Archive for the ‘Bibles’ Category

You’ve heard about the so-called “pastor” down in Florida who plans to burn the Qu’ran this Saturday. First, the guy is a publicity hound and his tiny little sect, consisting of no more than fifty members, are infamous in the Gainsville area for pulling stunts. The “academy” he runs down there is, to say the least, weird. You can read their “rules” here. PastorMichael Walther had these excellent thoughts on the issue of burning the Qur’an:

“The announcement by a pastor in Florida to burn the Qur’an in a public protest has raised concerns by many. Foremost among the concerns is that radical Muslims will use the event and the images it generates as propaganda to incite violence against Christians.

“The violent activities of radical Muslims, the rampant religious intolerance in Muslim countries, and the hair-trigger sensitivity to any criticism of Islam frustrates many non-Muslims. But will it serve any purpose to use their own tactics? Absolutely not!

“The rising tide of Islam could not be possible without God’s allowance. Before we fall into the temptation to “fight fire with fire,” we need to think of our basic Christian principles. Christianity is not a religion that relies on physical force or violent protests. Christianity moves forward on the proclamation of God’s word of grace in Jesus and deeds of mercy done for the sake of our neighbors.

“Luther and his countrymen faced a much worse situation with the invasion of the Muslim Turks in the 1500s. Luther considered this invasion nothing less than punishment from God for a church and a society that had drifted from God’s word. He called the church to repentance and to renewal through the word of God. Could the American Christian church and culture stand a little reforming? I certainly think so!

“And what did he think about the Qur’an? Luther called for its publication and encouraged Christians to read it! He knew that side by side, the Bible would overwhelm the Qur’an with its truth and with its message of salvation.”

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My “Help Me” Bible Verses

Help Me When I’m…

Afraid, Anxious or Worried

Psalm 34:4 I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

Psalm 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.


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I found this post today.  Very insightful.  We hear sometimes that people think the ESV reading level is more difficult than the NIV. This is, in fact, a misunderstanding. I personally did a lot of Bible reading with children for a research project last year, reading to and with pre-K through second grade. That’s one of the reasons I’m aware of this information about readability. The ESV and the NIV are on virtually the same reading grade level (ESV 7.4 and NIV 7.8). Crossway has provided very specific information about the ESV readability scores on their blog: http://www.esv.org/blog/2005/08/readability-grade-levels/ Some might think this is biased information, since of course the publisher of the ESV would want the best possible outcome to such a question. But here is where it gets really interesting. The publishers of the New International Version have issued their own “readility” analysis, and the ESV beats the NIV here too! Here is information from Zondervan about the readability level of the NIV:http://www.zondervan.com/Cultures/en-US/Product/Bible/Translations/NIV.htm?QueryStringSite=Zondervan There is some misinformation on the web that places the ESV on a 10th grade reading level. That may be a case of misunderstanding or of someone trying to shore up the NIV’s market position, which has been badly damaged by their decision to use gender inclusive language and by competition with the ESV. According to retailers, the ESV is growing exponentially in popularity while the NIV is now in rapid decline. Their editorial board is planning a revision of the NIV. You can read about that here: http://www.christianpost.com/article/20090901/scholars-to-revise-popular-niv-bible/index.html

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From time to time, I hear from pastors and lay people asking, “Why did the Missouri Synod decide to go with the English Standard Version in its new hymnal resources and now across most of its published resources?”

It has been a number of years, nearly six to be exact, since the Missouri Synod’s Commission on Worship issued their recommendation to The LCMS that as part of the process of adopting a new hymnal, the English Standard Version Bible translation be the translation of choice for all worship materials in the Missouri Synod. And since the hymnal and all companion resources was adopted by the Synod convention with an overwhelmingly strong majority, since the Commission on Worship surveyed the entire Synod’s pastoral roster relentlessly beforehand, and kept everyone fully aware and informed of all decisions about this, and all matters related to the hymnal, and then, in light of the fact that now nearly 70% of all LCMS congregations are using Lutheran Service Book, with an amazingly high level of satisfaction, and low level of complaint, it is clear that the decision to go with the ESV has been very well received and well accepted.

The ESV is now used in the campus chapels of both of our seminaries and most of our universities. In the process of selecting and recommending the ESV, a massive amount of consultation was done with both seminary faculties and our Commission on Theology and Church Relations.

I thought it might be useful to share the Commission on Worship’s statement on the choice to use the ESV Bible translation. Here then, from December 2003, is the Commission’s statement. Available at: http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=5126

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Christmas in September

Photo on 2009-09-16 at 12.42Photo on 2009-09-16 at 12.43Christmas came early for Pastor Todd.  Today he received his copy of the Lutheran Study Bible.  It’s everything I’d imagined and more.

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Picture of New Study Bible

Well it’s here.  Soon Concordia Publishing House will be shipping these new bibles.  Here is a photo.  Enjoy!


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