“I will give this Bible away”

1. I’m a firm believer that everyone needs their own copy of the Bible. Sadly, I frequently encounter people who do not own a Bible. 2. I’m convinced the Common English Bible (CEB) is the translation of choice for most English-speaking readers in the U.S. today. I’d like to see everyone have a copy of this accurate, easy-reading translation of the Scripture.

With those two thoughts in mind, I’ll give away a free Common English Bible to the first person who: (a) comments on this post with the words “I will give this Bible away” and (b) gives their word they will give the copy of the CEB they receive to someone else.

I await your comment.

I’ll give you a free Bible if …

Be the first to comment on this post with the words “I think the Common English Bible is good stuff!” and I’ll make sure you receive a free copy of the Common English Bible. Keep it for yourself or give it to someone you believe would use it, but be the first to comment with these words: “I think the Common English Bible is good stuff!

Yes, it truly is that simple.

30 days with the Human One (13)

 

We seen it in the news ever so often. Someone has lost their way while climbing a mountain, hiking through the woods, sailing across an ocean, or traveling through a desert. A massive search and rescue effort is launched. Days pass. Frantic friends and loved ones hold vigils as they hold their breath, anxious to hear good news as lives hang in the balance.

Sometimes the good news comes; sometimes it never does. We’ve seen the tearful reunions and we’ve seen the devastation of hopelessness. Whose heart doesn’t go out to people in such a situation?

So why exactly did “the Human One” come to this world? The Gospels record a number of “purpose statements” of Jesus, but perhaps none are as concise, nor commands our attention so, as the statement the Human One makes just before he enters Jerusalem, headed for the cross.

The Human One came to seek and save the lost. (Luke 19:10 CEB)

With that in mind, quietly, thoughtfully consider for a moment:

  • what sort of foolishness you’ve been involved in to lose your way.
  • what the Human One left behind to look for you.
  • what sort of love drove the Human One to look for you.
  • what it cost the Human One to find you and save you.

We need to pray.

Jesus, never give up in your quest for me. Find me. Save me. Bring me home to you, I pray. Amen.

30 days with the Human One (12)

 

The Human One’s announcement that he will die just as all humans die proved too much for his disciples to comprehend. In Luke’s Gospel, three times Jesus is recorded as predicting his death and three times the disciples simply cannot conceive of such happening to the Human One. Two of the accounts come close to the start of Jesus’ long journey to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51-19:27). The first prediction is worded like this:

He said, “The Human One must suffer many things and be rejected—by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts—and be killed and be raised on the third day.” (Luke 9:22 CEB)

Not a single word of response is recorded as coming from the disciples.

Then there is the Human One’s second prediction.

While everyone was marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, “Take these words to heart: the Human One is about to be delivered into human hands.” (Luke 9:43b-44 CEB)

As to the disciple’s reaction, this time we’re told they remained silent and exactly why they were silent.

They didn’t understand this statement. Its meaning was hidden from them so they couldn’t grasp it. And they were afraid to ask him about it. (Luke 9:44-45 CEB)

The Human One’s third prediction comes close to the end of his journey to Jerusalem.

Jesus took the Twelve aside and said, “Look, we’re going up to Jerusalem, and everything written about the Human One by the prophets will be accomplished. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. He will be ridiculed, mistreated, and spit on. After torturing him, they will kill him. On the third day, he will rise up.” (Luke 18:31-33 CEB)

And once again we’re told that the disciples were clueless.

But the Twelve understood none of these words. The meaning of this message was hidden from them and they didn’t grasp what he was saying. (Luke 18:34 CEB)

The Human One, the one born to deliver many, was also born to die.

We should pray.

Father in heaven, in the name of Jesus I thank you for delivering me from the fear of death. Knowing the Human One precedes me there and trusting his victory over the grave, I now have confidence that you will see me through the same. As you overcome death through him, overcome my life so that my life becomes pure praise to you. Your ways are clearly not my ways and your way of thinking is so very far beyond mine. Where there is cluelessness in me, let there be faith. Amen.

Question: when do you find faith most challenged to well up within you, when you contemplate your life or your death?

power to the people! (aka: 7 reasons why I switched to the Common English Bible)

 

1. For years I’ve longed for a translation of the Bible that speaks with an English vocabulary somewhere between the Contemporary English Version (CEV) and the Today’s New International Version (TNIV). The Common English Bible (CEB) does just that. Clarity for the people!

2. For quite awhile now I’ve wanted to see a rendering of the word make frequent and consistent use of some of the Biblical scholarship that I’ve greatly benefited from and have been blessed by. The CEB has done that. Scholarship for the people!

3. For years now I’ve wanted to see a fresh translation of Scripture from the ground up, not merely a reworking of an existing translation or version. The CEB is precisely that. Freshness for the people!

4. For sometime now I’ve been growing increasingly unhappy with Zondervan’s handling of the whole TNIV/NIV business. I finally got disgusted enough that I decided to jump ship (understand, the NIV and TNIV have been my default Bibles in years past). The CEB appears to have a more open and authentic base to it. Authenticity to the people!

