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Explore the New Bible Commentary with Bible Gateway Plus

New Bible CommentaryThe New Bible Commentary (InterVarsity Press) is the most recent addition to our growing library of study resources available in the Bible Gateway Scripture sidebar when you sign up for a Bible Gateway Plus membership!

Voted one of Christianity Today‘s Books of the Year, the New Bible Commentary has set the standard for works of its kind for over 40 years. Its quality and clarity has had a lasting impact on many Bible readers. It is one of the leading single-volume commentaries on the entire Bible. Readable and accessible, the volume collects notes from many of the finest scholars of our day to meet the needs of students, teachers, and anyone interested in delving deeper into the scriptural text.

You can now access its notes right alongside Scripture in Bible Gateway Plus! Once you sign up for a free 30-day trial, you’ll be able to find the New Bible Commentary notes in the Commentaries section of your Bible Gateway Plus sidebar. It’s easy to get engrossed by the treasure trove of Study Bibles, encyclopedias, and other commentaries in the Bible Gateway Plus sidebar, but my recommendation is to focus on one helpful resource at a time so you become familiar with it and use it more productively.

So, to explore the New Bible Commentary notes, scroll past the other rich biblical material for now and open its drawer in the Commentaries section. Each sidebar drawer offers notes from that particular resource for the Bible passage that you’re currently viewing on Bible Gateway. In the image below, you can see the New Bible Commentary notes open for Ephesians 4. It looks like there are 6 reference notes for this verse, each of which will help you interpret a specific section from Ephesians 4!

New Bible Commentary Notes

The New Bible Commentary—along with many other valuable resources—is available to you as part of your Bible Gateway Plus membership. Joining is one of the best ways to increase your knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, and it’s all built into the Bible-reading website you already use! To begin benefitting from these award-winning study notes as well as the many other significant resources Bible Gateway Plus has to offer, sign up for your free trial right now.

Read the Bible in the Tagalog Language on Bible Gateway

Philippine Bible Society logo

To celebrate January being National Bible Month in The Philippines, we’re announcing that the Bible translations

are now joined on Bible Gateway with our other Tagalog language Bibles:

The new Ang Biblia (AB) is the latest revision of the Holy Bible in the Tagalog language.

In 1902, the American Bible Society and British and Foreign Bible Society published the first-ever New Testament in Tagalog. Not long after, the whole Bible was printed in 1905. The translation was called the Ang Biblia.

Like the first Ang Biblia, this revision is a formal translation. This means the translators strived to faithfully reflect the form of the original biblical languages into Tagalog, insofar as its grammar and syntax allow. The Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia was used as the basis for the translation of the Old Testament for this revision. Although the Greek text of Westcott-Hort of 1881 was used for the New Testament of the first Ang Biblia, the translators of this revision used the 4th edition of the United Bible Societies’s Greek New Testament.

We’re grateful to the Philippine Bible Society (@PHBibleSociety) for making the Ang Biblia available on Bible Gateway, and we trust you’ll find it a useful addition to our library.

See all the languages of the Bible available on Bible Gateway for reading, studying, and sharing.

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Holy Land Moments Free Email Devotional: Exploring the Jewish Roots of Christianity

The season of Passover is March 30-April 7, 2018.
Browse resources for Passover in the Bible Gateway Store.

holylandmomentsDo you wish you knew more about the Jewish background of Scripture? Are you curious about the ways that the Christian faith connects to its roots in Jewish history and culture? Bible Gateway invites you to join us for a free two-week devotional experience that explores the Jewish roots of Christianity: Holy Land Moments.

Holy Land Moments is a brief daily devotional that offers a short reflection on Scripture with additional insight from Jewish teachers and thinkers. It’s written by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Each reading also includes a Hebrew Word of the Day (with an audio pronunciation). It’s written to bring a new historical and cultural perspective to familiar Bible texts. Sign up here.

We’re timing the Holy Land Moments devotional to take place during the Jewish festival period of Passover (known as pesach in Hebrew). Passover is a commemoration of one of the key events in the history of Israel: the rescue of God’s people from slavery in Egypt. Passover is an important historical and theological moment for both Jews and Christians, and we thought it appropriate to observe it with a devotional that explores the connecting points between Jewish history and Christianity.

