Study Light.org : One Stop Bible Study and Encouragement Web Site

slorglogoEven though I usually visit Bible Hub to access Scriptures quickly, I still keep an eye out for other sites which have great online Bible resources. Study Light recently grabbed my attention for the amazing range of resources they have on offer.

Study Light has more than a range of Bibles and commentaries, they have:

  • Bible reading plans and progress charts
  • Devotionals from popular authors such as Charles Spurgeon, Selwyn Huges, A.W. Tozer and Oswald Chambers
  • Bible Maps
  • Historical Resources from many points in history including BC (including Edersheim and Josephus – by the way, I refuse to compromise by using BCE, sorry, not sorry); A.D. including the Early Church Fathers, Foxe’s Book or Martyrs and more; plus many books on church history, including the history of various denominations.
  • There are pastoral resources ranging from quotes and illustrations to use in church bulletins, to sermon illustrations.
  • Original language tools in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic.
  • News from the Christian post.
  • Audio teachings.
  • Articles and daily reflections on the Word.
  • Lots of commentaries, concordances, dictionaries and encyclopaedias… plus the odd Bible or two, actually, a giant drop-down list of them!
  • And you can even choose which colour you want the site to appear in.
  • Plus a cartoon!

Needless to say, I bookmarked it pretty fast.

Please, go and help yourself, then pass the word on.

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Bible Geek: How to Keep Scripture in Context

bible-geek-logo

“A text out of context, is pretext.”

If you try and prove a point by using only a phrase or a few words out of Scripture, you are using the Word for a purpose that it had never been intended for.

To keep the Word of God in context, you must:

  1. understand and quote the whole verse;
  2. take careful note of who it is addressed to, it may not be relevant to your audience within it’s prophetic or cultural context;
  3. take into account the meaning of the verses before and behind it;
  4. consider the message of the entire chapter;
  5. know and consider the section of the book of the Bible that your verse is in, and how that affects it;
  6. know what the book it is in, is all about (for example, a prophetic book is very different from an Epistle;) and
  7. understanding the Testament the book is in, (Old or New Testament.) Without that understanding, you won’t be able to accurately attribute the requirements for salvation, worship etc., in that time.

 

unknownAdapted from the work of Dr David Pawson, http://davidpawson.org

“A speaker and author with uncompromising faithfulness to the Holy Scriptures, David brings clarity and a message of urgency to Christians to uncover hidden treasures in God’s Word.”

Bible Charts.org: A Brilliant Resource for Study

donniebarnesphotoI came across this web site when I was looking for a simple, easy to understand chart, outlining the Hebrew sacrificial system. I then cheerfully spent the next hour raiding it for all the goodies! This generous legacy site is highly recommended and put together by Donnie S.Barnes, a Pastor who has a Doctorate in Theology (and is now home with the Lord.)

http://www.biblecharts.org/index.html

“BIBLECHARTS.ORG is a [copyright free ]  web site containing Bible Charts for preaching and teaching, church bulletin charts, sermons, Bible Study materials, and a variety of Church-related materials designed for God’s glory and for the teaching of truth. Surveys of Bible Books, Bible History, Bible Chronology as well materials regarding the life and work of the apostle Paul are presented in great volume.

These bible charts cover numerous subjects including, the Bible, God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Church, the Godhead, the Cross of Christ, Personal Work, Spiritual Growth, and Marriage and the Christian Home. Notes about places in the Bible Lands are included as well.”

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The Best Online #Bible #Study Resources, 2016 Round Up

For more book and article resources, see the Project Bibliography.

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Women in the Bible: http://www.womeninthebible.net/

Free Online Library at BiblicalTraining.org (multiple articles)

Charles Spurgeon’s Sermons Delivered at At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington http://www.spurgeon.org/

Bible Hub: http://biblehub.com

Blue Letter Bible: https://www.blueletterbible.org

Bible.org: https://Bible.org

eBible.org,: https://ebible.org

Study Light.org: https://www.studylight.org

Christianity.com: http://www.christianity.com

Free Courses at Biblical Training.org: https://www.biblicaltraining.org

IMG_1719Bible History Online: http://www.bible-history.com

Rediscovering the Old Testament: Torah Class – http://torahclass.com/index.php

Ancient History Encyclopaedia: http://www.ancient.eu

On-Line Primary Literature: Related to ancient Near Eastern religions, Hellenistic Mediterranean religions and Biblical Study: http://jewishchristianlit.com/Texts/

Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org

The Christian Researcher: http://www.christianresearcher.com/free-downloads.html

Open Library: https://openlibrary.org   (Downloadable public domain resources, including many old but still awesome commentaries.)

The Ancient Near East.com: http://theancientneareast.com

World Cultures: http://www.wsu.edu:8000/%7Edee/WORLD.HTM

Online Christian Library: http://www.ntslibrary.com

Internet Sacred Texts Archive: http://www.sacred-texts.com

Bible Charts, copyright free: http://www.biblecharts.org/index.html

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The Habits That Built King David’s Faith

I love the positive feedback I receive through the King David Project. Hearing how David has blessed other people’s lives, blesses me! One comment which comes up quite often is “I wish I was like David!” I understand, as I feel that way too.

