Featured

A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (UBS4): 2nd Revised Edition by Bruce Metzger

9781598561647oIn the past few months I have been fascinated by the study of textual criticism. To see how men are actively reviewing the manuscripts of the Bible to determine what was originally written has opened up to me a new appreciation for the Word of God. It has also shown me why there are some differences in various translations of the English Bible.

In his book, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (UBS4): 2nd Revised Edition, Dr. Bruce Metzger gives detail into verses of the New Testament and why the committee of the Greek New Testament (United Bible Society, 4th edition) chose the readings that they did. Dr. Metzger gives historical background on certain manuscripts and also the methodology of the translators to show how they arrived at the conclusions they did.

In some cases the choice was easy. A verse or verses did not follow the flow of the writer so it was apparent that someone changed the text. In other cases, many manuscripts agreed with each other and only a few dissented. However, there are some where the decision was not so easy and the reasoning was given by Dr. Metzger on why the reading was chosen over another reading.

As an example, there is a famous passage of Scripture, the woman caught in adultery, that is not in some of the best manuscripts. Also, some have it in a different gospel. Dr. Metzger goes into the history of this passage citing church fathers, current research, and textual evidences to show the reader that this passage may not be authentic. Thus, when the reader sees in a modern translation notes about this story not being in the original, Dr. Metzger’s book gives reasons why it is treated as such.

I also appreciate the introduction which gave history into the field of textual criticism. Dr. Metzger points out that certain documents seem to originate from a common source and there are several common sources for many of the manuscripts discovered to this date. These common sources share characteristics which let the translator know how a passage was written.

Some of the characteristics are: paraphrasing over verbatim copying, explanation of the texts versus leaving the words as is, changing of words for better flow of grammatical structuring, and questioning certain words or phrases altogether.

This book has really opened my eyes into Bible translation and the painstaking way in which the translators are carefully regarding each word they hold to be authentic.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Advertisements

Encountering God through Expository Preaching by Jim Scott Orick, Brian Payne, and Ryan Fullerton

ExpositoryThis title caught my eye and I was curious as to what it was regarding. I am usually hesitant about anyone mentioning encountering God because my personal experience is at some point they want my money. This book is different in that it shows the value of expository preaching and how, when done correctly, those hearing the preaching should encounter God.

The authors first point out that the preacher must realize his/her role and work on being the best communicator they can. Not everyone is gifted at preaching but this should not cause self limitation to be placed. Work at being a better preacher so that your audience, be they one or many, can see God.

From there, the authors give advice on how to deliver an expository message Biblically. By making sure the message is both accurate and communicated, the audience has the opportunity to encounter God. Should one of these be messing either God is misrepresented or the audience is lost wondering where the message is headed.

I was impressed by this book an will take the message to heart. I have done some preaching and it helps to hear how to deliver a Biblically-based message and in a way that reaches the hearts of my audience.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

The Potential Principle by Mark Sanborn

233_380_book-2354-coverIs there something that beats the best? There is…that which is better.

In his newest book, The Potential Principle, Mark Sanborn gives potent advice on how to get better at who you are, what you do, and the legacy you want to leave. By giving examples of successful people, Sanborn shows his readers that everyone can get better if they only take the time to do so.

He then shows how to get better at something. Whether it is reviewing what one has done to learn or surrounding one’s self with people better than they are, Sanborn lays out a proven path that those who practice it will see themselves getting better and better.

Having been an avid fan of Mark Sanborn for some time I really appreciated the practicality of this book and the ease of understanding the material. While this book will find itself in the business section it is more than that and I encourage everyone to take a look at this book. I believe it will be well worth it.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

 

The Whole Bible Story by Dr. William H. Marty

9780801098642When it comes to reading the Bible sometimes there can be a disconnect when reading a particular book. When focusing on the material in one book we forget that the Bible has an overarching story throughout the entire Pages.

Dr. William H Marty has put together a book so that the individual reading the Bible understands the global story that the Bible is trying to portray outside of the local stories that are happening. What I mean by local stories in my example is what is happening at a certain time and place.

