How To Read A Bible Outside Your Comfort Zone

We started this bit on studying the Bible using different tools to highlight their strengths and weaknesses. In this post I want to shed some light on reading in different versions.

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The New eBible Android App

eBible Android AppDo you use an Android device? Are you looking for a basic, easy to use Bible app? An app that is so easy to use that it will take you to your desired scripture passage by simply saying the reference? If so I recommend trying the new eBible Android app.

According to the eBible blog the app is still in the testing phase, so you might encounter a few minor glitches. However I found the app to function as advertised.

The app is simple, clean and easy to use. Several major English translations are available including my personal favorite the English Standard Version (ESV). The app also has an audio feature so you can listen to the Bible (at the moment, only ESV is available in audio format).

Best of all the app is free, so give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments.

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PDF eBook: His Gospel’s Effect

PDF eBook: His Gospel's EffectPDF eBook: His Gospel's EffectPDF eBook: His Gospel's Effect

Every Tuesday and Thursday over the last eleven weeks Digital Sojourner posted a series of lessons concerning the effect of God’s Good News entitled His Gospel’s Effect.  The posts took us systematically through Romans chapters 9-16.

All of the lessons, plus review questions and additional illustrations, have been prepared in booklet form.  The author, Bruce Hulshizer, has kindly offered to mail a free copy of the book to the readers of Digital Sojourner.  If you would like a printed and bound copy please email your request, along with your name and mailing address to: ds@digitalsojourner.com

You can also download the book in PDF format right now — for free!  Just click the download button below.

Download

 

 

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Update: StemPublishing.com

Loudspeaker Back in October Digital Sojourner reviewed the helpful website StemPublishing.com. The S.T.E.M. (an acronym for Sound Teaching on Electronic Media) website provides an archive of solid Biblical teaching from a prior generation. You can read Digital Sojourner’s review of the site here.

S.T.E.M. recently updated the functionality of their website to allow easy downloading of much of the material offered on the site. The advantage of downloading the material to your computer is obvious… the material will be accessible to you with or without an Internet connection.

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3 Online Tools To Read The Bible in 2012

eBible iPad Screenshot

eBible iPad Screenshot

Have you ever read the entire Bible from beginning to end? If you have, was it recently?

To many the idea of reading through the entire Bible seems overwhelming. Yes, the Bible is a big book. Approximately 775,000 words. Yes, there are many difficult words to pronounce. Words such as Shephatiah and Pochereth (Ezra 2:57).

But don’t let that deter you! Did you know that it takes approximately 75 hours to read the English Bible. If you do the math (75 hours times 60 minutes divided by 360 days) it only takes 12.5 minutes per day to read through the entire Bible in 2012 and still have 6 extra days! (2012 is a leap year).

If you can find twelve and a half minutes a day you can read the entire Bible 2012 (hint: set your alarm 12.5 minutes earlier, or spend 12.5 minutes less on Facebook, or eat your lunch 12.5 minutes faster).

To help you accomplish this goal the Internet offers many helpful tools. Many websites offer free reading plans to print out and tuck into your Bible, some websites allow you to create an account where you can log your progress, and even read online with your computer or mobile device. Afraid of those difficult words to pronounce? No problem! Many of these tools also offer free audio Bibles so you can listen while you read along… or drive, or jog, ride the bus, etc.

1. Blue Letter Bible. The “BLB” offers numerous reading plans to choose from. Each plan can be downloaded (in PDF format) and printed out, or used online with an account. There is an excellent selection of translations to choose from, including J. N. Darby’s New Translation.

2. YouVersion. I have been using YouVersion for a few years now and love it! There are numerous reading plans to choose from, offers seamless integration between all of your online devices, easy to use, offers the ability to download numerous versions so you can still access the Scriptures without internet access, and even the ability to set up accountability partners to encourage you along as you read through your plan. YouVersion has a mobile app appropriately called The Bible App. The app is available for a wide range of mobile devices including Android, iOS, and Blackberry. My only complaint is that YouVersion does not offer one of my favorite translations: J. N. Darby’s New Translation.

3. eBible. Although eBible offers less reading plans and translations to choose from than The Blue Letter Bible or YouVersion, it is still a solid option to explore…. especially if you use an iPad. The eBible app takes full advantage of iOS 5.0 to deliver a wonderful reading experience. You can highlight or even underline portions of the text and flip though the Bible like you would turn the pages of a real print book.

Do you plan on reading the Bible in 2012? If so let us know in the comments what your plan is. Happy New Year!

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Website Review: KeyBibleConcepts.org

Key Bible Concepts One of the great benefits of the internet is the ability to quickly, easily, and inexpensively disseminate high quality literature. However, if you have spent any time on the internet, you will know that the major obstacle is identifying and locating reliable and trustworthy literature.

Sure, you could use a search engine (such as Google or Bing) to help locate material online regarding the topic you are interested in. However, search engines will not distinguish between Biblical truth and heresy. Online (and offline) we must remember to follow the example of the Bereans (Acts 17:11) who searched the scriptures daily to see whether the things they heard were true or not.

