Book Reviews

A Review of, “The Underestimated Gospel” a Compilation of Edited Sermons from the 2012, “Together for the Gospel” Conference.

I know 2012 was a few years back, but that didn’t stop B&H Books from publishing this work in 2014.  Jonathan Leeman is the General Editor for this compilation of sermons.  He did a great job putting them together in book format.  Here is list of the Pastors whose sermons are featured in this book, David Platt, John Piper, Kevin DeYoung, Matt Chandler, R. Albert Mohler Jr. Thabiti Anyabwile, Mark Dever, C.J. Mahaney, and J. Ligon Duncan III.  With this list of names you would expect to see some good sermons.  I did, and I wasn’t disappointed.  As you can tell from the name of the book, and the conference, the messages focused on the gospel of Jesus, and its power to change everything.  

I don’t want to do the typical critical review here.  It isn’t really that kind of work.  This was sermons, preached to Pastors, for their edification, by other Pastors, at a conference.  It was not a work of fiction, a history book, a “Christian living” book, theology book, or a biography.  Considering that, I would rather just encourage you to read this volume of sermons for your own edification.  You don’t have to be a Pastor to get the message from this book.  Any Christian could pick this up and read it for their benefit.  These men laid out for us the importance of preaching the gospel, and how it applies to every aspect of Christian conversion, security, life, evangelism, and discipleship.  You get a view through a portal into the head and heart of these Pastors as they preach about the gospel.  

I would recommend this book to anyone who is tired of hearing fluff that doesn’t actually change anything, to Pastors who lack authority in their preaching, to Pastors who want to see their flock changed by the word of God.  The worst that can happen is that you would spend a short time reading some very good sermons.  If you are a false teacher, and false convert, the best thing that could happen, is that you could be genuinely saved, and motivated to give up that useless moralism, life enhancement, prosperity, best life now, drivel, you’ve been pushing, and actually preach the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified.  Sorry if that seemed a bit harsh.  I have sat in Churches that don’t preach the gospel.  It gets me riled up now when I think about other poor souls sitting in  a Church having nonsense preached at them.  Seriously, if you are a Pastor, or know a Pastor, get them this book.  It will aid them and encourage them.

You can pick up a copy here at Christianbook.com

You can also watch the entire conference for free on the site.

ISBN: 9781433683909

Book Reviews

A Review of the, “Westminster Confession of Faith” as Published by, “The Banner of Truth Trust.”

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Many of you know what a Confession of Faith is.  Many of you are familiar with the Westminster Confession of Faith.  If you are one of the many who is already familiar, bear with me for a moment.  If you are reading this review, and are not familiar with the subject matter, then you are here providentially to learn.  When people speak of a Confession of Faith, they are talking about a Church document that apprises, in detail, the Essential Articles, or Doctrines of the Faith.  You see, before the invention of the internet, mass media, and distribution, people had to read books, and other documents to learn things.  

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I know it seems silly, and antiquated in this day of smartphones, tablets, apps, and e-readers, but nonetheless it is true.  For some of us old  fuddy-duddies, the appeal of the book has not been outshined by modern contenders. Especially when it comes to having a hard copy record that can’t be changed with an internet update.  So we have books with all of their limitations, and assets.  

People would study from a Confession to give themselves a better understanding of what the Church believed.  They would study, so they could teach others.  They would study, so they could defend their beliefs.  We still study for those same reasons.

Many Churches say they don’t have a confession of faith, creeds, or doctrines.  Of course their claim qualifies as all of the above.  It would be humorous if it weren’t so sad.  Perhaps, they have some phobia against a clear statement of faith?  Perhaps, they are afraid that God isn’t powerful enough to call, and keep His own?  Maybe they fear people might be offended by the doctrines of the Faith?  We do know from scripture, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  

If you go to a Church with a, “Statement of Faith” or a, “What We Believe” article on their website, a Confession of Faith is sort of like that, but only more complete. So if you are feeling brave, and intrepid, I suggest you get ahold of your Church’s, confession, manual, or other foundational documentation, and compare it to the Bible.  If it doesn’t match up, you should leave.

The Westminster Confession of Faith is a historic document of the Church.  It came after the Protestant Reformation, during the Puritan era.  The name comes from the Westminster Abbey, where the theologians of the time met, by request of the English Parliament, to provide advice on issues of worship, doctrine, government and discipline of the Church of England.  The results were the Westminster Catechism, Longer and Shorter, as well as the Westminster Confession of Faith.  This edition includes the American revisions, and is used widely by Presbyterian Churches here in America.  

This edition of the Westminster Confession of Faith, is in the Gift Editions Collection, from Banner of Truth.  They are small enough to go in your pocket.  It measures 5.55 x 4 x 0.5 in.  It is covered with a black, synthetic, leather-like, material with some ornamentation on the front cover.  It has a sewn binding, as well as decorative head and tail bands.

