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Bible News Roundup – Week of January 29, 2017

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Tornado Crushed Mississippi Christian University But Didn’t Touch Bible, Opened to Psalm 46
CBN News
CNN: Amid the tornado wreckage in Mississippi, a Bible is left untouched
Read Psalm 46 on Bible Gateway

2017 National Prayer Breakfast: US Senate Chaplain Speaks of Members of Congress Praying and Studying the Bible
C-SPAN (begin at the 22:48 mark of the video)
Browse the Prayer section of the Bible Gateway Store

Gutenberg Bible Printed Around 1455 Now Online at Gallica, National Library of France
Evangelical Focus

Vatican City Stamps Celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation
Linn’s Stamp News
See the Reformation Studies section in the Bible Gateway Store

Deaf Churches Find Healing in Scripture
Mission Network News

Oshiwambo Bible Translation Project Launched in Namibia
New Era Newspaper

First Inuit Bible Translation Conference
United Bible Societies

Bible Mission Annual Convention Begins in India
The Hindu

Norwich Quilt Exhibition on Biblical Journeys
Network Norfolk

See other Bible News Roundup weekly posts

“Which Bible Translation Is Best?” – Part 1: Why There Are So Many Bible Translations

Throughout the years Bible Gateway has been online, we’ve heard one question asked regularly. Can you guess what it is? It’s this one:

“Which Bible translation is the best?”

This is a perfectly reasonable thing to wonder, particularly if you’re new to the Bible and are bewildered by the dozens of arcane-looking acronyms (NIV, ESV, NRSV, etc.) facing you on Bible Gateway’s Bible selection drop-down (or on the shelf at your local bookstore.)

And this very reasonable question prompts other, equally reasonable questions:

  • Why are there so many Bible translations?
  • If Christians take the Bible so seriously, isn’t there a consensus on the best way to translate the Bible?
  • How can I be confident that I’m reading the “real” Bible if there are dozens of other translations out there?

[See the section in the Bible Gateway Store: About Translations of the Bible]

The short answer to that common question, “Which Bible translation is the best?” is simple but also a bit unsatisfying: there isn’t a Bible translation that we, fallible humans, can point to and confidently identify as “the best.” It is of course possible to translate the Bible well, or to translate it poorly—just as with any other human activity. But for the most part, the Bible translations readily available to us today don’t differ as much in quality as they differ in translation philosophy. A translation philosophy isn’t a philosophy in the “Socrates, Descartes, and Confucius” sense of the word. Rather, the translation philosophy behind a particular Bible translation represents the way that the translators chose to answer the questions that must be answered when translating any text.

What are those questions, and why do different translators answer them differently?

Let’s find out by doing a little translation exercise of our own!

Beating a Dead Horse: Why Different People Translate Scripture Differently

Imagine that you’re translating the following sentences into a different language:

Bob and Jane went into the house and began to argue. “You’re driving me crazy,” Jane said. “Stop beating this dead horse.”

The first sentence is pretty straightforward, right? It’s a simple description of activities that can be understood easily when translated word-for-word into most languages. Most translators will translate this in the same way.

But things get a little trickier with the second sentence: “You’re driving me crazy,” Jane said. If you translate it word-for-word, you are being very faithful to the original text in one sense. But you also risk changing its meaning for readers who don’t know that in English, driving somebody crazy means that you’re aggravating them, not that you’re actually driving them someplace or inducing insanity in them. Maybe translating it “You’re annoying me” is more accurate… but now it feels like it’s lost some of its original punch, doesn’t it? And it’s always possible that translating it this way has inadvertently stripped out an important nuance. What if, a few sentences later, Bob cracks a joke that relies on Jane having said the specific phrase driving me crazy to make sense?

And it gets even trickier with the final sentence. You know that beating a dead horse means pointlessly belaboring a settled point, but will your non-English reader? Maybe they’ll figure out what that phrase means by context, or maybe they’ll be completely stumped wondering why a deceased horse has suddenly entered the story. Maybe your reader’s language uses a completely different, unique idiom that conveys the exact same concept. Is it a more “faithful translation of the text” to translate it literally or to adapt it to the reader’s language and culture?

