A recent count of Bibles on my bookshelf tallied approximately 25 volumes. This is not to mention the numerous versions on my computer or those available on the internet. I believe that reading a variety of translations and formats has given me a unique perspective on God’s perfect and inerrant Word. Yet, I have a special affection for one particular volume — the New Inductive Study Bible, New American Standard Version updated edition. This Bible sits beside my “study-chair” or is always at my elbow while working at my desk.
I initially purchased this Bible upon the recommendation of Dr. Steward Custer (Ph.D. in New Testament and chairman of the Division of Bible at Bob Jones University), a pastor, scholar, teacher and Christian of the highest quality. He writes: “The International Inductive Study Bible is perhaps the most delightful reference Bible to use that is now available. . . . This is surely one of the most fruitful editions of Scripture published in this century” (Tools for Preaching and Teaching the Bible, 2nd Ed., 1998). Though mine is but a small voice I must wholeheartedly concur with this recommendation.
I began utilizing this Bible and the approach that it promotes in 1998. God used this to produce an unquenchable desire to know Him more intimately. This consistent study has changed the way I read and listen to God’s Word. It has changed my ability to discern what the text says, its contextual meaning, as well as the appropriate applications to my life. Each believer’s devotional life is key to his walk with God. At the core of the that devotional life should be God’s Word. For that reason I thought that others might find my experience with this volume helpful. Though there are certainly greater scholars, and unquestionably better Christians, my qualifications for such a review are grounded only in the basis that I am a recipient of God’s grace.
Therefore, throughout this week I hope to post more about this choice weapon that the Christian has available for his armory.
“Then Apolllyon espying his opportunity, began to gather up close to Christian, and wrestling with him, gave him a dreadful Fall; and with that Christian’s Sword flew out of his hand. Then said Apollyon, I am sure of thee now And with that he almost pressed him to Death; so that Christian began to despair of Life. But, as God would have it, while Apollyon was fetching of his last blow, thereby to make a full end of this good man, Christian nimbly reached out his hand for his Sword, and caught it, saying, Rejoyce not against me, O mine Enemy! when I fall I shall arise; and with that gave him a deadly thrust, which made him give back, as one that had received his mortal wound. Christian perceiving that, made at him again; saying, Nay, in all these things we are more than Conquerors, through him that loved us. And with that Apollyon spread forth his Dragon’s wings, and sped him away, that Christian saw him no more.” (p 63.)