Brentwood Baptist Church recently announced they are switching to the Holman Christian Standard version of the Bible. The church, who is celebrating ten years in a new facility in Brentwood, TN, is also the church home of LifeWay President Thom Rainer. For years the church had used the New International Version (1984) both in the pulpit and the pews. "Some of [the Bibles] were decorated with artwork from children who had faster pens than parents' eyes," said pastor Mike Glenn. "So every now and then you have to upgrade those."
The newly donated pew Bibles by LifeWay signals a switch for Glenn who will now preach from the HCSB.
"We were coming to a place where we needed to update the NIVs that had been in our pews since 2002 on Father's Day when we moved in," Glenn said. "And some of those Bibles found other places to live.
"[The HCSB] is a very good translation," Glenn said. "We know a lot of the people who did the work, so we feel very, very comfortable in using it."
According to the church's website:
"With the corrected Bibles now in pews, Brentwood Baptist will endorse and use this version of the Bible going forward. Anything publicly spoken, written, or quoted will come from this translation. In affirmation of the move, members took the Bibles and lifted them up in a prayer of dedication led by our Senior Pastor this past Sunday.
Mike said, "We're glad to partner with LifeWay in providing this resource to you. … They're a very good partner for the local church."
The church developed a unique strategy to make good use of the old pew Bibles. Every member was challenged on a Sunday in February to take a pew Bible and give it away. In an auditorium that seats thousands, only 200 pew Bibles remained that afternoon.
Parts of this post come from a story written by Kaylan Christopher, staff writer at Brentwood Baptist Church
LifeWay Research recently released new statistics on the preferences of Bible readers. They polled 2,000 Americans, asking them questions aimed at uncovering how adults read the Bible. To qualify for the poll, participants had to read the Bible outside of a corporate worship setting.
Here are some interesting findings from the release:
"In addition to their personal study, 75 percent of regular Bible readers also read along with others each month as Scripture is read in church worship services, 49 percent read it as part of Christian education or Sunday school classes at a church, and 42 percent do so as part of a small group Bible study or prayer group."
"On average, Bible readers in the United States personally own 3.6 copies of Scripture. Eighty-four percent of readers have more than one Bible."
"When it comes to how a preferred translation is selected, 75 percent of regular Bible readers personally chose the version they use most while 19 percent had it selected for them by someone else. Six percent do not remember how they arrived at their preferred version."
"Nine out of 10 Bible readers are satisfied with the version they use most for personal reading. That includes 56 percent who are completely satisfied and 35 percent who are mostly satisfied. Only 2 percent are mostly dissatisfied with the translation they use, and 4 percent are completely dissatisfied."
*Click here to read the entire release.
(HT: Ed Stetzer)
In February, on the blog and on Facebook, we have been talking about Study Bibles. In addition to indexes and other types of literary guides, most Study Bibles contain biblical commentary and doctrinal essays. Below is an essay on written communication from the gospel of Luke in the Life Essentials Study Bible. With over 250 hours of teaching by editor Gene Getz, this HCSB Study Bible offers readers a window into in-depth Bible study via QR codes (see the bar code at the bottom of the post, scannable with your smart phone). We hope you'll enjoy the essay, and take a moment to consider, "What are the most important features in a Study Bible?"
#1 We should look for opportunities to use personal letters to help fellow believers develop a more intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
In many respects, this Gospel represents a personal letter to a man whom Luke addressed as the “most honorable Theophilus.” Though we know very little about this individual, he was probably a Gentile, perhaps a high-ranking official in the Roman government. Evidently, he was a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ—not just a seeker—but a man who needed a lot of encouragement in terms of spiritual growth. It appears he may have still had some theological questions about Jesus. Luke wanted Theophilus to “know the certainty of the things” he had been taught about Christianity. The term know indicates more than just intellectual assent; it is a deep, abiding assurance of the heart (v. 4). Luke wanted his knowledge of Christ to be experiential.