Now, imagine that the text you’re translating isn’t a silly paragraph like the example above, but is instead an intricate poem composed thousands of years ago in a culture that is long gone. Now add to that the understanding that you’re translating God’s holy Word, and that a poorly translated word or phrase can make a big impact on a reader’s understanding of God and the Bible! You can see why Bible translation isn’t something you can just do with Google Translate; it involves constant judgment calls and tough choices. And it’s natural that different translators are going to make different choices, even if they share the goal of translating the Bible accurately.

Word-for-Word or Thought-for-Thought?

As you can also see in the above example, there are two basic directions you can go when translating the Bible. You can choose to translate the Bible word-for-word, or you can choose to translate it thought-for-thought.

Here’s how pastor Mel Lawrenz describes how these two approaches affect your Bible reading:

So-called “word-for-word” translations have the advantage of showing the reader the specific word choice and phraseology of the biblical authors. Another approach is to go “thought-for-thought.” These versions are true to the biblical author if they authentically render the intended meaning. Free translations or paraphrases often render whole sentences in new ways. These versions benefit people looking to catch the whole flow of Scripture, not so much the verse by verse meaning.

Looking to our example above, a word-to-word approach would translate the phrase “beating a dead horse” as precisely as possible. A thought-for-thought approach would use a different phrase that means the same thing but which doesn’t necessarily use the original words or phrase.

All of the Bibles you see on Bible Gateway fall into one of three categories:

  1. Word-for-word Bible translations, which emphasize faithfulness to the original text’s literal wording. A popular example is the English Standard Version.
  2. Thought-for-thought Bible translations, which emphasize faithfulness to the original text’s intended meaning. A popular example is the Contemporary English Version.
  3. Bible translations that mix the above two approaches. A popular example is the New International Version.

Technically, all Bible translations mix the two approaches—no approach is purely word-for-word or purely thought-for-thought. Many Bibles tend toward one approach, but all fall somewhere in between the two extremes. Some Bible translations do make a special effort to evenly balance the two approaches rather than favor one or the other, and those Bibles fall into the third category above. All of these Bibles share the goal of making Scripture accurate and accessible to readers. It’s just the specific translation strategies that differ.

That’s Interesting, But You Still Haven’t Answered the Question—Which Bible is Best?

Bible Gateway PlusWe can’t tell you exactly which Bible you should be reading. But we can help you make an informed decision about which Bible(s) are a good fit for you. Next week, we’ll dive right into this with a guided tour of the major word-for-word Bibles you can find on Bible Gateway. We’ll talk about what makes each one unique, and give you enough information to decide whether or not one or more of them are a good choice for you. After that, we’ll do the same with Bible Gateway’s thought-for-thought Bibles, and lastly we’ll take a look at a few Bibles that fall in the middle of those two approaches.

Until then, keep reading your Bible, whatever version it is! But this weekend, here are a few questions to ask about the passages you read in your Bible:

  1. Are there words or phrases in this passage that confused me?
  2. Did I notice any modern idioms or phrases in this passage that couldn’t have been the original ancient text?
  3. Just from my reading of this passage, do I have a sense of which translation approach (word-for-word or thought-for-thought) this translation favors? What are the clues?

We’ll be back next week with a look at Bibles that favor the word-for-word approach. Until then, God bless your Bible reading, no matter which translation you use!

Exploring the Apocrypha at Bible Gateway

If you watched Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony earlier this week, you saw that it started with a prayer offered by Cardinal Timothy Dolan. But did you recognize where in the Bible that prayer came from?

The inaugural prayer in this case drew from the Bible, but perhaps not from a passage you know. Here’s how the Common English Bible translates the passage from which Dolan’s prayer is drawn:

God of our ancestors and Lord of mercy, you made everything by your word. You gave shape to humanity through your wisdom so that humans might rule the creatures that you made, so that they might govern the world by holiness and by doing what was right, and so that they might be honest in passing judgment. Give me Wisdom, who sits enthroned beside you. Don’t reject me, out of all your servants. I’m your servant and the son of one of your servants. I’m just a weak human who will live a short life as other humans do. And I’m the least of all humans when it comes to understanding judgment and laws properly. Indeed, even if somebody might be thought of as perfect, this person is nothing without your wisdom.

