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Quote - William Townsend

"The greatest missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue. It needs no furlough and is never considered a foreigner." William Townsend

Quote - D.L. Moody

"Some people think God does not like to be troubled with our constant coming and asking. The way to trouble God is not to come at all." D.L. Moody

Merry Christmas!

Matthew 1 "18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us." 24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. Luke 2 "1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

Quote - Nate Saint

"And people who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives... and when the bubble has burst they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted."Nate Saint

Quote - Robert Moffat

"I have seen, at different times, the smoke of a thousand villages - villages whose people are without Christ, without God, and without hope in the world." Robert Moffat

Quote - Martin Luther

"Either sin is with you, lying on your shoulders, or it is lying on Christ, the Lamb of God. Now if it is lying on your back, you are lost; but if it is resting on Christ, you are free, and you will be saved. Now choose what you want." Martin Luther

Parenting Questions - Christianity Today

What answers does the Bible give to parents? Check out the link that connects you to brief answers to some of these common questions...

Evaluating Charities - Giving Wisely

How many phone calls, mailings, and emails have you received this holiday season that attempted to solicit your donation for a worthwhile cause? If you are like me, you have received A LOT. So many of them sound worthwhile and effective, but there are several resources out there that can help you navigate the endless list of charities.
When giving to charities (separate from and above your church tithe/offering), there are some things to consider:
  • Is it legit and approved by the Better Business Bureau?
  • How much money goes towards the actual end-goal and purpose of the charity?
  • How much money goes towards administration?
  • How much money goes towards fundraising? (you'd be surprised the number of charities that sink 15% or more into fundraising...i.e. your donations are paying the wages of the fundraisers)
  • What is its evaluation by others? (some evaluations have extensive standards for giving 'ratings' of charities)
  • If it is a "Christian" charity, is there a direct connection to the Gospel in the ministries they perform?
  • Is there a more effective and efficient charity in the area in which I am choosing to give?

Some resources to use:

As you give it is important to consider:

  • Your resources are ultimately God's and not your own. You are but a steward called to be a wise caretaker of what God has entrusted you with.
  • The most important treasure you have been given to share is the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ...are you sharing and giving Him to others?

Proverbs 11:24-25 "One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."

Matthew 10:7-8 "7As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."

Ephesians 3:8 "8Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ"

1 Timothy 6:17-19 "17As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life."

Quote - Martin Luther

"My teaching is not of doing nor of leaving undone, but of being. It is not new works done, but a new man to do them; not another life only, but another birth." Martin Luther

Study Bibles - Got One?

Do you have a favorite Bible to use? Do you have a study Bible in your collection?
Dr.Albert Mohler speaks about the use of study Bibles and recommends his three favorite ones in his blog today. Check it out HERE.
Also, here are links to previous blogs I wrote about "My Favorite Bibles" and the "ESV Bible."
An update: I think Santa has found and is bringing me an ESV Bible for Christmas

Impatient for the Lord's Return?

2 Peter 3:9-10 "9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed." Do you eagerly await the return of the Lord? It is an exciting thing to think about, study, and anticipate. At the same time we must never forget the many descriptions of it by Scripture, showing how it cannot be predicted or known, but will come upon us "like a thief"; unexpected and instantaneous. One important thing to also pull out of the above passage is that God's patience towards Christ's return is so that we should have more time to preach the Good News of Christ so that "all should reach repentance." This is not a promise of universal salvation or conversion (that the coming of Christ will only occur once all are evangelized/converted/or saved), but rather a description of the fact that our work is not done. If the Lord returned today, would you be excited and joyous? If you are a Christian I expect that you would be. Do you realize though, that once He returns you will no longer have the chance to evangelize the lost and to share the Gospel with your friends and family? It is an urgent and dire circumstance that the lost are in and we must not lose sight of the opportunities that we now have to share Jesus Christ before His ultimate return.

Sheep without a Shepherd - Neglecting the Bountiful Harvest?

Matthew 9:36-38 "36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'" Is your response when seeing the confused and lost masses today one of compassion? Do you understand them to be 'harassed' and 'helpless' under the attacks of Satan, who like a lion who desires to kill and destroy? Is your next response (following compassion) one of prayer and action? Do you pray and long to see more people (including ourselves) more effectively mobilized to harvesting the fruit that the Holy Spirit is preparing? This is a convicting passage for more consistently respond with compassion, earnest prayer, and a longing to seize the many opportunities available for bringing others into the flock of Christ.