Sign up for Holy Land Moments. If you’re interested in the Jewish roots of Christianity, or are just looking for something slightly different in your devotional reading, this is a perfect chance to try something new! Sign up today, and share it with your interested friends!

Bible News Roundup – Week of January 28, 2018

Read this week’s Bible Gateway Weekly Brief newsletter
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Investigation Into Teacher’s Bible Talk Leads to Hudsonville, Michigan Schools Changes
MLive

13th-Century Bible Tops $100k at Auction in Wellington, New Zealand
NZStuff

Christians in Masaka, Uganda Embrace Hand-Written Bible Program
UG Christian News

New Translations of Bible Recently Published in Japan
The Kukmin Daily
Read and hear the Bible in Japanese on Bible Gateway

Ancient Biblical Site Near Jerusalem Reveals Byzantine Pool and Rare Greek Coin
Newsweek
Read about the conversion of the Ethiopian official in Acts 8:26-40 on Bible Gateway
Read about Philip in Smith’s Bible Names Dictionary on Bible Gateway
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Why Biblical Archaeology Is Important for Your Bible Reading: An Interview with Randall Price
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Latest Biblical Archaeology Research
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What was Family Life Like in New Testament Times?

Jesus had a lot to say about families. But what was his own family life like? And what was family life like more generally during New Testament times?

[Go deeper into the Bible with Bible Gateway online courses taught by leading scholars]

In this video, Dr. Mark Strauss explains what family life was like:

Respecting parents

One of the main things to know is that in New Testament times families were patriarchal. That is, the father had the highest authority. This was true of both Greco-Roman and Jewish families.

Families usually lived together in extended family units. These units included parents, children, grandparents, and often even aunts and uncles.

Parents were treated with esteem and honor. This is because of the fifth commandment to “honor your father and mother” (Exod. 20:12).

Shaming a parent was viewed as despicable—such as when the Prodigal Son asked for his inheritance early. He is essentially saying to his father, “I wish you were dead” (Luke 15:12). In fact, the Old Testament even mandated stoning a rebellious son (Deut. 21:18–21).

What were weddings like?

Marriages were arranged by parents and were almost always within the same socioeconomic class. In Judaism, a girl would normally be betrothed early. She would marry between the ages of 12 and 16. It was a major social stigma for a woman to reach 20 unmarried.

Men were commonly married between 18 and 20. Engagements lasted for a year or so and were officially contracted. This means ending an engagement required a “divorce” to break the contract. This is why Matthew 1:19–20 tells us that Joseph decides to divorce Mary quietly so as not to publicly shame her. He suspected she had been unfaithful during the engagement. This was a serious offense, according to Deuteronomy 22:23–24.

Weddings were the most important social events in Jewish society. They often involved the entire village. The ceremony began with the groom going to the home of the bride’s parents to bring her to his father’s home. Friends and townspeople would accompany him on the way, singing and rejoicing (see the parable of the ten virgins in Matt. 25:1–13).

The groom would bring the bride—veiled and adorned in lavish wedding clothes—and her attendants to the wedding banquet. Festivities would last a week or more and would be marked by feasting, dancing, and celebration. For food or wine to run out during such an event—as happened in John 2:3—would bring shame to both families.

While polygamy existed, it was rare both in Jewish and Greco-Roman society. Monogamy was the norm.

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Divorce in New Testament times

Divorce was common in the Greco-Roman world. Under first-century Roman law, either the man or the woman could initiate divorce. In Judaism, only men could initiate divorce, except in extreme circumstances where women were allowed to.

The Old Testament recognized the reality of divorce, even if it did not sanction it, and guidelines were given to protect both parties (Deut. 24:1–4).

The rabbis debated the legitimate grounds for divorce. The conservative school of Shammai allowed a man to divorce his wife only for unfaithfulness. The more liberal school of Hillel accepted almost any reason, including ruining a meal.