Send her out to me from your holy heavens. Send her from your glorious throne so that she may labor with me here and that I may learn what is pleasing to you. She knows and understands everything. She’ll guide me wisely in all that I do. Her great honor will guard me.

Do you recognize that passage? If you’re a Protestant, the prayer certainly sounded like something from the Bible, but you may have trouble recalling exactly where in the Bible it’s located. That’s because it isn’t found in most Protestant Bibles—it’s from the book of Wisdom (specifically, Wisdom 9:1-6,10-11), part of the Apocrypha.

What is the Apocrypha?

The Apocrypha is a group of texts (sometimes called deuterocanonical texts) considered to be part of the Bible by some Christian traditions, but not others. These books are included in some Bibles but omitted from others. Some Christians, particularly in the Protestant tradition, do not consider these books to be part of the biblical canon—that is, they don’t consider them to be equal in authority to the other books of the Bible. The deuterocanonical books, thus, does not appear in most Protestant Bibles. Other Christian traditions, notably the Catholic and Orthodox traditions, do consider them canon.

Why are there differences in Bible canon between these Christian traditions? The question of which texts are and aren’t canonical is an old one; since the days of the early Christian church, Christians have discussed and debated which texts merit inclusion in the list of canonical Bible books. You might be surprised to learn that even some of the most well-known books of the Bible—for example, the book of Revelation—were the subject of much debate before they were widely recognized as part of the Bible canon. If you’re interested in exploring that history, DanieL deSilva has written a good overview at Christianity Today.

The Apocryphal books are usually grouped in with the Old Testament, both for thematic and chronological reasons. Several years ago, we created a chart showing how the Old Testament differs across the major Judeo-Christian traditions (click to enlarge image):

How to Read the Apocrypha on Bible Gateway

If you’d like to explore the deuterocanonical books for yourself, you can easily do so here at Bible Gateway. There are two ways to quickly access the Apocrypha.

1. Search the Apocrypha with the Search Box

If you know the specific deuterocanonical passage you want to read, you can look it up with the Bible Gateway search box exactly as you would look up any other Bible passage. You can find the search box near the top of BibleGateway.com:

Just type your desired passage—for example, Wisdom 9—into the search box. But there’s an important step to take before you click or tap Search! Most Bibles on Bible Gateway don’t include the Apocrypha, and if you search for deuterocanonical passages in a Bible that doesn’t contain them, you’ll get no results. You must first make sure that the Bible you’re using contains the Apocrypha.

To do that, use the Bible selection drop-down (just to the right of the search box) to select a Bible that contains the Apocrypha. The Bible selection drop-down looks like this:

There are several such Bibles on Bible Gateway; but if you’re new to the Apocrypha, try one of the following English Bibles, all of which include the Apocrypha:

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  • Common English Bible: a relatively recent Bible translation that features easily readable modern language; a good choice if you usually read the New International Version or other modern Bibles.
  • Douay–Rheims 1899 American Edition: a classic translation of the Latin Vulgate marked by majestic, sometimes archaic language that you’ll appreciate if you like the King James translation.
  • New Revised Standard Version: a very popular Bible translation recognized by many churches from different Christian traditions (Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox alike).

Once you’ve entered a passage and selected a Bible that contains the Apocrypha, click or tap Search. Bible Gateway will display your desired text like it does any other Bible passage; and if you’re logged in to a Bible Gateway account, you can take notes, highlight text, and mark favorite verses as you can in any other Bible passage.

2. Browse the Apocrypha by Book and Chapter

The second way you can explore the deutercanonical books is by browsing books and chapters. This is a good option if you aren’t already familiar with the Apocrypha, and mostly want to browse through it. To start, select a Bible that contains the Apocrypha in the Bible selection drop-down at the top of Bible Gateway. See the point above for some suggested Bibles to start with.

