What Should We Learn From Jeremiah 12?

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What should we learn from Jeremiah 12?

First, let’s read Jeremiah 12.

Jeremiah’s Prayer
​ Righteous are You, O Lord, that I would plead my case with You;
Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with You:
Why has the way of the wicked prospered?
Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?
You have planted them, they have also taken root;
They grow, they have even produced fruit.
You are near to their lips
But far from their mind.
But You know me, O Lord;
You see me;
And You examine my heart’s attitude toward You.
Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter
And set them apart for a day of carnage!
How long is the land to mourn
And the vegetation of the countryside to wither?
For the wickedness of those who dwell in it,
Animals and birds have been snatched away,
Because men have said, “He will not see our latter ending.”
“If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out,
Then how can you compete with horses?
If you fall down in a land of peace,
How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?
“For even your brothers and the household of your father,
Even they have dealt treacherously with you,
Even they have cried aloud after you.
Do not believe them, although they may say nice things to you.”
God’s Answer
“I have forsaken My house,
I have abandoned My inheritance;
I have given the beloved of My soul
Into the hand of her enemies.
“My inheritance has become to Me
Like a lion in the forest;
She has roared against Me;
Therefore I have come to hate her.
“Is My inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to Me?
Are the birds of prey against her on every side?
Go, gather all the beasts of the field,
Bring them to devour!
“Many shepherds have ruined My vineyard,
They have trampled down My field;
They have made My pleasant field
A desolate wilderness.
“It has been made a desolation,
Desolate, it mourns before Me;
The whole land has been made desolate,
Because no man lays it to heart.
“On all the bare heights in the wilderness
Destroyers have come,
For a sword of the Lord is devouring
From one end of the land even to the other;
There is no peace for anyone.
“They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns,
They have strained themselves to no profit.
But be ashamed of your harvest
Because of the fierce anger of the Lord.”
Thus says the Lord concerning all My wicked neighbors who strike at the inheritance with which I have endowed My people Israel, “Behold I am about to uproot them from their land and will uproot the house of Judah from among them. And it will come about that after I have uprooted them, I will again have compassion on them; and I will bring them back, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land. Then if they will really learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ even as they taught My people to swear by Baal, they will be built up in the midst of My people. But if they will not listen, then I will uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord. (NASB) Jeremiah 12

Let’s ask ourselves some questions before we get going. Who or what is this passage about? When did it happen? Considering that the entire Bible is about Jesus and the gospel, what does this passage have to say about God?

This passage is about the prophet Jeremiah, his appeal to God, and God’s answer. It was written between 680-530 BC. Judah was guilty of idolatry. Jeremiah was to warn them of God’s impending discipline if they didn’t repent. In this passage Jeremiah is making a plea to God for the wicked to be punished, and for relief from them. God answers by telling Jeremiah that He will uproot the nation of Judah. In other words His discipline and justice is coming. He also tells Jeremiah if they repent He will build them up, but if they don’t, He will destroy them. In the first couple verses it seems like Jeremiah is angry about how the wicked are enjoying wealth and prosperity. If you look at the next section of scripture I think you’ll see that he is truly angry at their lack of love for God and His will. They are giving their love and worship to idols and Jeremiah is upset by this because he himself truly worships God. That is why in verse 3 his prayer becomes imprecatory.

“But You know me, O Lord;
You see me;
And You examine my heart’s attitude toward You.
Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter
And set them apart for a day of carnage!” (NASB Strong’s) Jeremiah 12:3


This is not the only place in the Bible where someone who loves God prays for the destruction of the wicked. David did as well for example. It is not uncommon for someone who loves God to feel this way. Today as Christians we can feel like this when we see evil being celebrated in the world. I pray for God to save them, but if it is not His will to save them, I pray for God to remove them from influence, or take them out of this world. We have learned that God is just and good. He is longsuffering and will give nations/peoples time and opportunity to repent and worship Him. He is just and will punish the wicked in His time. Prophets of God spoke difficult things to the wicked people that got them in hot water with them. If they love God, they will preach His word regardless of the personal consequences, and when they are concerned about them, they come to Him in prayer.

The Much Anticipated Schuyler Personal Size Quentel NASB Bible!

