Bible Summit Picks

Monday, August 23, 2010

Consolidating my blogs

Hey everyone!

Just wanted to let you know that I am consolidating all my blogs into one location in order to help simplify my life.  Therefore, the Bible Summit blog, the Authentic Relationships blog, and the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church - KCI Campus blog are now centrally located on this site

Please update your blog readers or take a look at the new
Google Reader to track all your blogs - it is great!

Thanks for joining the conversation and please hit the 'follow' button for updates as well as through Google Reader

Friday, August 20, 2010

And we are back!! with info on the HSCB

Hey everybody!

Well, as some of you may know, my father passed away last month.  So, I have been on a little bit of a hiatus while going through the grieving process.  But . . . we are back!

I am looking forward to continuing our discussion on the Bible Cycle on reading through God's Word.

Meanwhile, let me share with you a new Bible that is coming out soon:
Holman Christian Standard Study Bible
HCSB Study Bible, Jacketed Hardcover
Here is the website:

I have put one on order (since I collect Bibles) will give a review when it comes arrives.
Here is a video intro:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Bible Cycle Intro

Here is the scoopity-doopity -

After working through a rough sketch of where we are going with the Bible Study outline, I decided to provide a 'map' of where our journey will take us.  Keep us on track due to my affinity to squirrel to other topics.

So, I would like to introduce you to the
Bible Cycle

The Bible Cycle is composed of 'Reading' Cycles.  Think of it as areas of study, thought, and nuance that you may decide to 'circle' around before moving on.  The Bible Cycle provides a format to give organization to your Bible reading and study process.  Here are the four cycles:

  • Bible Cycle 1: Book = The Big Picture
  • Bible Cycle 2: Chapters = The Main Themes / Literary Units
  • Bible Cycle 3: Paragraphs = The Smallest Unit of Meaning
  • Bible Cycle 4: Verses = The Nitty Gritty

Outlining our next steps has provided me an organization to my personal study methods plus others.
Here we go . . . .

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Post Postponement

Hey everybody,

I am little behind (two weeks!) in posting on the Bible Cycle.  I am currently organizing it a little bit better in order to have a good flow.  Sorry for the delay.

I also have made the decision to go back to seminary to complete my Biblical languages degree (MABL) @ Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Urgh!  What am I thinking?  HA - actually, I put all the work in it doing my MDiv that I decided that I need the accountability to keep up with it.  I am reviewing my Hebrew to take the next step in Hebrew classes this fall - 2 months!

Thanks for following and I will get back to the Bible Cycle within the next couple of days!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bible Cycle Step 1

Okay . . Here we go!
As we begin the 'Bible Cycle' Study Method, allow me to provide an outline of what is ahead.

  • I will be outlining each step each week to allow time to practice that specific step.  
    • For example purposes, we will journey through the book of 1 John together.
  • In between steps, I will be addressing certain issues and tools to help you with your Bible Study.  
    • Issues involve presuppositions, biases, communication theory, etc
    • Tools will include discussions on outlining, genres, color coding, meditation mapping, and more
  • We will be doing this in bite-size chunks
    • "How do you eat an elephant?"
      • "One bite at a time"!
Okay!  Here is the Bible Cycle Step One:
1.  Read the whole book
  1. Sit down and read all of 1 John in one sitting.
    • This should take around 20-30 minutes
Okay - more coming tomorrow.  Bite-size chunks . . . 
Enjoy your reading!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Studying the Scriptures

Hey gang!
Here is my intro for what's next:

If you want more information concerning Dr. Bob Utley's plan, here is the link to Dr. Utley's website:  I developed an adapted form utilizing Dr. Utley's reading plan as a foundational baseline.  HERE is the direct link to his seminar: "You Can Understand the Bible"

I look forward to continuing our journey together!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