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The text is  printed in a 10.5 pt font.  It is large enough text to be very legible.  The paper is pretty heavy as well.  Each sections starts with a Bold title and drop cap.
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These are durable little books, meant to be carried and shared.  There is a very useful Table of Contents in the beginning, to help you quickly find the section you want to look up.  It works great for quick reference when someone asks you a question.  It includes proofs from scripture in each section.  If you’ve ever wanted to understand Reformed theology better, this little book is a great aid.  The Westminster Confession of Faith has become a familiar partner and aid to Christians through the many generations since its penning.  I encourage you to get a copy of this for your edification, and the aid of others you come in contact with.  The best way to effectively share your faith, is to know it first.

Make sure to check out all of the pictures on the flickr page.

ISBN: 9781848711099

Book Reviews · Journal Review

A Review of the JOT Bible Life-Notes Journal in Black Genuine Leather.

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Do you study your Bible?  I don’t mean devotional reading.  I mean, do you sit down with your Bible, a journal, Greek/Hebrew resources and some commentaries, to unpack God’s word?  If you are a serious student of God’s word, you’ll love this journal.  Pastors study to prepare for sermons, Teachers study to instruct, Evangelists study to make the gospel known, Apologists study to make reasonable arguments, Christians study to be discipled.  As Christians we all should be studying God’s word.  Out of the available tools we have at our disposal, recording our thoughts on paper is one of the most effective ways of revisiting them.  Considering the above callings, it is very beneficial.  

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As a student, I’m often frustrated with the journals available on the market today.  They don’t open flat.  You always are fighting the cover of the journal.  They are small.  You can’t fit all of your thoughts from the entire Bible in one journal.  You end up with several unmatched journals floating around your house.  It ruins the continuity.  I also find that I lose them.  If you are going to a few different places in your Bible during a lesson, you have to remember which journals you wrote in.  You have to gather them and bring them with you.  The covers are usually flimsy card paper or moleskin.  

I realize some of you might be wondering what the fuss is about.  “Isn’t that why the invented wide margin Bibles?”  Well, yes and no.  Anyone who has used a wide margin Bible has run into the problem of not having ruled lines.  This might not seem like a big problem to those of you who have been blessed with the “spiritual gift” of beautiful handwriting. (just kidding. I know that is not one of the gifts.)  No ruled lines, is a real problem for me.  My notes meander all over the margin, not to mention that there is never enough room for some of the most elementary notables to be notated 🙂  While, wide margins have their place, they don’t fit the bill for some of us.  Space is the next issue with wide margin Bibles.  There is never enough blank space for notes.  You can never seem to get all of what you are thinking down on the paper next to the verses you are meditating on.

I often wonder what will happen to all of my journals?  They are all disorganized, and haphazard.  Will my kids toss them out after I’m gone?  Will they know what is in them?  I want to have my all of my ruminations in one volume, organized, durable, functional, and easily referenced.  On more than a few occasions, I’ve wondered if that was too much to ask.  After talking to several other Christian friends over the years, I found that I wasn’t alone.  We just consigned ourselves to the notion that our notes would forever be a collage of our faith journeys.

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I’m glad to say that someone has finally remedied this malady.  The JOT Bible Life-Notes is the perfect receptacle for your meditations, ruminations, and contemplations.  It matches your Bible in looks and size.  It is a fitting companion to bring to the pulpit with your trusty Bible.  It looks like a Bible, but it isn’t.  

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It matches the Bible book, chapter, and verse.  For every verse of the Bible there are two ruled lines with the verse number next to them, printed on fine, acid free, highly opaque, 42 g.s.m. Bible paper!  I mean what!?  You’ve got to be kidding me!  That is far superior to most paper used in Bible printing, and they have an entire journal made from it, sweeeeeeet!  I don’t know if you can tell from the pictures, but I am a pencil masher.  I tend to push pencils and pens through the page when I write.  If I am writing on thin paper, fogehtaboutit…  I hope you can tell from the pictures that this paper holds up to pencil quite well.  I would recommend pencil, as you can go back and edit notes later on.  We are always learning more, every time we read the Bible so sometimes you have to go back and add things to your notes or fix misunderstood verses.  Pencil erases nicely from this paper without leaving the paper wounded.

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I did write notes in John 1 in black ink. This section of scripture will always assure me of Christ’s power, and the truth of God’s Word. This is what it looks like when you use ink. Just be sure it is something you aren’t going to change. I will only use pencil for the rest of my notes.

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The printing of the lines and features of this journal is done in a consistent fashion.  I haven’t noticed any breaks in the lines.  The page edges are gold gilt.

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The JOT comes in a heavy duty two piece box that should be retained for storage.  It is seriously built better than most Bible boxes.

