@NickNorelli Reader’s Bible

I arrived home to find a beautiful Crossway ESV Reader’s Bible waiting for me. Thanks to Nick Norelli from Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth. Follow him on twitter at @NickNorelli  which is where I found out about this gem of a giveaway. 

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New Church

Yesterday, Ron and I went to see Sherlock Holmes. (yes! it was another really good movie!)

We got there a little early when the adds were still on. There was one for New Church. It was a very clean ad with words along the lines of A New Church? In the Bible Belt? Really. And then just gave the url. So I went and found:

The New Church is a new Christianity

Oh really? Wondering what a *new* Christianity is. Of course I’ve got some suspicions

all people who live good lives, regardless of their religion, are welcomed into heaven.

Ahhh, didn’t take too long to find it.

This is an old church and based on the *theological* writings of the scientist Emanuel Swedenborg (1688 to 1772). Lots of items to read in a search of his name. Add the word cult to his and well, there’s just too much to dig through.

What I find interesting is that Jesus clearly said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” And still, people who base their teaching on the Bible ignore this for something else.

P2R – Philippians

Here’s the book I made with the downloaded materials. Instead of getting a moleskin, I made my own.

Here is the Philippians insert (PDF) from Tim Brister.

Lined Paper 2 col I made if you’d like to do this but can also make your own little book. Nothing special or difficult, but no need to reinvent the wheel. It’s a docx file.

Here’s the outside and a page from my homemade book.

Reading through Jonah

Reading through Jonah in the car today and here are some things that struck me in one way or another.

God tells Jonah his plan and Jonah flees from God’s presence. Where did he really think he could go that God wouldn’t know about?

The men on the boat didn’t want to throw Jonah over even though they were frightened by what he had told them. They actually tried to row to shore rather than kill him. Why would they do that? If man is totally depraved, what made these men, who had been pleading other gods for their own safety, not want to save themselves by killing him?

How big would a fish really have to be to swallow a man?

The people of Ninevah repented – beginning with the King. What had happened in the king’s experiences that made him react this way instead of hardening his heart?

Jonah gets mad? Who does he think he is? He wants an entire people to be killed so he can save face. What a ton of gall. It seems Jonah excelled at getting mad about all the wrong things.

Chapter 5 – Life and Character of the Old Unitas Fratrum

This is part five of the book about the history of the Moravian church. Parts 1-4.

In chapter 4, we left the Unitas Fratrum struggling with their birth and organizational pains.

This is rather a hodge-podge chapter. Few great names, few things to nail down. So it’s difficult to retell. I think I’m going to start in bullet form and see where that goes. The next chapter is on John Amos Comenius. Wow! Now he is someone I think will be easy to write about, but in the meantime . . .

Chapter 5


  • The emphasis of the Brethren was on Christian living.
  • They were not made up of theologians, but were often forced to defend themselves and their beliefs
  • In writing letters and tracts, they often did become theologians.
  • A focus was placed on Matthew 5:21-28 which in many ways necessitated a separation from the world.
  • There is no true church. God has children in every church.
  • Essentials – faith, hope, love. Faith includes basics of Christianity.
  • Things merely useful – outer differences in churches.
  • Subscribed to Apostles’ Creed, The Athanasian Creed and the Nicene Creed.
  • Lord’s supper has been described in chapter 4.
  • Baptism – position unclear. They tended to prefer the voluntary baptism of adults, but were ok with infant baptism and still baptized most of their babies.
  • During/After Reformation, sacraments were baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Whittled down from those associated with the Church.
  • There must have been some confusion over works-based salvation. Luther questioned their writings on this .
  • Made contact with Luther, Calvin and Bucer. Sent a delegation to Luther in 1522.
  • They thought Luther extreme on his salvation by faith to the exclusion of works. (I’m thinking this odd as in they will lean toward the reformed in just a bit. This must have been a Catholic holdover they were having a hard time relinquishing.)
  • Luther helped them write two official statements of faith – 1533 & 1538.

Church organization – beginning

  • Highest authority is Synod.
  • Synod is made up of ex0officio reps from the congregations.
  • Synod actions administered by council.
  • Clergy – bishops, presbyters, deacons.
  • Deacons was an assistant cleric.
  • Acolytes were trained through apprenticeships.
  • Ministers expected to earn living in whole or at least part. They were unmarried until mid 1500s.
  • At first ministers were not formally trained, but later they went to Lutheran and Reformed unis.
  • Unity secondary schools did offer wide educations and offered university level studies.
  • Synod wrote rules for membership that were pretty specific.
  • Ministers with laymen assistants kept a close eye on the flock.
  • They took care of their own and if their own were blatantly sinful, they could be dismissed.
  • Church services were plain. Preaching, Bible reading, prayer.
  • Bibles were scarce, so entire books were memorized as were hymns.
  • Always a singing church, they published a hymnal in 1501 and in the next 70 years published 10 more in three languages.