Even though it was easy to divorce in first-century Judaism, Jesus reacted strongly against this. In Mark 10:11–12, Matthew 5:32, and Matthew 19:9 Jesus speaks to the inviolable nature of marriage.

Slavery in the New Testament

Slavery was common in the Roman Empire, and slaves made up as much as a third of the population. Slaves were considered part of the household, under the authority of the paterfamilias, the male head of the family.

Though it was somewhat less common, Jews and Christians also kept slaves. Both the Old and New Testaments provided guidelines for their behavior and treatment (Leviticus 25; Deut. 23:15–16; Eph. 6:5–9; Col. 3:22–4:1; 1 Peter 2:18). The New Testament, however, provides evidence that slavery is contrary to God’s will and that the new age begun in Christ should result in its abolition (1 Cor. 7:21; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10; Rev. 18:13).

Unlike in America, Greco-Roman slavery had nothing to do with race. People became slaves in a variety of ways, most commonly as prisoners of war. Sometimes people would even sell themselves into slavery because of extreme poverty. The Old Testament called for the freeing of indentured slaves after six years (Exod. 21:2; Deut. 15:12–18).

Slaves held a wide range of social positions. The lowest form of slavery was in mines or galley ships, where life was brutal and short. Runaway slaves were often branded or executed. At the opposite end of the spectrum were slaves who held high positions of authority. Some were managers over wealthy households. These slaves could own property, conduct business, and purchase their own freedom.

Despite these widely divergent statuses, slaves were still considered property and functioned at the whim of their owners.

Learn more about what life was like during the New Testament. Sign up for the Cultural Context of Jesus’ Life and Ministry online course.


This post is adapted from the Four Portraits, One Jesus online course, taught by Mark Strauss. Take a look at the FREE introductory video from Dr. Strauss:

 


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Help! My Husband Is Tuning Me Out. What Can I Do?

Gary ThomasBy Gary Thomas

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

Many marital problems arise not because of an issue between a specific couple—say, Jack and Jill or Larry and Shari—but because of a breakdown in understanding between a male and a female.

The last several decades of neuroscience have demonstrated that well before a baby comes into this world, while it remains safely tucked inside the mother’s womb, the brain of a male baby gets bombarded with testosterone, while a female baby receives greater quantities of female hormones. Between the third and sixth month of that unborn baby’s life, hormones begin to shape the tiny brain, influencing how that individual will interact with the world. Yes, males receive some female hormones, and females receive some testosterone, but the quantities of these hormones (males have up to twenty times more testosterone than females; females tend to have much more oxytocin than males) will stamp that child’s brain by the sixth month of pregnancy—three months before any mother or father has a chance to “socialize” it.

Admittedly, there exist what neuroscientists call “bridge brain” males and “bridge brain” females. Our tendency toward masculine or feminine brains occurs on a continuum, resulting in various degrees of stamping. But even here, a “bridge brain” male will have more testosterone than a “bridge brain” female.

The male brain therefore functions much differently than the female brain. Dr. Louann Brizendine, who studied at UC Berkeley, Yale, and Harvard and is now on the faculty of UCSF Medical Center, states, “The vast new body of brain science together with the work I’ve done with my male patients has convinced me that through every phase of life, the unique brain structures and hormones of boys and men create a male reality that is fundamentally different from the female one and all too frequently oversimplified and misunderstood.”

Medical tests such as PET scans, MRI scans, and SPECT scans have exploded the quaint and false notion that gender difference is determined mostly by nurture rather than by nature. While our brains are more “plastic” (that is, moldable) than we used to think and therefore susceptible to socialization, according to Dr. Brizendine, “male and female brains are different from the moment of conception.” Since brains develop by degrees, stereotyping can lead us astray, but certain things tend to be true. For example, male brains usually have less serotonin than female brains. Since serotonin calms people down, men are more likely to act explosively and compulsively. Surprised? Probably not.

When a woman doesn’t understand the way a male brain works, she risks fostering an extremely destructive male response, something researchers call stonewalling. Stonewalling describes how men shut down emotionally and verbally, ignoring another person and essentially withdrawing from the conversation. Understandably, few things irritate women more than being tuned out—and yet it is a stereotypically male action.

