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Scripture Says Reading the Bible in Public is Important

The Scripture Engagement section on Bible Gateway says the Bible is meant to be read, but it is also meant to be heard. The public reading of the Bible is an ancient practice; as old as the content of Scripture itself. And people still read the Bible in public today.

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, The Bible Project: An Interview with Tim Mackie and Jon Collins]

…devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
1 Timothy 4:13

Moses summoned all Israel and said: Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them. Deuteronomy 5:1

So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the Levitical priests, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. Then Moses commanded them: “At the end of every seven years, in the year for canceling debts, during the Festival of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing. Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 31:9-13

Then Joshua read all the words of the law out loud. He read the blessings and the curses. He read them just as they are written in the Book of the Law. Joshua 8:34

On the first day of the seventh month, the people came together in the open area in front of the Water Gate. Then they asked Ezra, who was a teacher of the Law of Moses, to read to them from this Law that the Lord had given his people. Ezra the priest came with the Law and stood before the crowd of men, women, and the children who were old enough to understand. From early morning till noon, he read the Law of Moses to them, and they listened carefully. Nehemiah 8:1-3

At that time the Book of Moses was read out loud. All the people heard it. Nehemiah 13:1

Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. He went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. 2 Kings 23:1-2

Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been raised. On the Sabbath he went to the synagogue as he normally did and stood up to read. The synagogue assistant gave him the scroll from the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me.
He has sent me to preach good news to the poor,
    to proclaim release to the prisoners
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
    to liberate the oppressed,
    and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the synagogue assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the synagogue was fixed on him. He began to explain to them, “Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it.” Luke 4:16-21

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Bible News Roundup – Week of June 25, 2017

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Arkansas Ten Commandments Monument Destroyed in Less Than a Day
ArkansasOnline
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, The Ten Commandments Past and Present: An Interview with David L. Baker

99 County Bible Reading Marathon in Iowa to be Held in Creston
Creston News
The Daily Nonpareil: Council Bluffs, Iowa Group Reading Aloud Bible for Second Year
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Scripture Says Reading the Bible in Public is Important

Gov. Matt Bevin Publicly Signs Bill Allowing Kentucky’s Public Schools to Teach the Bible
WDRB News
John Fea: The Bible in Kentucky Schools

Smithsonian Exhibit: Religion in Early America—The Presidents’ Bibles
National Museum of American History
NPR: To Understand How Religion Shapes America, Look To Its Early Days

Swedish Christian School Preschoolers Banned from Saying ‘Amen,’ Talking About the Bible
Education News

At Wood Street Galleries in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, A Robot is Copying the Bible
Pittsburgh City Paper

United Bible Societies Roundtable Exchange Being Held in Sydney, Australia
Eternity News

Biblica Finishes Kurdish Bible Translation
MNN
Read the Bible in multiple languages on Bible Gateway

South Carolina Pastor Spent Countless Hours Crafting Model of the Tabernacle
McDowell News
Read about the tabernacle in Smith’s Bible Names Dictionary on Bible Gateway
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Experience the Tabernacle: An Interview with Jeanne Whittaker

Bible Commissioned by King George II of England Found Nebraska
NTV News

Who Reads the Bible in Norway?
ScienceNordic

Christianity on the Wane in Australia, But Pentecostal Church Bucks Trend
The Guardian

See other Bible News Roundup weekly posts

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Did You Know? How to Compare Different Bibles Side-by-Side on Bible Gateway

Ever wanted to compare how two or more different Bibles translate the same passage? Bible Gateway makes it easy to compare Bibles! Watch this video introducing this useful feature—and then follow the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to do this yourself for free on Bible Gateway.

It’s easy to compare more than one Bible side-by-side (sometimes called a parallel Bible view) on Bible Gateway. Here’s how to do it.

How to Compare a Bible Verse in More Than One Bible Translation

Start by looking up the Bible passage you want to view—for example, 1 Corinthians 13. It doesn’t matter what Bible version you use; choose one of the Bibles you want to compare.