5. For quite a spell I’ve wished to see a committee-based translation have the nerve (and backing from the publisher) to make some truly bold, original renderings of the Biblical text as has been the case in recent years among some single-translator renderings of the Bible. The CEB does that. Courage for the people!

6. For years I’ve wished for a solid Bible translation to appear that the publisher was confident about to truly support that they would share with all a general timeline of the anticipated publication dates of various editions (i.e. – supporting reference works, pew Bibles, study Bibles, audio Bibles, etc.). The publishers of the CEB have done just that. Planning for the people!

7. For a very long time I’ve yearned for all of the preceding to funnel into a translation that also includes in its work the Apocrypha. The Common English Bible (CEB) offers editions that include the Apocrypha. Knowledge for the people!

30 days with the Human One (11)

 

Peter was the first person to put two and two together and make the candid assessment and statement that Jesus was both “the Human One” and “the Christ” (the Messiah). His declaration is recorded in all three of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 16:13-19; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21). After his statement, everything in the Gospel accounts begins to change.

How so? The answer is painful.

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and legal experts, and that he had to be killed and raised on the third day. (Matthew 16:21 CEB)

Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “The Human One must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts, and be killed, and then, after three days, rise from the dead.” He said this plainly. (Mark 8:31-32a CEB)

He said, “The Human One must suffer many things and be rejected—by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts—and be killed and be raised on the third day.” (Luke 9:22 CEB)

The Human One – the one who was just like us, but who had been doing things impossible for us – giving sight to the blind, raising the dead, forgiving sins, etc. – now reveals that he will soon do the unthinkable. He will do what all of us humans do: he will die.

Peter, the same who was first to identify the Human One as also the Christ, is now the first to object to the Christ being human! The Human One simply can’t die! But Peter could not be more wrong. Matthew and Mark record their clash with these words:

Then Peter took hold of Jesus and, scolding him, began to correct him: “God forbid, Lord! This won’t happen to you.” But he turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are a stone that could make me stumble, for you are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.” (Matthew 16:22-23 CEB)

… But Peter took hold of Jesus and, scolding him, began to correct him. Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, then sternly corrected Peter: “Get behind me, Satan. You are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.” (Mark 8:32-33 CEB)

Pay particular attention to the last sentence in both of those accounts and you’ll come away with something like the following. (1) The Human One was thinking God’s thoughts. (2) The Human One desires the rest of us humans to do the same. (3) The worst thing we can do as humans is to think merely human thoughts.

Read that last sentence again and let that soak in.

“So how exactly are we humans supposed think beyond our merely human thoughts, Human One?,” we ask?

By ceasing to live for ourself and to begin living after the Human One by putting our whole being under his rule. By replicating the Human One’s way of living as much as is possible for us to do so. Or in the words that immediately follow in Matthew, Mark, and Luke:

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will find them. Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? What will people give in exchange for their lives? For the Human One is about to come with the majesty of his Father with his angels. And then he will repay each one for what that person has done. I assure you that some standing here won’t die before they see the Human One coming in his kingdom.” (Matthew 16:24-28 CEB)

After calling the crowd together with his disciples, Jesus said to them, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me and because of the good news will save them. Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? What will people give in exchange for their lives? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Human One will be ashamed of that person when he comes in the Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38 CEB)

Jesus said to everyone, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me. All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will save them. What advantage do people have if they gain the whole world for themselves yet perish or lose their lives? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Human One will be ashamed of that person when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. I assure you that some standing here won’t die before they see God’s kingdom.” (Luke 9:23-27 CEB)

We need to pray.

In the name of Jesus, Heavenly Father, I want to die to myself and live to you. May none of my ways shame you. Let me unashamedly proclaim you with my thoughts, my words, and my ways. Amen.

Question: in what do you find yourself most often settling for thinking human thoughts, rather than thinking the Human One’s thoughts?

will you help me give away a free Bible?


Would you like to

  • receive a brand new Bible,
  • in a fresh, new translation (CEB),
  • that is clear and accurate in its rendering,
  • that is based on some of the best of scholarship,
  • delivered to your doorstep,
  • at no cost to you whatsoever,
  • with no strings attached?

 

You could

  • give it away to a stranger,
  • donate it to your church library,
  • take it to that church member who is hospitalized,
  • hand it to an acquaintance in appreciation for something they’ve done,
  • gift it as a Christmas present to someone you wouldn’t normally buy for,
  • present it to that good neighbor you’re glad you have around,
  • pass it on to your children or grandchildren for their use,
  • send it to that old friend you haven’t seen in years,
  • or make it your own.

If any of this strikes a chord with you, all you’ve got to do is

  1. be the first to comment on this post with these words,
  2. “I’ll put a Common English Bible to good, God-honoring use,”
  3. no later than midnight tomorrow night (Thur., Dec. 8).

That’s all there is to it.

Do so and I’ll make sure you receive your f-r-e-e Bible.

Merry Christmas!