Charles Haddon Spurgeon is a popular figure in Christianity. Most Christians have encountered his works at some point in their spiritual walk, even if it’s just his Morning and Evening devotional. His works have impacted millions of lives, so it’s no wonder we often commemorate his birthday when it comes around. Today, instead of giving you details about why Spurgeon was such a great preacher and writer, I want to share this morning’s entry from his beloved Morning and Evening devotional. I read it this morning as part of my quiet time and I felt it was an encouraging word to share that speaks perfectly to the heart that Spurgeon had for those he ministered to.
“He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory.” Zechariah 6:13
Christ Himself is the builder of His spiritual temple, and He has built it on the mountains of His unchangeable affection, His omnipotent grace, and His infallible truthfulness. But as it was in Solomon’s temple, so in this; the materials need making ready. There are the “Cedars of Lebanon,” but they are not framed for the building; they are not cut down, and shaped, and made into those planks of cedar, whose odoriferous beauty shall make glad the courts of the Lord’s house in Paradise. There are also the rough stones still in the quarry, they must be hewn thence, and squared. All this is Christ’s own work. Each individual believer is being prepared, and polished, and made ready for his place in the temple; but Christ’s own hand performs the preparation-work. Afflictions cannot sanctify, excepting as they are used by Him to this end. Our prayers and efforts cannot make us ready for heaven, apart from the hand of Jesus, who fashioneth our hearts aright.
As in the building of Solomon’s temple, “there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house,” because all was brought perfectly ready for the exact spot it was to occupy- so is it with the temple which Jesus builds; the making ready is all done on earth. When we reach heaven, there will be no sanctifying us there, no squaring us with affliction, no planing us with suffering. No, we must be made meet here- all that Christ will do beforehand; and when He has done it, we shall be ferried by a loving hand across the stream of death, and brought to the heavenly Jerusalem, to abide as eternal pillars in the temple of our Lord.
Beneath His eye and care,
The edifice shall rise,
Majestic, strong, and fair,
And shine above the skies.
For me, this devotion forced me to remember that my life as a Christian is all about being molded into the image of Christ. This means God brings difficulties and trials our way for our good, which leads to our sanctification. With this as our perspective it should motivate us to praise God because he uses all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).
To Celebrate Spurgeon’s birthday we have the 37 Volume Olive Tree Charles Haddon Spurgeon Collection discounted this week. This collection includes his Sermons, Autobiography, and several Devotionals and eBooks written by C.H. Spurgeon. There are also several more titles discounted to celebrate Charles Spurgeon and John Wesley’s birthdays this week. You can find them here.
Lastly, since I didn’t bore you with a biography, let me leave you with this song from Shai Linne that eloquently sums up this great preacher’s life.
Commentaries are a dime a dozen these days. Bible students have no shortage of commentaries to choose from, especially when it comes to commentary sets. Yet, finding a good single volume Bible commentary can still prove difficult. Outside of the few titles that everyone knows, you have to look hard for one. So when a respected name in scholarship throws their hat in the ring it’s worth taking notice. This is exactly what Moody Publishers and Moody Bible Institute have done in releasing The Moody Bible Commentary. We are excited to partner with Moody to release this great resource for the Bible Study App.
Seven years in the making, the Moody Bible Commentary is a one-volume commentary on the whole Bible written by the faculty of Moody Bible Institute. More than anything, the fact that this commentary is entirely written by MBI staff is its biggest selling point. Similar commentaries are written by multiple authors who span the range of evangelicalism, hoping to provide a balanced view. The advantage here is that you are provided a consistent theological approach to the Bible that is still conservative and evangelical in its perspective. With that, this resource seeks to help both laypeople and pastors grow in their knowledge of the Bible and understand how it applies to life today. Moody accomplishes this goal by offering a simple approach and commenting on the text in a clear and insightful way.
Here’s a brief look inside the Moody Bible Commentary and how it works in the Bible Study App.
In the screenshot below (taken from a Nexus 10) I have my Bible open to Ephesians 1 in the main window. With the Resource Guide open on the right I can scroll through all the enhanced resources in my library that pertain to the Bible text I’m studying. As I scan through the list I can immediately see I have entries for the Moody Bible Commentary in commentaries, outlines, and introductions.
The Moody Bible Commentary offers introductions on each book of the Bible, giving you information about the authors, audience, and historical background. This resource keeps in mind the logic behind the biblical books, not neglecting their literary context or structure. The introductions offer strategies for how to read and understand each book based on its genre and inherent structure. In addition, key details regarding theme and purpose are discussed to provide a well rounded overview of each Bible book.
At a glance, the Moody Bible Commentary shows the organization and structure of all the book you’re studying. Use the outline to quickly get an overview of the key themes and subjects before diving into the Bible text and commentary. An added advantage to having this commentary in the Bible Study App is that you can tap on any section of the outline and immediately go to its corresponding commentary.