Psalm 71 - The Lord is my rock, my refuge, my deliverer

Psalm 71:1-8 "1 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. 2 Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. 3 Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4 Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men. 5 For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. 6 From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you. 7 I have become a marvel to many, but you are my strong refuge. 8 My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long."

Quote - G.K. Chesterton

"Hell is God's great compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human choice." G.K. Chesterton

The Bridge Video & Isaiah 53

A powerful video is below...I highly recommend reading the entirety of Isaiah 53 considering Jesus Christ as the suffering servant; written and prophesied 700 years before His birth, sacrificial death on the cross, and resurrection from the grave. Isaiah 53 (ESV) “1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.”

Quote - Martin Luther

"My conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen." Martin Luther

Quote - Richard Baxter

"That will be most in their ears, which is most in your hearts." Richard Baxter

Quote - Jonathan Edwards

"Two things exceedingly needful in ministers as they would go about any great matters to advance the kingdom of Christ are zeal and resolution...A man of but ordinary capacity will do more with zeal and resolution than one of ten times the parts in learning without them." Jonathan Edwards

Quote - R.C. Sproul

"Here then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God's Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not because it is dull and boring, but because it is work...Our problem is that we are lazy." R.C. Sproul

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

"Whatever 'call' a man may pretend to have, if he has not been called to holiness, he certainly has not been called to the ministry." C.H. Spurgeon

Quote - R.A. Torrey

"Power is lost through self-indulgence. The one who would have God's power must lead a life of self-denial." R.A. Torrey

Quote - Robert Murray McCheyne

"Lord, make me as holy as a saved sinner can be." Robert Murray McCheyne

Eckhart Tolle - A New Earth

Ever hear about Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth as heavily promoted earlier this year by Oprah? Do you want a short and concise summary of the heresies taught within this New Age work? HERE is a review by Dr.Donald Whitney on the subject. Some excerpts:
  • "Tolle's teaching is the oldest blasphemy in the world. It is the same lie to which Satan wanted Eve to "awaken" in the Garden of Eden: "You will be like God" (Gen. 3:5). Sadly, just like Eve, many still fall for it."
  • "Tolle's chief heresy about man is his teaching that each of us is god."
  • "the "salvation" (p. 13) we need is not the forgiveness of sin, but enlightenment."
  • " Tolle clearly admires Jesus, and quotes Him several times in A New Earth, but only as a great spiritual teacher. The events which are not only the most important in the life of Jesus, but also the most important in the entire Bible and indeed in the history of the world—namely the crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and second coming of Jesus Christ—Tolle completely ignores."
  • "Like Rhonda Byrne in The Secret, Tolle is shrewd enough to scour the Scriptures and wrench a few verses from their contexts to give the false impression that the Bible supports his views. And yet, in the end he points his readers to themselves as the ultimate authority: "Yes, you are the Truth. If you look for it elsewhere, you will be deceived every time" (p. 71). "

Dr. Whitney also has a helpful review of another book heavily promoted by Oprah: Rhonda Byrne's The Secret

  • "In the final analysis, The Secret is nothing more than Name It-Claim It, Positive-Confession, Prosperity Theology (without God and the Bible), built on a foundation of New Age self-deification. In other words, the book is just another version of what some TV preachers have taught for decades, namely, if you will sustain the right thoughts, words, and feelings, you will receive whatever you want. But The Secret adds this important twist: your thoughts can bring anything into your life because you are god."

Christian and Student Legal Resources -

Here are some great Christian legal resources for a variety of circumstances:

Alliance Defense Fund - "directly litigates some carefully chosen, strategic cases for a unique purpose: to train newly licensed attorneys in the fine art of litigating—and winning—legal matters protecting religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and traditional family values"

Christian Law Association: "to provide free legal assistance to Bible-believing churches and Christians who are experiencing legal difficulty in practicing their religious faith because of governmental regulation, intrusion, or prohibition of one form or another"

The Rutherford Institute:" a civil liberties organization that provides free legal services to people whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated"