Once the passage appears, look for the Parallel button button to the top right of the Bible text. You can find it here:

Parallel Bible button

Click or tap that button to add a second Bible panel right alongside the original, showing the same Bible passage you looked up (in our example, 1 Corinthians 13).

Use the drop-down menu directly above the Bible text to choose a second Bible translation to compare to the first:

Bible selector

You did it—you’re are now looking at the same Bible passage in two different translations side-by-side! (Here’s what it looks like to view two different Bibles side-by-side.) But that’s not all you can do. You can continue adding new Bibles to compare by clicking the Parallel button button again:

Add another Bible

You can view a total of up to five Bible translations in parallel in this manner. Here’s what it looks like to view five different Bibles side-by-side. To remove a Bible translation, click or tap the Close button button in the top right of the Bible panel.

That’s how easy it is to compare different translations of the same Bible passage! Go give it a try—look up any Bible passage (try our example, 1 Corinthians 13) and add a few parallel Bible translations. How do the Bibles you chose differ in the way they translate the same passage?

Once you’ve gotten the hang of this feature, there’s one more useful tip to learn. We’ll talk about it below. But first, let’s step back for a moment and ask…

Why View a Bible Passage in More Than One Bible?

That’s a neat trick, but you may be wondering: what’s the point of comparing different translations of a Bible passage? If you already have a favorite Bible translation, shouldn’t you just stick with it? Is there any value in seeing how other Bibles render the same passage? There are several cases in which comparing Bibles side-by-side is very useful.

1. It’s an excellent way to look for nuances in the Bible text that can’t be conveyed in a single translation. There’s not always one correct way to translate the original languages of the Bible; sometimes the full meaning of a passage becomes clearer when you see how different translators chose to translate the same Greek or Hebrew text. Sometimes one translation brings out a shade of meaning that isn’t evident in another translation. Think of it as examining a Bible passage from several different angles, to make sure that you understand the full meaning and message.

2. Comparing Bible translations is a good way to try different Bible versions and identify the Bible that speaks most clearly to you. There are a lot of Bibles out there to choose from (there are over 50 English Bibles on Bible Gateway, for example!) and it can be tough to find the one that’s just right for you. If you’re uncertain which Bible is best for you, use this feature to compare several different Bibles at once. You’ll quickly identify Bibles whose language and translation styles are a good fit for you.

3. It’s a great way to learn to read the Bible in a different language. You aren’t limited to just English Bibles—you can read any Bible on Bible Gateway side-by-side with any other. If you’re learning a second language, this is a great way to practice your new language skills. You can even use this as an aid in learning the original Bible languages—try looking up a verse in both an English translation and in an ancient Hebrew or Greek translation! And in addition to helping you read the Bible in a new language, this makes it easy for you to share Bible verses with friends who don’t share your language.

Use a Shortcut to the Side-by-Side Bible View

Above, we described the most common way people use Bible Gateway’s side-by-side Bible feature. But there’s one extra trick worth learning: a shortcut that will save you some time if you use this feature frequently.

If you know in advance what Bibles you want to compare, you can save some time (and clicks) by performing your search on the Passage Lookup page. On the Passage Lookup page, look for the Select version(s) box. Click Lookup passage(s) in multiple versions directly beneath the drop-down:

Multiple versions

This will expand the version selector to five drop-downs. Select the Bibles you want to compare:

Five versions

Clicking Lookup passage will then show your specified Bible passage in all of the Bible versions you selected, side-by-side.

(This trick also works on the Keyword Search page, in case you want to search multiple Bibles for a particular keyword rather than for a specific Bible passage.)

That’s it—you now know everything there is to know about Bible Gateway’s side-by-side Bible feature. it’s one of the easiest ways to deepen your Bible reading and study. Go give it a try and see what you learn!

Now that you’ve learned how to compare different Bible translations, you’ll find it useful to learn about some of Bible Gateway’s other useful Bible study features: highlighting, favorites, and note-taking. These features are all available when you create a free Bible Gateway personal account. Create your free account today and get more out of Bible Gateway!