Once you’ve selected a Bible, click Bible Book List, which can be found directly below the search box:

This opens a panel listing the contents of the Bible you’ve chosen. If the deuteronomical books are present, they’ll usually be listed under a section labeled Apocrypha, although in a few cases they can be found listed in the Old Testament section (click to enlarge image):

Click or tap the book you’d like to explore. This opens a black bar at the bottom displaying each chapter in that book. Select a chapter number to open that chapter in Bible Gateway:

That’s it! Now you know how to access and read the Apocrypha using the same tools you use to read other Bible passages. If you’d like deuterocanonical results to appear in your Bible searches on Bible Gateway in the future, the key thing to remember is that you must have selected a Bible that contains the Apocrypha. If you’re a Catholic or Orthodox Christian who wants those books included in your Bible reading and searches, we hope this has helped you. If you’re new to the Apocrypha but curious to read it, we hope this has pointed you in the right direction.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Is Revised; Becomes Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Browse the editions of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) in the Bible Gateway Store

Buy your copy of the CSB Ultrathin Reference Bible, Black LeatherTouch in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every dayB&H Publishing Group has completed the revision of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). Renamed the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB) (@CSBible), the text will soon be available for reading on Bible Gateway, as well as in a full line of print Bibles for readers of all ages, with initial products releasing in March and available in the Bible Gateway Store.

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, The Bible Table of Contents]

“We believe this is a translation that combines accuracy and readability without compromise,” said Trevin Wax, Bible and reference publisher at B&H Publishing Group.

The CSB Translation Oversight Committee includes Bible scholars from a variety of denominations, including Baptist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Lutheran, and non-denominational backgrounds. Working directly from the original languages, they also solicited feedback from pastors, seminaries, and other conservative denominations. Those responsible for the translation are firmly committed to traditional, conservative principles and the timeless truth of God’s Word.

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Bible Translation Reading Levels]

B&H Publishing Group also announces that fellow evangelical publishers David C. Cook and Baker Publishing Group will be using the CSB in resources.

Baker Publishing Group will begin publishing Bibles in the CSB in 2018. Its first release, the Baker Illustrated Study Bible, will draw upon Baker’s extensive image archive and collection of bestselling biblical reference works with contributions from today’s leading evangelical biblical scholars. New Bibles for adults, children, and students are also being created.

“I’m thankful for the vision of the Christian Standard Bible. And I believe the translation committee did something important” shared Brian Vos, Editorial Director for Bibles at Baker Publishing Group. “The CSB provides a strong foundation for serious study and clarity for use in all aspects of church and family life. We’re looking forward to using it in our publishing program.”

David C. Cook will use the Christian Standard Bible as the base translation for a new church-wide initiative designed to help more people engage with the Bible. Other product lines are also in development.

Executive Publisher of David C. Cook, Verne J. Kenney, commented: “At David C Cook, we seek to equip the church with Christ-centered resources for making and teaching disciples. We believe that because the Christian Standard Bible translation prioritizes both accuracy and readability, it will help us accomplish our mission. It’s a great fit with the publishing plans we have for a number of our product lines.”

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No More Faking Fine: An Interview with Esther Fleece

Esther FleeceIf you’ve ever been given empty clichés during challenging times, you know how painful it can feel to be misunderstood by well-meaning people. Far too often, it seems the response we get to our hurt and disappointment is to suck it up, or pray it away. But Scripture reveals a God who meets us where we are, not where we pretend to be.

Bible Gateway interviewed Esther Fleece (@EstherFleece) about her book, No More Faking Fine: Ending the Pretending (Zondervan, 2017).

Explain how you became an orphan at the age of 15, even though both your parents were still living.

Buy your copy of No More Faking Fine in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

Esther Fleece: My biological family left me to fend for myself at a young age. Families in my church and community took me in and gave me a way to avoid the foster care system. I’m a living testimony of Psalm 68:6—that God sets the lonely in families.

What is the biblical language of lament?