By showing the narrative as a continual story rather than a bunch of stories woven together dr. Marty allows for the reader of the Bible to see how God is working his plan throughout human history to accomplish as well and show his glory.

This book has great insights and helpful images to show exactly what is happening as a reader goes through the pages and the corresponding verses in the Bible. One aspect I was really happy with is that this  particular book does not try to teach a particular Doctrine or Viewpoint. Rather it is simply giving the reader the  the higher story within the smaller stories that the Bible is telling.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Know the Word Study Bible: KJV Edition

225_350_book-2357-coverMany would like to have a better understanding of Scripture for their own growth. The KJV: Know the Word Study Bible seeks to aid in this quest. This is done by three methods of study: verse by verse, book by book, and topic by topic.

The verse and book aids are similar to most other study bible with footnotes and book introductions. As such, I did not find these much of a standout. However, the topic aid was quite nice with 21 topics and accompanying articles to assist the reader on developing an understanding of each topic.

I would suggest this Bible for someone who is new to Christianity and wants to develop a good foundation before really digging deep in the depths of God’s Word.

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn

TreasureGiving is not something that comes easily to a lot of people. Marketing in the United States seems to scream at us to accumulate as much as possible. Forget the welfare of another: you are on this planet for yourself. Jesus would say otherwise.

In his book, The Treasure Principle, Randy Alcorn gives ample evidence that giving is something that God not only wants but He also commands. It is in giving that we begin to see our selfish wants peel away and diminish. By letting go of our possessions we find joy in helping others and understand more of God’s character.

This book may be little in size but it is large in its message. I wish that more people would read this book and begin to give. The world needs it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

 

CSB Apologetics Study Bible, Student Edition

9781433644108_csb_apologeticsstudybibleforstudents_jacket-300x400Defending the Bible and it’s teachings, called Apologetics, is a study that can benefit greatly. By solidifying the truths of Scriptures with potent arguments one can rest assured that Scripture is the Word of God. Also, one can believe that God knows best even when certain teachings go against current culture.

The CSB Apologetics Study Bible, Student Edition, seeks to arm students with information to defend their beliefs against arguments that seek to erode the foundation of Biblical doctrine. With information from archaeology, history, personal stories, and others, this Bible gives resources to those who find themselves being asked questions that at first glance seem to strike at the heart of Scripture.

However, once the information is presented it is abundantly clear that God’s Word stand the test of time and will never succumb to scrutiny of those trying to destroy it.

I really enjoyed this Bible and the articles presented. While most of this information is not new to me I can see how those seeing it for the first time would enjoy a Bible like this for personal study and defense of Christianity. College students would do well to have a Bible such as this should they be attending a college where Christianity is often attacked.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Getting the Gospel Right by R. C. Sproul

9780801019692The Gospel. How important is it to get the good news of Jesus Christ right? What are the ramifications of such an undertaking? Some would say that Roman Catholics and Protestants are in agreement with what the Gospel is. Others would say that they are vastly different. Is it such a big deal?

In his book, Getting the Gospel Right, Dr. R.C. Sproul examines two documents: Evangelicals and Catholics and The Gift of Salvation. These documents were signed by Evangelicals and Catholics leaders in an effort to agree on the fundamental teachings of the Gospel. R.C. Sproul sets forth to show that, while the documents were signed, the doctrinal teachings of Roman Catholicism and Evangelicals are not the same.

By highlighting the two documents and breaking down each of the statements contained therein, Dr. Sproul demonstrates that what was written is not Scriptural. He carefully exposes some of the flaws of these documents and champions the mottos of the Reformation: sola gratia (grace alone), sola fide (faith alone), soli Christo (Christ alone).

This book is a great introduction into the variances within Christendom between Roman Catholics and Evangelicals. I encourage those want to know more to read additional titles by R.C. Sproul to get a viewpoint from a reformed theologian and contrast that with those from Roman Catholics.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for my honest review.