NIV Revolution Bible and NIV True Images Bible Updated for a New Teen Generation

Buy your copy of the NIV Revolution Bible: The Bible for Teen Guys in the Bible Gateway Store

Trusted Resources for Teen Girls and Guys Packed with Tools and Insights to Help Teens Navigate Today’s Contemporary Cultural Issues

For 15 years, the bestselling NIV True Images Bible and the bestselling NIV Revolution Bible have been trusted resources guiding teen girls and guys towards a closer relationship with God.

[Read the New International (NIV) Bible translation on Bible Gateway]

[Sign up for the NIV Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway]

[Browse the Bible section in the Bible Gateway Store]

Updated for today’s generation, these new editions (website) are packed with challenging insights, smart advice, and open discussion about today’s contemporary cultural issues, empowering young men and women ages 13 to 18 to ask big questions, discover fresh perspectives, and impact others, while living their faith on the edge. Both Bibles include the complete text of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version.

Buy your copy of the NIV Revolution Bible: The Bible for Teen Guys in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day            Buy your copy of the NIV Revolution Bible: The Bible for Teen Guys, Imitation Leather, Gray and Navy in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day            Buy your copy of the NIV Revolution Bible, Imitation Leather, Blue in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

Buy your copy of the NIV True Images Bible: The Bible for Teen Girls in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day            Buy your copy of the NIV True Images Bible: The Bible for Teen Girls, Imitation Leather, Blue and Gold in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day            Buy your copy of the NIV True Images Bible: The Bible for Teen Girls, Imitation Leather, Pink in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

“The NIV True Images Bible has helped teen girls to see themselves through the eyes of their Heavenly Father, and the NIV Revolution Bible has helped teen guys explore what it means to live a revolutionary life for God,” says Melinda Bouma, associate publisher, Zondervan Bible Group. “Both have helped teens to live with confidence, love, and grace. As these are bestselling teen Bibles in the market, we are committed to updating them frequently, and we’re excited to see them help a new generation, post-millennials, navigate the issues that are affecting them today.”

See the NIV True Images Bible infographic 11 Creative Ways to Be Generous

Features of the NIV True Images Bible give teen girls a fresh perspective on faith-related issues and provide tools to thrive in a complex world. They include:

  • 12 magazine-style quizzes that help girls learn more about themselves
  • In-depth book introductions establish the context of each book in the Old and New Testaments
  • “In Focus” notes explain the Bible’s perspective on contemporary cultural topics such as perfectionism, spiritual growth, eating disorders, pornography, prayer, self-harm, relationships, sex, bullying, and popularity on social media
  • Over 300 “Genuine” notes focus on the value of authenticity and true inner beauty
  • Over 100 “Love Notes” give opportunities to reflect on God’s love
  • 500 “Dare to Believe” challenges help teens discover God’s truth about life and faith
  • 52 “Mirror Images” share the stories of biblical women
  • “Christianity 101” introduces teens to the basics of Christianity
  • “Beliefs 101” helps teen girls dig deep into the underlying principles that shape their worldview

See the NIV Revolution Bible infographic What Should I Do When I Feel Anxious?

Features of the NIV Revolution Bible are strategically designed to empower guys in their quest for truth about faith and their surrounding world, such as:

  • 12 full-color pages offer life-impacting ideas like “50 Passages That Show God Is a Revolution God” and “50 Ways to be a Better Friend”
  • In-depth book introductions that give an overview of the context of each book in the Old and New Testaments
  • “Battlelines” answer tough questions that teens have and present the Bible’s perspective on spiritual growth and contemporary cultural topics such as self-harm, sex, divorce, environmental care, prayer, drug use, underage drinking, pornography, modesty, reading the Bible, relationships, and popularity on social media
  • Over 200 “Be the Change” articles challenge teen guys to discover God’s truth on various topics
  • 100 “God Calling” notes point to verses to help you find God’s plan for your life
  • 100 “Live the Revolution” notes show you how to change your life and revolutionize your impact on
    others
  • 50 “Matchups” capture the strategies, reflections, and conflicts between the Bible’s heroes and villains
  • “Christianity 101” introduces teens to the basics of Christianity
  • “Beliefs 101” helps teen guys dig deep into the underlying principles that shape their worldview

About the NIV:
The New International Version (NIV) is the world’s bestselling modern-English Bible translation—accurate, readable, and clear, yet rich with the detail found in the original languages. The NIV is the result of over 50 years of work by the Committee on Bible Translation, who oversee the efforts of many contributing scholars. Representing the spectrum of evangelicalism, the translators come from a wide range of denominations and various countries and continually review new research in order to ensure the NIV remains at the forefront of accessibility, relevance, and authority. Every NIV Bible that is purchased helps Biblica, a nonprofit ministry organization, translate and give Bibles to people in need around the world. To learn more, visit www.thenivbible.com.