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The cover is supposed to be genuine leather.  I can’t place it though.  It seems too nice to be pigskin leather, but it is tougher than other cowhide leather covers.  Regardless, it is flexible and durable.  It is a work of form and function.

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The binding is a smythe-sewn spine in a case bound cover.  The spine of the JOT Bible Life-Notes is ornamented with five raised spine hubs.  The perimeter is stitched.  There is a presentation page in the front that includes a spot for you to write your contact information incase you lose your journal so that the person who finds it can get it back to you.

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There are three ribbon markers in, black, red, and blue. This thing is pretty much built like a quality Bible, but beefed up for note taking.  Again, to be clear, THIS IS NOT A BIBLE, IT IS A JOURNAL!!!  Don’t buy this thinking it is a Bible.  I know it looks like one, but it isn’t.  

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So just to recap the high points here; durable, useful, all your notes in one place, attractive, helpful, heirloom possibilities, preaching aid, study tool, memoirs from time with God’s word.

To be honest there is only one drawback that comes to mind.  It is a hefty tome, but if you know anything about book design, you’d know there are finite attributes that are interrelated.  When you change one thing it affects the others.  Using thick paper, and giving us room to write, necessitates a larger volume.  It can’t be helped.  I’d much rather have ample room along with function and form than have all form.  This thing is meant for work and does not need to be forgiven for that.  So if you are in the market for a high quality depository for all of your meditations instead of just a smattering of them, this is the journal for you.  Give it a try and recommend it to your friends, I know I am.  Make sure to check out all of the close up pictures I took of this journal on my flickr page here.  You can purchase yours on Amazon.  You can also check out their site here.
ISBN: 9780692396193

Bible Reviews · Bibles

A Review of the Trinitarian Bible Society’s KJV Classic Reference Bible in Black Calfskin Leather.

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As many of you know TBS is a Christian ministry that provides high quality, good value KJV Bibles to many Christians in need, worldwide. To support the ministry, we purchase Bibles from them and are also blessed. Not only do we get to be a part of providing God’s word to our brothers and sisters, we also get a durable, well built Bible for our own use. Knowing the proceeds go to furthering the Kingdom is a comforting thought as well. I hope you will consider purchasing your next Bible from TBS after reading my review of the Classic Reference Bible.

As always TBS exceeds my expectations in the packaging and shipping department. They go above and beyond to ensure that your Bible gets to you undamaged. They are the winner, hands down, when it comes to packaging. The Classic Reference Bible arrived undamaged in a heavy duty, white, cardboard box, cushioned inside with foam packing peanuts.
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The Bible itself was inside a sturdy cardboard slipcase, that should be retained for storage.

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After removing the plastic wrap from the slipcase, I could take the Bible out. It is not a large Bible and it is not as small as a typical compact Bible. It is a full KJV Bible and it does have the Cambridge Concord cross references. It is just a very handy size. It measures about 4 ¾” across, by 7 ¼” tall, by 1” thick.

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Here it is to the right of the TBS Windsor Text Bible. You can see that it is smaller than the text version while retaining the cross references.

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Most typical reference Bibles are around 6” across, by 9” tall, 1 ½” thick. So you can see there is a substantial difference in size. Of course a compact is smaller yet. If this Bible were the size of a typical compact the font would be too small for normal use. Fortunately, the font in this Bible is a legible 8 pt. in size. Since it is the traditional typesetting instead of a modern digital setting, the font would contrast a bit less against the page if not for its boldness.

Here it is laid over a page from the Windsor.

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The cover is listed as, “Calfskin” on the website. Keep in mind there is no industry standard. Technically the French Morocco Leather cover is made of calfskin, so it is true, but if you are expecting supple calfskin like some premium Bibles use, you will be disappointed. I don’t know why anyone would think that though considering the value pricing of this edition. I seriously don’t understand how a person could complain about this cover. Especially in light of the low cost and how much they are getting. For under fifty dollars they are getting a full KJV reference Bible, smyth-sewn binding, and genuine leather. Even if it is French Morocco, it is far superior to the covers of other Bibles in the same price range. Other Bibles in this price range use synthetic covers or bonded leather. The front cover is blank. The only gold lettering on the outside of this Bible is on the spine. It has the words, “Holy Bible” at the head, “Classic Reference Bible” directly under that, and the TBS logo at the tail. The cover is uniform in thickness and has a nice pattern pressed into it. It is on the smooth side and feels very durable. My first impression was, “This is a tough little Bible.”

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This Bible is case bound, and as such utilizes black vinyl covered paper as an interior liner and to join the cover to the text block.

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The front, inside, bottom edge has, “French Morocco Leather” in gold lettering stamped in it. Red and gold colored head and tail bands decorate this edition. It also includes two, black ribbon markers. The page edges are gold gilt. The corners and the spine are rounded. From the outside this Bible looks like what you’d expect a Bible to look like. It is a venerable style, and is very familiar.

