Wednesday, December 10, 2008
In 50 Daily Meditations on the Seven Letters of Revelation 2-3, Sam Storms has carefully researched and written a book relevant to today's Christian. He presents information logically, expounding more explicitly with each succeeding chapter. Thought-provoking questions lead the reader to a deeper understanding of Jesus' message to the seven churches and how it relates to the Church today, and more specifically, to every believer. Mr. Storms faithfully quotes multiple scripture passages to validate his assertions.
I cried out to God in prayer many times as I read this book and meditated on its teachings. Chapter 9 analyzes why God allows suffering and even death for His Name's sake. The best description I've ever read of what eternity will be like for a Christian is on page 97. I've read that one page many times and rejoiced.
Although I don't agree with all that the author writes, I can still recommend this book. As you read any book on the Bible, you should look up the references yourself. This book succeeds in its mission - getting the reader to ponder the Bible's teachings and ignites a desire to learn more about the messages Jesus imparted in the book of Revelation.
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Crossway Books (August 31, 2008)
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
The Chronological Study Bible – New King James Version (Thomas Nelson) is laid out beautifully. With dates at the top of the page, the text is divided into none 'epochs' making it convenient to turn to the table of contents to find an event. Time Charts and Time Panels break down each epoch into more specific categories. If an event has no fixed date, it is placed with related events. Absolute chronology is provided for events with fixed dates. This makes it easy for a reader to place Biblical history into the context of world history.
I appreciated the introduction to each epoch with information about archeology, literature, people and groups of people, and more. The transitions into each section flow smoothly with thorough background information and relevant and interesting facts presented. Snippets about science and technology, and daily life and customs, and time capsules kept me aware of historical context. A concordance and colorful maps round out the abundant resources.
I chose to read about Jesus' final week in Jerusalem often called "Passion Week." I was most interested in reading the details of each day in order. It took some getting used to because I would first read Matthew's account followed by Mark's and Luke's, but fascinating to read about Jesus from each disciple's perspective. The notes on politics and government helped me understand in a more profound way the persecution from religious authorities that Jesus endured. I now understand, appreciate, and see Passion Week in a completely new light.
If you are looking for a specific Bible passage, turn to the Index of Scripture Passages in the back of the Bible. I must say, though, that this Bible is more for students of Scripture who want to feel like they were there, living in Bible times. All the extras in this Bible round out your experience and place Biblical events in context. You'll feel as if you're crossing through the wilderness with the Israelites or walking the streets with Jesus, watching Him save, heal, and deliver.
I like this layout very much, and highly recommend this Bible.
Hardcover: 1728 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 14, 2008)