About Zondervan:
Zondervan is a world leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. Zondervan, part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., delivers transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, Mich. For additional information, please visit www.zondervan.com.

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The Money Challenge: An Interview with Art Rainer

Art RainerDid God create us to be secure, self-protective hoarders? Or to become the conduit through which his generosity flows? What does the Bible say about money, generosity, and the purpose of financial well-being?

Bible Gateway interviewed Art Rainer (@ArtRainer) about his book, The Money Challenge: 30 Days of Discovering God’s Design for You and Your Money (B&H Books, 2017).

Buy your copy of The Money Challenge in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

What prompted you to write The Money Challenge?

Art Rainer: Like many Americans, those in the church are experiencing significant financial stress. It’s impacting their career, ministry, family, and their generosity. God designed us not to be hoarders, but conduits through which his generosity flows. The Money Challenge helps readers discover and realize this design. My hope is that readers will begin living the fulfilling, adventurous, and generous life on which too many of us are missing out.

Why did you start writing about financial issues? How have some of these principles affected your life personally?

Art Rainer: I’m a story of one that chose, starting in his teenage years, to use sound, basic financial wisdom and the results that can come from it. The advice found in The Money Challenge really works. I’ve experienced it firsthand.

Unfortunately, there are many who have or are making harmful financial choices. From working in a bank to working in a church, I’ve heard many of these stories. And I just want to help. I want to help people right their financial picture and steward their money the way God intended them to steward it. I want to see pain, frustration, and stress replaced with contentment, joy, and open-handedness.

How much emphasis does the Bible place on money management and the concept of generosity?

Art Rainer: Money management and generosity are woven throughout Scripture. There are more than 2,000 verses related to money and the stewardship of our resources. Jesus spoke about money more than any other topic. To say that the Bible emphasized money and generosity is an accurate statement. Why the focus? Because, according to the Bible, money management is a reflection of heart management (Matthew 6:21).

It can be difficult to decide how to be generous with money. For example, what to do when a stranger on the street asks for money, or deciding what organization or cause to donate to. How does the Bible lead a person to be responsibly generous?

Art Rainer: Stewardship demands thoughtful, kingdom-advancing generosity (Proverbs 21:20). While this type of generosity starts with the local church, it does not preclude additional generosity outside the local church. Whether someone considers giving to a stranger on the street or to a kingdom-advancing nonprofit, he or she should not be flippant about the decision. Flippant giving tends to be wasteful. Thoughtful giving tends to be impactful. Wherever you give, get to know the recipient of your generosity and how that money will be used.

What’s the biggest misunderstanding you’ve seen among Christians when it comes to understanding God’s design for our money?

Art Rainer: Generosity is about the leftovers. For many Christians, generosity is what happens once all of their needs and wants are met. But this is not what the Bible teaches us. Generosity is a priority. Our giving is meant to be the sun around which our budget revolves.

Why is it so important that believers manage their money well?

Art Rainer: God has allowed us to be a part of his kingdom-advancing mission. He’s given each of us resources to use for his glory and his mission. When we mismanage our money, we erect barriers to leveraging our resources for his mission. We get frustrated. We feel stressed. We feel like we’re missing out on something—because we are. We’re missing out on the open-handed life God designed us to live.

What’s the purpose of the challenges at the end of each chapter?

Art Rainer: There are 30 different challenges throughout the book. Some challenges involve money, while others do not. The challenges are meant to help readers consider, and even experience, the generous life whether they have much or little.

