Men and Women in the Church by Dr. Kevin DeYoung

In an age where the distinctions between the sexes are actively trying to be blurred, how the does the Bible address the roles of men and women, especially in the church? Does the Bible teach that culture dictates the roles or does the Bible transcend culture?

In his book, Dr. DeYoung, unpacks the roles that God intends for men and women and gives foundation for why he teaches this. Starting with Genesis, DeYoung focuses on how God originally designed men and women and how sinned has eroded this understanding causing competition and confusion.

DeYoung also discusses various passages and gives his reason for why he may, or may not, support those who see such passages differently.

For example, 1 Timothy 2:11 mentions that women should keep silent in the church. Following then is verse 12 which gives what a woman is not permitted to do. What did Paul intend with this statement? Were women to remain mute during church gatherings? DeYoung states this

“Thus, the command for quietness and submission begins verse 11, and the command for silence finishes verse 12. In the middle we have an explanation of what it means for women to learn in quietness and full submission. Women should not teach (respecting the command for quietness) and should not have authority over a man (respecting the command for all submissiveness).” pg. 80

DeYoung then expounds on these two verses demonstrating what teaching looks like, or does not look like, for a woman at church in relation to remaining silent. I must admit that I am still digesting what he said as I try to understand Scripture more in this area. It has challenged me to see what culture tries to teach and weigh it against the truths of Scripture.

DeYoung continues with other passages and gives his understandings on how God has gifted men and women and prescribed roles for them. His goal is to challenge men and women to align with God’s design and to nurture each other to make each of the sexes more like Christ.

*I received a review copy from Crossway in exchange for this review.


Book of Jonah: Word for Word Bible Comic

It is only recently that I have renewed by interest in animation, especially those that both are well developed and have a good storyline, such as One Punch Man. I remember reading Bible comics when I was a teenager with most of them being decent but written as a comic first and the Word of God second. With many more people becoming interested in animation, whether it be cinema or anime, having quality comics that are Biblically-based would be a wonderful asset to have.

Enter the Word for Word Bible Comics. Their goal is produce quality comics that are not only Biblically based but also use the text of Scripture for the narrative. As I read the comics, I appreciate that I was reading Scripture (NIV) and not some stylized form of Scripture. When interpretations were used for the graphics the reasons were listen at the back of the comic. In the case of the Book of Jonah, the animators drew the fish as a whale-like creature and gave their reasons for doing so.

I hope these types of comics can cause more Christians to produce similar types of work without compromising Scripture or feeling like they have to produce “cheezy Bible comics”. I cannot wait to see what else comes from Word for Word comics

*I received a review copy in exchange for my honest assessment.

NIV Grace & Truth Study Bible

The NIV Grace & Truth Study Bible is a new Bible from Zondervan which has the goal of “…delivering Bible readers a trustworthy and approachable guide to Scripture.” In reviewing this Bible, there are a few things that I noticed that were of interest to me.

First are the study notes. While some study Bibles came crowd the pages with notes, references, this Bible does a decent job of not distracting the reader with too much information. There are center column references and notes in the gutter of each page but most of the pages are well balanced so as to have enough notes to aid the reader but not have pages of notes and minuscule amounts of Biblical texts.

There are book introductions that are succinct but provide enough information so that the reader has a good understanding of the author and intent of the book being read.

As to design, the Bible has a double column layout in a 9pt font for the main text and smaller font (I want guess around 6-7pt) for the notes and center references. The line spacing makes a good read both for the main text and notes. This surprised me as I did not have to focus much when reading the study notes. This has not always been the case with previous Bibles I have reviewed. Overall, this is a decent study Bible with good notes for studying God’s truth focusing on grace and truth.

This Bible was provided to me by BibleGateway and is my own review. I was not influenced to give a positive or negative review. #BibleGatewayPartner

The Attributes of God: Volume 2 by A.W. Tozer

This volume is an amazing collection of some of God’s attributes as discussed by A.W. Tozer. There are ten different attributes taught on ranging from God’s eternalness, His omnipotence, to His love and faithfulness. Most topics range around 20 pages to give a good understanding of the attribute. In addition, there is a study guide in the back for both personal and group study. This, paired Volume 1, would be a great tool for discipleship and personal growth in one’s Christian faith and I highly recommend both.

*I received a reviewed copy in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Thompson Chain NASB (1977) Bible from Zondervan in Hardback

When it comes to study Bibles, one of the most well known ones is the Thompson Chain line of Bibles. Having been around for almost 100 years in some form, the Thompson Chain Bibles have blessed many over the years and have increased the knowledge of the Scriptures. Zondervan has now taken over the publishing of the Thompson Chain and I have the opportunity to review of these reprints.

For those unfamiliar with the Thompson Chain, it works as follows. As a person reads the Scriptures, there is a running list on the sides of the Bible with numbers and words. Each number corresponds to a topic (the words next to the number) that can then been referenced in the Index of Chains in the back of the Bible. Then, a person can see that topic along with associated topics.

For example, in Job 19 (see pic), there is the number 3296 for Evil Words. Using that number, the Chain in the back has additional helps for evil words like vain, proud, malicious to name a few. That is the strength of this Bible.

There are other helps as well like maps, concordance, and book outlines in additional to other helps. This would then be a great resource for just about any Bible reader.

As to the Bible itself, the paper is creamy white but does have some noticeable bleed through. This lends itself to not being a good choice for writing/journaling in it. However, it does lower the weight some, though it is still a heavier Bible.