David was one of the few people in the Old Testament to be filled with the Spirit of the Lord, so we are actually able to be like David, in all matters of faith. It’s good news and I reply to people with: “you can do it; it will take time, as David’s own faith took a long time to build, but it can be done, if you are willing to invest your time in a deep relationship with the Lord.”

If you look at the details in between the most often quoted verses in the Psalms, you find references to David’s mother being a strong role model and you’ll also find that David worshipped and obeyed the Lord, from the earliest age a child is able (Psalm 71:5). The Psalms constantly reflect the values and teachings of the Laws which were set down by God through Moses, and David is an observant Jew (Hebrew to be precise. References to David’s mother are Psalms 116:16 and 86:16 and his righteousness is stated in 1 Kings 15:5.)

As they appear in the Scriptures, in the order of frequency, here are the habits that made David a strong man of God:

 

New habits2

Most of these are self-explanatory, but what do I mean by awe and wonder? This, aside from prayer, is my personal favourite, as it’s a characteristic I share with David. Awe and wonder is when you see what the Lord is doing in your life, in the people around you and through nature, and you are captivated. It’s when everything speaks of the majesty and love of the Lord, and it builds you.

“I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendour
and your wonderful miracles.” Psalm 145:5

We are commanded by God to remember His deeds to keep our faith level high, as David knew from the Torah (which is the first five books of the Old Testament.) Deuteronomy 4:9 says: “But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.”

David does this in Psalm 66, which speaks of the Lord’s deliverance and care of Isra’el. In verse 6 he makes a direct reference to the nation’s history, as it was recorded in the Torah. (See also Psalm 103 as another example.)

“Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
Your enemies cringe before your mighty power.
Everything on earth will worship you;
they will sing your praises,
shouting your name in glorious songs.” Interlude
Come and see what our God has done,
what awesome miracles he performs for people!
He made a dry path through the Red Sea,
and his people went across on foot.
There we rejoiced in him.” Psalm 66:3-6

A beautiful example of awe and wonder as acts of faith and worship is seen in the popular Psalm 8.
“O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
Your glory is higher than the heavens.
You have taught children and infants
to tell of your strength,
silencing your enemies
and all who oppose you.
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers
the moon and the stars you set in place
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?
Yet you made them only a little lower than God
and crowned theme with glory and honour.
You gave them charge of everything you made,
putting all things under their authority
the flocks and the herds
and all the wild animals,
the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
and everything that swims the ocean currents.
O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!”

Similar Psalms include number 29, 33, 65, 66, 103, 139 145 and 2 Samuel 22 and 23:1-7.

Another aspect of David’s success, came from his repeated requests to have God judge him, in order that he would stay on the right path. It’s a beneficial habit for all of us to adopt and one that, to my own detriment, I neglect.

46580920_s“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
and innocent of great sin.
May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:12-14

As David diligently sought God’s judgement and was very rarely judged, he was able to declare his righteousness before the Lord in defence, when he was threatened and persecuted. He often states his position when grappling with his (and Israel’s) need for deliverance. (e.g. Psalm 41:12 “You have preserved my life because I am innocent; you have brought me into your presence forever.” See also Psalm 139.)

I encourage you to follow David’s example. Meditate on what God has done for you; the wonders you see in creation and the testimonies of others that give you hope. Tell someone else, tell your children and enjoy living in awe and wonder.

“Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts;
let them proclaim your power.
I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendour
and your wonderful miracles.
Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue;
I will proclaim your greatness.
Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness;
they will sing with joy about your righteousness.” Psalm 145:4-7


Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Please note that this does NOT apply to any of the images on this site except for the free Psalm images which are marked as free. Most photos are purchased stock photos. It is ILLEGAL for you to take and use them, whether for yourself, commercially or for a non-profit venture such as a church or Bible Study. If you have not bought these photos from the source, the stock photography company has every right to sue you.

Good King or Nasty Sinner? – Negativity Bias and the Life of King David

The range of reactions to David that I have heard, often leave me scratching my head. At times it sounds like people either love him, or loathe him, depending on what aspects of his life they focus on. If they focus on the negative, he is branded as a high achieving, warring, bad boy, with a degree of amazing godliness that just doesn’t fit in with his Psalm-writing character. If they focus on the positive, he’s an angel in a crude, human form.

Of course, the truth is always in the middle. David cannot be understood without knowing the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, plus God’s heart and plans for His people. If you read the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy then turn straight to the Psalms, you will see that most of David’s attitudes are built on the commands set down through Moses, and the identity of Isra’el in the eyes of God. King David lived and worked in line with God’s vision for His people. [Ref. 2 Samuel 5:12]

This is what fuels him as a warrior, powers his spiritual devotion and keeps him from becoming an egotistical tyrant, as many kings are. I have called David the anti-king, as instead of relying on wealth and muscle to succeed, he depends on the Lord to the point of severe persecution from other nations, and those around him. [See links at base.]

