iMonk Radio: Podcast #115

In this episode Michael Spencer shares his thoughts on the ESV Study Bible. I was the benefactor of one of a handful of Study Bibles that Michael received from various donors to his wish list. Pastors/preachers/serious Bible students used to build a library. Not too many of those these days but the ESV Study Bible is a single volume resource that could stand in for a small library if you can’t afford or don’t have the space for a real library.

Here is the open mic discussion of what the Bible can do. If you dig through far enough you can find a comment from me and discussion of me and my comments.

Fun fact: Van Til is mentioned right at the 5 min mark. I knew it would happen sooner or later.

Also in this podcast, the need to disquish Gospel from the Law.

A Bible Story, pt. 1

I was ordained as a minister at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Silver Creek, GA back in March of 2004. My pastor at the time, Mike Jones, had already asked me what version of the Bible I would like to receive at the ordination service. We were new to full time ministry, serving as state missionaries in Kentucky, and I had recently been introduced to the English Standard Version (ESV) by Michael Spencer. Mike Jones presented me with a thinline ESV, bound in black, which I carried on a regular basis for the next nine years in Kentucky. I preached from it in chapel, led BCM, taught Sunday and preached as pulpit supply as well as reading through it from cover to cover a few times. We “came home” in 2012 and visited a few churches before joining Trinity in Calhoun, where I was soon active in Sunday School, helping with church youth, preaching on a regular basis and eventually leading men’s ministry (still referred to as Brotherhood in some areas). After 15 years of regular use my trusty Thinline was looking worse for wear, the spine held together with some very distinguished looking black duct tape if I say so myself. Continue reading

Looking Forward to Reading the Bible

Bible store I have been bragging on the ESV Bible for a number of years, but my working philosophy is that to understand the message of scripture as fully as possible one needs to read a variety of translations. I grew up in churches that were “King James only.” Sometime around 2002 or 2003 I read through the Bible in the New Revised Standard Version. I was considering which version to read next – possibly even the NIV, if you can imagine such a thing – when I was introduced to the ESV. Mike Jones, the pastor at my ministry ordination, gave me a thinline ESV (after asking which translation I would prefer) and Michael Spencer later gave me an ESV Study Bible when that was released. Continue reading

Can Your Bible Walk on Water?

ESV, waterproofOkay, this Bible doesn’t literally walk. But the cover and every page is water proof.

When I was introduced to the ESV in 2003 it was pretty new to the market. There were few options and no other ESV products available. A few years later the ESV Study Bible was introduced; I have one of those really big ones from the first print run. Today you can get large print or compact Study Bible, Thinlines, New Testaments, Student Bibles, plus some rather unique editions. The waterproof ESV pictured above (available here) has a camo style cover. It also come in a pink for girls and a gender neutral style. You can submerge the entire book and the pages are impervious to damage from water.

My comment was that coffee stains would wipe right off it, and another customer on the same aisle laughed and said he was thinking the same thing!

The Funny Thing About Propitiation

Screenshot 2014-03-29 at 8.48.08 PM“Propitiation means the turning away of wrath by an offering. In relation to soteriology, propitiation means placating or satisfying the wrath of God by the atoning sacrifice of Christ.” Charles C. Ryrie

One of things I like about the ESV is that it doesn’t necessarily do away with all of the old sounding words. Some words, like propitiation, are good words to use and the modern reader may need to look up a definition or two as necessary. The KJV uses propitiation three times, once in Romans and twice in 1 John. The NIV does not use this word all, in the case of Romans 3:25 calling Christ the “sacrifice of atonement.” Continue reading

The Read and Share File


This just happened in my home state of Georgia: Governor Nathan Deal has the Bibles returned to lodges and cabins in state parks after a state agency had them removed.

By now you’ve heard about the IRS scandal involving politically conservative non-profit groups. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse got audit notices on the same dayThat and more here.

Discover the seven fold workings of God in Psalm 23, via Walter Bright.

Anne Hesche will play a woman with a near-death experience turned prophet in a new series called Save Me. My comments follow the post, be sure to check out that Wiki entry.