The text is slightly over 8pt in size and the chain link text is smaller still. Those who struggle with smaller fonts should look at a large print edition. The darkness of the text makes reading easier and the red is a good red that is not too light so that it looks pinkish. I would have preferred a NASB95 text but such is not the case. There are other texts like KJV, NIV, and ESV available.

I would recommend that those who are looking to gift a Bible like this, purchase a leather bound copy that is designed to last much longer. My father-in-law has a leather Thompson that he has been using for years and has held up well.

This Bible then will serve well all you use its many aids and should bless those who desire to understand and study Scripture more.

*I received a review copy from Biblegateway in exchange for my unbiased review. I was not told or expected to give a positive review.

To be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism

This book is just as the title states: an Anglican catechism. In similar history as other catechisms it is a question and answer book to teach Scriptural truths to both young and old. However, one noticeable difference is the attention to Christ.

Whereas other catechism focus on truths about God, His nature, and then our responses to these truths, this book focuses more on how these questions and answers should point us towards Christ: to both honor Him and be like Him. In this way, the “Christian” part of this book’s title takes on new meaning: Christian = little Christ or Christ-like. For this reason, I appreciate the layout of this catechism with respect to others.

*I received a review copy from Crossway in exchange for my honest assessment.

NIV Verse Mapping Series by Zondervan

The Bible Verse Mapping series is line of Bible products based on the study system developed by Kristy Cameron. The intent is to take a verse and explore the depths of this verse by looking at the words in the original languages, using other translations to see how it could also be rendered. From this foundation there are action steps like asking questions to better understand the verse, making practical applications and also reading the verse in context understand it fully.

What I appreciate about this line is that it does not rely on study notes from a team or Bible teacher for understanding. These can be beneficial. Rather, it allows the reader to be making the notes. This makes it more personal and can also act as a journal for reflection similar in the way the Book of Psalm is a journal-type book of David. It can be shared and passed on to bless others.

Box Cover

As to the Bible construction, I have reviewing the hardback for both the adult and the tween girls. Both are almost identical save for some artwork inside the tween girls. The NIV Comfort Print font is used for both with an 8pt font size. They are not red letter and are double column. There is a wide margin on the outside of each page for additional notes or sketchings.

The lay flat binding is a nice feature to allow for writing with ease. The paper is decent and thick. I would like to see it a little thicker especially since this is designed for writing.

Verse Mapping

The Bible journal is spiral bound is almost blank save for the mapping prompts. This is nice for those who have a Bible they like and do not want another Bible. The paper in the journal is much thicker which I found ideal.

This series would be a nice resource to consider for those who want to do more study on their own or who want to sketch their thoughts.

I received these for free as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid  #BibleGatewayPartner.

NIV Study Bible, Fully Revised Edition (Hardcover)

The flagship Bible for Zondervan, the NIV Study Bible has been a Bible that has been used by multitudes of people for many years. With it easy to read font, lots of study aids, and the well known NIV translation, it is easy to see why this line of Bible has sold millions of copies.

This Bible is a double column layout with study notes in the gutter, references in between the columns, and study aids placed in good locations to give a better understanding of the text being read. There are book introductions that give authorship, date when the book was written (if known), themes of the book, book background, and an outline highlighting major stories/topics of the book.

The photos are full color and look amazing. I have had study Bibles with either black and white pictures or poorly done colored photos that looked abysmal. This Bible shows just what a quality photo can do for Biblical understanding.

The Bible has a 9pt font in the Comfort Print font and does have red lettering. The red letter is not pink in color but looks more dark cherry red to me. It weights about 4 pounds (1.8kg) which doesn’t lend itself to carry around in a backpack or briefcase. However, there is personal size Bible which is a bit lighter (3.3 pounds, 1.5kg).

Those who are looking to have great resources in a printed Bible and like the NIV translation should consider this Bible.

I received this review copy from BibleGateway. #BibleGatewayPartner.

Halley’s Study Bible (NIV)

The Halley’s Bible Handbook has been an excellent resource for many over the years. From college students to pastors, laymen to teachers, many have used Halley’s information to expound on the Bible, its peoples, and histories.

However, one of the drawbacks was having to carry around both the Bible and the handbook. No longer. With the introduction of the Halley’s Study Bible, the Bible and Halley’s notes are together in one volume.

Having over 750 articles, charts, and maps plus over 6,000 study notes and 10,000 references in its concordance, the Halley Study Bible has combined the best of Halley’s notes in easy to find locations within a Bible.

The Bible itself (hardback edition) is not heavy compared to some study Bibles and the paper is light but not too light to allow much bleeding. The font is the comfort print and it easy to read coming in a 9pt.

It has a double column setting with the notes not being in distracting places for most of the block. It does have red letter with the red color having a good hue of red and not pink looking as others. There is one crimson bookmark but it would have been nice to have a second bookmark with this Bible. All-in-all a nice Bible with great study aids which would work well for those wanting some content to allow betting understanding of the Bible and its times.

*I received this free review copy from BibleGateway and the review content is my own. #BibleGatewayPartner

BibleGateway Bible Audio App

This app is quite nice in that it reads the verses one by one rather than have several verses on the screen. It comes in several different versions of Bible text and some of them are even dramatized. I really enjoyed listening for my morning devotions.

However, the app requires online access unless you want to pay to upgrade for download access. That is a bit of downer as others apps allow them for free but these apps can be ad heavy where the BibleGateway one is not. So, pro and cons for both.