The Lost Sermons of Charles Spurgeon, Volume 2, ed. Christian T. George

SpurgeonCharles Spurgeon has been called The Prince of preachers. His sermons and additional works have changed the lives of many people; possibly millions. Some of his earliest sermons were thought to be lost but recent discoveries have located them.

In the book The Lost sermons of Charles Spurgeon, Volume 2,  give some of his earliest sermons and outlines between the years 1851 and 1854. It is interesting to read these particular sermons because you actually see the development of Charles Spurgeon as he becomes a better preacher and Bible teacher.

One of the tools used in this book is a word count chart. This chart gives the word count of sermons throughout the early years. As one sees the graphics it is shows that Spurgeon started off with smaller sermons which gradually grew in content as he aged. His earlier sermons would average around 300 words while some of his sermons in this volume reached beyond 1,000 words.

This book also gives facsimiles of his outlines for his sermons and they puts them into a format that a person can read. Even his outlines showed growth and maturity as Spurgeon spoke more and studied more of God’s word.

For those who want a history of Spurgeon and receive some wonderful sermons to challenge and growth their faith I would highly recommend this book and its predecessor Volume 1. It will be well worth the purchase.

I receive a complimentary copy from the publisher of this book and exchange very honest review.

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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.

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 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.

The Battlefield of the Mind Bible by Joyce Meyer

eeeb3ba02c1f7a205b740f47233722abThe Battlefield of the Mind Bible by Joyce Meyer is a Bible that has collections of the teachings of Joyce Meyer and the associated Bible passages. The thoughts and teachings of Meyer are laid out to correspond with passage of Scripture being read.

I appreciate the use of the Amplified Version of the Bible. This particular version is not often used in churches today and I believe that can be a loss. While I do not agree with everything Joyce Meyer teaches I do recommend the Amplified version for study.

One area of disagreement is the prosperity teachings. I do not see anywhere in Scripture that promises Christians a life of prosperity. Yet this is taught by Meyer as a truth for all Christians. The Bible clearly states that Christians will be hated, abused, and even killed (John 15:18, Romans 8:35 NET). If this is prosperity, then my dictionary needs updating.

That said, the Bible itself is neatly presented and is bound well. I have the leather-soft edition and that particular edition feels good in my hands. The Bible is a little heavy for those looking for something to transport easily. However, the nature of the Bible it is a decent Bible to use for study minus some of the teachings that I disagree with by Joyce Meyer.

I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from the publisher and exchange from an honest review.