A biological reason helps to explain what’s going on. Michael Gurian writes, “The male cardiovascular system remains more reactive than the female and slower to recover from stress . . . Since marital confrontation that activates vigilance takes a greater physical toll on the male, it’s no surprise that men are more likely than women to attempt to avoid it.”

Gurian warns that most men don’t immediately like to talk through distressing emotional events (frustrations at work or in relationships, disappointments in life) because talking about such issues usually brings them great cognitive discomfort. In other words, it hurts men to talk through hurtful experiences. Because of the way the female brain works (with the release of oxytocin), talking through emotional issues has a calming effect for most (not necessarily all) women, while the opposite is true for most men, for whom such discussions can create anxiety and distress. Since it’s more difficult for males to process the data, they feel distress instead of comfort. You may feel soothed by talking through problems; for men, it can feel like torture. That’s why men sometimes tune out; it’s a desperate (though admittedly unhealthy) act of self-defense.

When you understand that a verbal barrage takes more out of your husband than it does out of you, and that it takes him longer to recover from such an episode, you may begin to realize that criticizing, complaining, and displaying contempt will not allow you to effectively communicate with him. Proverbs 15:1 reminds us, “A gentle answer turns away wrath.”

You may well be addressing a legitimate issue, but if you address a legitimate issue in an illegitimate way, you’ll turn your husband away. He’ll shut you out. You’ll get more frustrated because you realize he’s not listening, which makes you criticize him even more and throw in even more contempt—and his stone wall rises higher and higher and higher.

How can you tell if your husband is falling into this pattern? Dr. John Gottman notes, “A stonewaller doesn’t give you . . . casual feedback. He tends to look away or down without uttering a sound. He sits like an impassive stone wall. The stonewaller acts as though he couldn’t care less about what you’re saying, if he even hears it.”

In Dr. Gottman’s experience, stonewalling usually happens in more mature marriages; it is much less common among newlyweds. It takes time for the negativity to build up to sufficient levels for the husband to choose to tune out his wife altogether. Gottman gives more insight into this issue: “Usually people stonewall as a protection against feeling flooded. Flooding means that your spouse’s negativity—whether in the guise of criticism or contempt or even defensiveness—is so overwhelming, and so sudden, that it leaves you shell-shocked. You feel so defenseless against this sniper attack that you learn to do anything to avoid a replay. The more often you feel flooded by your spouse’s criticism or contempt, the more hypervigilant you are for cues that your spouse is about to “blow” again. All you can think about is protecting yourself from the turbulence your spouse’s onslaught causes. And the way to do that is to disengage emotionally from the relationship.”

The deadly trap here is that in the face of a legitimate complaint, your husband is poised to protect himself, rather than to try to understand your hurt. As long as he’s in protection mode, he can’t be in “How can I comfort/please/adore her” mode. You may think the greatest need is to make sure he understands what’s bugging you when in fact the greatest need may be to disarm his defenses so he can hear what you’re saying. Then, and only then, is it helpful for him to hear the actual offense.

Instead of reacting with fury, take a breather and ask yourself, “Why is my husband tuning me out?” The answer may have something to do with the way you’re treating him. If you respond to the stonewalling with the same behavior that created it, you’ll only reinforce it. Be gentle and patient, and give him time.

________

Loving Him WellAdapted from Loving Him Well: Practical Advice on Influencing Your Husband by Gary Thomas. Learn more about this title.

Women: you’re not alone in your marriage. You never have been, and you never will be. While it may not always feel like it, God desires for you to have a relationally healthy, emotionally engaged, and spiritually mature husband with whom you can share your days.

In Loving Him Well, Gary Thomas builds on concepts from his bestselling book Sacred Marriage to reveal the inner workings of a man’s heart and mind. He delves into Scriptures that help women gain biblical insight to influence their husbands. Exploring the research of neuroscientists, trained counselors, and abuse victim advocates, Gary also interviews dozens of wives to find what has worked and what hasn’t as they’ve sought to build the best marriage possible. In this newly updated version of Sacred Influence, Gary Thomas outlines practical applications you can begin using today.

