text block does allow you to open it up far enough to read the text without it getting lost in the gutters. It lays nice and flat on your reading surface.
There is one narrow brown ribbon marker that matches the color of the leather cover, head and tail bands, and the inner liner. Overall it is an appealing edition.
There is a useful, if not small concordance in the back, as well as a reading plan, and scripture verse finder, and 8 color maps. I really like the paper that the maps and presentation pages are printed on. They are thick enough to take ink well, and not glossy. The glossy ones don’t take ink well, and often crack. These look much better and I think they will hold up well. I would however, swap out the scripture verse finder for a larger concordance, or a KJV glossary for archaic words that are unfamiliar to modern readers, if it were up to me. Trinitarian Bible Society on their Westminster KJV has a neat system where they have a star next to the archaic word in the body of text, and then a star in the margin with a modern replacement for that word in the margin. I’d love to see some system like that employed. I think it would help the younger readers appreciate the KJV translation better.
After using this Bible for a while, I’ve come to appreciate the easy to read text, the comfortable size, and the flexible cover. For the sub one-hundred-dollar niche this is a tremendous value. I’m all about finding a good value. Add in durability, good looks, and a great form factor, and you have a winner. If you are looking for a new KJV Bible for yourself, or as a gift, this would be a great choice. You can purchase yours from their website.
Here is a link to KJVBibles product page for this edition.
You can also purchase a copy on Christianbook.com
Don’t forget to check out more pictures at my Flickr page.
In Josiah Nichols’ new book, “Romans Roadblocks, Using Hermeneutics to Discover the Essentials of the Christian Faith” you’ll follow him along through the first chapter of Romans while he demonstrates, and employs hermeneutics to exposit the text. This book is not intended for academia, nor is it a tedious comprehensive study of Biblical hermeneutics. In Romans Roadblocks you will learn about Biblical hermeneutics by following along as Josiah employs the methods of hermeneutics to the text.
Some may find more scholarly works difficult to follow or understand. If you’ve been studying the Bible for any amount of time, you might find out by reading this book that you were already practicing some of the methods of hermeneutics without knowing it. You might also discover where you have been making errors in your study and interpretation.
One thing that will become evident is how interconnected scripture is to scripture. You’ll see Josiah cross reference texts to other texts in different sections of the Bible for context when those cross references are justified by citation or some other requisite.
As the title implies, the essentials of the Christian faith are in view here. If you follow the author along through the book, you will learn about the topics listed in the table of contents. (The author labeled it as outline.)
|Chapter 1||Biblical Hermeneutics|
|Chapter 2||Saul Called Paul|
|Chapter 3||Biblical Audience: Church in Rome|
|Chapter 4||Studying the Book of Romans|
|Chapter 5||What the Passage Says|
|Chapter 6||Christian Identity|
|Chapter 7||The Gospel’s Authority in Holy Scripture|
|Chapter 8||God’s Fully-Divine and Fully-Human Son|
|Chapter 9||The Resurrection is the Declaration of the Son of God|
|Chapter 10||The Trinity|
|Chapter 11||The Results of the Gospel and the Obedience of Faith|
|Chapter 12||Blessings of the Gospel|
By, “unpacking” scripture along with Josiah you will find that theology is something we all do. You can’t have a thought about God without it being theology. Hopefully, after going through the steps, and seeing the theology revealed in the scriptures, you will have a better grasp of the fundamentals of the faith. I think you will.
As a Christian, it is good for us to desire the pure milk of the word. If you are a new believer, or even if you have been a believer for a while, it isn’t uncommon for Christians to have questions about how they should study the Bible. There are many articles out there that give some very generic information on how to study the Bible, and there are yet more that flatly get it wrong. The goal of this article is to be helpful, without being too complicated, or too simple. Hopefully it will be just the right combination for most of you.
If you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, you are blessed with a teacher who will lead you into truth. (1 John 2:27) This isn’t to say you shouldn’t learn from Christians who came before. The same Holy Spirit who indwelt them, indwells you. He teaches them the same truth, and since they already lived, and learned, we can glean some hard-won understanding from reading their works. Equipped with the Holy Spirit, your next consideration should be prayer. Pray for God to make Himself known to you by the study of His word and the power of His Spirit. Obviously, you’ll need a Bible, and a place to study. It also helps to have some way to take notes, and some reference materials, like a concordance, dictionary, and some commentaries. You can get many of these materials online for free on certain web sites, or as apps for your tablet or smart phone.
The next step is to have a plan, whether it is for a short-term word study, topical study, or long-term in-depth study of the entire Bible. I’m the type of person who reads slowly. I study while I read. Other people who read much faster do a study that is separate from their daily reading. If you are reading along, and not paying close attention you can find yourself many pages into a section with no recollection or understanding of what you just read.