How do you hope that individuals use the book? How can pastors use this book to lead their congregation toward greater biblical stewardship?

Art Rainer: I hope individuals use this book to restore health to their finances, but not just for the sake of being financially healthy. My concern is not that they become rich but enriched; to be in a place where they can live more open-handed and generous.

The Money Challenge teaches that the local church is the priority for one’s giving. Pastors can use this book to initiate a 30-day Money Challenge for church members or make it a part of a sermon series.

There are so many books about money, why should people read The Money Challenge?

Art Rainer: You can have financial health and still be unhappy with your resources. Most books make financial health an end. In The Money Challenge, financial health is not an end but a means to a greater, more satisfying end. The book desires to align the reader with God’s design for them and their money.

What do you hope readers do after reading this book?

Art Rainer: I hope they continue on their journey to financial health and generous living. I hope that they continue to pursue the contentment and adventure God has for us when we align our money with his design. And, of course, I hope they invite their friends to try The Money Challenge.

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

Art Rainer: Bible Gateway is a phenomenal resource. I’m grateful that such a resource is available to all.


Bio: Art Rainer is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University and an MBA from the University of Kentucky. He’s the author of The Money Challenge, Raising Dad, Simple Life, and The Minister’s Salary, and lives in Wake Forest, North Carolina with his wife, Sarah, and their three children.

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The Biblical Practice of Religion Might Save USA Christianity: An Interview with Zach Hoag

Zach HoagThe trending sentiment of “spiritual but not religious” suggests the demise of religion. What if we’ve gotten religion all wrong? What if the rooted biblical practice of religion is just what we need to revive us? Does the downtrend of Christianity in America have to be the end? Or can it be the first step back toward the flourishing faith God intends for us? After all, isn’t this the essence of the Christian story: death paves the way for resurrection?

Bible Gateway interviewed Zach Hoag (@zhoag) about his book, The Light is Winning: Why Religion Just Might Bring Us Back to Life (Zondervan, 2017).

Buy your copy of The Light is Winning in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

What’s the meaning of your book’s title?

Zach Hoag: The Light is Winning is ultimately a statement of hope—that despite the statistical decline of Christian faith in the US, and despite many of the harmful realities and trends this decline is revealing, there’s resurrection, renewal, and flourishing to be had at both the micro (individual faith journey) and macro (American church) levels.

You see denominational downsizing and the increasing number of people uninterested in church as being an apocalypse. What do you mean and why do you consider it in a positive sense?

Zach Hoag: Well, it isn’t positive on the surface, and that needs to be acknowledged first and foremost. Numerical decline in the church and tectonic shifts in the culture (towards increasing secularism and pluralism, for instance) bring about a very real suffering as congregations, denominations, and institutions lose their ability to sustain and have desired influence. It’s a death of sorts.

But that’s precisely where the gospel “flip” takes place: Jesus said, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). Death and resurrection is not only a one time event but the pattern of life in Christ (1 Peter 2:21). And in that sense, this death and decline present an opportunity for the church in American to see what it might be revealing—and then move towards reflection, repentance, and resurrection.

Why do you say authoritarianism and ‘empire business’ are pervasive problems in American Christianity?

Zach Hoag: I say that first because, at the heart level, human beings have a problem with power. All of us do, in differing degrees, and church leaders and church structures are no exception.

I say this also because, at a cultural level, our understanding of what constitutes healthy and effective authority is changing, and changing drastically. While there are doubtless many churches and movements that would like to deny there’s anything wrong with how we “do” authority, I believe we’re caught up in a tide that will, whether we like it or not, be sweeping away our unhealthy practices regardless. So we might as well look at what’s being revealed now, and lean into the opportunity for change.

“Empire business,” then, is specifically when church leadership and church structures are compromised by the empire values of power, wealth, and violence. Scripture speaks against these values clearly and often, and Jesus’s own description of healthy ministry militates against these empire abuses (Matthew 20:25-28). And again, in differing degrees and in diverse ways, I believe we see empire business popping up all over the place in the American church—sometimes making headlines, and sometimes shipwrecking lives in ways we never hear about.