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The front inside of this Bible has a nice presentation page on card paper with a couple of blank card paper pages following it. Then you have the title page and copyright/publisher’s information page.

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There is a list of the contents after that. It is followed by a guide to the pronunciation marks for self pronouncing text and an explanation of the bold-figure Concord cross reference system. Finally, there is the Epistle Dedicatory, the Translators to the Reader, and the list of the Books of the Bible.

The text of this edition should be familiar to KJV readers. It won’t take anytime at all to get right into and read. It is laid out in a double column, verse format, with center column references. The font is 8 pt. in size making it easy on the eyes. The center column references are pretty small and a bit tough to see, but they are discernable. The paper is thin Bible paper. It is opaque enough that the ghosting is mitigated. It does use the self-pronouncing text. Speaking of text, this is a black letter edition. The entire word of God is all the same color.

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There are two black ribbon markers to help you keep your place. This is very helpful for people who read out of the Old Testament and New Testament on a daily basis.

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One of the more significant, yet underappreciated features of this Bible is the smyth-sewn binding. Many publishers go for a cheaper glued binding. While TBS opts for a superior sewn binding in this edition. It is a bit tight at first, but as you use this Bible, the binding loosens up. Sewn bindings are much more durable and flexible. They add to the usefulness and longevity in a way that no other features do. I would say that it should be a prerequisite.

Contrary to popular belief, this edition of the Classic Reference Bible is not printed by Cambridge. Cambridge oversees the printing. It is also a typesetting of the Cambridge Concord that has been shrunk, and maintains the pagination. It is printed and bound by Printcorp in Minsk, Belarus for TBS. These distinctions can change depending on the production run at the time. It is acceptable to ask. TBS is always willing to answer specific questions. They are just an e-mail away.

Finally, in the rear of this Bible we have, Bible word list, Daily Bible reading plan, and 8 Color maps with Gazetteer.

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The long list of features are understated by the very familiar appearance of this Bible. It is a conveniently sized workhorse that should provide many years of service. I recommend this Bible to anyone in the market for a reference Bible that is a tad smaller than the usual fare, but not limited in helps like a compact.

You can get one from TBS at the site, except on Sunday it is closed.

You can also purchase one from evangelicalbible.com

4U/BK (Black)
ISBN: 9781862281950

Bible Reviews · Bibles

The (2015) ESV New Classic Reference Bible in TruTone Synthetic Cover.

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Let’s see what the 2015 New Classic Reference looks like, and compare it briefly to the edition it replaces.  I think you’ll find that there aren’t very many changes.  I ordered this Bible from Amazon.  It arrived in generally good shape.  It does not have a retail box.  Instead, it has a sleeve.  I prefer clamshell or two piece style boxes for storage. You tend to see clamshell style with premium Bibles, not value editions.  
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After tossing the sleeve away, I scrutinized the cover.  I like synthetic covers more than bonded leather.  If I can afford them, I purchase ones that are edge lined and covered in goatskin leather.  This synthetic cover was not bad.  It was soft and flexible.  I did get a crease in it by folding it over.  Once you get the paper liner creased it shows through the cover.  I don’t know how durable it will be.  I’ll get back to you on that on in a couple of years.  There is a good lifetime warranty on these Bibles.  I’m not worried about service should anything go wrong.  
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Here is the old edition in genuine leather
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Both Bibles have family records pages and presentation pages in the front

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One of the major qualities that I love about Crossway Bibles, is even their value Bibles use better paper than almost all of their competitors.  The paper in this thing is as good as some of the paper in the cost prohibitive premium Bibles.  It is very opaque and seems pretty heavy.  The old edition was printed on 24 pound (36 g.s.m.) Thincoat™.  The paper in the new edition is uncoated.  It remains the same weight.  It is whiter than the earlier edition which in comparison seems a little more off white.  It could be that since I’ve had the other Bible for a few years the paper has yellowed a bit, but I doubt it.  It is more likely that the coated paper of the earlier edition was responsible for the slight color difference.  

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Here is a look at the previous edition.
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There is a slight tradeoff when using a heavier paper.  The Bible, by necessity of finites becomes thicker.  That being said, I would much rather a Bible be thicker and very legible than be thinner and barely legible.  Ghosting is a real problem on thinner paper and can make daily reading a near impossible task.  The New Classic Reference is not too heavy or big.  It feels good to hold and read from.  The fact that it is a tad bit thicker doesn’t make it uncomfortable to use.  I find it to be subjectively, one of the most comfortable Bibles I’ve spent hours reading from.