Christian Legal Society: "to inspire, encourage, and equip Christian lawyers and law students, both individually and in community, to proclaim, love and serve Jesus Christ through the study and practice of law, the provision of legal assistance to the poor and needy, and the defense of religious freedom and the sanctity of human life"

American Center for Law & Justice: "committed to ensuring the ongoing viability of freedom and liberty in the United States and around the world"

Quote - Thomas Watson

"Sin has the devil for its father, shame for its companion, and death for its wages." Thomas Watson From:

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

"If you truly feel the sweetness of the Cross of Christ, you will be constrained to confess Christ before men." - Charles Spurgeon 

Quote - Hudson Taylor

"You wonder why people choose fields away from the States when young people at home are drifting because no one wants to take time to listen to their problems. I'll tell you why I left. Because those stateside young people have every opportunity to study, hear, and understand the Word of God in their own language, and these Indians have no opportunity whatsoever. I have had to make a cross of two logs, and lie down on it, to show the Indians what it means to crucify a man. When there is that much ignorance over here and so much knowledge and opportunity over there, I have no question in my mind why God sent me here. Those whimpering stateside young people will wake up on the Day of Judgment condemned to worse fates than these demon-fearing Indians, because, having a Bible, they were bored with it---while these never heard of such a thing as writing." - Hudson Taylor 

Meditation - Eastern vs. Biblical

Have you ever wondered about the place of yoga or meditation in the life of a Christian?  In a Church?  How is Eastern meditation different from that which is referred to in the Bible?

Dr. Al Mohler provides an insightful and biblical response to the continuing and growing trend of such Eastern practices HERE.

Some helpful comments:
  • "The biblical concept of meditation is not without reference to thought and content.  To the contrary, it is about thinking that is directed by the Word of God -- scripturally saturated thought."
  • "The Eastern concept of emptying the mind is just not anything close to the biblical vision of filling the mind with the Word of God."
  • Referring to an article that quotes Donald Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: "Referring to meditation's long association with Hinduism, Buddhism and other Eastern religions, Whitney says, 'Some of the yoga stuff, where you're given a mantra, that is rooted in false religions.' He sees no problem with stretching, but once you start chanting, you're treading on treacherous ground, he says."
  • "We live in a world so shaped by therapeutic concerns that most people never stop to wonder if God is dealing with them in their stress, their distress, their haunting thoughts, their cluttered minds.  An attempt to empty the mind might well be an effort to listen to the self when we should seek to hear from God."
Psalm 1:1-2 "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night."

Psalm 77:6 "I said, 'Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.' Then my spirit made a diligent search:"

Psalm 119:15-16 "I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.  I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word."

Psalm 145:5 "On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate."

Quote - Polycarp

"Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry? Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die? Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand? Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you damned?" - Polycarp

Quote - John Donne

"We are the Bibles the world is reading; We are the creeds the world is needing; We are the sermons the world is heeding." - John Donne

Quote - Catherine Booth

"I'd rather have people hate me with the knowledge that I tried to save them." - Catherine Booth

Quote - John Wesley

"Many do not recognize the fact as they ought, that Satan has got men fast asleep in sin and that it is his great device to keep them so. He does not care what we do if he can do that. We may sing songs about the sweet by and by, preach sermons and say prayers until doomsday, and he will never concern himself about us, if we don't wake anybody up. But if we awake the sleeping sinner he will gnash on us with his teeth. This is our work - to wake people up." - John Wesley