Here at Digital Sojourner we are constantly on the lookout for websites and other digital resources that we believe are worthy of your attention. Digital tools that we believe are helpful to the child of God. Of course, our recommendation is not a substitute for being a good Berean.

According to Lukewww.keybibleconcepts.org is an excellent example of a website that provides high quality and reliable literature for those who are seriously seeking the things of God. The website features ten full length books written by Professor David Gooding and Professor John Lennox. Each book is freely available via PDF download. There is no cost whatsoever. The site does not require you to create an account, or even provide an email address. Simply select the book you are interested in and begin reading!

Available titles include: According to Luke, by Professor David Gooding. This book carefully examines the literary structure used by Luke to present the person and work of Christ. In Opium or Truth Professors Gooding & Lennox examine the obstacles in accepting Christianity that many thoughtful people have expressed.

I could continue to list the available resources, but why not visit the site yourself to see what is available and then let us know in the comments what your favorite book is!

Note: Most of the books at www.keybibleconcepts.org are available in traditional print format from Gospel Folio Press at very reasonable prices.

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Download: God’s Good News PDF Book

Every Tuesday and Thursday over the last ten weeks Digital Sojourner posted a series of lessons concerning God’s Good News.  The lessons explored God’s Gospel  taking us step by step through the first eight chapters of the book of Romans.

All of the lessons, plus review questions and additional illustrations, have been printed in booklet form.  The author, Bruce Hulshizer, has kindly offered to mail a free copy of the book to the readers of Digital Sojourner.  If you would like a printed and bound copy please email your request, along with your name and mailing address to: ds@digitalsojourner.com

You can also download the book in PDF format right now — for free!  Just click the download button below.

Download Now

 

 

On Tuesday Digital Sojourner will begin a new series of posts written by Bruce exploring Romans 9 – Romans 16.  In the first eight chapters of Romans God teaches us His Gospel.  In the last eight chapters of Romans God teaches us His Gospel’s effect.

Remember to join us every Tuesday and Thursday!

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3 Online Bibles For Serious Study

Digital Sojourners live in privileged times when it comes to the availability of user friendly and effective electronic Bible study tools. There are numerous good hard drive based programs – some for purchase, and some for free (In the former category, my favorite is Logos; in the latter category I like e-sword and Bible Explorer). But there are also various good online Bible study programs which enable one to dig into the Word online. I want to highlight three excellent examples of this type of site.

Blue Letter Bible

BLB is one of the best known online sites for Bible study. It offers easy comparison of all the major reputable Bible translations. It also will play the Bible for you in audio, link you to articles, music, and sermons that tie into the passage you are studying (Disclaimer: I’ve never listened to any of the sermons, or delved deeply into the articles, so be a good Berean: always search the Scriptures and compare what preachers and teachers say against the Word itself.) It also offers Greek & Hebrew tools for word studies in the original languages.

The Bible Tool

Like the BLB, the Bible Tool offers a plethora of Bible translations. It is the only site I have found that has the footnotes to John Nelson Darby’s New Translation (aka the JND Version; the footnotes have quite a few gems elucidating the Hebrew and Greek languages for the non-specialist reader.) The site offers a very convenient parallel viewing format, easy searchability, plus access to a number of public domain Bible study tools such as Spurgeon’s Treasury of David, Adam Clark’s commentary, John Lightfoot’s commentary, and many others. One can also do Greek and Hebrew word studies using this site.

The NET Bible and Tools

The New English Translation of the Bible is not my favorite, but it is not the worst of the modern translations either (for instance I prefer it to the NLT or NRSV; I won’t even mention some of the ludicrous paraphrases that clutter the Christian publishing market.) Having said that, its footnotes are outstanding on Greek, Hebrew, Bible culture, & geography. The site also has a large quantity of in-depth articles on the Scriptures by a number of modern evangelical Bible students (e.g. Daniel Wallace, Bob Deffinbaugh, John Walvoord, to name a few.) It also has a helpful side by side glossary for names in passages. One can store ones own notes on the site, and the website also has audio of the NET version.

Of course, there are other online tools worth exploring; here are three more to explore on your own:
1. World Wide Study Bible
2. Bible Study Tools Online
3. Biblia

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Three Archaeology Websites Reviewed

Websites reviewed:
1. Life & Land Seminars (Gordon Franz)
2. Bible Places (Todd Bolen)
3. Associates For Biblical Research (ABR)

Archaeology fascinates modern people, for it lifts the veil on life in the ancient world. Christians are particularly interested in this field due to the light it sheds on the world of the Bible.

During the past two centuries, skeptics have sometimes asserted that archaeology disproves the Bible – or at least, undermines its credibility by revealing numerous errors. A careful study of archaeology from the 19th-21st centuries demonstrates that these claims are patently false. Time and again, the biblical view of the ancient world has been vindicated by the scholars’ shovels, spades, and research in libraries and laboratories.