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I know you’ve heard me extol the virtues of a few different Bibles in the past.  I know there are a lot of truly great editions out there.  I’m not trying to take anything away from them when I say this.  This is the perfect Bible. (for me.)  Keep in mind that the features/attributes of any edition are appreciated subjectively by the individual.  We all like different things.

I have been looking for a Bible like this for a very long time.  Like you, I’ve purchased several Bibles looking for the one that satisfy most of my desired features.  It never fails, I use them for a while and get irritated with one of the design, “flaws.”  They aren’t really flaws folks, just features I didn’t like, or missing ones I do like.  Bible design is difficult.  You have to work with different finite attributes.  I think it is impossible to make one edition that everyone will think is perfect for them.

This of course, is a modern problem.  In the past you didn’t have much choice.  You were blessed to have one.  Go back far enough and it was illegal for you to own one.  Thanks to God and the men of the Protestant Reformation we have God’s word available for almost anyone who wants a copy.  Count your blessings folks if you have one Bible and appreciate the providence of God that you were born in a time and place such as things are where you can get picky about what features you would prefer.  I know I do.

The Personal Size Quentel is just the right size to hold for long reading sessions.  The font is 8.5 pt.  It is a bit small for people with eye problems who don’t want to wear reading glasses or their prescription lenses, but for people like me, or folks who do wear corrective lenses, the font is clear, sharp, uniform, and overall well done.  It is very legible without being too small.  If they had made the font any larger they would have had to increase either the page size or number of pages.  If they wanted to keep the Bible the same thickness they would have had to decrease the paper thickness.  This would have made the paper less opaque.  Everything is tied together.

If you are like me, the full size Quentel is just too large to drag around everywhere.  Compact Bibles are too small, and their font is too small.  Usually 6 pt for them.  The Ultrathins and Thinlines are nice, but their length and widths are too much for holding in one hand unless you fold the cover completely over.  When I saw the dimensions for this edition listed on evangelicalBible.com I was excited and hopeful.  I had been waiting for a Bible with all the stats that they were posting, and it was coming out in NASB to boot!  I was like, “Take my money!” All that was left now was for them to get them and ship them out.

Here are the vital stats from evangelicalBible.com the ones responsible for Schuyler. Natural Grain Firebrick Red Goatskin with Dark Red Calfskin Liner
Same Pagination as the Quentel Series – (all page numbers and format will be identical)
Approximate font size: 8.5
4.7″ x 7.1″ x 1″ (120 mm x 180 mm x 25 mm)
Line Matching
28 GSM Indopaque paper
2 Ribbon Markers (Dark Red)
Art-Gilt edging (red under gold)
9mm yapp
Smyth Sewn
Black letter text (chapter numbers, headers and page number in red)
More than 95,000 entry cross references
Presentation page
Lined note paper
Extensive Schuyler Bible Maps

The Personal Size NASB Quentel arrived undamaged from evangelicalbible.com  There was a small dent in the cardboard box, but the Bible inside was packaged in a bubble wrap.  The retail two piece presentation box was not dented.

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The Bible was wrapped in two pieces of paper to help the Bible keep its shape, and protect it during shipping.  There was a business card from evangelicalbible.com in the box as well as a warranty card.  I’ve never had any problems with a Bible from evangelicalbible.com, but I know people who have had some experience with them.  I’ve heard they are always kind, and ready to replace a Bible you are not happy with.

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As you can see, I ordered the firebrick red.  I like it a lot.  It is a bit darker than my R. L. Allan NASB Reader’s edition, but I think they make a lovely couple.  I find the crosses stamped into the front cover to be a pleasing feature.  I don’t know how well gold stamped lettering would hold up in a cover so flexible, so the stamped crosses make sense.  The perimeter stitching is executed flawlessly.  There are no missed stitches, or mistakes.

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Wow, look at the size of that Bible!  My hand almost covers it.  Just the right size for me.  You might also think that, if you are like me in your tastes.

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Here is an NASB Cambridge Clarion in black edge lined goatskin next to the Personal Size Quentel.  The Clarion is a bit wider across.  This makes it a little harder for me to hold onto with one hand, while reading.

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The Clarion is also quite a bit more thick when compared to the Quentel.

