Update – July 2017

Hello everyone, I am just wanting to give a quick update. We’ve been rather sparse this year on the number of updates. I have to admit I have been really busy so far this season and I’ve been rather preoccupied. This does not mean I am doing nothing. We are hoping to bring out the first official volume of the Believe Something Better Commentary Series this Fall/Winter. This Volume will encompass 1 John – Jude. I believe in actual numbers, though being the first one published once everything is said and done it will be the 53rd volume in the series.

I am hoping to move onto James, or 1 & 2 Peter after 1 John – Jude is finished. We will have to wait and see what the Lord provides in this. I am currently reading my NIV Study Bible which my parents gave me years ago.

Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, or send us an e-mail. We look forward to hearing from everyone! As always prayer requests are welcome and keep us in your prayers!

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Review of the CSB

I was graciously given a copy of the new Christian Standard Bible (CSB). I’ve gone through it now and appreciate the translation highly. I’m the sort of person who uses multiple translations in my study of the Word. I had purchased a copy of the HCSB (the previous revision of what is now called the CSB) two years ago, on the reference of a brother. I read through several portions of it immediately and had a thorough appreciation for the translation. I like a little more literal version than the CSB/HCSB, but sometimes I know the literalness obfuscates the matter.

This Is the same reason we have consistently made new translations of the Bible since the original King James Version came out. We need updates to language and contextual understanding. This is the very appreciation I have for the CSB. It has a mediating style between literal (formal equivalence – word-for-word) and idiomatic (dynamic equivalence – thought-for-thought) translation which the translators have called “optimal equivalence”. It allows them to put meanings and/or words on the page which while implied by the Greek would not be part of a literal translation.

This allows the CSB translators to give a clearer translation than some of the literal translations may be able to. As someone who favors literal translations, my first thought is to discount the CSB because of their chosen translation philosophy. However, I ha e been edified time and time again by translation whose philosophy was a balancing between literal and idiomatic. NIV, HCSB, NET, and others have all been used by me to great effect and edification.

I have specifically enjoyed the CSB as a they also chose wording which are different from the traditional. This really makes you think about what you are reading rather than letting verses go by just because you’ve read them a hundred times before. John 3:16 is one of the best examples:

King James Version
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

English Standard Version
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

New International Version
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Christian Standard Bible
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

You can see even the NIV which isn’t supposed to follow the traditional translation dogma and is supposed to be a completely new translation follows the traditional reading of John 3:16. It is only the CSB (and the HCSB before it) which broke from the tradition and finally did something new.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this thought: Never discount something because it is new. As Christians we are to give every faithful rendering of Scripture a chance. The Lord will bless us for being faithful to His Word.

Update and 2016 Prayer Challenge Final

Well everyone, today I am bringing you the final update on my 2016 Prayer Challenge which I undertook last year. It was 366 days which taught me so much. The Lord really showed me so much through out my days of prayer. The very fist thing I learned is the blessings which come from being proactive in our relationship with God rather than reactive. This was so important because most of the time our relationship with God is reactive, something happened so we pray about it.

When this dynamic changes and we enter a paradigm where we are being proactive (actively seeking God first) we start to see how this relationship edifies every part of our lives. I am hoping to scan the 366 days worth of prayer journal entries, but am not making any promises. I’ve also apologize I know in the original post about the challenge I am supposed to type up the entries and post them as a PDF, but after trying I have come to realize I just really don’t have the time.

The other things which I learned was how vast the chasm is between the trials we go through and how we view those trials. I went through some hard times with friends this last year and through the prayer life I had with the Lord this last year I was able to thank Him for the blessings I was receiving as I grew through these trials. My friends were viewing the problems totally as negative, but I was able to look at the positive, because the Lord opened my eyes.

I have a few updates on the projects which I am working on: Breath of God Ministries is coming under the leadership of Believe Better Ministries. This does not mean the goal for BOG Ministries is going to change any, but rather it will just be under the headship of Believe Better Ministries, who will hold the publishing rights to the BOGV.

I am continuing hard at work with my study of the word and the production of the BSB Commentary series and am hoping to finish 1 – 3 John this year. This would finish off the first volume in the series. (1 John – Jude).

We are also still collecting stories from those who wish to participate in the Experiencing Something Better. We look forward to hearing from you all.

That is all for now we hope you all had a good January and February!


RB

Daily Bible Reading Adventure

Well today I started an adventure, with my wife. We are reading The Daily Bible published by Harvest House. The layout was designed and a devotional commentary was written by F. Lagard Smith. I’ve my copy of it for a while and I read a good portion of it. The actual text of the Bible is NIV (1984 ed.) which I have read several times and had used (as it was the translation of my main Bible for a time before I started using the ESV more). So as far as the text of the Bible itself it is using a solid translation and I am not here to debate translation.

What I am here to write about is the journey of the way that this Bible is laid out. It is laid out without verse and chapter numbers in the text, as it is trying to encourage reading, and it is laid out in chronological order. This means that some books appear in different locations or the text of some books appears one after the other. This is most apparent in Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles where we have many books being woven together. The Prophets are placed at the time at which their prophecies were given and many of the Psalms are placed at the time that they were written.

It is also very apparent in the Gospels and Acts. In the Gospels we have the four Gospels being woven together into a Harmony (for more on Gospel Harmony click here). A Gospel Harmony is something that the Church has been trying to put together since the early days (about the second century with the Diatessaron) and this Bible presents one version of a harmony. Acts is a very interesting versions with the Epistles of Paul being laid out in their place in Paul’s life.

All of that really is beyond the point that I’m trying to make. I enjoy reading. I read a lot! This Bible lends itself to that very much. In the margins of next to the text it gives the references of the text that you are reading so that you can easily reference any passage that you are reading. The commentary devotional doesn’t take you out of the passage but it helps to bring your focus to what you are reading. Personally I really like the layout. I’m really enjoy the experience of reading this Bible and the experience is different. The books aren’t laid out in the typical manner (for any tradition) and so it makes a very good way to make the text new and fresh again.

I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to make the Bible new again or to anyone who is just looking for a way to read the Bible and keep at it. As the title says the readings are broken up by day and it makes it easy to read through the Bible in a year. This is a great addition to anyone’s library and will reinvigorate anyone’s reading experience. I recommend it for anyone and everyone.