Applying it to Christian faith, explain your statement, “Deconstruction is a necessary work that brings us to our necessary ending so that we can find our way through to a new beginning.”

Zach Hoag: Suffering, pain, and “death” are teachers—if we will allow them to be. I think that many are caught up in this moment of revealing and are finding their faith gutted by what they now see so clearly. This has often been described as a wilderness experience, where you don’t know where you belong with God or the church anymore, and you’re wandering listlessly. But I like to call it the “desert of deconstruction” because that’s what’s really happening—reality is challenging our theological understanding and our church structures and causing us to dismantle everything we thought we knew.

But this testing of our faith—and the doubt it entails—is not inherently bad. Quite the contrary (1 Peter 1:6-7). In fact, I believe it’s necessary to get us back into alignment with reality, so we can find a deep and abiding faith that’ll sustain us for what’s ahead. A resurrected religion and a flourishing faith are the promise on the other side of the desert of deconstruction. But we must journey through that wilderness.

How did the Bible help you find your way out of your own wilderness?

Zach Hoag: I’ve always been a person of the Word. From the time I felt a call to ministry at a very young age, I’ve studied and mediated on Scripture constantly. When I hit my own “eruption of the real” and my wilderness sojourn, I never stopped leaning on the Word for guidance, for sustenance, for some kind of direction. It was a dry season, a confusing season, a dark and painful season, but I knew that Jesus, revealed in Scripture, would be the one to bring me through it. And he did.

Where else would I go? He has the words of life (John 6:68).

Talk about 2 Timothy 3:5 and 1 Timothy 3:16, and why you prefer the word “religion” to “godliness.”

Zach Hoag: I simply think it’s the more natural translation. “Religion” here is really a neutral term referring to the beliefs, rituals, and practices connected to faith in God. Thus, Christians can have the form of religion but not the power; and, the mystery of our Christian religion, expressed in Paul’s ancient creed, is great.

How is James 1:26-27 “about as anti-empire as it gets”?

Zach Hoag: James, like his brother Jesus, operates in the realm of prophetic utterance, calling Christians on the carpet for their tendency to practice an empty religion of words. His summation of “pure and undefiled” religion brings us back to the substance, to the actions, that prove its power: controlling our tongues, supporting widows and orphans, and keeping ourselves unstained by the power, wealth, and violence of the world.

What do you want to achieve with this book?

Zach Hoag: Two big things: First, to rouse those who are resisting this moment of revealing to open their eyes and move towards repentance and reformation. And second, to reassure those who are in the throes of their apocalypse to know that God is present with them in the midst of the erupting, in the midst of the wandering, in the midst of the mess—that they are beloved and called, and that only by going through they will get to the place of promise and flourishing.

So take heart, and keep going, because the light is winning.

What is a favorite Bible passage of yours and why?

Zach Hoag: Revelation 21—because that’s what true and full resurrection and flourishing look like, on earth as it is in heaven.

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

Zach Hoag: I love both—keep up the great work!


Bio: Author of The Light is Winning, Zach Hoag is a preacher and creator from New England. Planting a church in one of the least churched cities in the US (Burlington, Vermont), and pursuing ministry beyond that in a variety of spaces, Zach has learned a few things about the power of a deeply rooted life in Christ. Zach has found belonging in Westford, Vermont where he lives with his wife, Kalen, and their three girls. Find him writing at zhoag.com.

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Bible Verses for World Refugee Day

Refugee statistics from The UN Refugee Agency

Buy your copy of Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every dayAccording to The UN Refugee Agency, around the world nearly 20 people are forcibly displaced every minute as a result of conflict or persecution. An unprecedented 65.6 million people globally have been forced from their homes. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. There are also 10 million stateless people who are denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment, and freedom of movement.

What does the Bible say about helping defenseless and vulnerable people in need?