You’ve got your materials, your plan, a place and time set aside to study, and you’ve prayed, now what? Time to consider some hermeneutical ideas before diving in. These are things you’ll have to remember to employ while you study, or you could come up with meanings to the scriptures that God, the author did not intend. It is imperative that we don’t approach the word of God irreverently, or eisegetically. We should come seeking the truth, not to bolster an argument for our own position.
I have two fancy words for you, “exegesis, and eisegesis.” Exegesis is when you read the Bible and allow it to inform your understanding. The meaning of the scriptures, and the intent of the author are brought out of the text through faithful study. Eisegesis is when you come to the text with a preconceived notion and read it into the text. You may have seen some false teachers do this. They will cherry pick a few verses out of context, arrange them in a way that seems to make them say what they want them to say. If you aren’t armed with the truth, you might fall for this trick. This is another good reason to understand how to study the Bible.
While focusing on the hermeneutical concept of exegesis we must also consider who the author is writing to, what language is being used, what idioms of that language are being employed, when the audience lived, where they lived, what their culture was like, what relationship the author had with the audience, what type of literature the writing is,(e.g. poetry, historical narrative, songs, prescriptive, prophetic, apocalyptic, epistles/letters, allegory, and wisdom/proverbial language to name some.) grammatical rules, transmission of the text to man by God, modern applications for the individual Christian, and the Church, and finally context, context, context!
Context is key. The meanings you come to by analyzing a verse must fit with the verses surrounding them, and the sections of scripture that speak to those topics in the rest of the Bible. They must also fit with the entire message of God’s word in toto.
I know all of that sounds daunting, but it really is worth the time, and effort to consider these things when you are studying. Since God as the author intended for us to understand His word, and by His Spirit has made it understandable to us, we can, and should read it in its literal sense most of the time. As you mature in faith, and become more familiar with scriptures, much of those aspects will become self-evident, and you’ll find yourself checking a couple of them to get the point of a difficult passage.
With all of that in mind you can follow along as we examine some small passages of scripture. First let’s examine Genesis 11:31-32, “31Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there. 32The days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.”
Fortunately for us, modern Bible translations move the words around in the sentence to fit modern English grammar. Otherwise we would need to know the Biblical languages to figure out what is going on. With a simple plain reading of verse 31 we can tell who the object, and subject are, and what the verb is. If you had already read the Bible from the beginning to this point you wouldn’t already know that Moses was the prophet and patriarch whom God used to give us these scriptures, and that the Old testament is mostly ancient Hebrew with a small section in Aramaic. At this point the word of God was passed on verbally and had yet been written down. It wouldn’t be until later in the book of Exodus we would read that Moses was told to compile and write down the first five books of the Bible. This is where some of those resources come in handy that I mentioned earlier. You could use a commentary, and Bible history book, to help you out.
The direct object is, “Terah.” The verb is, “took.” The subject is, “Abram.” From the grammar, and a plain reading of the verse we know that Terah took Abram from Ur to Canaan. We also know that Abram was the son of Terah. We can check this by looking at the genealogy that was in the preceding verses. From those same verses we know that Haran is also a son of Terah, and a brother of Abram. We also know that Lot is Terah’s grandson by Haran, and that Terah took Lot with him, when he took Abram. We know that Sarai was Abram’s wife, and Terah’s daughter-in-law, and that she also went with them. The town, “Haran” as translated in English looks like Abram’s brother’s name, “Haran.” By using a concordance and a Hebrew dictionary we can find out that these two proper names are not the same. Haran the son of Terah and Abram’s brother is spelled, “הָרָן֙” in Hebrew. Whereas the town’s name is, “חָרָ֖ן” Haran, Abram’s brother means, “mountaineer” in Hebrew. It is pronounced, “haw-Rawn” Haran the place means, “crossroads” and is pronounced, “cha-ran.” If we pick up where we left off the scripture says v31b, “;and they went as far as Haran, and settled there.” We know the, “they” refers to the group that was traveling with Terah. We also know they finally stopped at the town, “Haran” and settled there. The literal and plain meaning of the text is what we needed here in this historical narrative. With a little help from grammar, the original language, a concordance, Biblical history book, commentary, and a concordance we have it made. “32 The days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.” The days of who? Terah. What about those days? Were they actually talking about literal days, or were they talking about how long he lived? From our knowledge of the idioms we know that the narrative is about how long he lived, not the actual days of his life. It is a figure of speech. We can see that he lived 205 years. We also read that at the end of those days, Terah died, and that it happened in Haran.
Even though this was only two verses, you can see that it can quickly become quite complicated and involved if you are straining for understanding but worry not! Your mind can do most of this on the fly, and quite quickly. You might not even recognize that you are doing it.
For our next example let’s look at 1 Timothy 5:17-18, “17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”” Even with no context we can see what is meant regarding the elders and their keep. This is due to the explanation in the form of a quote from the Old Testament and what follows immediately after. We also have added scriptural context from 1 Corinthians 9:9-14, “9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. 11 If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? 14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.”