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The head and tail bands are white.  They are understated and clean.

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The spine has five raised spine hubs.  They are all straight and parallel to each other.  The gold stamping on the spine is not too busy.  It gives you the information without putting too many decorations on it.  As usual, Jongbloed has done a great job with this edition.

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The grain of the goatskin along with the red cover is visually striking and attractive.  I think it is something special.

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Here is another picture of the inside cover and corner.  You can see up close the stitching, gilt line, and even pores of the cowhide liner.  The darker maroon color of the inner liner accentuates the firebrick red of the outside.

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Where the text block is attached to the cover the hearty card page stock in the front and back of the Bible are glued up further than needed to strengthen the connection.  This will help your Bible last a long time.  It is not a defect. 🙂

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The stamp on the front cover is barely visible through the inner liner.  This picture gives you a better look at it.

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I think Schuyler did the right thing by keeping the presentation page clean and simple.  I would leave the family record pages to Bibles with more room.

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The copyright information page shows that this bible was made in the Netherlands by Jongbloed.

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Here is a shot of one page singled out with direct light from behind it.  If they had gone thicker it would have ruined the hand feel if you ask me.  I am glad they didn’t.  If they had gone thinner it would have been to transparent and the ghosting would have been a problem.  As it is, I have not had a problem 🙂

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I mean, come on!  Look at that page.  For a Bible this small and paper this thin, for the font to be so good is a rare thing.

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Looks like line matching to me folks.  Gorgeous pages and setting.  I love the use of the page by this layout.  It is the same as the full size Quentel.  The pagination is the same as well.  It would make a terrific companion to a full size Quentel in the same color.

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Just like its big brother, it has some red highlights on the page numbers, book and chapter information, chapter numbers, and cross references at the bottom.

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Brand new right out of the box it stays open.  Not perfectly, but it does.  I’m sure once it is broken in it will be better to.

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The two red ribbons are wider than what you might be accustomed to.  They are also higher quality.  The ends are cut and seared so as to not fray.  I like them much better than the ribbons on the Clarion.

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I love the way the red ribbon looks across the white page.  It looks the way it should.

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There are some pages of ruled paper in the back for limited note taking.  You don’t see this that often in Bibles.  It is a great feature for people who are concerned that there isn’t enough room in the margins.

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Schuyler has a set of high quality maps as well.  They are printed on paper that feels to be about double the thickness of the bible paper without being card paper.  The maps use multiple colors and are printed nicely.

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There are some card papers in the back as well.  You could take some notes on it if you wanted to.

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Mysterious floating Bible, oooh ahh…

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As you can see the Clarion is a bit shorter than the PSQ.  That necessitates it being thicker.  The Clarion is a bit too thick to fold one side over and hold in one hand.  The PSQ does it easily.

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I spilled water on my Clarion shortly after I got it a few years ago.  So the page edges are not a flaw from the publisher it was my fault.

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Prerequisite Bible bending…

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Here it is in its natural environment.

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I would highly recommend purchasing this edition if you are looking for an New American Standard Bible in a size that is between compact and full size.  There aren’t very many out there in that niche.  Bottom line, get one. (If you can responsibly afford it.)

As usual make sure to check out my Flickr.com page for all the pictures!

A Thirst Not For Water

In Amos we read of a thirst not for water, but scripture, the word of God.  Later in the scriptures, we read of the Word made flesh.  We learn that the scriptures are the mind of the Word made flesh, the self-existent Triune God, who created all things, for us to know Him and His will.  We learn that the scriptures are the progressive revelation of Him.  We also learn that they are used to change how our minds operate, how we see right and wrong, and how we get closer to Him.  We also find that He put an end to the progressive revelation of His word.  His incarnation inaugurated the end of it.  We have all of His word for us in the Bible.  We need not look any further, or to false prophets, or people who claim to be talking to Him or getting a word from Him.  If you are thirsty, READ HIS WORD!!!  I’m going to put two sections of scripture together.  You see if it seems right.

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD. “People will stagger from sea to sea And from the north even to the east; They will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, But they will not find it. “In that day the beautiful virgins And the young men will faint from thirst. “As for those who swear by the guilt of Samaria, Who say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,’ And, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives,’ They will fall and not rise again.”
(Amos 8:11-14 NASB)

Israel was so disobedient for so long that God was finished with them.  The remnant waits now for the millennial kingdom.  They want His word, but cannot have it.  They are in a spiritual drought until He gives the relief.