With the Moody Bible Commentary being written for laypeople and pastors alike, the commentary text is where this resource truly shines.
First, the commentary is understandable. The authors worked meticulously to explain the Scriptures simply and clearly. Theological terms are defined and difficult biblical words are explained to keep the text approachable. Comments on the text are concise but remain insightful.
Unlike some single volume commentaries, the authors and editors did not shy away from dealing with difficult Bible passages. Instead, they offer clear interpretations of these passages, while also making the reader aware of alternative views without over complicating the matter. Moody realizes that those studying the Bible come to commentaries because they want answers, particularly for those harder passages, so their aim is to give those answers. They also provide in-text citations directing readers to resources for deeper study.
The Moody Bible Commentary is based on the original languages of the Bible. The authors relied on the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts for their research and study. For the English translation used in the commentary Moody has chosen the New American Standard Bible (NASB), which they find to be among the more literal and readable translations available. When you see bold text in the commentary you can know that it is a quotation from the NASB. When other translations or wordings are preferable the author will note it in the commentary with an explanation.
Most importantly, you are getting an entire commentary on the Bible with this resource. This can easily be your go to resource to help you understand the Bible.
Maps and Charts
The Moody Bible Commentary includes several maps and charts. The maps can be helpful in orienting you geographically to the biblical landscape. What were the possible routes for the Exodus? Where were the cities Paul traveled to during his missionary journeys? The maps can help you visually answer these questions. Charts do much the same, such as providing a quick glance of all of Israel & Judah’s kings and whether they were good or bad. All of these features provide you with the tools you need to understand what you’re reading in the Bible.
For generations Moody Publishers has been a name you could trust in biblical scholarship. The Moody Bible Commentary proves that this continues to be true. Check out these endorsements from some big names in evangelicalism.
I’m thrilled that The Moody Bible Commentary is available. What a tremendous resource for everyone who loves studying the Bible and values teaching the “whole counsel of God.” This remarkable work provides verse by verse exposition of both the Old and New Testaments by solid, trusted evangelical scholars who believe deeply in the inerrancy of the Scriptures and power of the Word to transform lives. It is quickly becoming an invaluable part of my reference library. I highly recommend that you add it to yours.
Joel C. Rosenberg
New York Times best-selling author and Bible teacher
The Moody Bible Commentary is a very readable resource, helpful to the layman, Bible study teacher, and serious student alike. The introductory material to each book provides excellent information, and the actual commentary offers a verse-by-verse explanation of the text and deals with the important words. The Moody Bible Commentary enables the reader to come to a clear understanding of Scripture that will be helpful for personal knowledge, spiritual growth, and ministry.
Paul Enns, ThD
Professor and Director, Tampa Extension
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Once again, Moody Publishers, the name you can trust, has provided Bible students and teachers alike a comprehensive biblical resource that will help them to understand and communicate biblical truths effectively. It is a must-read tool for every Christian’s library.
President, The Urban Alternative
Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, Dallas
We are so excited about the newest Bible+ 6.0 Android update. We have completely rewritten our core software that displays the text you see on screen. This means you will need to re-download all your titles. Why? Besides having a cleaner text layout we want to bring you brand new tools for studying the Bible. Many of these were not possible with our older technology, but are now a reality! Because of the new text display layout, we’ve re-designed the text layout of several favorite Bible study resources and added several NEW Bible study resources.
How are books different in the Bible+ 6.0 Android update? Here’s just 5 ways that we’ve improved and enhanced resources in the Bible+ 6.0 Android release.
1. Beautiful New Layouts
One of the great things about this upcoming release is how The Bible Study App will be better able to layout text in ways that we could not before.
All charts are now actual text, and as with other verse references in the App, verse references now become hyperlinks that you can tap and see the verse without having to leave your place in the Bible text. Here’s an example of this from the NIV Study Bible Notes:
Text wraps around images, charts, and tables eliminating all the blank space around them. Another example from the NIV Study Bible Notes:
You’ll notice that as you scroll through many sections Study Bibles and Illustrated titles you will find articles and sidebars, some of which are floating or using some nice formatting to make them stand out. These new layouts are FREE when you download your new titles with the Bible+ 6.0 Update for Android. There’s no additional cost or purchase necessary for you to get these new text layouts.
2. NEW! Interlinear Bibles
With this new technology, we can now offer Interlinear Bibles. What’s an interlinear Bible you ask? An interlinear Bible typically the Hebrew or Greek text of the Old or New Testament with a literal English translation between the lines of the original-language text. This is an extremely helpful Bible Study tool, especially for those wanting to dig deeper into original Bible language studies.