You can see how additional context helped to understand the quote from the old Testament in the way that it was intended. After reading the quote from Deuteronomy a person might think that Paul is quoting the passage out of context. If you do think that, you should go read Justin Taylor’s article which quotes some other people’s work, and a couple of commentaries. (Read the article here) I think after consulting it you will come to agree with the author’s perspective that the ox was loaned or rented to the man to process grain, and as it was another man’s property he should not abuse it for his own gain. Paul is saying that he and other elders like him are the, “oxen of the Lord” if you will, and they should not be mistreated. With other men’s works, and commentaries, it is important to examine them carefully. Their interpretation may not be the best one. Examine their reasoning, and the context of their arguments and conclusions to see what you think is the truest. I happen to agree with Justin Taylor. I think in context to the entirety of scripture, and what we know from it about the created order this explanation makes the most sense.
You’ll notice this time we used a text with a quote from the Old Testament. It was from one of the Pastoral Epistles, but due to the quote we had to look at the broader context of scripture and examine 1 Corinthians, as well as Deuteronomy. The main text we were exegeting is prescriptive/instructional. You’ll also notice that we were doing a Bible study, but hopefully you could see that the same process would be used for a topical study, or a word study.
With a word study you would want to use a concordance and see how many different Greek, and Hebrew words were translated as the English word you are using, and how many times the specific word you are studying was used in the Bible, and what it meant most of those times, being careful to employ the hermeneutical principles mentioned earlier to determine what the intent of the author was to communicate.
I hope that this brief primer on how to study the Bible was helpful, and easy to follow. The word of God is our food. It is the mind of God for us to know Him by. It is how the sovereign God chose to explain Himself to us. It is entirely about Him. We can see Jesus in every book and chapter. We can preach the gospel of Christ out of every book. He is the central theme, not us. God bless you in your efforts to know Him better by His word.
If you live in the U.S. no doubt you have heard something about the scary bogeyman nebulously known as, “White Nationalism.” As a Christian, who is ethnically diverse, but appears white, I am just now hearing about this scary bogeyman. The left is even calling, “people of color” white nationalists. This really got me wondering. So, I decided to do some digging.
Depending on whose definition you want to accept, the term, “white nationalist” generally means one of two things. It can be a racist ideology that indicates a right of white people to live in their own country, and govern themselves, without any people of color. The other version is about the same but is worded a bit more to sound like they are separatists instead of supremacists.
What is also interesting is that there is the same ideology for people who would call themselves black. It is called, “Black Nationalism” of course. They define their ideology the same way only black instead of white.
Now, as a Christian first, these things are repulsive to me. As a thinking man, they are repugnant lies, told by evil people seeking to manipulate others with fear. The notion that any sinner is inherently better than another sinner solely based on the color of their skin, or ethnicity is a lie straight from the devil to incite hatred among men.
After reading several articles from leftist web sites, I’ve concluded that everyone who is a conservative and patriotic is deemed a white nationalist. This is also true of people of color. They are being called white nationalists, and white supremacists! This is either insanity on the part of the leftists, or a divisive lie used as a bogeyman to scare people into submission.
The leftists have presupposed that everyone who is Christian, conservative, patriotic, and traditional is a white supremacist and a white nationalist. Their evidence is your opposition to them, and their leftist agendas. Anyone who stands in their way is instantly vilified.
Since they are using these labels so broadly, people can see through their crazy lies. When you try to make Candace Owens, a black woman, appear to be like Hitler, and make her out to be a white supremacist, you will cause thinking people to see that you are either insane, or a liar.
We aren’t even free of their insanity in the Church. The, “Woke Movement” questions if white people can even really be Christians. They insist that we owe our brothers and sister in Christ, who happen to be people of color, an apology, and that we need to repent of being white.
Like I said, I look white. I have a white last name. My ancestry is from mostly Eastern, and Western Europe. Some of my ancestry is from Turkey, Iran, Israel, and Nigeria according to my DNA test. I’m guessing that would be true of many of you. There is no pure white race. There is not a homogenous, “white people.” This is also true of all the other perceived colors of people. My whiteness, your blackness, brownness, and all the other shades in between are all pointless. This is true whether you are in Christ or not, but for the Christian there is no excuse to be racially/ethnically divisive. The Bible is clear on this.
Galatians three is about how one is justified to God. There were some who were making it a matter of following the Law, and Paul was clearing this up. In the process he wanted the people of the circumcision, and the gentiles to put these notions of works out of their minds, and be unified in their acceptance of justification by faith in Christ. In verse 28 of Chapter 3 Paul says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Christians have no excuse to be at odds due to skin color. The world might be falling for this nonsense, but we have no business following the world.