Thomas desires to “encourage women who are in good marriages that could get even better; and offer hope and a new path forward to women who feel invisible or marginalized in their marriage.” You’ll discover the influence you can gain and the peace of mind you can build when you go first to God for your worth, validation, protection, and provision and then learn how to use that platform to help your husband draw closer to you and closer to God.

This book is a completely rewritten update of Sacred Influence, with chapters added and some older chapters deleted.

Gary Thomas is a writer-in-residence who also serves on the teaching team at Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, and the author of 18 books, including the bestselling Sacred Marriage, that have sold more than a million copies worldwide and have been translated into a dozen languages. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 30 years.

How to Live The Bible — Going Deeper in an Age of Information Overload

howtostudythebible

This is the twelfth lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.


We live in an age of information overload. Bombarded by messages on radio and television, billboards and magazine ads, phone mail, email, text messages, Facebook, and Twitter, each of our days is like crossing a river with a strong and unpredictable current. Shut your eyes and just think for a moment how many voices and messages are pounding their way into your eyes and ears. The messages contain truth and error, grace and malevolence, healing and hurting.

Business Man in a storm illustration

Marketers will do anything to get us to buy products. They play on our fears and insecurities and loneliness. Some journalists try their best to give facts, others are sloppy and lazy. Opinion makers go to extremes to get an audience, oftentimes resorting to extremes in order to get attention. What is really dangerous is that, for all the noise, sometimes we only hear the voices that are loudest. But volume does not equal veracity.

Information overload is not making us go deeper. Life gets hacked up into tiny bits and pieces, hundreds of messages a day, none of which go very deep.

When James wrote his New Testament epistle he was not contending with cable television, the internet, and smartphones. Which should perhaps cause us to listen all the more to his strong advice to focus on “the word,” to “look intently” into this “perfect law,” and to do it. This is a call for us to go deep, which is counter-cultural in this superficial age in which we live.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do” (James 1:22-25).

We all take a quick glance in the mirror here and there, like our quick glances at our emails and Facebook feeds. But if we do that with the word of God we will miss the life and light God has put there for us. To live the Bible, we have to let it penetrate our minds and hearts. A glance here and there, a verse quoted now and again, just cannot transport truth into us.

So James charges his readers to “look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom.”

To “look intently” means that we read Scripture in such a way that it enters us at a deep level, and it forms us. We read the newspaper for information; but we ought to read Scripture for formation. When we read information we pick and choose what is useful to us. The words are tools for us. But when we read the Bible, it should be with an attitude of submission to the Lord. We don’t stand over the text, we put ourselves under the text. The 18th century scholar Johann Albrecht Bengel put it this way: “Apply yourself wholly to the text; apply the text wholly to yourself.”

In his book, Shaped by the Word, Robert Mulholland describes formational reading in these ways:

  • Formational reading is not concerned with quantity.
  • Informational reading is linear; formational reading is in depth.
  • Informational reading’s task is to master the text; formational reading’s purpose is for the text to master you.
  • With formational reading “instead of the text being an object we control… the text becomes the subject of the reading relationship; we are the object that is shaped by the text.”
  • “Instead of the analytical, critical, judgmental approach of informational reading, formational reading requires a humble, detached, willing, loving approach.”
  • Informational reading is problem solving; formational reading is openness to mystery.

So we are to “look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom.” Like Jesus and like Paul, James carefully defines the law of God in its highest form as “perfect.” The hundreds of laws in the book of Moses served a certain purpose, but at the core was this “perfect” principle. A law of love and freedom.

This motivates me to read Scripture intently, not superficially. We have the joy of discovering at one turn after another this core principle, this truth that echoes across the ages. God is good, and he has made it possible for us to live in that goodness, guided by a law of love and freedom.

We can know this as certainly as anything else we are certain of in life. And then we must act on it.
________________
Coming Soon… A Book of Prayers for Kids

[If you believe this series will be helpful, this is the perfect time to forward this to a friend, a group, or a congregation, and tell them they too may sign up for the weekly emails here]


Mel Lawrenz (@MelLawrenz) trains an international network of Christian leaders, ministry pioneers, and thought-leaders. He served as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for ten years and now serves as Elmbrook’s minister at large. He has a PhD in the history of Christian thought and is on the adjunct faculty of Trinity International University. Mel is the author of 18 books, including How to Understand the Bible—A Simple Guide and Spiritual Influence: the Hidden Power Behind Leadership (Zondervan, 2012). See more of Mel’s writing at WordWay.