Downfalls of the Self Esteem Movement

Ever notice how society tells us to heap endless praise (often insincere or undeserved) on children and youth, being afraid to offer constructive criticism?  Do you wonder how we got to the point where every child must get an award at school or in competitive events, instead of advocating that awards be earned or won?
I grew up under this era of the "self-esteem" movement, always earning a ribbon at swim meets whether I was first-place or sixth-place (don't see that at the Olympics!) and in getting a trophy for every season of baseball that I played.  Despite being raised in this generation, it also seems that this "self-esteem" movement has continued to progress to the point that it has gone overboard.  It is worrisome to see some of the statistics that show the effects of such a culture.
In an article titled "U.S. Teens Brimming with Self-Esteem," some interesting trends are noted concerning teenagers of today:
  • "more likely to claim they are "A" students with high IQs -- even though other research shows that today's students do less homework than their counterparts did in the 1970s."
  • "confidence has crossed over into overconfidence"
  • "decades of relentless, uncritical boosterism by parents and school systems may be producing a generation of kids with expectations that are out of sync with the challenges of the real world"
  • "compared to their counterparts from the '70s, today's youth also tended to rate themselves as more intelligent and were more likely to say they were "completely satisfied" with themselves"
  • "setting goals for yourself is a good thing. It's just when those goals are wildly unrealistic, then that can cause trouble for everyone"
  • "'These kids didn't raise themselves, they got these ideas from somewhere,' Twenge said. With Mom and Dadhanding out endless praise, kids today readily believe they are somehow superior, she said. And teachers aren't blameless, either: According to Twenge, research shows that high school teachers now give out an "A" grade more easily than their counterparts did in the 1970s, even though today's high school students report doing less homework than students from that era."
As parents, teachers, and mentors of the children and youth of today, are we quick to flatter those we influence and raise?  Or are we providing a balance of accurate and deserved encouragement and praise along with loving correction, rebuke, and exhortation?
Let us not forget the problem of sin that exists in all of our lives.
Romans 12:3b "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought"
Jeremiah 9:23-24 " 23Thus says the LORD, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the LORD."
Proverbs 29:5 "A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps."

Quotes - Charles Spurgeon

“Do not expect to get, in the first year of your pastorate, that result which is the reward of twenty years of continuous toil in one place” Charles Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (96)

"the less you think of yourself, the more people will think of you” Charles Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (58)

Christmas Gift Ideas for Teens - Christian Magazine

Are you looking for a Christmas gift for your teenage child or relative? Want to give them something that will challenge and grow them in their Christian walk?
Try looking into some of these magazines from Focus on the Family.
Don't forget, if you go to Severns Valley Baptist Church Student Ministry we provide Essential Connections magazine/devotional each month for your teenage child. Encourage them to pick up a copy!
Lifeway also provides the three below magazines for teenage girls (not a subscription though):
These 3 magazines are written by author Vicki Courtney who will be coming to Severns Valley Baptist Church on April 18th for a "You and Your Girl" mother/daughter conference.

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

“Tell the sinner all the doctrines.  If you hold to Calvinistic doctrine, as I hope you do, do not stutter about it, nor stammer over it, but speak it out.  Depend on it, many revivals have been evanescent because a full-orbed gospel was not proclaimed.  Give the people every truth, every truth baptized in holy fire, and each truth will have its own useful effect on the mind.” Charles Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (211)

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

“A tract is a useful thing, but a living word is better.  Your eye, and face, and voice will all help.  Do not be so cowardly as to give a piece of paper where your own speech would be so much better.” Charlese Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (193)

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

“Young men and old men, and sisters of all ages, if you love the Lord, get a passion for souls. Do you not see them? They are going down to hell by thousands; as often as the hand upon the dial completes its circuit, hell devours multitudes, some of them ignorant of Christ and others willfully rejecting Him.” Charles Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (176)

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

“How can you serve the Lord with your lips if you do not serve Him with your lives?” Charles Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (160)

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

“We ought to regard the Christian Church, not as a luxurious hostelry where Christian gentlemen may each one dwell at his ease in his own inn, but as a barracks in which soldiers are gathered together to be drilled and trained for war.”  Charles Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (158)

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

"Nothing but the Gospel can sweep away the social evil." Charles Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (206)

Quotes - Charles Spurgeon

"As soon as a man has found Christ, he begins to find others." Charles Spurgeon "I will not believe that thou hast tasted of the honey of the gospel if thou can eat it all to thyself." Charles Spurgeon From:

Insights on the Crystal Cathedral and the "Hour of Power"

Check out the blog post by Dr.Al Mohler regarding the recent developments between the Schullers at the Crystal Cathedral and the "Hour of Power" broadcast.  
"So Much for Positive Thinking" by Dr. Al Mohler
"The gospel of self-esteem is a false gospel that, like every other false gospel, breaks down under pressure.