Esther Fleece: Lament is defined as an expression of grief. As I take a look at Scripture, I see that God seeks out those of us who are in need of him. He meets people with his comfort, and with his peace. So for the purposes of this book, and this movement, we’re defining lament as an expression of grief that God meets us in.

How did, and does, the Bible meet you in your disappointments?

Esther Fleece: Our disappointments, setbacks, and failures are entry points for God to enter. We can miss God completely when we try to live only in our strengths. We begin to believe we’re capable of things without him. This is why I don’t see setbacks as failures; rather, entry points for God to meet us in. If the language of lament is not incorporated into our prayer times, we’ll have a hard time worshipping God when things don’t go as we want them to.

Why do you say “God wants our sad”?

Esther Fleece: For years my faith walk was stunted by the assumption that God wanted my strengths, gifts, and talents to use for his kingdom. While he does want those things, he also wants my heart. I had left out that God wanted my laments. He wants my whole heart; even the parts of me that are still broken or in pain. When I incorporated the language of lament into my prayer times, I found that God would meet me in the midst of my disappointments, instead of wishing them away.

What are your favorite Bible passages that speak to the subject of lament?

Esther Fleece: Psalm 40:3 is one of my favorite verses for this book: “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.”

No More Faking Fine talks about how God gives us a new song after a season of lament, and my prayer for this book is that many will be introduced to a God who hears them when they cry.

Where can we turn to in our Bibles to learn this language of lament?

Esther Fleece: You’ll see all over Scripture that lament is a language of God’s children. From Abel’s blood crying out to God from the ground all the way to Jesus’ laments and Paul’s ministry of tears. I recommend that inquiring readers turn book of Psalms and see the language of lament in these songs. Incorporate these Psalms into our daily prayer times. Get comfortable with getting gut-level honest with God. It’s hard to find an emotion not mentioned in the Bible, and through the Psalms we see where our emotions can be used to communicate with God.

What are three examples of lament experienced in the Trinity?

Esther Fleece: God expressed emotions, Jesus lamented (John 11:35), and we know that the Holy Spirit can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30.) There’s no way that God would let us into knowing his emotions, if we were supposed to keep our emotions from him.

What do you mean that people should move from lament to amen?

Esther Fleece: After reading No More Faking Fine, some of us will lament to God for the very first time. We’re already hearing feedback that this book is giving people permission to go to God with everything. And hopefully as you read through this book, you’ll see that children of God are not kept in a lament forever.

Lamenting seasons will be hard, and often long, but they’re not our final destination or our final song. I believe the majority of laments, no matter how difficult, can end with “amen”—a “so be it” or a “thank you” even in the storm.

What is the campaign “Ending the Pretending”?

Esther Fleece: It was our heart to invite others to share their “No More Faking Fine” stories as a part of this book campaign. When one person stops faking fine, it gives permission for others to do the same. What a great way to show unchurched people that church people don’t have it all together. That we, too, still have a need for God.

When we end the façade, we demonstrate how our emotions can help us turn towards God, not away from him. When we end the pretend and show people our need for God, it lets them know that their need for God is okay, too.

What are your thoughts about Bible Gateway and the Bible Gateway App?

Esther Fleece: Bible Gateway is my most used online resource for the Bible. I love the different versions that are available as well as the study tools. Online commentaries have been a great resource for me as I’m on the road traveling a lot. Thank you, Bible Gateway, for making the best book accessible all day!

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

If you have a “No More Faking Fine” story you’d like to share, please visit EstherFleece.com and join this anthem of authenticity. Let others be inspired by you! To know God is to need God. Let’s not be afraid to be needy Christians (for him).


Bio: Esther Fleece is an international speaker and writer on Millennials and faith, leadership, and family, recognized among Christianity Today’s “Top 50 Women Shaping the Church and Culture” and CNN’s “Five Women in Religion to Watch.” As founder and CEO of L&L Consulting, she works to connect influential individuals and organizations to their mutual benefit.