BT - Da Jesus Book

Ok, so as pastor, I have the opportunity to meet some great people.  Last month, I had the opportunity to meet Wade Remer from Wycliffe Bible Translators helping them with their "Mobiles 4 Missions" project (turn in your old cell phones which they cash in for money to help support translating the Bible into new languages across the globe).  As an example of the work that Wycliffe has completed, Wade sent me a copy of "Da Jesus Book":
Da Jesus Book: Hawaii Pidgin New Testament
You can check it out online @
Here is an example of John 3:16:
16“God wen get so plenny love an aloha fo da peopo inside da world, dat he wen send me, his one an ony Boy, so dat everybody dat trus me no get cut off from God, but get da real kine life dat stay to da max foeva."
How fun is that?!
Per our discussion on Translations and Paraphrases, what do you think?
Personally, I think it serves as a great example of translation theory in action.  See chapter 3 in:The Inclusive-Language Debate: A Plea for Realismfor more information on Translation theory as it applies across the globe (not just English)

I truly appreciate Wycliffe's pursuit of bringing the Bible to the heart language of the people all across the world.  The Hawaiian Pidgin New Testament is a fun read.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 28, 2010

BT - Paraphrase II

I found this interesting video of John Piper considering his opinion on paraphrase:

I appreciate his view concerning liking paraphrases when we call them paraphrases . . .

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

BT - Paraphrase

The last part of the spectrum to discuss concerns 'Paraphrases' which are authorial interpretations/applications of a translation into a modern day or contemporary vernacular.  Note: Paraphrases are not translations.  Paraphrases move into today's idiomatic phrasing and terminology.  While interesting and insightful as a commentary usage or insightful reading, please remember that they are the specific author's viewpoint and interpretation of the text.  Paraphrase are usually not recommended for penetrating Bible study and I would agree.  My first paraphrase that I inherited from my mom was the Living Bible:
Living Bible red-letter with green hardcover (Living Bible, The)

Some paraphrases can be amusing at times - such as the Cotton Patch Gospel (imagine Jesus coming to the South in Georgia . . . ).  These are clips from the musical made from the books:



The most popular paraphrase by far is the Message Paraphrase by Eugene Peterson.  Here is the latest edition:
The Message Remix
Paraphrases certainly have an interesting place amongst the translation continuum (far side) and provide good devotional and commentary insight.  That would be the plus side.  I would like to reiterate that they should not be used for specific Bible Study, word studies, exegetical insights, etc.  But they can be fun . . .

What do you think?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

BT - Gender Neutral Controversy and the TNIV

When the TNIV (Today's New International Version )surface back around 2004 (? - I received a special preview free pdf of the TNIV New Testament dated 2004, with translation committee notes dated 2001), I never realized the flurry of thoughts that would come soon after.
The TNIV Bible: Timeless Truth in Today's Language™ (Today's New International Version)

The TNIV translation updated the beloved NIV with up-to-date language and readability.  What I did not realize  pertained to an issue called "Gender Neutral Controversy" or "Inclusive Language Debate".  To put simply (as I possibly can and still do justice to the issue), the translators took words such as 'men' and replaced with 'men and women', or even echoed in the change of 'brothers' into 'brothers and sisters'.  HERE is an article from Dr. Craig Blomberg that addresses inclusive language (short article).

If you are from the southern United States, the Biblical term 'men' or 'brothers' could be translated "y'all".

I am truly not doing the debate justice, but understand that the controversy centers around adding "and women" as well as "and sisters" in which the literal word-for-word translation does not state.  Yet, the idiomatic term could possibly include men and women, brothers and sisters.

Another issue in the beginning was that terminology for God was made gender neutral.  This was quickly squelched as not true of the TNIV.

If you want more to read as well as a lot more detail (more than you ever want), the following two books present the two sides of the controversial debate:
Against Gender Neutral             For Gender Neutral
The TNIV and the Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy                        The Inclusive-Language Debate: A Plea for Realism

Is Gender-Neutral language a concern for you?

BT - Dynamic Equivalence

Okay, now for a little more on 'Dynamic Equivalence'
The New Living Translation (NLT), a dynamic equivalence, defines a dynamic equivalence as a translation that "focuses on translating the message of the original-language text.  It ensures that the meaning of the text is readily apparent to the contemporary reader.  This allows the message to come through with immediacy, without requiring the reader to struggle with foreign idioms and awkward syntax.  It also facilitates serious study of the text's message and clarity in both devotional and public readying." (Introduction, p1)

Sometimes, word-for-word (Formal Equivalence) translations read a little wooden or choppy.  Thought-for-thought (Dynamic Equivalence) translations read more flowing and smooth.