The Lord’s Prayer is Revolutionary: An Interview with R. Albert Mohler Jr.

R. Albert Mohler Jr.Through the centuries the Lord’s Prayer has been domesticated and tamed, turned into a safe series of comforting words and made familiar by repetition. But when truly considered, the Lord’s Prayer is meant to turn the world upside down, toppling every earthly power and announcing God’s reign over all things, in heaven and on earth.

Bible Gateway interviewed R. Albert Mohler Jr. (@albertmohler) about his book, The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down: The Lord’s Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution (Thomas Nelson, 2018).

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Explain the message behind the book’s subtitle, “The Lord’s Prayer as a Manifesto.”

R. Albert Mohler Jr.: People tend to think of the Lord’s Prayer in predictable and familiar terms, often reciting the prayer in worship or private devotions without recognizing how the prayer actually turns the world upside down. This prayer is a manifesto for revolution. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” he was telling them to petition their Father to overturn the world order. These petitions are a declaration—a manifesto—that casts down every throne, relativizes every totalitarian empire, and makes clear that God is the absolute ruler of all.

What is the problem you see with the way many Christians pray?

R. Albert Mohler Jr.: Christians tend to fall into very predictable and comfortable patterns of prayer. I can remember the first time as a teenager I arrived at a destination familiar to me and realized I really didn’t remember the process of driving in order to get there. It was a fairly scary thought and one that I think relates directly to the experience many Christians have in prayer. If we can’t remember something significant about the prayer we’ve just prayed, then something’s wrong. The Lord’s Prayer gives us an outline of how Jesus taught his own disciples to pray. Prayer is active and dynamic—a conversation with our Creator.

Why is prayer important?

R. Albert Mohler Jr.: Prayer is not optional in the Christian life. Throughout Scripture, prayer is presented as one of the greatest gifts God has given his creatures, and prayer affirms the fact that we’re in a relationship with God. That relationship is sustained by worship, by the reading of Scripture, by active discipleship, and by a life of prayer. When the apostle Paul was advising Timothy, he instructed him to give attention to the public reading of Scripture and to prayer. This is a corrective for all of us, and not merely for individual Christians but for our churches as well.

How should a Christian not pray?

R. Albert Mohler Jr.: We should not pray in a way that is inconsistent with our theology. We’re not to pray little prayers to a little God. We’re not to follow formulaic patterns as if we’re reciting a mantra. We’re to follow the example of Christ in a dynamic conversation because of our real relationship—our genuine relationship—with God.

How did Jesus model a life of prayer?

R. Albert Mohler Jr.: The Gospels tell us that Jesus set aside times of prayer. And just looking at the Gospel of John, for example, we see Jesus taking himself aside for intimate periods of prayer. The most famous of these prayers is the high priestly prayer of Jesus we find in John 17. We often refer to the Lord’s Prayer as if this is how Jesus prayed. In reality, it’s how Jesus taught his disciples to pray. We see in the Gospels how Jesus prayed in his own relationship with the Father.

Why do you write Jesus doesn’t think much of routine Christian prayer?

R. Albert Mohler Jr.: The key issue there is routine. Jesus didn’t command his disciples to engage in a routine but rather to give themselves to the joy and privilege of prayer. It’s certainly not wrong to incorporate the very words of the Lord’s Prayer in our devotions and worship. As a matter fact, to do so is absolutely right. At the same time, this is where we’re to start, not where we’re to end our prayers.

What does it mean to “hallow” the name of God, especially in modern culture where OMG is such a prevalent exclamation?