That's why we so desperately need the real Gospel -- the Gospel of Christ.  This is also why we need the church.  Possibility thinking obviously has its limits." - Dr. Albert Mohler

Voter Guides

Here is a video from
Here are some helpful resources for Party, State, and National Voters Guides:
(Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention)
  • For Kentucky - this is pretty detailed on candidates at the state races for Kentucky

ESV Study Bible

Ever have a hard time understanding things when you read your Bible? My new favorite Bible was just released last week and will eventually replace (if Santa brings me one) my John MacArthur NASB study Bible (also an excellent Bible that I have GREATLY benefitted from in the past 2.5 years).
The ESV Study Bible was released October 15th and I got to thumb through it and take a look at what it has to offer. Here are some of its benefits and features:
  • Section summaries are highlighted for easy location throughout the notes. Summaries provide an overview of each main section and correspond to the outline shown in the introduction for each book.
  • Over 200 full-color maps printed throughout make events and places in the Bible come to life.
  • 20,000 notes focus especially on understanding the Bible text and providing answers to frequently raised issues. Words from the Bible text are printed in bold for easy reference.
  • Over 80,000 cross-references provide easy access to key words, passages, and themes throughout the Bible.
  • Numerous diagrams bring fresh understanding to key places and events in the Bible, based on the best, most recent historical and archaeological research.
  • Over 200 charts provide concise, “at a glance” summaries of important themes and teaching.
  • My favorite part? THE NOTES: For examples, check out this explanation on John 1:1, a passage that is mistranslated by Jehovah's Witnesses in order to justify their corrupt doctrines:

    “From the Patristic period (Arius, c. A.D. 256-336) until the present day (Jehovah’s Witnesses), some have claimed that “the Word was God” merely identifies Jesus as a god rather than identifying Jesus as God, because the Greek word for God, theos, is not preceded by a definite article. However, in Greek grammar, Colwell’s Rule indicates that the translation “a god” is not required, for lack of an article does not necessarily indicate indefiniteness (“a god”) but rather specifies that a given term (“God”) is the predicate nominative of a definite subject (“the Word”)…” from sample online

    Although there are in-depth notes, there are also many about basic culture, wording meaning, context, and relationships with other texts that are helpful for all ages.
    They have 20 videos to introduce this Bible online, and list out the 95 contributors to this project. They also have 8 formats in order to accomodate personal preferences. You can preview many pages and features of the ESV Study Bible here.
    Don't just take it from are some worthwhile endorsements:
    “The ESV is a dream come true for me. The rightful heir to a great line of historic translations, it provides the continuity and modern accuracy I longed for. Now the scope and theological faithfulness of the ESV Study Bible study notes is breathtaking. Oh how precious is the written Word of God.”
    John Piper, Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN
    “Outstanding! The ESV Study Bible is a treasure—a beautiful volume, filled with a wealth of resources. It will be just as useful for the seminarian and long-time pastor as it will be accessible to the brand-new Christian.”
    R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
    “I was privileged to act as General Editor of the English Standard Version, and now that I look back on what we did in producing that version, I find myself suspecting very strongly that this was the most important thing that I have ever done for the Kingdom, and that the product of our labors is perhaps the biggest milestone in Bible translation in certainly the last half century at least, and perhaps more. And now, as Theological Editor of the ESV Study Bible, I believe that the work we have done together on this project has set an altogether new standard in study Bibles.”
    J. I. Packer, Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada
    “The ESV Study Bible is an invaluable and inexhaustible resource—for those who already know and treasure God’s Word, as well as for the new generation of Bible students who have yet to discover the wonder and wealth of Scripture. I especially love the way the notes and articles highlight the great redemptive story and ‘connect the dots’ between the various portions and themes of Scripture. Full of rich insight, scholarly yet accessible—I am deeply grateful for this magnificent work.”
    Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author, host of Revive Our Hearts Radio
    “The ESV Study Bible is accessible, comprehensive, theologically sound, beautifully and helpfully formatted, chock full of maps, charts, well-chosen cross-references, and illustrations. I’m confident that it will be an instant and reliable help to growing Christians; high school, college, and seminary students; busy pastors; and Bible teachers. In short, the ESV Study Bible is an edifying, state-of-the-art resource that I highly recommend and will use with joy!”
    Ligon Duncan, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS; President, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
    “Wow! Concise, lucid, enlightening—the ESV Study Bible is an amazing resource. With its textual fidelity, doctrinal substance, and artistic beauty, the ESV Study Bible will be an immense help to all who hunger for God-breathed Scripture. I wholeheartedly recommend this exceptional resource.”
    Randy Alcorn, bestselling author of Heaven and Money,Possessions, and Eternity

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