This past week (April 14-16, 2008) at the reFocus Conference in Vancouver, I was very pleased to hear the announcement of an Expositional Preaching Seminar to be held in October of 2008 at Willingdon Church. This was very fitting in light of the theme of the whole conference: authority. Bruce Ware led two sessions on foundation of authority in the Godhead and then in Creation. David Short spoke on the authority of Christ. Don Carson spoke on the authority of Scripture. Kent Hughes spoke on authority in preaching the Word. Lastly, but not leastly, John Neufeld spoke on elder authority for the local church. Click here to check out the video and audio recordings of the reFocus Conference. Click here for the details of the Expositional Preaching Seminar.
When I first discovered the English Standard Version of the Bible, I was really excited. What I saw was a sharply word-for-word translation, written with an eye for literary excellence and beauty.Â Some time later I learned that this was no accident: the ESV team had taken great pains to ensure the literary quality of the ESV was as high as their committment to accuracy. And then, still later, I came across the ESV Literary Study Bible. And let me tell you, I’m impressed.
Â Distinct passages are introduced with an explanation of the literary structure of the text and the considerations the reader might benefit from knowing regarding style, rhetoric, arrangement, etc. As I’ve been preaching through the book of Romans for a year now (at the time of this post) I’ve found a lot of help from this great little study Bible.
At the time, I couldn’t afford to purchase a hardcopy edition from our local bookstore. But I did find out that one can purchase a password to the ESV Literary Study Bible website at a much cheaper rate! Check it out.
The Online Bible is a powerful software package combining a Bible study interface with a massive built-in library of Bibles, Bible dictionaries, commentaries, books, maps, devotionals, references and original language lexicons.
Click here to check out the translations, commentaries and other free modules we recommend for the Online Bible program. More links to download hundreds of books and commentaries at no cost are also included on that page.
The Online Bible is, in my opinion, the best Bible study software available. There are several reasons for saying this:
- The program and hundreds of add-on books, commentaries, dictionaries and Bible translations are available at no cost as Internet downloads. Competitors’ products, like Logos, E-Sword, or Nelson’s are costly just for the basic programs, and then charge additional fees for the options you will want to use. While it is true that the Online Bible add-on modules are “public domain” and either free from copyright, or free to distribute with permission from the authors/publishers, this is not a disadvantage. As a pastor, I have a large library of more current commentaries and other Bible study tools. But I rarely need anything other than the resouces available on the Online Bible. Just because a particular commentary is new, does not mean it is necessarily an improvement over older, classic works, such as John Gill’s “Expositor,” or Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament. For advanced original language research in the Old and New Testaments, I use BibleWorks. You can find BibleWorks available for purchase through the Online Bible storefront. But unless you are able to read Greek and Hebrew, the Online Bible has everything you need for personal study, sermon preparation, Bible college studies or even seminary studies not requiring advanced linguistic research.
- The “Add-on Material List Update” tool, listed above, is a fantastic way to keep current with the latest user-made and officially produced modules ranging from books to Bibles. Best of all, these updates are free!
- The search engine built into the Online Bible program is second-to-none. You can perform simple or complex searches easily and quickly in no time.
- Because the Online Bible has been around for so long, making it one of the longest surviving Bible software packages, it has a very large following of loyal users. These users frequently produce their favourite Christian books, theological works, commentaries, etc., into Online Bible format, and make them available at no cost to the whole user community. As far as I know of, this is unheard of with other Bible software products.
- The Online Bible has, for a long time, worked closely with Answers in Genesis and the team at what is now Creation Ministries International to provide a wide range of quality creation and science literature available to Online Bible users. These books are free and can provide Christian lay-people with up-to-date scientific arguments and evidence for the authority and trustworthiness of the Bible.
- I have been using the Online Bible program on a weekly basis since early in 2000. I have never encountered a serious software glitch. Program updates have been released regularly and frequently to resolve technical issues that were unknown to me. The program has just been getting better and better as these new updates have included user-requested features and tools to improve the product.
If you’re serious about being able to work with the best Hebrew and Greek texts, all the major English translations, a wide variety of other language editions and resources, including the Westminster Standards, a whole range of lexicons, diagramming tools and other textual helps, then BibleWorks is for you! I’ve never been a fan of the OTHER software that was promoted at Seminary: the Logos system. It seems with them that the module you want always costs a little bit more. But I’ve been thrilled with BibleWorks from the first day I started using it. And when a new version comes out, existing customers can upgrade for a very reduced price! Check out their website at http://www.bibleworks.com.
Every volume of this series is a wonderful help when preaching through that particular book of the Bible. The authors are solidly Evangelical in their committment to the Gospel of Christ and the expository preaching of the Word. Watch for more titles in this series to be released as time goes on. If you see one missing from this list, please send me the ISBN and I’ll make sure it gets added.