R. Albert Mohler Jr.: To hallow simply means “to make holy,” and in this sense what Christians are to do is to affirm the absolute holiness of God even as we pray. This means that we do not pray to a trifling deity or some kind of half-god, but rather we declare the awesome, singular reality of the one true and living God. Just as Isaiah saw God high and lifted up and heard the seraphim declared him to be “holy, holy, holy,” we are to do the same in our prayer. We must affirm the holiness of God, even as in following Christ we seek to live holy lives.

What do you mean “there is no ‘I’ in prayer”?

R. Albert Mohler Jr.: When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he taught us to pray in the plural. “Our Father who art in heaven.” We’re not supposed to be concerned primarily with our own needs but the needs of the church. But even as this corrective is really important, we’re instructed to go before God with our own personal worship, adoration, and with our own requests and needs. So it’s not always wrong to put “I” in our prayers. We’ll refer to ourselves freely, but we’re never to limit our prayers to our singular voice.

What is God’s kingdom and what does it mean to pray for it to come?

R. Albert Mohler Jr.: God’s kingdom refers to his absolute comprehensive reign. The Lord is presented in Scripture as the King of the entire universe—the very universe that he made and over which he rules. God’s kingdom refers to his power and authority over all things and emphasizes the fact that God’s kingship relativizes every earthly kingship.

Does this prayer mean that God forgives our sins only as we forgive those who sin against us?

R. Albert Mohler Jr.: That’s a really interesting question, and it certainly underlines the fact that we’re to forgive others even as we ask for God’s forgiveness. We should be reminded of the parable of the unforgiving servant who betrayed his master and forfeited his own forgiveness because he steadfastly refused to forgive others. That’s a pretty significant warning.

How does God “lead us into temptation” and why does Jesus say we should pray that he not do that?

R. Albert Mohler Jr.: You know, that’s a very contemporary question since there’ve been suggestions that the prayer ought to be re-formulated to make clear that God does not tempt us as human beings. In his letter, the apostle James explicitly states that God does not lead us into sin and that no human being can claim that God is the reason that we have sinned. But the Bible also tells us that our discipleship is tested by fire, and the book of Job in the Old Testament underlines the fact that God did allow Job to be tested. So we should accept this testing as part of a dimension of how God is conforming us as Christians to the image of Christ. And as we pray that particular prayer, it reminds us of the fact that we should pray that God will preserve us, even in testing, from sin.

What should be going through a person’s mind every time he or she recites the Lord’s Prayer?

R. Albert Mohler Jr.: I think it’s really important to recognize that in the Gospel of Luke we’re told that Jesus gave this prayer as a model prayer to his disciples when those very disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, even as John the Baptist had taught his disciples to pray. So, we’re to see the Lord’s prayer as the great example prayer or model prayer that Jesus gave his own disciples, and thus to us, in order that we would know how to pray in such a way that pleases God. I can’t think of any greater aspiration for a Christian than to pray in the way that Jesus would teach us to pray. And without the Lord’s prayer, we would lack that key teaching model that Jesus gave his own disciples out of love. There’s every good reason that Christians for over 2,000 years have turned to this prayer over and over again. There’s good reason why we incorporate this prayer into our worship. We should be thankful that the Lord loved us so much, even as he loved his own disciples, that he gives us this example of how to pray.

What is a favorite Bible passage of yours and why?

R. Albert Mohler Jr.: I think of Romans 12:1-2, and how Paul instructs us not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Prayer is one of the most important ways that we’re transformed by Christ, and our minds are conformed to how Christ would have us to think and our lives are conformed to how Christ would have us to live.

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

R. Albert Mohler Jr.: I’m thankful for every good resource available to Christians for Bible study. Bible Gateway represents one of the most accessible ways that Christians can quickly learn more about the Bible, find their way around Scripture, and dive even deeper into the Word of God. I really look forward to Christians reading this new book and my great prayer is that it will encourage Christians, not only to love the Lord’s Prayer and understand it more fully, but to become ever more faithful in their own lives of prayer and devotion.


The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down is published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the parent company of Bible Gateway.