Both sides of the abortion debate think we can learn from the Gosnell murder verdict.

Big flood at the home of Crossway Publishers (makers of the ESV Bible). They are asking for prayer and financial support. As of May 15 they are at 53% of reaching their financial goal. 

The New ESV Bible .org

The English Standard Version of the Bible from Crossway Publishers has been and continues to be my translation of choice. All scripture references on this website (that have links attached to them) link to the website and if you have a habit of following those you will notice a change. Continue reading

Reading More, Posting Less

For the past several weeks I have been reading the Bible more.  A lot more.  I started Genesis at the beginning of January and am now in II Samuel.  I do not read through the Bible each year – that could be a long discussion right there – but decided to this year.  I’ve read the whole Bible in King James and NRSV, but up to this point have not done a straight through read of the ESV.  That has been my preferred translation of choice for reading, preaching and teaching since being introduced to it in 2003, but I’m a little ashamed to say that I have not yet read the entire thing.  Well, by God’s grace I’m working on it.  At my present rate I should finish in 10 months, not 12, but anything could happen.  I prefer reading ahead to catching up.

So the good news is I’m reading the Bible, and having a great time doing it.  The bad news, as far as this blog is concerned, is that I’m writing less.  It’s okay though.  At least I think it’s okay. has a team of authors posting daily and there’s a list of good blogs in my blogroll, some of which haven’t quit yet.  I hate it when a good blog stops.  The Master’s Table has not stopped; it has, at least for the time being, slowed down.

Easter is coming up in a few weeks.  Daylight Savings Time started this morning.  It’s a good time to be in church.  I’m starting a three part sermon on kings of Israel today, and will be posting on Saul (hopefully) this afternoon.  If you’re a follower, hang in there.  Graduation is now just a few weeks away, and during the summer I should have more time to read and write.  God has blessed and is blessing; just thought I would pass that along.

ESV Online

I’ve been linking passages and references from my blog posts to ESV text as long as I’ve been blogging. used to be where all of those links were directed to.  For example, if you click this John 3:16 link that verse appears in a separate window.  Well, things have changed.  I’m usually hesitant to accept any type of change whatsoever, but the fact of the matter is sometimes we just have to deal.  The good people at Crossway are of course always looking to improve our experience with the ESV Bible, and here’s what that means to you. is now the place to learn about the ESV Bible.  You can read about it’s history and the people that endorse it, find out about the translation philosophy behind it, study it’s features and more.  This site answers every question imaginable about the ESV, but the text of the Bible itself is not there.  ESV Online is now the place to read the ESV text as well as access features and notes from the Study Bible.  When the ESV Study Bible first came out, you needed to purchase a copy in order to gain access to the online resources.  Purchasing the digital access only was also an option.  The Study Bible website is being phased out, and existing user profiles are being migrated to ESV Online.  Readers can now sign up for a free account.

The ESV Bible in the previous format (the one I linked at top) is still accessible for the time being.  I will continue linking scripture references from my blog posts as long as it is available; I particularly like the advanced search features.  At any rate, I’m updating the ESV page – note the tabs up top – and my links in the sidebar to reflect the changes.  When I first starting using the ESV, very few resources were available and I’m glad to be able to share them now.

My ESV Study Bible

It came today!  Some of you have had the ESV Study Bible in your hands for a month now.  I know because you’ve been posting pics of your Bible or pics of you with your Bible on your blogs.  Some of us didn’t get in on the first 50,000 copies run.  I knew back in the summer that I could pre-order a copy, but was kind of holding out for getting one as a birthday present (Dec. 11).  My birthday came early, so I can’t complain.  Special thanks to my secret Santa.

So if you’re already in Numbers, I’m now at least in the boat with you.  If you haven’t yet considered the ESV Study Bible, let me recommend it.  If you can’t afford an entire Bible reference library, this is like have a one volume set of the same thing.  The video below was produced by Crossway Bibles, and has been on YouTube since August.  It is highly informational, at least check it out.  Other ESV resources are linked on my ESV page tabbed at the top of this window, including my post on Why I Blog ESV. 

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more about “Introducing the ESV Study Bible“, posted with vodpod