Church organization – emerging

  • Increasingly difficult to stay separate.
  • Members of nobility allowed to join without renouncing of titles.
  • They were no longer strictly pacifists.
  • Bishop Luke changed the worship to one that was more liturgical.
  • Silver vessels reappeared.
  • The strict rules were usurped by a more lenient understanding of man’s nature.
  • Literacy was stressed. Schools grew.
  • 1539 – a Czech Bible (Kralitz) was translated. New Testament was work of John Blahoslaw.
  • Intellectual development meant a decline in the spiritual.

Protection from the feudal system

  • Stronger nobles mainly independent from king and each other.
  • Brethren enhanced estates because they were faithful, hardworking, farmers, craftsmen.
  • Many nobles chose to protect the Brethren rather than turn them in to the church as heretics.
  • Many nobles were so impressed with the Brethren that they joined them.
  • Nobility was, however, still subject to pressures and at times changed (marriage, conversion, succession).
  • Life was more difficult in Bohemia than Moravia.

Persecution and flight

  • 1548 – persecution increased.
  • Bishop John Augusta jailed until 1564.
  • Brethren move to Protestant East Prussia.
  • Difficulties there with ultra-Lutherans kept the congregation numbers small. (1500 Brethren)
  • Most left to return home or to Poland. Many were absorbed into Lutheran churches.
  • In Poland, the Brethren fared better.
  • Polish citizens were receptive to Protestantism, and the Brethren were invited to stay in various parts.
  • Ten years saw 40 congregations established which eventually grew to 80.
  • Protestants cooperated out of need due its precarious situation – Brethren, Lutherans, Reformed.
  • Consensus of Sendomir (1590) almost saw the three churches merge into one.


  • Pinning the size of the church down was difficult. They were almost always an unrecognized group (if not heretical).
  • 1517 – Bohemian and Moravian Brethren are thought to have numbered 200,000 in 400 congregations.
  • That was their peak and after that, they lost members to the Lutherans and Reformed.
  • Brethren participated in the overthrow of King Frederick that triggered the Thirty Years War.
  • Half of the 27 nobles executed for that event were Brethren.
  • The Brethren became virtually extinct in Bohemia and Moravia.
  • The Treaty of Westphalia outlawed all churches except RCC, Lutheran and Reformed in the Holy Roman Empire.
  • Poland was not mentioned in the treaty, so the Brethren stayed there.
  • They merged somewhat with the Reformed church, but managed to keep their identity by keeping Brethren together in congregations.
  • Some clergy were consecrated as Unitas Fratrum.

Bibles on the BB Storm

I can’t say I’ve been thrilled with the apps I’ve used or tried to use lately, but I have used the ereader successfully on the phone. Small but do-able. The WordPress app has been a complete disaster. FB is ok. Twitter has worked out much better than expected.Google – ahhh I’d be lost without it.

Olive Tree LogoMarc Cortez posted about Olive Tree today, so I went and did a BB Storm search to see how others felt about the application and the reviews were favorable.

So, if you have a storm and want to give it a shot, here is the reader download, and here is a free download for the ASV. Not one I normally use, but it will let me get a feel for how it works on the BB.

They’ve got quite a few other free offerings too. Some are single chapter, but many are full texts. There are other Bibles in this section. Some are sample texts, others have fewer notes, but they are there.

Hobby Lobby, in the Bible business?

Well not exactly, but they are buying them – rare and antique ones  – for a museum.

Specialists estimate the family has bought illuminated, or decorated, manuscripts, Torahs, papyri and other works worth $20 million to $40 million from auction houses, dealers, private collectors and institutions, some of which may be selling because of financial pressure.

The man leading the effort is Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, a private company based here that is a favorite of scrapbook makers, do-it-yourselfers and home decorators. The company, founded by his father, David, in 1972, now numbers 439 stores and has generated a family fortune that Forbes magazine estimates at $2.5 billion.

Craft Shop Family Buys Up Ancient Bibles for Museum from NYT.

New Bibles

There are times in life when you it hits you just how blessed you are. I received two new Bibles in the mail recently. One was from Jamie at A Walk in Faith. They had a posting contest and I won the Thompson Chain Reference NASB edition.

Then I’d mentioned how I’d been looking for the NRSV with the Apocrypha, and a blogger friend sent one to me!

See rest of the pictures.

Thanks so very much to you both!