Personally, I will read the NLT for larger passages or when I read a complete book in one sitting to get the big idea (more on my Bible Study method in June).  Because of the flow and style, I find reading a thought for thought translation very beneficial in ascertaining the big picture of a Biblical book.

Next time, I will discuss one of the biggest arguments concerning Dynamic Equivalences called "Gender Neutral Language".  Stay tuned . . . .

Friday, May 21, 2010

BT - Combination of Formal and Dynamic

Sometimes, folks really only want to purchase and utilize 1 Bible for their devotional, study, and spiritual walk.  Some pastors and teachers have encouraged such a desire especially in regards to Scripture memorization.  Familiarity with one translation can be very beneficial in this area.  Therefore, which Bible serves as a middle of the road between translation theories?  Which translations balance word-for-word (formal) and thought-for-thought (dynamic)?

Two translations come to mind:  the ever so popular for the past 20 some odd years - New International Version (NIV) and the newer within the last decade - Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB).

My first study Bible that I purchased was the NIV Study Bible.  What a great tool to start off!!  When my mother passed away in 1996, I was privileged to inherit my mother's NIV Thompson Chain Reference Bible, which became a wonderful new tool!  Click the links to learn more about the Bibles.

What Bible do you use and why?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Sunday's Coming" Video by Northpoint

During our staff (Pleasant Valley Baptist Church) retreat today, our Lead Pastor, Merle Mees, shared the following video.  I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to share it.  I appreciate Northpoint's willingness to laugh at themselves and not take themselves too seriously.

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

What are your thoughts about the video?

BT - Formal Equivalence

For a good, albeit brief, introduction to Formal and Dynamic Equivalence, click HERE for a good Wiki article.

As a recap, Formal Equivalence translation (as defined by the NET bible):
1With formal equivalence each word of the original language is represented by a word in the receptor (target) language, and the word and clause order is kept as nearly identical to that of the original language as possible. Thus this approach translates word for word.

 Formal Equivalence translation as defined by NLT (a thought for thought) is
"A formal-equivalence translation preserves aspects of the original text - including ancient idiom, term consistency, and original language syntax - that are valuable for scholars and professional study.  It allows a reader to trace formal elements of the original language text through the English Translation"

Follow the Wiki article for a list of Bibles that follow the Formal Equivalence route.  Suffice to say, here is a short list:
Young's Literal Version
King James Version
New King James Version
Revised Standard Version
English Standard Version (which is what I use currently for my word-for-word translation)

Another version (that is next on my purchase list), is the NET Bible 
This version is produced by translation scholars and looks very interesting!

Monday, May 17, 2010

BT - Interlinears

Let's travel through the spectrum of Bible Translations(BT) beginning on the left hand side of the translation spectrum with Interlinears.

Click here for the definition from  Suffice to say, Biblical Interlinears place the English text alongside (usually the line directly above or below) the Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament).  And yes, the Bible does have some Aramaic passages/quotes as well.

IMO, interlinears serve as the furthest left-hand side of the translation spectrum providing the best possible word-for-word translation, i.e. formal equivalence.  I will define and discuss formal equivalence in the next blog.

Here is a Greek and English New Testament that I use currently:

Click HERE to see an example page from John 1:1-5.

Although somewhat technical, interlinears serve as a great tool in viewing scripture in a word-for-word format.

Anybody know of a good Hebrew interlinear?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bible Translation (BT) Spectrum

Here is a chart I made of the spectrum as mentioned previously.
Click on the chart for a larger view.

EDIT: 5/22/10 I switched some of the Word-for-Word tabs to reflect a cleaner view on Formal Equivalence (i.e. NASB77 and KJV).  I like this new version better.  Thanks Ben for the catch!