Both the older edition and the new one, offer good contrast between the paper and the text.  The text is a modern setting of Lexicon font in 9 pt size.  It is sharp and crisp against the backdrop of the page.  This is a red letter edition with the words of Christ printed in red.  Some people like this feature and others think it detracts from the entirety of the word being inspired.  I don’t have an opinion either way.  If it is done well, I like it.  The red and black ink is consistent throughout.  

Here is the new one
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Here is the old one

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There are book introductions at the beginning of each book.  

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This is pretty helpful without adding the bulk that a study Bible would have.  The New Classic Reference is laid out in a double column, paragraph format, with center column references.  

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This is pretty standard, but again due to the paper quality, uniform printing, and smyth-sewn binding this Bible stands out.  I am thinking about rebinding it in goatskin leather.  It is an excellent candidate for rebind because of the low initial purchase price, paper, print, and the sewn binding.  If you couldn’t tell by now, this does have a sewn binding making it flexible and durable.  

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It has one ribbon marker that matches the color scheme of the Bible.  It is a pretty thin ribbon.  


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The spine has also been rounded.  

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The older edition has a flatter spine that doesn’t appear rounded.  

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The older edition was manufactured in the United States, while this one was manufactured in China.  As long as Crossway can ensure quality control, this shouldn’t be a problem.  Other publishers have not been able to, and have suffered the consequential negative effects to their reputations.

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An excellent three column concordance is included in the back with 32, color maps and illustrations.  

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The overall impression I got was that this is still the same reference Bible that so many people have loved over the years with some small changes.  The most important qualities have not changed.  It remains very legible, and easy on the eyes for long bouts of reading.  It wins, hands down over many other similarly priced Bibles due to the paper, print, and binding.  Throw in the formal equivalent English Standard Version (ESV) translation and you have a great reference Bible.

Make sure to check out all the pictures of the New Classic Reference here, and the old one here.

Here are the stats and info from the Crossway product page,

About the ESV New Classic Reference Bible

The ESV New Classic Reference Bible is a new edition of the first ESV Bible edition ever published in 2001—the ESV Classic Reference Bible. This practical and popular format combines the ESV text with a robust concordance and one of the most comprehensive and useful cross-reference systems available today—more than 80,000 references conveniently located in the center column on each page. This edition adds 32 pages of full-color maps of Bible lands and illustrations of historic biblical sites, structures, and objects for ready reference and insight. The ESV New Classic Reference Bible’s balance of helpful reference features and convenient size make it an ideal Bible for everyday use—at home, at church, at school, and on the road.

  • Size: 5.5″ x 8.4375″
  • 9.0-point type
  • 1,344 pages
  • Double-column, paragraph format
  • Words of Christ in red
  • More than 80,000 center-column cross-references
  • 32 full-color pages of maps and illustrations
  • Introductions to each Bible book
  • Extensive concordance
  • Ribbon marker
  • Presentation pages
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Lifetime guarantee

Specifications

Format: TruTone
Page Count: 1,344
ISBN-10: 1-4335-4557-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-4557-3
Trim Size: 5.5 in x 8.4375 in
Weight: 31.8 ounces
Published: January 31, 2015
Type Size: 9.0
Page Layout: Double Column
Additional Features: Sewn Binding

Maps

Illustrations

Lifetime Guarantee

Cross-references

Concordance

Book intros

Ribbon

Gilded edges

Words of Christ Red

ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-4557-3
ISBN-13: 9781433545573

Repentance · Theology

Two Types of Repentance.

There are two types of repentance.  One that leads to death and one that leads to life.  Which one do you have?

There is one repentance that leads to death. That is the ritualistic, self-righteous act of atoning for your own sin. There is another that leads to life. That is the one of truly realizing that it is God who you have sinned against. Having true shame and sorrow over the sin that you have committed against God. A sorrow that leads you to hate the sins that you do. A sorrow that makes you zealous for God’s will and obedience to Him. One comes from a self-centered heart that is dead in sin. The other comes from a heart that is after God’s own will.

2 Corinthians 7:9-11 NASB [9] I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. [10] For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. [11] For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter.

Acts 13:22-24 NASB “After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will.’ [23] “From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, [24] after John had proclaimed before His coming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

Uncategorized

Trigger Words, Microaggressions, and Further Idiocy Oh My!

We’ve lost the ability to reason and now feel everything. It is insane!

If you’ve been to a college campus, public school, or work lately, you probably have had to sit through a class on, “Micro-Aggressions and Trigger Words.” For those of you lucky enough to have not been exposed to this, consider yourselves blessed. This is one of the most insidious forms of attack on free speech that I have seen in many years. It is very sneaky and subtle, masquerading as consideration for others feelings, but in reality it is being used to litigate you into keeping your mouth shut all the time. Just like the mind policing in the book, “1984.”