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” She *said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? “You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” The woman *said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.”
(John 4:10-15 NASB)

If you have know, or have the suspicion, that you are dead deep inside, if you feel like life is meaningless, or that you know the world has been lying to you about life, admit you have sinned against the true, righteous, and holy God.  Admit that you deserve punishment from the just judge.  Admit that He would be good and just to kill you and send you to Hell for eternity.  Ask Him for forgiveness, not based on your works, but on the finished work of His eternal Son, Jesus Christ, who was crucified as a propitiation, and atonement for sin.  Believe in Him and His perfect sacrifice as your justification to God, and read His word, obey His commands, and love Him as your Lord, brother, and God.

A Review of Holman’s CSB (Christian Standard Bible) Large Print UltraThin Reference Bible, in Black Goatskin Leather.

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I know many of you are waiting out there to see what this revision of the H.C.S.B. is all about.  It isn’t a formal equivalent, it isn’t a dynamic equivalent.  F.Y.I. Holman calls it an optimal translation.  Here is an excerpt from their site, “The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a highly trustworthy, faithful translation that is proven to be the optimal blend of accuracy and readability. It’s as literal to the original as possible without sacrificing clarity. The CSB is poised to become the translation that pastors rely on and Bible readers turn to again and again to read and to share with others.”

If you are like me, you might be wondering what is the difference between the two.  Here is another excerpt from their site, ” The Christian Standard Bible is a revision of the HCSB, updating translation and word choices in order to optimize both fidelity to the original languages and clarity for a modern audience. The Translation Oversight Committee, co-chaired by Drs. Tom Schreiner and David Allen, incorporated advances in biblical scholarship and input from Bible scholars, pastors, and readers to sharpen both accuracy and readability.”

The main reasons I didn’t use the H.C.S.B. for my reading and study, is that it seemed obvious when the translation switched between the two translation philosophies.  It was a continuity and flow problem.  I’m glad to say, that seems to have been dealt with in this revision.  The C.S.B. reads much better.  It is more of a seamless blend of the philosophies.  As far as being an optimal translation…  I guess that depends on your opinion.  I’ve not needed to have a dynamic equivalent, nor have I needed to have sections of the Bible to be translated as a dynamic equivalent.  I’m a man of average intelligence.  I have a basic education.  If I come across a difficult passage, I read it again.  If I don’t know the meaning of a word, I look it up.  I think we should endeavor to become better students, rather than changing our translation philosophy to make the Bible simpler.

That being said, if I had to pick a Bible that wasn’t strictly a formal equivalent translation, this would be it.  For years I have sat by and watched the N.I.V. become a gender neutral mess.  The N.L.T. in my opinion is so dumbed down, it has lost the majesty of God’s word.  Don’t even get me started on The Message, Passion, or the Voice.  As far as I am concerned, if you have a copy of the Voice, you should burn it so no one else can be poisoned by it’s lies. (I have some pretty strong opinions.)  So what’s a person supposed to do if they want a translation that is a bit more accessible than the N.A.S.B. you might ask?  In my opinion, get a C.S.B.  It is everything the NIV used to be.  It is accurate, and accessible.  It stays true to the intent of the author (God) and retains the gender contexts of the Hebrew and Greek texts without imposing a cultural hermeneutic on them.

I hope you’ll give it a try.  Let’s take a look at the physical attributes of the Bible I was sent for review.  Keep in mind that it is an advance copy, so some details might be different by the time this actually is published and sold.

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The Bible arrived packaged in a padded envelope.  The envelope had some tears in it by the time it made it to me.  The retail, two piece box also had a dent in it.  The Bible inside was undamaged and received in new condition.

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This Bible is covered in an extremely soft and smooth goatskin leather.  The grain is very understated.  I’ve heard others refer to the goatskin as garment grade.  I don’t know how true that is, but I could see how that would be so.

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The inner liner is a type of bonded leather.  I’m not sure if it is Cromwell or not.  I asked someone from Holman.  When I find out I’ll post an update.  Since this is an edge lined volume, it is very flexible and floppy.  The cover can be rolled up.