The more of the Bible lands that are excavated, the more clear become the culture, languages, and backstory of Bible passages.

Unearthing The Past

Happily, digital sojourners (i.e. web-connected believers) have a trove of good materials relating to Biblical archaeology on the web. I wish to highlight three helpful & trustworthy pages.

By way of disclaimer, I will admit that the three driving forces behind these sites are acquaintances of mine: I studied with Dr. Bryant Wood during my history studies at Messiah College in the early 1990s. Todd Bolen led study tours at the American Institute of Holy Land Studies (now called Jerusalem University College) when I was a student there in the Fall of 1993. Gordon Franz has been a close personal friend for twenty-one years, and has encouraged and edified me in innumerable ways. I am indebted to these three brothers for their good service to their fellow-saints by laboring in the Word and historical research.

Veteran archaeologist Gordon Franz’s site is called Life & Land Seminars and may found here: www.lifeandland.org. His page contains numerous articles that he has written over the years on OT & NT history and archaeology. There are also excavation and tour reports pertaining to various biblical sites around the world. He updates the site regularly, and has it well-organized under various tabs such as “Life of Christ,” “Life of David,” “The Seven Churches of Asia Minor – Rev. 1-3,” etc. Technical material is sometimes discussed, but in a way that is accessible to the non-specialized reader.

Picturesque Israel

Todd Bolen’s Bible Places prominently displays his excellent photography of biblical lands – some is freely downloadable, other material may be purchased. He has spent years teaching in Israel (first with the IHLS and then with Master’s Seminary’s extension campus in Israel.) He is currently completing a doctorate at Dallas Theological Seminary. His blog (blog.bibleplaces.com) is outstanding. It contains helpful news from Israel, as well as links to current archaeology on the web.

The Associates For Biblical Research (ABR) exists to teach biblical archaeology, as well as conduct fresh research in the field. Its president, Bryant Wood is well-trained with advanced degrees from the Universities of Michigan and Toronto. His writing in defense of the biblical Jericho has been particularly noteworthy in refuting the prevailing opinion set down by Dame Kathleen Kenyon. Helpful articles and excavation reports may be found at their well-organized site under such headings as “Contemporary issues,” “Exodus-Conquest,” and “New Testament Era.” What is more, it is well-worth subscribing to their quarterly print magazine, Bible & Spade. Their bookstore contains helpful audio, video, & print resources. The blog’s address is www.biblearchaeology.org

I commend these helpful website for all thoughtful Christians, as well as for those who are not convinced of the Bible’s trustworthiness.

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Website Review: stempublishing.com

Among the many helpful websites for Christians who are serious about studying the scriptures is STEM — Sound Teaching on Electronic Media.

The site provides free access to the writings and teachings of several gifted brethren from prior generations. Included among the available authors is John Nelson Darby, William Kelly, and F. B. Hole. Much of the material available on the site is either difficult, or impossible to obtain in printed form. This is the real value of the STEM website… solid teaching, freely available for all of the Lord’s people.

The homepage clearly explains the purpose of the site:

Our prayerful desire is that the Lord Jesus Christ will use this God-given ministry in this form for His glory and the blessing of many in these last days before His coming.

When you visit the site you are immediately struck with the clean, minimalist look of the homepage. There are no gaudy graphics or other distractions from the site’s valuable content… a truly refreshing change from many other contemporary websites. As you explore the site you will notice the minimalist theme throughout the site. Also, at the top of most pages is a navigation bar to simplify your movement around the website.

Where to begin?

If you are already familiar with some of the authors listed on the homepage you can go directly to an index of an author’s writings. To do this, simply click on his name. If you are not looking for a particular author the “Samples of the Teaching” section of the homepage offers an excellent way to begin. Here you can explore some of the site’s offerings by topic or by the books of the Bible.

Another way to begin is to use the search tool located near the top center of the homepage. Here you can search the contents of the site for all of the occurrences of a particular word or phrase. When searching for a phrase be sure to surround the phase you type in to the search box with quote marks (example: “The Church of God”). To narrow your search to a particular author click on the “Targeted search” link.

Two Personal Favorites

Among the hundreds of books and articles available on the STEM website are two that have been of particular help to me.

The first is John Nelson Darby’s Synopsis of the Books of the Bible. The “Synopsis” is an extremely helpful commentary that covers all 66 books of the Bible… however, it is not “just another commentary.” The author’s approach is unique, concise and insightful. His tone of writing clearly reveals his love of the scriptures and of the scripture’s Author.

The second is C. H. Mackintosh’s Notes on the Pentateuch. In this offering Macintosh explores the depths of the Pentateuch while maintaining a gentile, devotional tone. Throughout his Notes, he regularly reveals the Lord Jesus Christ, and shows the connection of various passages to the New Testament.

The site has much more to offer, happy exploring! Let us know about your favorite author or article from the STEM website in the comments below.

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