It is all so very subjective as well. I can declare my lil’ ol’ self a victim and become a victim, at the same time transforming you into a vile offender, just by feeling an affront, whether intended or not. The offender is guilty solely based on my subjective, hurt feelers. Look out! Be on the watch! Haven’t you heard? Words come from feelings and thoughts. Feelings and thoughts come from your heart and your head. Watch and control what you think and feel or they might make their way out into dangerous words. Words that cause trauma.

I seem to remember a saying from my childhood, “Sticks and stones, may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This little axiom has served me well over the years, but what do I know? I mean, afterall I live in the real world. I’ve been a Corrections Officer for the last 20 years. I’ve been assaulted. I’ve seen savage assaults. People have died due to these assaults. I’ve defended my family with physical force. I’ve defended nice people in public from being physically assaulted. The people claiming trauma from microaggressions have never truly been exposed to real aggression or experienced real trauma. They sit like tiny wisps of web in a dark corner yearning to come out into the light, only to be blown away by the first slight breeze that comes along. They have no anchor. They have no steadfastness. They are worthless under true strain and toil. They have placed their feelings and themselves on the throne of God to be worshipped by all others. There is no humility in being the perpetual victim. There is no right of, “Not being offended.” There is however a right to be able to say what you want and express your thoughts, however inane you are. We can’t infringe upon this Constitutionally protected right.

Imagine this nonsense playing out in a country where people worry about thugs breaking down their doors and killing them. News flash, the people who use these weapons of unreasonable emotion against us are the thugs. They are taking our right to free speech and expression with their new shiny gotcha guns. “Oh, you hurt my poor wittle feelings wif your microaggressions” Wipe the tears from your eyes nancy-boy and get a job in the real world. Maybe lump loading freight onto pallets so the forklift driver can take them away will help you? Maybe pulling green-chain at a wood mill will toughen you up? Perhaps a job in a meat packing plant or slaughter house will help you? Maybe, working for a living instead of existing off of tax-fed government programs will help you see the light? Who am I kidding? We all know that your type couldn’t survive in the world without help.

That’s why you have to pervert it into some parasitical facade, subsiding off the labor of others is the only way a limp wristed, slack jawed, maggot like you could survive. You’re killing the host that sustains you! Idiots!!!

I can’t put all the blame on you. There is plenty for men like me. We should have tormented you until you died and were born again hard. As soon as we discerned your weakness, we should have planned for your redemption. We should have made it our personal mission to help you grow into a man. We should have realized that we have a vested interest in your development. We failed you, and I am regretful. I apologize for not seeing your great need of a beating, shame, or harsh words, at the opportune time. I apologize for not teaching you the difference between real and imagined suffering. I apologize for letting you get by at work. I apologize for not making everything into a competition, where all involved would learn to excel. Even the loser produces more when honor is important and on the line. I apologize for not saying something to you when your children misbehave in the store. I apologise for not shaming you when you deserved it.

Too many weaklings, too many cowards, not enough men punching idiots in the face. Seriously, if you said something stupid when I was young, you got socked in the jaw. Guess what, you learn a lot from a good beating. I’m not talking the type of gang-land honorless beatings you see doled out by gutless wonders on the street. I’m talking about a good honest, put up your dukes, one on one fight, over an issue worthy of fisticuffs. To all the people who say you can’t solve problems with violence, I say, “You’ve never made a friend by beating him in a fight.” When you know a man will fight for his rights, or what he believes is right, and you know this because he fought you over them, whoever wins can respect the one who lost, because he knows that man is a man of action and character. Now, we lockem’ up and label them violent offenders. We have a society of sissified, self-important, entitled, leeches, bleeding the rest of us dry and vilifying us. When we are all gone, and you delicates are left alone, to watch in horror as your real enemies crawl over the unkept walls of our dead constitution to slit your throats in broad daylight, remember this… it is all your fault.

For those of you who think this is unbecoming of a Christian man, or think that I’m not demonstrating grace, well, you may be right. I am angry. I am frustrated. I don’t like what I’m seeing and hearing. It has sickened me. So this is a knee-jerk, polemic against the overly sensitive. I still think it was necessary and good for people to see. They need to know that we are on to them. Maybe I could have been more diplomatic or considerate, but given the topic, I thought it fitting to be blunt. I might well be sinning by being so open with my thoughts and feelings on the topic, but hey, “that is a microaggression and you’re causing me trauma” goes both ways.

Theology

Job 28 and the Source of Wisdom.

