Interactive Bible Reading

A lot of people are probably thinking about reading the Bible meaningfully in the upcoming year.  Christians know that internalizing the Word is the primary means of spiritual growth.  I love to not only read, but interact with the Word as I read.  I’m going to share a few of the ways I do this.  It will probably take me a few posts.

First, here is my Bible.  It was a very special gift, given to me by my family on my 50th birthday last February.

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For me, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime acquisition, as this particular Bible is high-quality and relatively high-priced.  It is the Schuyler Single Column New King James Version, covered in Brown Cantara Goatskin.  This Bible is published by evangelicalbible.com, an organization new to me when I began searching for a high quality Bible. I’ve been very pleased with their product as well as their philosophy and mission.  Here are some of the key features of my Bible (taken from their website):

  • Single column paragraph format
  • Cantara Goatskin (available in Black and Dark Brown)
  • Edge lined and hand stitched around its perimeter
  • 3 Ribbon Markers
  • Trim size (Paper size – not with binding) of 6.50″ x 9.25″
  • Font 10.5-Bold
  • Thickness: 1.25″
  • Margin Size – .78”
  • Art Gilt Edges (Red Under Gold)
  • Smyth-Sewn Binding
  • Printed and Bound in the Netherlands by Jongbloed

Two of the features that help make it interactive for me is the single-column paragraph format and the spacious margins.  The single-column format makes it read more like a narrative than individual verses.  I can follow the author’s flow of thought better.  Although it isn’t called a “wide-margin” Bible, there is room to write especially on the side of the page toward the binding.  So I am able to write notes with my “Bible-reading” pens (more on that later).  Here are a few samples of my margin notes.

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Titus 2

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Romans 6

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In my next post I’ll explain the significance of the pen colors I use.

Resources for Studying the Book of Job

Last Sunday I preached the final message in the series, Seeing Through Suffering and Pain.  The nine messages were based primarily on the contents of the book of Job.  I utilized a number of resources in my study and thought it might be helpful to share the ones I found most helpful.  They are not listed in any particular order.

COMMENTARIES

Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Job material by Elmer B. Smick)

Bible Knowledge Commentary (Job material by Roy B Zuck)

Job by Francis I. Andersen (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries)

Commentary on the Old Testament by Keil & Delitzsch (Vol. 4 on Job)

The Book of Job, An Exposition by Samuel Ridout

Job, by Steven J. Lawson

Be Patient, by Warren Wiersbe

OTHER

Devotional Introduction to Job, by Andrew W. Blackwood, Jr.

Let God Be God:  Life-Changing Truths from the Book of Job, by Ray C. Stedman

Focus on Job, Biblical Viewpoint, Vol. XXI, No. 2, November 1987

Job:  Repentant or Rebellious?  Westminster Theological Journal Vol. 46, No. 2, Fall, 1984

These Strange Ashes by Elisabeth Elliott (her story of her first year as a missionary and lessons learned from the trials she experienced before her husband Jim was killed)

Job On Trial by Israel J. Gerber (on the psychological aspects of Job’s experience; Gerber is an ordained rabbi with a Ph.D. in psychology)

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller (his newest book that was published while I was going through the series)

The Answer of Jesus to Job, by G. Campbell Morgan (relates Job’s questions to answers from the New Testament)

Beyond Suffering:  Discovering the Message of Job, by Layton Talbert

Worshiping the Ascended Christ

Forty days after He rose from the dead, Jesus was taken up from the earth and disappeared into a cloud.  He passed into the heavenly abode of God and will remain there until He returns.  Right now He is at the right hand of the Father representing us (Hebrews 7:25), listening to us (Hebrews 4:14-16), and preparing a place for us (John 14:1-3).  Our study at Calvary this summer of Ephesians 4:1-16 brought us to verses 7-10 last Sunday.  Here Paul declares that the ascended Christ imparts abilities to every member of the body of Christ (the church), enabling “each one of us” to represent Him on earth and to help the church grow (see vs. 16).

Ephesians 4:10 says that He is the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. The Ascended Christ is worthy of our worship.  In our musical worship last Sunday, we included several hymns that reflect the exalted position or the present activity of the ascended Christ and the benefits that come to us from what He is doing right now.  Here are the hymns we used, including congregational, instrumental, choral, and solo selections.  I’ve included links to the lyrics of the selections that are available online.

As the body of Christ we join hearts and voices to worship our ascended Savior and Lord.

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