Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Reformation Study Bible

My wife purchased The Reformation Study Bible as a gift for my birthday.  I have had a few different Study Bibles in the past, but this is the best I have read.  I grew up with the NIV Translation, which is a “thought for thought” translation but the ESV (English Standard Version) is a great “essentially literal” translation that I will not have much difficulty getting used to.
I travel a lot, and I think I left my Study Bible in a hotel somewhere a few years ago.  I have been using a small Bible with a few footnotes here and there.  I eventually forgot how much the notes, maps, and charts add to biblical understanding.  I have been very excited to read and study the past few days.
The notes emphasize the doctrine from the Protestant Reformation, which I find very refreshing.  You won’t find ads on this blog, but I have been so excited the past few days that I had to mention it.  This would be a great Christmas gift.  You won’t be disappointed.
I just want to give one small example of how the notes can help, because I’m sure there are people reading this that feel the notes are biased.  In Church on Sunday morning, we read from Matthew 23:1-12.  It is talking about the Pharisees, and in verse 5, it says:

They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long.

I had no idea what phylacteries were.  I learned that Jews interpreted Exodus 13:9 literally, and began to place brief passages of the law in small boxes and attaché them to the left arm and forehead.  These were called phylacteries, or protections.  Jesus was speaking out against such outward displays that had everything to do with appearance.

The entire passage became even clearer after learning this.  I learned again just how far the Pharisees would go to attempt to keep the law.  

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