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What’s precious to man? Silver, gold, ores, and jewels? We know where they come from. We mine them from the Earth, but where does wisdom, the most precious thing come from? Can we mine it from the Earth? Has God hidden it there? Can we buy it and become wise with a purchase? Where does wisdom come from? Let’s read what Job’s answer was in Job 28.
Job 28:1-28 NASB
[1] “Surely there is a mine for silver And a place where they refine gold.
[2] “Iron is taken from the dust, And copper is smelted from rock.
[3] “Man puts an end to darkness, And to the farthest limit he searches out The rock in gloom and deep shadow.
[4] “He sinks a shaft far from habitation, Forgotten by the foot; They hang and swing to and fro far from men.
[5] “The earth, from it comes food, And underneath it is turned up as fire.
[6] “Its rocks are the source of sapphires, And its dust contains gold.
[7] “The path no bird of prey knows, Nor has the falcon’s eye caught sight of it.
[8] “The proud beasts have not trodden it, Nor has the fierce lion passed over it.
[9] “He puts his hand on the flint; He overturns the mountains at the base.
[10] “He hews out channels through the rocks, And his eye sees anything precious.
[11] “He dams up the streams from flowing, And what is hidden he brings out to the light.
[12] “But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
[13] “Man does not know its value, Nor is it found in the land of the living.
[14] “The deep says, ‘It is not in me’; And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
[15] “Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it, Nor can silver be weighed as its price.
[16] “It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, In precious onyx, or sapphire.
[17] “Gold or glass cannot equal it, Nor can it be exchanged for articles of fine gold.
[18] “Coral and crystal are not to be mentioned; And the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls.
[19] “The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, Nor can it be valued in pure gold.
[20] “Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding?
[21] “Thus it is hidden from the eyes of all living And concealed from the birds of the sky.
[22] “Abaddon and Death say, ‘With our ears we have heard a report of it.’
[23] “God understands its way, And He knows its place.
[24] “For He looks to the ends of the earth And sees everything under the heavens.
[25] “When He imparted weight to the wind And meted out the waters by measure,
[26] When He set a limit for the rain And a course for the thunderbolt,
[27] Then He saw it and declared it; He established it and also searched it out.
[28] “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.'”

Gill’s commentary on Chapter 28

INTRODUCTION TO JOB 28

The design of this chapter is either to show the folly of such who are very diligent in their search and pursuit after earthly things, and neglect an inquiry after that which is infinitely more valuable, true wisdom; or rather to observe, that though things the most secret, and which are hidden in the bowels of the earth, may be investigated and discovered by the sagacity and diligence of men, yet wisdom cannot, especially the wisdom of God in his providences, which are past finding out; and particularly in what concerns the prosperity of the wicked, and the afflictions of the righteous; the reason of which men should be content to be ignorant of for the present, and be studious to possess that wisdom which is attainable, and be thankful for it, if they have it; which lies in the fear of the Lord, and a departure from evil, with which this chapter concludes. It begins with setting forth the sagacity of men in searching and finding out useful metals, and other things the earth produces; the difficulty, fatigue, and labour, that attend such a search, and the dangers they are exposed unto in it, Job_28:1; then it declares the unsearchableness of wisdom, its superior excellency to things the most valuable, and that it is not to be found by sea or land, or among any of the creatures, Job_28:12; and that God only knows its way and place, who has sought it out, prepared and declared it, Job_28:23; and that which he has thought fit to make known of it, and is most for his glory and the good of men, is, that it is to fear God, and depart from evil, Job_28:28.

Bible Reviews

A Review of the NKJV Foundation Study Bible, in Hardcover

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The Bible was shipped to me free in return for an honest review. It arrived undamaged and in generally good condition except for a bent corner. It is a hardcover with a dustjacket. It is case bound, and smyth-sewn. It is produced in China and does not seem to suffer major quality problems that you might find in other Chinese made Bibles. I have a general dislike of dustjackets and remove them.

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The spine is rounded, there are plain jane, white, head and tail bands. There are no ribbon markers.

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The paper is sufficiently white and opaque.

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This is a value edition in my opinion. It is nothing spectacular. The price is very low and affordable. The font seems smallish at about 8 point. The notes are even smaller. There are book introductions at the start of each book. It is laid out in a double column, verse format, red letter edition with center column references and notes at the bottom of the page. It is a pretty typical layout, so no surprises there. I actually like the layout.

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At 8 ¾” by 5 ½” by about 1 ½” this is not a large study Bible. Matter of opinion, I wouldn’t call it a study Bible. I would call it an enhanced reference Bible. The notes are very basic and limited. I understand the intended audience is immature Christians. I believe they would be better served from a true study Bible. This would be good for a person who wants a smaller hardcover reference Bible with a bit more in the way of notes. If you want a study Bible, get a MacArthur Study Bible, or an ESV Study Bible. There is a concordance and some maps in the back of this Bible. The maps are printed on a matte paper and should hold up better than the high gloss ones of yesterday. So to sum up, I would recommend this to someone looking for an inexpensive reference Bible with some extra notes. I wouldn’t recommend this for someone to use as a serious study aid. This would be a good Bible to give away to people.

Take a look at the pictures here on my Flickr page.

ISBN-13: 9780718034320

Bible Reviews

A Review of the Study Bible for Women by Holman Personal Size Edition.