Don’t oppress an immigrant. You know what it’s like to be an immigrant, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt. Exodus 23:9 (CEB)

Buy your copy of Stranger No More: A Muslim Refugee's Story of Harrowing Escape, Miraculous Rescue, and the Quiet Call of Jesus in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:33-34 (ESV)

“The sin of your sister Sodom was this: She lived with her daughters in the lap of luxury—proud, gluttonous, and lazy. They ignored the oppressed and the poor. They put on airs and lived obscene lives. And you know what happened: I did away with them.” Ezekiel 16:49 (MSG)

Buy your copy of At Home In Exile: Finding Jesus Among My Ancestors & Refugee Neighbors in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

Being kind to the poor is like lending to the Lord. The Lord will reward you for what you have done. Proverbs 19:17 (ICB)

For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. Deuteronomy 15:11 (KJV)

[Jesus] said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” Matthew 22:37-40 (CSB)

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All that the Law says can be summed up in the command to love others as much as you love yourself. Galatians 5:14 (CEV)

“I was hungry. And you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty. And you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger. And you invited me in. I needed clothes. And you gave them to me. I was sick. And you took care of me. I was in prison. And you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:35-36 (NIrV)

Don’t hold back—give freely, and you’ll have plenty poured back into your lap—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, brimming over. You’ll receive in the same measure you give. Luke 6:38 (VOICE)

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Don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. Hebrews 13:16 (NLT)

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7 (NIV)

Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love]. Galatians 6:2 (AMP)

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Celebrate James I’s Birthday by Reading the King James Bible

King JamesToday is the 451st birthday of King James I! James’ long rule was marked by many noteworthy historical events and literary developments, but perhaps the most important was the Bible translation that he sponsored: the Bible we know today as the King James Version (also known as the King James Bible or KJV).

The King James Version of the Bible continues to be enormously popular around the English-speaking world. For many people, the KJV was the first Bible they encountered (and memorized from) in childhood, and so it exerts a nostalgic pull. But there’s no denying the sheer majesty of its language. While the vocabulary of the KJV can be archaic and difficult at times, it produces some truly beautiful passages. See how it renders Psalm 23, for example:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. — Psalm 23 (AKJV)

The KJV’s influence extends beyond the Christian church; it’s influenced the English language itself. (See a list of common English phrases that originated in the KJV.)

If you normally read a different, modern Bible translation, why not try something different today and revisit the King James Version? You can find the Authorized King James Version at Bible Gateway. You may find it illuminating to read the King James Version alongside your “regular” Bible, which you can easily do using Bible Gateway’s side-by-side Bible view (click here for a quick tutorial). Here’s Genesis 1 in both the King James and New International Versions of the Bible.

Africa Study Bible Launches with Global Events

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The Africa Study Bible (Oasis International/Tyndale House, 2017) (@africastudybibl), the first study Bible developed by Africans with over 2,600 notes written by 350 contributors from 50 countries, will be released with ceremonial events in Nigeria in Abuja June 29 and Lagos July 1. These follow similar celebrations in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa; Accra, Ghana; Nairobi, Kenya; and Chicago, USA.

Hundreds of Moody Bible Institute students, faculty, and distinguished guests joined together April 10-12 to learn about the explosive growth and future of the church in Africa as part of the African Voices Conference, hosted by Oasis International (@OasisIntLtd) in partnership with Tyndale House Publishers and Urban Ministries, Inc. (UMI). The conference also served as the United States launch of the Africa Study Bible, the first study Bible developed by Africans with over 2,600 notes written by 350 contributors from 50 countries.

Africa Study Bible celebration in Chicago, Illinois

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Africa Study Bible Launches Worldwide Celebratory Events Planned throughout Africa and in the United States]

“The African church has a voice,” Dr. Paul Nyquist, president of Moody, told attendees. “It’s a mature voice, it’s a learned voice, it’s a contextualized voice, and it’s a global voice. The African church does not lack for evangelism; it gains approximately 20,000 brand new believers every single day. It’s the fastest growing church in the world. But those believers need to grow and they need to be educated in the truth of God’s word so they can serve and lead and start more Bible-centered churches.”