If you have been finding yourself falling into the temptation to think that you are better than someone due to your skin color, or that it is acceptable to hate someone because of theirs, or even if you have been hating yourself because of your whiteness, you need to repent, and trust Jesus.
Are you having a difficult time with understanding justification? Do you wonder if you have done enough to demonstrate that you are saved? Do you question whether you are good enough, if there is enough evidence of your faith to be true? Do you tend to be legalistic with yourself? One of the dangers of, “navel gazing” (self-examination) is that we become self-absorbed, we lose proper perspective. We begin to filter incoming information through a set of rules that constantly look at ourselves, and our performance, or lack thereof.
A filter is thing that removes particles from a stream, while allowing the rest of the particles to continue on to their destination. This can be a data stream, electrical stream, light stream, basically anything that flows. As we perceive information streaming in through our senses, we employ filters based on our cumulative view of the world (word view). When that view is built on a solid foundation of objective truth, it will lead us to proper understandings of what has happened, is happening, and will happen. We will filter out the untrue, and allow the truth to continue. When our filtration system is built on a false worldview, we filter out some truth, and we look at the world and ourselves through a lie.
God has given us His word, and like Him it is truth. We on the other hand, are fallible creatures, prone to accepting lies. Even with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and His illumination of the Word of God for us, and to us, we still get things wrong. This is yet another example of God’s grace towards His elect, we don’t have to get it all right, all the time, from the word go. None of us die with all the answers in perfect comprehension. In a sense, even the most spiritually mature Christian you know, will die with notions about God and His word that aren’t perfect.
Our works are tainted, our thoughts are tainted with sin and imperfection. If you are relying on either of those to get some kind of assurance that you are in, then you are going to find your faith shaken on a regular basis. Let’s look at Galatians 3 for a moment together.
Galatians 3 :: New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Faith Brings Righteousness
1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
6 Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.” 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” 12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Intent of the Law
15 Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man’s covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. 17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.
19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 20 Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. 21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.
Galatians 3 makes it clear that it is not our obedience to the law that makes us just, but rather our faith in Christ. Do you want some assurance? Believe in Christ and His work. Trust Jesus alone, and don’t mix in your ability to know more than someone else, or do more. Because neither of those things actually satisfy the law. The law is intended to be impossible to satisfy so that you are driven humbly to your knees before Jesus with no defense left but Him crucified, resurrected, and ruling for eternity. Repent of sin, and trust the Savior.
Easter, resurrection Sunday is quickly coming. It has been roughly 2000 years since our Creator condescended, and deigned to don human flesh, and be born of a virgin. Jesus is “God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten and not made; of the very same nature of the Father, by Whom all things came into being, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,”(Nicene Creed) fully God, and fully man, Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. He suffered the abuse of mankind, and the just wrath of God while on the cross. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us– for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE “—(Gal 3:13)
Isaiah 53 :: New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Suffering Servant
1 Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
3 He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
9 His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
10 But the LORD was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.
Psalm 22 :: New American Standard Bible (NASB)
A Cry of Anguish and a Song of Praise.
For the choir director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David.
1 My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
2 O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but I have no rest.
3 Yet You are holy,
O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
4 In You our fathers trusted;
They trusted and You delivered them.
5 To You they cried out and were delivered;
In You they trusted and were not disappointed.
6 But I am a worm and not a man,
A reproach of men and despised by the people.
7 All who see me sneer at me;
They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,
8 “Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him;
Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”
9 Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb;
You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.
10 Upon You I was cast from birth;
You have been my God from my mother’s womb.
11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near;
For there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have surrounded me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.
13 They open wide their mouth at me,
As a ravening and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water,
And all my bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It is melted within me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
And You lay me in the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded me;
A band of evildoers has encompassed me;
They pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones.
They look, they stare at me;
18 They divide my garments among them,
And for my clothing they cast lots.
19 But You, O LORD, be not far off;
O You my help, hasten to my assistance.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword,
My only life from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion’s mouth;
From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me.
22 I will tell of Your name to my brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
23 You who fear the LORD, praise Him;
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel.
24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from him;
But when he cried to Him for help, He heard.
25 From You comes my praise in the great assembly;
I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him.
26 The afflicted will eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the LORD.
Let your heart live forever!
27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations will worship before You.
28 For the kingdom is the LORD’S
And He rules over the nations.
29 All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship,
All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.
30 Posterity will serve Him;
It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation.
31 They will come and will declare His righteousness
To a people who will be born, that He has performed it.
1 Corinthians 15 :: New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Fact of Christ’s Resurrection
1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
The Order of Resurrection
20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
29 Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them? 30 Why are we also in danger every hour? 31 I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, LET US EAT AND DRINK, FOR TOMORROWWE DIE. 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 34 Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” 36 You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; 37 and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.
The Mystery of Resurrection
50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. 55 O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.