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Let’s look at the, “Study Bible for Women” in the HCSB translation, personal size edition, from Holman. It comes in a quality leathertouch, (synthetic leather) teal and brown cover . It was a very pleasant surprise to see some actual study aids as opposed to junk food. There is academic quality here. There are some notes on hermeneutics, theology, some original language notes and transliteration help. Most women’s Bibles are pink and have a bunch of Osteen-esque, self help, self-esteem, feel good, prattle in them with little in the way of useful exegesis of scripture or how to apply it today. This study Bible has significant work in it from two established Christian women. Here are short biographies from Holman’s site,

“Dorothy Kelley Patterson is Professor of Theology in Women’s Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. She is a homemaker, popular speaker, and successful writer, editor, and compiler of numerous books including A Handbook for Ministers’ Wives, The Family, BeAttitudes for Women, and Touched by Greatness: Women in the Life of Moses. She is co-editor of the two volume Women’s Evangelical Commentary:Old Testament and New Testament. Her husband Paige is President of Southwester Baptist Theological Seminary.”

and,

“Rhonda Harrington Kelley is President’s wife and Adjunct Professor of Women’s Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a frequent speaker for women as well as an author of books including Divine Disciple, Life Lessons for Women of the Bible, and Personal Holiness: A Biblical Study for Developing a Holy Lifestyle. She is co-editor of the three volume Women’s Evangelical Library including Women’s Evangelical Commentary: Old Testament, New Testament, and The Study Bible for Women. Her husband Chuck Kelley is President of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.”

There is some of the fluff, don’t get me wrong. It is just kept in its proper place and proportion. I think that women should find this very helpful. However, I am not a woman and am just commenting because I want one like this for men.

Here is what the Publisher has to say about this Bible,

“Publisher’s Description
The Study Bible for Women will equip you to reach deep into God’s Word. Perhaps the single most powerful aspect of this Bible are the “threads” of specialized study thoughtfully woven throughout, pointing you to God’s larger story and allowing the Holy Spirit to write His revealed truths on your heart.

In The Study Bible for Women, personal size edition you’ll join a host of other women, all academically trained in the original languages of the Bible and passionate about God’s Word, for an intimately deep dive into Scripture that will equip you to unlock the riches and majesty of His Word, and ignite a passion to mentor others in your life to do the same. The Study Bible for Women includes the full text of the Holman Christian Standard Bible, a clear, contemporary English translation that’s faithful to the original languages of the Bible.

Features include extensive commentary notes, word studies, answers to hard questions, doctrinal notes, Biblical womanhood articles, character profiles, Written on My Heart applications, extensive book introductions, presentation pages, in-text maps, charts & time-lines, full-color maps section and concordance.”

The Bible was shipped in a cardboard box with paper packing material. The Bible was inside a two piece retail box. It arrived undamaged and in good condition. I can’t stress enough that this is not some cheap synthetic leather, nor is it some hard, shiny, pigskin leather you would find on other Bibles in this price range. This is a good quality synthetic cover.

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The spine is hot stamped with, “HCSB” at the top, “The Study Bible for Women” orientated horizontally along the spine in the middle, and at the bottom is the Holman logo. The page edges are silver. The pages are white with a faded blue color that becomes more solid as you approach the page edges and perimeter of the page.

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The paper is 30 g.s.m. making it pretty opaque. Lighter paper would not have been good. With this weight of paper you don’t have much in the way of ghosting (seeing the text on the backside of the page show through) There are numerous decorative designs throughout. I don’t know what your opinion is of that, but I could do without them. The font used for the main text is 8.5 point in ITC Clearface Standard. (Open-type) This makes it easy on they eyes unless you have bad eyesight. The coloring of the page perimeters could cut down on the contrast of the text to the paper. The paper could be a little brighter white where the text is, but then the perimeter effect would be lost. The text is laid out in a double column, paragraph format with the cross-references on the outside of the page instead of at the bottom or in a center column. Interspersed throughout are other features.

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The inside cover is made of paper of the same color and glued down. They did a good job with the corners. There is one ribbon marker and it is matching in color as well. The binding on this Bible is a South Korean, sewn binding. They have been doing a lot of Holman’s bindings and are holding up quite well. This also makes them flexible on top of being durable. Way better than a glued binding.

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Even though this is a study Bible, I don’t want you to be afraid that it is a behemoth. (funny right?) For a study Bible this thing is very manageable. In the personal size edition it is even more manageable than its full sized sister. It is just the right size for ladies who don’t want to use a hand-truck to carry their study Bibles to Wednesday night Bible Study. I think it is a very good investment if you are looking for a women’s study Bible that has good content instead of the motivational junk you get pushed on you nowadays.
Make sure to check out all of the pictures I took of this Bible here. There are lots of close-ups.
ISBN-13: 9781433607608