David has been set into many moulds: young hero, battle-hardened warrior, adulterer, and the “sweet singer of Isra’el.” While he has played all those roles, we need to stand back and look at his story as a whole, then allow him to change and grow past those roles. David changed as he aged, and as the Lord built and disciplined him. He went through many ‘character building’ desert experiences ,where he learnt to lead a nation and obey the Lord. His desire to listen to correction is what saved him from his sins, and gave him one of the most highly honoured places in the Word of God. [Refs. 1 Samuel 25, 2 Samuel 11 and 12, Psalm 18:17-25]

So even though most people are fans of the Psalms and see David in a positive spiritual light, why do some of us slide into a negative assessment of David, writing him off a sinner? There are several reasons.

1. We are used to kings and leaders being corrupt and automatically expect that to occur with David, which produces a ‘confirmation bias.’ For example, we read about BathSheba or the census incident, and subconsciously use those events to confirm our expectations of an abuse of power. (See negativity bias stats in point 2, for the balance of events.) [Refs. 2 Samuel 11 and 12, and 2 Samuel 24]

When studying David, I have been stunned at how humble he actually is and that he constantly presents himself before the Lord, seeking correction. I don’t have the courage to do that myself. I have a lot to learn from him. [Refs Psalm 18:17-25, Psalm 19:12-14, Psalm 139 and Psalm 41:12]

2. Society runs on a ‘negativity bias.’ We like the dirt. My best read articles are about whether or not David had venereal disease, or a homosexual affair with Jonathan. Less read are the ones which show David’s financial generosity, humility, and kindness. Thank God the articles on how his faith were built, are read! That is the most important lesson we can learn from David.

As a further example of negativity bias, here are some rough statistics on how his life appears in the Bible. Within the books of Samuel, 1 Kings and 1 Chronicles, there are 46 positive events which denote David as a righteous man, and 20 negative life events, of which only 3 list catastophic sins (Gath, Bathsheba and the census).

So if you get stuck judging David on his behaviour with BathSheba, you are ignoring the 46 times David got life right. That is not a balanced way to judge. [Gath: 1 Samuel 27]

Conversely, out of the Psalms which can be attributed to David (in name and by style), 21 are cheerful and 46 are distressed. That is overall. The sad Psalms do have positive verses in them, where David pulls himself up by his bootstraps. However, we brand these Psalms as happy or sad and that, again, demonstrates the pull our psyches have towards the negative.

iStock_000014054141XSmall3. If the negative stories we know are the first we’ve heard, or the most often repeated, they brand the person. It only takes five seconds to form an impression of someone, whether you have correct or complete facts, or not. One isolated incident can overwhelm logic, and despite whatever else has happened to that person, (known or unknown,) a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ label is assigned. So if you hear about BathSheba more than the temple, David becomes more of a sinner than a saint.

The blessing of the Word of God is that we don’t have to make any final judgements on people, as the Lord has already done it for us. The commands in the New Testament to judge, are not needed for those who have already gone home to be with the Lord. God saw all the parts of their lives that we can’t see and He handed down the correct justice. “For David had done what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and had obeyed the Lord’s commands throughout his life, except in the affair concerning Uriah the Hittite.” 1 Kings 15:5 [See also 2 Samuel 8:15 and Acts 13:22-24 for summaries of his life.]

I encourage you to use the links below to learn more about David, and take the time to study his life. You’ll be surprised at how inspiring he is, and how little of him you know. It will help build you spiritually.

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For more information on what made David tick, please see these articles:
– By Heart or By Sword
http://articles.faithwriters.com/reprint-article-details.php?article=32075
– Persecution for Praising the Lord
http://articles.faithwriters.com/reprint-article-details.php?article=32074
– How the Psalms Teach Us the Law (Torah)
http://articles.faithwriters.com/reprint-article-details.php?article=32311
– Does Absolute Power Corrupt Absolutely?
http://articles.faithwriters.com/reprint-article-details.php?article=32731
– Was King David a Megalomaniac?
http://articles.faithwriters.com/reprint-article-details.php?article=32067
– How Gentle Kings Become Killers
http://articles.faithwriters.com/reprint-article-details.php?article=32773
– The Anti-King: David and Humility
http://articles.faithwriters.com/reprint-article-details.php?article=33025
– Study Essentials for Understanding King David
http://cateartios.wix.com/kingdavidproject#!studyresources/cqhl


Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Please note that this does NOT apply to any of the images on this site except for the free Psalm images which are marked as free. Most photos are purchased stock photos. It is ILLEGAL for you to take and use them, whether for yourself, commercially or for a non-profit venture such as a church or Bible Study. If you have not bought these photos from the source, the stock photography company has every right to sue you.

Hebrew for Christians: A Useful Reference

John J. Parsons has put this site together, which assists Christians in studying Biblical Hebrew and understanding the Jewishness of the Bible. If you want to understand David, this is exactly the kind of resource you need.

John has formally studied and been involved in a number of ministries. There is a wealth of awesome knowledge on this site which should interest you, including Torah readings, prayers, priestly blessings, Kaddish, Talmud, New Testament topics and more.

Please check it out and donate. A donation box is at the bottom of the “About HFC” page.

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