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Open Position: HarperCollins Christian Publishing Is Hiring a Senior Web Developer

Are you an experienced web developer who would love the challenge of working with a major site like Bible Gateway? HarperCollins Christian Publishing is looking to add a Senior Web Developer to their team! This is a chance to put your skills to use supporting some of the biggest Christian websites on the internet, including Bible Gateway.

The Senior Web Developer position calls for someone who is experienced with and passionate about every aspect of site development, from implementation to maintenance. It’s a demanding but rewarding position that means working with a small, dedicated team doing work that doesn’t just serve customers—it changes lives.

This position can be based in Nashville (TN), Spokane (WA), or Grand Rapids (MI). If it sounds intriguing, see the Senior Web Developer position listing for a detailed list of responsibilities and required qualifications. And if you know anyone who you think is a perfect fit for this position, please share this listing with them!

4-Year-Old Recites ABCs Using Bible Verses

A four-year-old boy from Tyler, Texas is an Internet sensation after his video recitation of the alphabet using Bible verses went viral. Here’s the full story as recounted by his father, Taylor Hemness (@taylorhemness) :


Last spring, our youth minister at Glenwood Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas, challenged families to learn a Bible verse for every letter of the alphabet. At the time, Tanner was 3-and-a-half, so I started to tune out.

But the minister encouraged parents of young children to try it too, because “we’d be amazed by what they’re able to retain.”

I thought it was worth a try, but honestly didn’t believe that he’d be able to do it. That thought was only strengthened when I saw the list of verses the church provided to us. “Jesus wept” isn’t on the list! I wasn’t even sure they were all from the same translation.

So, that Monday, we wrote the first verse on a chalkboard in our kitchen, and started practicing with him. I’d run through it every day, and by Thursday, he had it.

The following Monday, we did it again with “B,” but we also still made him recite A. So, by week five, he was doing A, B, C, D, and E every day. There were a few verses that took two weeks, thanks to difficulty, or things like family travel. Altogether, it took about six months.

He’s wearing a tuxedo in the video because we were at a wedding. He was a ring bearer in a co-worker’s wedding, he was all dressed up, and he’d just learned “Z” the week prior. We had a few minutes, and a quiet room, so I took the opportunity to film him, which I’d always planned to do when he was done.

I posted the video, and immediately, it got lots of response. But friends were telling me they were trying to send it to friends, but those friends couldn’t see it because my account was private. I’m a local TV anchor here in Tyler, so I’m pretty private with my family. But, I decided to go ahead and make that post public.

One week later, it had 3 million views on my personal FB page. I was shocked.

I gave it to my station to share on their page, and as of today, between those two pages, it’s been seen more than 30 million times.

When the Steve Harvey show producers reached out back in October, I never thought it’d become what it has become. My wife and I couldn’t be prouder of our little fella.

As you might imagine, some of the comments from people (which have poured in from around the world) have been less than positive. “Brainwashing” gets thrown around a lot. But in my original post, I said that my prayer is to be the kind of Dad who helps him learn what those verses mean. I understand right now, many of these words don’t resonate with him the way they would with an adult. But I have faith that God will turn them into much more, and his mother and I pray that we can help that along.

Here’s the List of ABC Bible Verses Tanner Used

Each Bible reference is linked to its location on Bible Gateway and displayed in 5 versions in parallel:

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find. Matthew 7:7

Be kind one to another. Ephesians 4:32

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. Psalm 55:22

Do not be anxious about anything…. Philippians 4:6

Every good and perfect gift is from above. James 1:17

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith…. Ephesians 2:8

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

He alone is my rock and my salvation. Psalm 62:2

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us. Psalm 100:3

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul…. Mark 12:30

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. Psalm 62:1

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you. Psalm 63:1

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being praise his Holy name. Psalm 103:1

A Quiet spirit….is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:4

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne. Revelation 7:10

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield…. Psalm 91:4

Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. John 6:47

We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37

…May I never boast, eXcept in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Galatians 6:14

You are the light of the world. Matthew 5:14

Zion hears and rejoices. Psalm 97:8

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Bible News Roundup – Week of January 22, 2017