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This is an edge lined binding.  The bonded leather is  glued to the text block, and then a piece of vinyl covered paper is glued over that.  There is a piece of binding tape that reinforces the hinge.  This is good and bad.  It is good because it will make the binding more durable.  It is bad, because it hinders the ability of the Bible to be opened flat in the first few pages and the last few pages.  Sometimes you’ll see a more narrow strip of binding tape, that allows the first pages to open more easily. Some don’t even use the tape. With a bonded leather inner liner it is good that they did. This is still an extremely flexible and floppy Bible.

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One feature I hope they keep in the production model is the perimeter stitching in red.  I think it makes a striking addition to the aesthetic appeal of this Bible.  The stitching on the front is colored black.  On the inside it is red.

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I think the silver page edge gilt was the right decision instead of gold, considering the bold red thread and smooth black cover.  They work together. The head and foot bands are a brown color, and don’t really pop. It is easy to miss them. I would recommend red and black colored for the bands to go along with the color scheme.
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The spine is also ornamented with three spine hubs, and the words, “Holy Bible, Christian Standard Bible, and Holman” hot stamped in silver letters.  The area close to the head is left empty.  As one of my fellow reviewers mentioned, it seems a bit unbalanced.  We will see what they do with it in the final version they bring to market.

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Even though this Bible is printed in China, the quality of the paper and printing is very good.
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I found the 9.5 pt Bible Serif font to be inked uniformly, having sharp, clean edges, and contrasting nicely with the white paper.  The paper was opaque and line matching was employed. (line matching is when the text on the back side of the page is printed directly over the font on the front side of the page, so there is no background noise bleeding through the paper, otherwise known as text ghosting.)  The paper is 30 g.s.m. and rates a very good opacity of 84 with a brightness of 83.  This black letter edition is a double column layout, with center column references.  It will be familiar to Bible readers. 2K/DENMARK did fine work with the font and layout.  See for yourself how good it is.
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Here is a single page backlit so you can see how opaque it is.
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There is about a half inch in the margin for limited note taking.

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There are two above average ribbon markers.  The one for the Old Testament is black and the one for the New Testament is red.

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Did I mention how flexible this Bible is?  Due to the sewn spine and edge lined binding this thing is super supple, for my alliteration fans.  It does open nice and flat, it also can be easy to hold onto with how it can be bent.  Take a look.

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Among the features I already mentioned, here is a list from Holman’s product page, “…Features include: Smyth-sewn binding, Presentation page, Two-column text, Center-column cross-references, Topical subheadings, Black letter text, 9.5-point type, Concordance, Full-color maps, and more…”  I really like the maps 🙂

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Here is a picture of their robust cross reference system.

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Weights and measures.

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A respectable and useful concordance.

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and some well done maps.

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If you are in the market for a large print ultrathin reference Bible, I encourage you to give this one a look.  It has all of the features you could want.  It uses a translation that will speed you along in your studies.  It comes in at a reasonable price for the top line model and a very good value for the other editions.  You’d be hardpressed to find another one in this segment of the market with all of these features for this price.  I believe Holman has this edition set to sell for about $139.00 but I am sure sites like Christianbook.com will sell it at a deep discount.  Make sure to check out all of the pictures I took of this Bible on my flickr site.  You can read more about the CSB translation on their site, www.csbible.com  You could also purchase a copy on Amazon.

 

ISBN: 9781462743223

Review of the Zondervan NASB Classic Reference Bible in Black Genuine Top Grain Leather ISBN-13:9780310931294