Bible Translations (BT)

Which Bible translation should you get?
Part 1

Part 2

Please post your comments or questions and I can address those this week.
Edit:  I state first "Formal Equivalence" (which is correct for word for word) then start sharing "Functional Equivalence"  what I originally meant to continue to say was Formal Equivalence.  Sorry for the confusion.  The term Functional Equivalence is sometimes used for Dynamic Equivalence.  Oops.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bible Summit Blog Revamp

The Blog is changing! Like the new look?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Free Bible Resources

For a great site of Free Bible Resources including commentaries, surveys, and how to study the Bible, check out:

Dr. Bob Utley is a retired hermeneutics professor and pastor (he was my pastor when I was younger) who has spent his life creating quality commentaries and resources to God's people.

Most of his written materials are downloadable in .pdf format.  I also highly recommend his
You Can Understand the Bible Seminar
The link will take you to the main page where you can watch his seminar online as well as download the seminar notebook.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Schedule Update

Hey everybody!

We have added a Q & A session to the schedule!!  Both speakers have agreed to spend a few extra minutes (30 minutes) to field questions from the participants.  What fun!!

Here is what the new schedule looks like:
Friday, January 8th, 2010 6:30 pm to 9 pm

6:30 pm – Meet and Greet, Refreshments
7:00 pm – Welcome and Opening, Stephen Boster
7:15 pm – Session 1a: Dr. Blake Hearson
8:00 pm – Break
8:15 pm – Session 1b: Dr. Blake Hearson
8:55 pm – Closing Prayer

Saturday, January 9th, 2010 8:30 am to 12 pm

8:30 am – Meet and Greet, Refreshments
9:00 am – Welcome, Ace Chambers
9:15 am – Session 2a: Dr. Alan Tomlinson
10:00 am – Break
10:15 am – Session 2b: Dr. Alan Tomlinson
11:00 am - Break
11:15 am – Q and A
11:45am - Closing Words and Prayer

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Bible Reading Approach

I am writing this blog in order to share one way about how to read the Bible. I have adapted this information based upon a book that deals with how to write critical essays and applied the information to Bible reading.

In his book How to Write Critical Essays: A Guide for Students of Literature (London: Routledge, 1991), 31, Pirie provides a step-by-step guide for collecting information and ideas that will help guide "the overall shape of your essay."

The following is a reading approach that will help guide 'the overall shaper of your reading of the Bible:

Read the whole of each set text

When reading the Bible, it is important to read a whole book in context. In seminary, we were taught the phrase that “context is king”. Therefore, reading a whole book of the Bible becomes important when looking at individual passage within that book. It allows you the opportunity to get the main idea of the book before you begin to dissect it. For application, this means that before you begin to study a passage, it is necessary and vital to your understanding of the passage to first read the entire book in regards to what that passage is in. You must read every word of the book, no matter how long or tedious that it may seem. Even if you zone out on some of the reading, you need to make sure you go back and reread those areas that you “went blank” on. Sometimes to help me with the reading and staying on focus, I use a coloring format. If you are interested in it, feel free to send me an e-mail request.

Read again

Next comes the issue of reading again. Always try to read the book fully at least once. If possible, gain understanding of the purpose behind the text. If what you’re reading is very long, then pull out major sections or specific passages that you found interesting or important to the main idea. If you can, read the specific sections 2 or three times.

Reading aloud

One of the most interesting things that I’ve learned lately in my Bible reading skills has been the importance and the pleasure of reading Scripture out loud. Read as much as you can out loud. When you do this, certain specifics come out that you would not have thought of.

Memorize key phrases or words after each reading section

As you complete a section or chapter in a book of the Bible, be sure to think about and memorize a key phrase or key idea of that section. Then, as you go about your day whether doing household chores or driving to work or whatever, you can recite to yourself that key phrase or idea of what you have been reading. Keep it short and simple and not long and tedious in your memorization. A fun quote that deals with this is “such unofficial acorns can often nurture them into intellectual oaks of extraordinary strength and complexity”.

Make notes

be sure to take time out to write down a record of fun insights of you reading. Make the decision and determination to do this. You will find that if you do not record your thoughts, feelings, ideas or key phrases, then you will remember and discover less. Be sure to record your own thoughts about the importance of what you are reading and how it applies into your own life. Your thoughts and ramblings, as you will find, truly become a treasure for you in your Christian walk.