Here’s what the ESV Greek-English Interlinear looks like:
3. NEW! Harmony of the Gospels
A Gospel Harmony seeks to take the Four Gospels and put them in a Chronological order so that you can compare how the Gospel writers address events in Jesus’ life. Without our new technology update, the layout needed to make this title was virtually impossible.
Here’s what our Harmony of the Gospel in the KJV translation looks like:
4. NEW! Newly Released Bible Study Titles
Under the hood of the Bible+ 6.0 for Android and Bible+ 5.9 for iOS, we began the switch from Palm Database Files (PDBs) to utilize modern Electronic Publication File technology. Not only does this change in file format makes it possible to display text in unique and exciting ways, it also allows us to convert new Bible Study Titles very quickly. What would have taken us months now only takes us weeks. Here’s just a few of the new & best Bible Study Titles we’ve released in the past year:
- Tyndale Bible Commentaries
- BE Series by Warren Wiersbe
- The Bible Speaks Today
- NIV Word Study Bible with G/K and Strong’s Numbers
- Reformation Study Bible 2015 Edition
- NIV First Century Study Bible Notes
- NIV Proclamation Bible: Correctly Handling the Word of Truth
- Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible Notes
- Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (ACCS)
- Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity
- Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) with Critical Apparatus and Westminster Parsings and BDB Lexicon
- LXX with Kraft-Wheeler-Taylor Parsings, Critical Apparatus, and LEH Lexicon
5. Over 1,200 New eBooks
Not only did the transition from PDB to EPUB take the conversion time down for your favorite Bible Study titles, it drastically reduced the conversion time for literally thousands of your favorite Christian eBooks. What would have taken us weeks can now be converted in a matter of minutes. In fact, since March of this year we’ve released hundreds of eBooks. Over 1,200 titles are now available and our catalog will only continue to grow in the coming months.
What about Windows Desktop & Mac?
Our developers are hard at work to bring the same update to our other platforms that we have done with our iOS, Android and Windows Store Apps. We hope to see this technology on Windows Desktop PC, and Mac very soon!
With our newest App update to iOS 5.9 and Bible+ 6.0 for Android we can now offer Interlinear Bibles! What’s an interlinear Bible you ask? An interlinear Bible typically is the Hebrew or Greek text of the Old or New Testament with a literal English translation between the lines of the original-language text. This is an extremely helpful Bible Study tool, especially for those wanting to dig deeper into original Bible language studies.
Here’s a brief look inside the ESV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament. (Screenshots are taken from an Nexus 7, click for a larger view)
Not only can The Bible Study App display the text in an Interlinear format, we’ve tagged the Greek word with the Greek Parsing and Strong’s Definition: Simply tap a word to get more details on that Greek word.
We’ve also tagged the English Word:
And the Strong’s Number:
Searching for this Greek word in the text? No problem. Tap search and The Bible Study App will bring you a list of results for that Greek Word:
You can also tap “lookup” and The Bible Study App will find dictionaries already downloaded to your device that contain more information on this Greek word:
You can also search the Greek word in the same form as the word you’ve tapped,
Or, you can search for all Greek words in the same form as the word you’ve tapped:
We’re really excited about the release of the Greek-Interlinears! To celebrate their release, we’re offering great discounts on the ESV, NKJV, and KJV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament Bibles!
One of the great things about our new Bible+ 6.0 for Android release is how The Bible Study App will be better able to layout text in ways that we could not before. Here are some examples from the NIV Study Bible Notes. (Screenshots taken from an Nexus 7 2nd Edition. Click images for a larger view.)
With Bible+ 6.0 for Android all charts are now actual text, and as with other verse references in the App, verse references now become hyperlinks that you can tap and see the verse without having to leave your place in the Bible text and the NIV Study Bible notes.
Secondly, the NIV Study Bible Notes used to require the entire width to display the images, and that the text cannot flow around the images. In the new Bible+ 6.0 for Android App, note how text flows around the images as intended.
These are just two examples of how the Bible+ 6.0 for Android update dramatically improves the layout of the NIV Study Bible notes.
Check out the NIV Study Bible notes and other titles that demonstrate the beautiful new layout with the latest update.
If you haven’t already done so, you can update to the latest Bible+ 6.0 for Android version by clicking the link Google Play Store graphic below:
For years Michael Card’s music has imaginatively explored the narrative power of the Word of God. Now in the Biblical Imagination Series, Card invites readers to enter into Scripture as he has learned to do, at the level of the informed imagination.
These volumes will help you discover the biblical text for yourself, ask your own questions and uncover deeper truths. Taking seriously the individual life and voice of each biblical writer, the Biblical Imagination Series will help you reintegrate your mind with your heart to recapture your imagination with the beauty and power of Christ.
Right now the Biblical Imagination Series 4 Volume set is only $24.99 for a limited time!