Bio: R. Albert Mohler Jr. has been called “one of America’s most influential evangelicals” (Economist) and the “reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement” (TIME.com). President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he writes a popular blog and a regular commentary, available at AlbertMohler.com, and hosts two programs: The Briefing and Thinking in Public. He is the author of many books, including The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down, We Cannot Be Silent, and The Conviction to Lead, and has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, and on programs such as NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He and his wife, Mary, live in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Greek New Testament Aims to be ‘World’s Most Accurate’

Buy your copy of The Greek New Testament, Cambridge Edition, hardcover in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

Crossway, Tyndale House (Cambridge), and Cambridge University Press Introduce Greek New Testament 10 Years in the Making

In a significant contribution to biblical scholarship, Crossway has released The Greek New Testament, Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge (Crossway, 2017).

[Browse the Biblical Greek language section in the Bible Gateway Store]

The Greek New Testament is a fresh critical Greek text that reflects decades of scholarly advances and integrates up-to-date studies in scribal habits, aiming to be the most accurate printing of the New Testament in its earliest well-documented form. The New Testament was originally written in an early form of Greek in the first century.

[See the Greek New Testaments available for reading on Bible Gateway]

Dr. Dirk Jongkind

The Greek New Testament, printed in Greek, was created under the oversight of editors Dr. Dirk Jongkind (@DJngKnd) (St. Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge) and Dr. Peter Williams (Tyndale House, Cambridge). Jongkind and Williams edited this all-new edition, working with the earliest-possible manuscripts, reexamining spelling and paragraph decisions, and allowing more recent discoveries to inform editorial decisions.

[Read the Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament on Bible Gateway]Dr. Peter Williams

Dane Ortlund, executive vice president of Bible Publishing and Bible Publisher at Crossway, says, “There is nothing more precious than the very words of God in the New Testament, given to us in the teaching of Jesus and the apostles and handed down with meticulous care through the generations and centuries. This edition of The Greek New Testament represents the very best of biblical scholarship and is a critical Greek text that takes us carefully and faithfully into the very words handed down in the earliest years of the church’s existence.”

The Greek New Testament, Cambridge Edition, interior pages; click to enlarge

Published to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, The Greek New Testament features

  • readings, including spellings, that are supported by two or more manuscripts from the fifth century or earlier;
  • textual decisions based on a careful weighing of scribal habits evidence;
  • accents, paragraphing, and spellings chosen based on the medieval manuscript tradition; and
  • high-quality paper imported from Austria and printed in Italy.

In partnership with Crossway, Cambridge University Press has also published The Greek New Testament under its own imprint.

[See The Greek-English New Testament: UBS 5th Revised Edition and NIV in the Bible Gateway Store]

A valuable resource for pastors, professors, students, and others who regularly work with the New Testament in its original language, The Greek New Testament is a groundbreaking Greek translation. Presenting the best approximation of the words written by the New Testament authors, it is sure to be a standard resource for years to come.

About Crossway
Founded in 1938, Crossway is a not-for-profit global Christian publishing ministry that publishes gospel-centered, Bible-centered content, to honor our Savior and serve his Church. Crossway seeks to help people understand the all-encompassing implications of the gospel and the truth of God’s Word—for all of life, for all eternity, and for the glory of God alone. Crossway is the global publisher of the ESV® (English Standard Version®) Bible, more than 1,000 Christian books, and an extensive list of gospel literature. For additional information visit crossway.org.

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Bible News Roundup – Week of January 21, 2018

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Iowa Lawmakers Propose Bible Literacy Studies Be Part of Public School Curriculum
KCCI News

How Czech Evangelical Christians See the Bible, Evangelism, and Prayer
Evangelical Focus
Read the Bible in Czech on Bible Gateway

Previously Unread Manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls Containing Oldest Bible Texts Deciphered by Israeli University
The Nation
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Why Biblical Archaeology Is Important for Your Bible Reading: An Interview with Randall Price
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Latest Biblical Archaeology Research
See the Biblical Archaeology section in the Bible Gateway Store

Florida Legislators Favor ‘In God We Trust’ Motto in Public Schools
RNS

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby Invites All Denominations to Join Thy Kingdom Come Global Prayer Initiative May 10-20, 2018
Premier
Thy Kingdom Come website
Browse the Prayer section of resources in the Bible Gateway Store

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