Africa Study Bible celebration in Accra, Ghana

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, The Africa Study Bible: An Interview with Matthew Elliott]

Conference attendees heard from six leaders and scholars from Africa and the United States, all contributors to the Africa Study Bible, who gave 28 lectures over the three-day conference on topics ranging from missional theology to the roots of Christianity in Africa. The conference also included a chapel focused on the Africa Study Bible, a luncheon with the African guests, and a special dinner for more than 100 people hosted by Dr. Nyquist, Dr. Mark Taylor, chairman and CEO of Tyndale House, and C. Jeff Wright, CEO of UMI. More than 100 Moody faculty members from three campuses also participated in a faculty forum, led by the six visiting professors.

Africa Study Bible celebration in Nairobi, Kenya

“The greatest injustice you can do to anybody is to deny that person education,” said Dr. John Jusu, Supervising Editor of the Africa Study Bible and Dean of the School of Professional Studies at Africa International University, who shared his testimony in chapel. “The worse injustice you can do to anybody is to deny that person the Word of God because the Word of God is light; is food. You deny people, you have denied them their livelihood; you’ve denied them food for life here on earth and over there. When the idea of the Africa Study Bible came, I said, ‘Hallelujah, this is our time.’ We are going to make it different. We are going to make the word of God understandable to Africa.”

Attendees commented:
“Hearing the convictions of the visiting African professors fueled my faith. The conference introduced us to two African theologians that we had never heard of and the testimony of their lives and work both inspired and challenged me deeply. The Africa Study Bible is a wonderfully condensed resource of biblically engaged scholarly work and traditional heritage from the continent.”

“I was happy to witness a connection between Christians from Africa and those of us of African descent born in the United States. I felt close to my brothers and sisters from Africa for the first time. The most valuable aspect was meeting Christians from Africa.”

With nearly every evangelical study Bible written from the viewpoint of the United States or the United Kingdom, Africans have lacked a one-volume biblical resource that connects God’s Word with their experiences, hindering discipleship. Designed to grow the faith of church members in Africa and teach them to apply a biblical worldview to their culture and society, the Africa Study Bible uses the New Living Translation and includes over 2,600 features such as application notes, stories and proverbs, touchpoints that link Africa and the Bible, learn notes that explain basic values and theology, and major theme articles that apply the Bible to key issues. The Africa Study Bible brings unique African perspectives to the global church and allows Christians around the world to better understand God’s Word through African eyes.

Tyndale House Publishers released the Africa Study Bible in English in the United States in May and a freestanding app is now available in both iOS and Android formats. French and Portuguese translations are in development.

Oasis partnered with Tyndale House Publishers and Tyndale House Foundation to create the Bible. Other participants and supporters include Wycliffe, Willow Creek and Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students), Scripture Union, Center for Early African Christianity, PJA (Publications pour la Jeunesse Africaine), SIM, UMI, Association of Evangelicals in Africa, and Moody Bible Institute.

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Bible News Roundup – Week of June 18, 2017

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Is the ESV Literal and the NIV Gender Neutral?
Bible Scholar Bill Mounce
Read the Bible Gateway Blog, Live-Blog: Doug Moo’s Special Message on Bible Translation (Live Presentation from ETS 2014)
See Bible Gateway Blog posts about the NIV Bible translation

Canadian District Bans Christian School from Teaching ‘Offensive’ Parts of Bible
CBN News

Chattanooga, Tennessee: The Most “Bible-Minded” City in the Top 100 USA Media Markets
American Bible Society
Read Bible Gateway Blog post, What Does it Mean to be “Bible-minded”?

A Brief History of Vacation Bible School
The Anxious Bench

Christians Faced Widespread Harassment in 2015
FactTank

In World’s Largest Refugee Settlement, Churches Offer Hope
The Seattle Times
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Bible Verses for World Refugee Day

When it Comes to Saying Grace, Americans Are Still United
The Washington Post

USA Protestant Megachurches Number 1,600; California Has the Most
Facts & Trends

At Year 150, Does Canada Show Where Religion in United States Might Be Heading?
Get Religion

Religion and Gambling: Studies Find the Wages of Faith May Be Fewer Lost Wages
Huffington Post

Science Reveals the Power of Being Quick to Listen and Slow to Speak
CT
Read James 1:19 in multiple English Bible translations on Bible Gateway

See other Bible News Roundup weekly posts

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