Nevertheless, like all of the letters in the New Testament, Luke’s Gospel demonstrates the impact and importance of written correspondence to help Christians mature in their faith. For example, when Paul received a report from Timothy that the believers in Thessalonica were confused about what happens to Christians before Christ comes again, he wrote a le␣er to clarify the issue—along with other teachings to help them continue to more and more reflect faith, hope, and love in their relationships with one another and their unsaved neighbors and friends.
Reflection and Response
How have personal letters encouraged you in your walk with Christ and how can you do the same for others?
The Association for Christian Retail (CBA) recently released the March 2012 bestseller list, naming B&H Publishing's Reading God's Story at the top of the Study/Specialty Bible category. Using the HCSB, editor George Guthrie takes a clear narrative approach to the Bible, arranging the complete text into a fresh chronological reading plan developed for LifeWay's Read the Bible for Life biblical literacy initiative. Congrats to B&H and editor George Guthrie!
This month on the blog and on Facebook, we are talking about Study Bibles. In addition to indexes and other types of literary guides, most Study Bibles contain biblical commentary and doctrinal essays. Below is an essay on the reliabilty of Scripture from the Apologetics Study Bible for Students. This Study Bible, similar to our best-selling Apologetics Study Bible, is specifically designed for students. We hope you'll enjoy the essay, and take a moment to consider, "What are the most important features in a Study Bible?"
by Jeremy Royal Howard
A great many people base their lives and eternity on Jesus and His teachings, and yet Jesus Himself left us no writings. Obviously, not a single scrap of audio or video recorded His teachings. So how can we know what He taught? The New Testament claims to convey Jesus’ teachings accurately, but how can we be sure that the apostles got it right? There are at least four reasons for trusting that the New Testament reports Jesus’ words accurately.
Master Teacher Rather than broadcasting His teachings randomly in hopes that someone would by chance remember what He said, Jesus chose a group of 12 men to be His full-time students. For three years they listened closely as Jesus taught the crowds. They also received private instruction on the side (Mt 24:3; Mk 13:3). Jesus used proven teaching tools such as parables, repetition, and visual aids to make learning easier. Jesus also taught the disciples how to spread His message (Mk 6:7-11), and commanded them to give their lives to this task (Mt 28:18-20).
Fresh Memories The disciples did not divorce themselves from Jesus’ storyline once He ascended to heaven (Ac 1:9). Instead, they returned to Jerusalem and became the focal point of ongoing controversy. In the weeks, months, and years after Jesus’ ascension, the disciples repeatedly defended their beliefs and explained Jesus’ teachings to anyone who would listen. Thus their memories were rehearsed daily as they gave unbroken attention to spreading Jesus’ teachings. In later years, as speaking and traveling grew more difficult due to old age, these men set their memories down in the Gospels.
Powerful Memories Living in the age before notepads and computers made data storage a cinch, Jewish students of religion had to achieve herculean feats of memorization. It was said that advanced students were like a basket full of books; they kept everything in their heads. Though Jesus’ disciples lacked formal education, it is certain that from the moment Jesus called them to be His students they knew they were expected to comprehend and remember his teachings. Possibly they even took detailed notes during Jesus' ministry as was sometimes done by students of leading rabbis. These notes would have been available to support their memory in years to come.
The Counselor Jesus’ strategic teaching efforts and the prowess of well-honed memories put the disciples in a good position to remember Jesus’ teachings, but there was another factor that helped them preach and right with accuracy: Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help His disciples comprehend and remember his teachings (Jn 14:26). The New Testament shows that the disciples became aware of the Spirit's role in their writings. Paul quoted the words of Jesus as recorded in Luke 10:7 and called it Scripture (1Tm 5:18). Paul was convinced that Luke had accurately reported Jesus’ teachings, plus he believed God had inspired Luke’s Gospel. Similarly, Peter affirmed that Paul’s writings were Scripture (2Pt 3:15-16). Clearly, the men whom Jesus appointed to spread His teachings believed they were enabled by God to report Jesus' teachings correctly.