Bible, Book Reviews

Book Review: NIV First-Century Study Bible

Every believer needs a Bible. In many parts of the world we have a free press and the Bible is available in so many formats to so many peoples and nations, so there is little excuse for not having a Bible. Unless you don’t want one. Sometimes people need the right version. Other times people need help understanding how it all ties together. And then there is the stray resource that helps you understand the Bible in a unique way.

I was intrigued by the concept of a “First-Century Study Bible.” We often talk about being “people of the New Testament” or striving to have a “New Testament church”. Yet we forget how far we’re removed from that time and culture. Even those statements are made from the perspective of the world that we live in. Would we really be able to go back and live the message of Scripture as they did?


To help us with such an endeavor, Zondervan partnered with New Testament scholar Kent Dobson to bring us the NIV First-Century Study Bible. Dobson is lived and studied in Israel, learning from both Christian and Jewish perspectives. He has been featured on programs for both the History and Discovery Channels. The result is a Bible filled with information you probably haven’t heard before.

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Devotion: Perfectly Made

The Bible tells us that God created all of the world, all of the creatures in our world, and all of the universe around us in seven days.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Artist Philippe Faraut at work, via

Every world was made different from the others. All of the stars in the sky are different. He made many types of trees, bushes and flowers. With His imagination God created all of the various kinds of birds, fish, animals, and even the bugs. And when He was finished with all of His creating …

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good … (Genesis 1:31a)

Have you ever tried to make something and then decided to start over? I did that as I prepared to share with you today. I began on one sheet of paper and ended up crunching it all together and throwing it away.

We don’t always get it right on the first try, do we? Some-times we work on a project for a long time, and when it is finished we don’t see what we hoped for. So we throw it away or pack it up and start over.

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Moses & Antichrist: An end-times deception?

End-times prophecy is a powerful “hot button” in the Church. Some people don’t want anything to do with it because it scares them to death. Others surround their entire existence around it. My own approach is mixed. I’m no end-times expert, but I know that it is valuable. Still, I believe that we need to learn to live for Christ according to the Word of God in our current day or we will have little hope in the darker days of mankind.


In those times when I stumble upon something I’ve never heard shared about end-times, I feel like it is a good idea to pass it along. So I wrote a short essay about one of my recent discoveries. When we take the description of the world’s second greatest villain (Satan being the first), and put it next to some verses from the Old Testament, there is the possibility for an incredible deception.

It is best to read the entire article to get a sense of the details as it is longer than what I normally post. You can download it here as an Adobe Acrobat PDF. Please feel free to leave your comments on this page in the “Join the conversation” section.

Bible, Ministry

New Christmas Bible Study: “The Babe is the Lamb”

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It’s November, which means that it is time for a new Christmas-themed Bible study. It is written as three sessions, for use leading up to Christmas. This study was originally used for a midweek Bible study. You could also use it as a small group discussion starter or a personal study.

To view the study, you can use the embedded reader below, or download an Adobe PDF file from or

About this Study

Why did Jesus have to come? What purpose was there in God taking on flesh? As it is often said, Jesus was born to die. Understanding the coming of Jesus to Earth comes from an understanding of His sacrifice.

Jesus is called “the Lamb of God” at the opening of His ministry and again in the Book of Revelation. Learn why a sacrifice was required and what Jesus accomplished as God’s perfect Lamb.

Bible, Christian Living

New Bible Study: The Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Earlier this year I led our church through a six-week study on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is a highly volatile and misunderstood element of the Christian life.

This weekend is Pentecost Sunday. To help you with your questions about Pentecost and the Holy Spirit our study is now available as a free PDF download. Explore the promise of the Baptism, its arrival on Pentecost and its continual outpouring, tongues as the initial evidence and the roles of tongues as revealed in Paul’s writings, and more.

You can use the reader below, or you can view and download the document on

Bible, Christian Living

The LIFE Offered by the Resurrection (Audio)

On Easter Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. His resurrection is proof that His word and promise are true, and a seal and guarantee of our eternal life if we believe in Him. Yet Jesus also offered a different way of life for the days we walk on this Earth. He offered us abundant life (John 10:10).

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Jesus offers us this LIFE and makes it possible in the power of God that raised Him from the dead. There are four elements of this LIFE. When one or any combination of these elements is weak or failing, our remains less than abundant.

  • Liberty
  • Intimacy
  • Fellowship
  • Empowerment

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