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Scripture Reading Stable in US Despite Rising Skepticism
Baptist News Global
Read the Bible on Bible Gateway

Retired Police Chief and Wife Guide Police Bible Ministry Project
Chicago Tribune

Bill Would Bring ‘Bible Literacy’ to Kentucky Schools
Courier-Journal

American Missionary Fights to Pray, Read Bible in Russia
CBN News

City Government of Baguio Philippines Encouraging the Public to Read the Bible as a Daily Routine
SunStar

The Church of Pentecost and the Bible Society of Ghana Launch National Bible Reading Marathon in Ghana
Citi 97.3FM

The Musical Based on the Biblical Story of Ruth That Could Bring Revival to China
CBN News
Read the book of Ruth on Bible Gateway

New Barna/Pepperdine University Study: Almost Half of American Pastors Have Faced Depression; 1-in-5 Has Struggled with an Addiction—Most Commonly, to Porn
News Release

See other Bible News Roundup weekly posts

Bible Verses Emphasized by Past US Presidents on Inauguration Day

US Presidents raise their right hand and customarily place their left hand on a Bible when they recite the oath that inaugurates them into the office. Out of 67 inaugurations to date, 37 had Bibles opened to specific verses on Inauguration Day. According to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, following is a list of the Bible verses past Presidents have chosen for the special day (quoted from the King James Version of the Bible).

George Washington in 1789: Genesis 49:13
“Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.” (The Bible was opened randomly for the occasion.)

Abraham Lincoln in 1865: Matthew 7:1, 18:7, and Revelation 16:7
Matthew 7:1— “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”
Matthew 18:7— “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”
Revelation 16:7— “And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.”

Andrew Johnson in 1865: Proverbs 20 and 21
Proverb 20— “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise…”
Proverb 21— “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will…”

Ulysses S. Grant in 1873: Isaiah 11:1-3
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots…”

Rutherford B. Hayes in 1877: Psalm 118:11-13
“They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord I will destroy them…“

James A. Garfield in 1881: Proverbs 21:1
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”

Chester A. Arthur in 1881: Psalm 31:1-2
“In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness…”

Grover Cleveland in 1885: Psalm 112:4-10
“Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious and full of compassion, and righteous…”

Benjamin Harrison in 1889: Psalm 121:1-6
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help…”

Grover Cleveland in 1893: Psalm 91:12-16
“They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone…”

William McKinley in 1897: 2 Chronicles 1:10
“Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge thy people, that is so great?”

William McKinley in 1901: Proverbs 16:20-21
“He that handleth a matter wiseley shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.”

Theodore Roosevelt in 1905: James 1:22-23
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves…”

William H. Taft in 1909: 1 Kings 3:9-11
“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?…”

Woodrow Wilson in 1913: Psalm 119:43-46
“And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments…”

Woodrow Wilson in 1917: Psalm 46
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble…”

Warren G. Harding in 1921: Micah 6:8
“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

Calvin Coolidge in 1923: John 1
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…”

Herbert C. Hoover in 1929: Proverbs 29:18
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, 1937, 1941, and 1945: 1 Corinthians 13
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing…”

Harry S. Truman in 1949: Matthew 5 and Exodus 20
Matthew 5— “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him…”
Exodus 20— “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me…”

Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953: Psalm 33:12 and 2 Chronicles 7:14
Psalm 33:12— “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”
2 Chronicles 7:14— “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957: Psalm 33:12
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”

Richard Nixon in 1969: Isaiah 2:4
“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Richard Nixon in 1973: Isaiah 2:2-4
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord‘s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it…”

Gerald Ford in 1974: Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding…”

Jimmy Carter in 1977: Micah 6:8
“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

Ronald Reagan in 1981 and 1985: 2 Chronicles 7:14
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

George H.W. Bush in 1989: Matthew 5
“And seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him…”

Bill Clinton in 1993: Galatians 6:8
“For that he soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but that he soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

Bill Clinton in 1997: Isaiah 58:12
“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many great generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.”

George W. Bush in 2005: Isaiah 40:31
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

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