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I had to buy this one folks because Zondervan doesn’t send me free ones.  I hope you appreciate it. 🙂   I was looking for an Ultrathin to replace my black Lockman NASB in genuine leather.  I came across this one from Zondervan.  Now, it is not marketed as an Ultrathin, but it is almost exactly the same dimensions as my Lockman.  The Lockman I reviewed here is burgundy, but it is the same as my black one that I kept in my lunchbox for a few years until I wore it out.  I really loved the size, layout, cover material, binding, and of course the NASB translation, but it had thin paper.  I was hoping that I would love this Zondervan as well, but there are a couple of areas where it falls down.  First, the cover material is advertised as, “top grain leather.”  It may be top grain leather, but not from a cow.  I don’t know, but it looks and feels like the cheap pigskin leather marketed as, “genuine leather” on less expensive Bibles.  Pigskin leather is shiny, and usually has a grain stamped into it.  The binding tape they used for this Bible also fights against you.  It should loosen up a bit as it gets broken in.  Combine that with the cover material, and it is kind of a let down considering the price.  It is also not as supple, or flexible as top grain cowhide leather.  I really like Vachetta calfskin leather.  It is so soft to the touch, it makes you want to pick up and hold your Bible.  Here is a review I did of a Cambridge Cameo in Vachetta.  The Zondervan borders on false advertising, and relies on the consumer’s ignorance, as well as a lack of industry standards.

The Zondervan does have a sewn spine.
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This is a necessity as far as I’m concerned.  I won’t purchase Bibles with glued bindings.  I think we should respect that we aren’t purchasing just some book.  We are purchasing a copy of God’s word, to be studied and daily utilized.  The amount of wear and tear daily use, along with travel, will cause is incomparable to a novel.  So why in the world would publishers think it acceptable to print Bibles as if they are some story book?  Well, we all know the answer to that, money $$$.

While this Bible isn’t extremely expensive.  The cover is made from a genuine hide of some kind.

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I have had this Bible for a little while now.  The cover is softening up a bit.  The binding is also getting broken in.   It lays flat now when I put it on the table to read from it.
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There is a presentation page in the front.
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The standard notes from Lockman about the NASB translation are present as well.    This Bible is printed in China according to the publisher’s information in the front.
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The page edges are gold gilt, with rounded corners and a rounded spine.  The pages are printed well.  It would be a bit better if they had utilized a bolder font.  As it is, the text is clearly printed and uniform.
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It is laid out in a double column, verse format, with center column references, and footnotes.  There are pilcrows, or paragraph markers noting the start of new paragraphs.  This is a helpful feature when you are using a verse format Bible like this one.
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The paper is acceptably opaque.  Ghosting is not bad considering this is a less expensive Bible.  The ghosting on this Zondervan is not near as bad as it is on the Lockman.  So in that category it is a win for the Zondervan.
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The Zondervan is on the right, with the Lockman on the left.

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The words of Christ are in red, making this a red letter edition.  The red is not too bright.
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The Lockman is lacking something this Zondervan has, brief book introductions.  They might not seem that important, but they are a welcomed addition to any reference Bible. You get an introduction and concise outline. The introduction consists of, title and background, author and date of writing, and the theme and message.
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This Bible also includes decorative head and tail bands, decorative gilt line around the perimeter of the inside cover, a perimeter groove on the outside cover, and one black ribbon marker.
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In the back of the Bible we have a useful double column concordance, Promises from the Bible, Perspectives from the Bible, and 8 color maps.

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Overall, this is a great little Bible. If you are after a verse format, ultrathin reference Bible in NASB with a leather cover, this has got you covered. There are more expensive Bibles. There are better built Bibles, but this one is in the sweet spot. It is better than your regular cheap bargain bin Bibles, and better than the value line Bibles. This would make a great gift for the Christian on the go, who wants a full reference Bible in a thin package. You can pick one up on Amazon.com, or Christianbook.com  You can read more about it on Zondervan’s product page.  If you would like, go to my flickr page and look at all the pictures of this Bible.  As always, thanks for reading and have a great Christmas.

“The Heaven Promise” by Scot McKnight does not rise above.

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There are plenty of books out on Heaven currently.  This is one among them.  Scot Mcknight is a talented writer.  His book is interesting to read.  I can agree with much of what he said, if I give him the benefit of the doubt in some areas.

The difficulty I have with Christian books is that I look for books that will add value to the Christian’s library.  In the world of Christian books, I read works of scholarly endeavor, and works for the laymen.  In those two groups I apply the same standard, “Does this book rise above the current crop and add value to my library?”  Both categories are flooded, and in my opinion encumbered by copious amounts of average to damaging works.  Every once in awhile I run into a book that does add value to my library.  I heartily recommend those books.  In the laymen’s category, I loved, “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan.  I also loved, “The Holiness of God” by R. C. Sproul.  In the scholastic category, I relished, “Evangelical Influences” by J. I. Packer.  Books like those don’t come around often.

