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.

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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.

The King James Study Bible, Full-Color Edition

225_350_book-2356-coverThis particular Bible is a unique Study Bible in that rather than focusing just solely on study notes it also as the dynamics of archaeological notes, personal profiles, as well as some cultural studies. I was rather surprised how helpful I found these additional notes and know that I will benefit greatly from using them.

I will say the difference in this Study Bible versus other Study Bible is that this particular Bible is really more trying to get the reader to understand Scripture. It’s not so much after trying to present a particular doctrine, although there are some that are obvious for those who know where to look, but rather it is trying to get the reader a full immersion on what it is stated in Scripture.

Often times we study Bible we have to be careful not to come at it with an American mindset. This can be very damaging because we will assume that our culture is similar to what was happening back then. This is not the case. As such we need to have a good understanding of the cultural historical context in which scripture was written..

This particular Bible does that very well so that the reader is given a sample of the mindset that would have happened back when the Bible was being written. However, we also need to be careful that we don’t so caught up in historical context we actually lose the presentation of scripture. Scripture does go against cultural things and this need to take into consideration.

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

NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

225_350_book-2335-coverWhen a Bible is read it is often done through the lense of the reader. This is not a bad thing unless the lense of the reader is understanding something that is not there. This happens more than realized because our cultural dictates how we understand something we read. It is the same with the Bible.

The NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Bible seeks to give the reader an understanding of the culture of Scripture. By doing this, the reader should have a better comprehension of what the writer was trying to say. Instead of viewing it as a foreigner, the goal is to place the reader in a setting as if they were alive as the Biblical events are taking place. I found this Bible to be a great help in understanding what a person in Biblical times may have thought.

As to this Bible itself, it is a heavy Bible coming in at just over four pounds. The text is easy to read and the photos are stunning. The articles are well placed and not distracting. There are also great aids in the back of the Bible such as a weights and measurement section and a brief concordance.

This is a great Bible for study and it would do well for those that want to better understand the day in which Biblical characters lived. For those wanting a devotional Bible, seek elsewhere.

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

Accuracy of Translation by Robert Martin

accuracy_of_translation-194x320Translating the Bible is a great undertaking. A translator not only has to understand the language being translated but also understand the language using the translation. Such difficulty arises when certain words cannot be translated or if a word or phrase has fallen out of usage thus making it difficult to translate.

Dr. Robert Martin understands some of these difficulties and has written a small book on Bible translation and why accuracy is so important. Using the NIV Study Bible (1984), he shows how translation goals could influence how a version is translated.

Does the translation seek to be a thought-for-thought translation or a word-for-word translation? This could be a problem for either option. For example, in America if a person “kicks the bucket” we understand this to mean that someone has died. Should a foreign person translating our books translate the words as “a person died” or use the term “kicked the bucket” and explain it elsewhere?

Dr. Martin gives examples of where he believes the NIV has failed in translation and should be reconsidered as a Bible. He gives cause to be alarmed as he sees some cultural influences in the NIV that may detract from the original intent of Scripture.

Martin uses this example on page 26 of his book. Mark 9:24 in the NIV reads, “…help me overcome my unbelief.” The words “me overcome” are interpretive and Martin argues should be placed in brackets indicating that these words are not in the original. This is just one example of issues Martin has with some of the translational choices of the NIV Translating team.

I found this book to be quite helpful in understanding Bible translation and how certain committees adopt a policy on how they will translate the Bible. It really opened my eyes that not all translations have the same goal and it would be wise to have several to at least compare.

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