To answer the question formulating in your mind, “Nope, this isn’t one of them.”  Like I said above,  “Scot Mcknight is a talented writer.”  Unfortunately, this book just sets in the middle of the field.  This book was  not aimed at scholars.  It was aimed at the average Christian.  It kept things pretty simple.  It is obvious that Scott leans a little to the left theologically.  He seems like, “emergent lite.”  He obviously thinks Calvinists are wrong.  (Read page 174)  He quotes John Henry Newman and Richard Foster.  One is a Roman Catholic, and the other is an emergent Church mystic.  He makes speculations based on only four options expressed by Jerry Walls, about how God ensures that everyone, even the dead get to hear the gospel.  He does this without ever really presenting the gospel.  The four presupposed options are severely lacking.  This is done on pages 160, 161.

In Chapter 23 he claims purgatory is a doctrine that has divided the Church.  To that I can only shake my head in astonishment.  Unless, in his horrible ecumenism he thinks the Roman Catholic Church is part of the catholic faith, he is including them as Christian.  It also seems that he is teaching that we do things for an eternal reward primarily.  He fails to teach that we should be doing things primarily for the glory of God.  We know that there are rewards for us in Heaven, but that should not be our primary motivation for doing things that are pleasing to God.  He also seems to place an undue amount of importance on the environment.  I don’t know if he understands that God is going to destroy the world with fire.  He tends to speculate where scripture is silent.

So if you are looking for a book on Heaven, that will add value to your library, purchase, “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn instead.  “The Heaven Promise” by Scot McKnight is just mediocre.  It has some problems.  It gets some stuff right, but ultimately it is just o.k.

ISBN-13: 9781601426284

The Holy Trinity.

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God is triune.  He is one being, in trinity.  This means, one being, three persons.  Father, (πατήρ) Son, (υἱός) and Holy Spirit. (πνευματι αγιω) God is eternal.  He has always existed just as He is.  He has never, not existed.  Everything that is, has been made by Him.  Everything is sustained by Him.  All persons of the Trinity have likewise always existed, as one being, one God.  God’s nature/attributes are immutable.  This means He never changes.  He has never changed.  He has always been as He is.  He has always been the Trinity.  The incarnation at advent did not change His nature.  The hypostatic union did not change the deific nature of God, as the two natures were perfectly joined without mixing.  A human is one being, in one person.  A dog is not a person at all, but is one being.  We don’t have any trouble believing in a being that isn’t a person at all, like the dog, but when it comes to God as one being, and three persons we stumble.  God is omnipresent.  God is in all places, during all times, and times without time.  He is in the future, present, and the past.  He exists in the in between spaces we now call hyperdimensional space.  To be in all places includes hyperdimensional space.  If you think about it, that almost necessitates a being who is more than one person.  Here is a short video that attempts to explain the Trinity.  It does a pretty decent job, but some of course it can’t do a perfect job.

It is amazing to me how accurate the men were who composed this creed considering the time that it was written in.  Remember, the word, “catholic” here does not have anything to do with the Roman Catholic Church.  It is from the Greek word, “katholikos” and means universal.

Athanasian Creed


1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;

2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.

5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.

8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.

9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.

12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.

14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.

15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;

16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;

18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.

19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;

20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.

21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.

22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.

23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.

25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.

26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.

27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.

31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.

32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.

35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.

36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;

38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;

39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;

40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;

42. and shall give account of their own works.

43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.

So to sum things up, if you don’t believe and worship the Triune God, you’ve made an idol to worship.  If you find that you, in your ignorance had been worshipping a god that is not the God of the Bible, please repent.  The true God of scripture is faithful and just to forgive you if you come to Him in faith and repentance.  Jesus, the Eternal Son paid the price for all of your sins on the cross, including wrong beliefs about Him.  Confess, and ask forgiveness.  If you are one of His sheep, He will be your Lord and Master.  He will be your good shepherd.  By the will of the Father in election, and the regenerating, convicting work of the Holy Spirit as your seal for redemption, and the justifying work of the Son on the cross, all three persons are at work in the gospel justifying sinners to Himself.