“Israel Fieldbook” Free Book Download

A few weeks ago we featured a great book on Jerusalem by Galyn Weimers. Mr. Weimers has now released another book on Israel for free download. This 188 page book entitled Israel Fieldbook includes details and photos from 66 sites in Israel and 80 in Jerusalem. It is accompanied by 300+ photos plus maps, diagrams and charts at the back of the book. The previous book on Jerusalem was in 8.5" x 11" format, but this one is the more compact 5.5" x 8.5". This is another great resource for your library with maps, photos, and diagrams that can be used in classes and Powerpoint presentations. Just be sure to give credit; you might also drop an email to Mr. Weimers and thank him for making this resource available for free. Either click on our link above or go to www.generationword.com and download the Israel Fieldbook in PDF format.

Free Book on Apologetics

Dr. Kenneth D. Boa and Robert M. Bowman are two respected Christian apologists. In 2001 they co-edited and contributed with others to the writing of a 658 page book on apologetics entitled, Faith has Its Reasons.

Now they have made two digital versions of this book available for free download. The book includes a history of Christian apologetics, presentation of the four major approaches to apologetics, reviews of the major apologists past and present, an extensive bibliography and resource section and more. This is a great addition to my library.

Faith Has Its Reasons can be purchased in paperback or in ePub format (Nook and iPad compatible) from www.christianbook.com. But for a free download of the book in either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format, follow these links: for Word (.doc) go here; for PDF go here. After downloading your preferred file format, look around on these two websites. A great amount of other useful reference material is also available free.

Free Book on Jerusalem

In doing a recent series of lessons on the city of Jerusalem throughout the Bible, I cast a wide net to find resources of a historical, geographical, and archeological nature concerning this great city in the Old and New Testaments. One very valuable resource has been a free (for download) 250 page book written by Galyn Wiemers from www.generationword.com. Entitled, "Jerusalem: History, Archeology and Apologetic Proof of Scripture," it contains over 500 photos, maps and charts along with much explanatory text. Most or all the photos seem to have been taken by Mr. Wiemers during visits to Jerusalem. In addition to the free book, he has made available most/all the photos for download in color from his website as well. He also has provided over 270 Old Testament maps for free download. He has granted permission for the use of this material when used in Bible teaching. Here are the links to get these great resources:

Jerusalem book and photos link

270+ maps for Old Testament

Be sure to look around his website for four additional free books, Bible study materials, hundreds of audio lessons, and more. Mr. Wiemers is a teacher and minister in the Evangelical Free Church, so will no doubt differ from me in his understanding of some points of Scripture. However, overall I am very impressed with his materials.

Books That Changed My Thinking (4)

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words should be one of the most treasured books in any serious Bible student’s library. It has gone through numerous editions since its introduction around 1940. More recent editions have added Old Testament words to the original New Testament only version. My first mentor, James Wilson, introduced me to the use of this resource. Later, we hope to produce a good tutorial on the use of Vine’s (as it is often called), but for now, here are some of the great benefits of using this book properly (Greek section):

  • Discover the Greek word behind the English word (Vine’s is based on the ASV)
  • See the range of meaning of the Greek word, usually dictated by the context
  • See how translators often used one English word for different Greek words
  • See how one Greek word may have been translated with different English words
  • Easily see which basic part of speech the Greek word is – noun, adjective, verb, etc.
  • Realize how challenging the translation process is from Greek to English (and give Bible translators a break!)
  • Help either confirm or refute various arguments by some based solely on the English word in a context
  • Take advantage of the Strong’s numbering system to use Strong’s, Thayer’s, and other resources
Now, to get the best use of Vine’s it is valuable to also have a good Greek-English interlinear. I much prefer one that includes Strong’s numbers along with the actual Greek text and the KJV (since I am unaware of any ASV interlinear New Testaments).
Go to our Effective Bible Study course and listen to Lesson 13 to learn more about how useful Vine’s can be. Newer expository dictionaries are now available, but once you learn to use Vine’s you can comfortably switch to one of them if you wish.

Reading List on the Apostle Paul

In preparing and presenting my recent series on the Apostle Paul, I leaned most heavily on the following books. As I studied, it was with a view to what would illuminate and make plain the life, times, and activities of the great apostle. I had no interest (for the sake of my audience) in pursuing the more esoteric topics often written about concerning him.

Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free, by F. F. Bruce. Published by Wm. B. Eerdmans. The most detailed and perhaps scholarly of these books, and written by a highly respected New Testament scholar. Still, it is quite readable with only the occasional detour into less interesting topics.

Paul, by F. B. Meyer. A classic which I thoroughly enjoy. The author clearly speaks of God’s providence and work, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the ministry of Paul.

Paul: Living for the Call of Christ, by Gene Getz. Published by B & H Publishing Group. The author tends to “pick his spots” concerning what parts of Paul’s history he covers, but his insights are valuable. This book is part of a larger series entitled, Men of Character.

To Live is Christ, by Beth Moore. Ms. Moore has a wonderful gift of making Bible characters “come alive” and provides both hard facts as well as reasonable assumptions about aspects of Paul’s life and work. This should not be the first or only book you read on Paul, but you should by all means read it.

The Pauline Circle, by F. F. Bruce. Published by Wm. B. Eerdmans. Hard to find, though listed still on Amazon. Examines key companions of Paul and what we can know about them: Ananias, Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Luke, Titus, etc.

Two other texts which I consulted but did not find as useful were Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit, by Charles Swindoll and Apostle Paul: A Novel, by James Cannon. The first is more devotional that exegetical in nature. The second is very interesting and entertaining – but is, after all, a novel, and the author takes great liberty at times to make up quite a bit of the “back story.”

I addition to the above, extensive reading and cross-referencing of the Book of Acts and the Epistles of Paul was necessary. Also, several of my good Bible dictionaries and atlases proved most useful.

Have another book you would recommend for this list? Write me at rcravy @ gmail.com.

Books That Changed My Thinking (3)

Like many others, I was affected and convicted deeply in early adulthood by a little novel written by Charles Sheldon entitled, In His Steps. In it he imagined how Christians might act differently if, in any given situation, they would ask themselves, “What would Jesus do?” Even today we encounter the “WWJD” thinking. But that novel left a big question in my mind at the time — how can I really know what Jesus would do? This led me to the following title which has had an even greater impact on my understanding, life and teaching than In His Steps. It is a book which actually answers, at least in large part, the central question raised by In His Steps.

I originally found Me Be Like Jesus?, by Leslie B. Flynn sometime in the late 1970s in a local Christian bookstore. It apparently has a storied history, but it continues to address a need among those of us who want to be like the Lord Jesus. It was first published in 1962 in hardcover by Zondervan under the title, The Power of Christlike Living. The paperback was later printed and reprinted numerous times by Victor Books under the title I knew: Me Be Like Jesus? Around 1995 I was able to contact Mr. Flynn, a Baptist minister in upstate New York, because I could no longer find copies to give away to other. It has now been printed again (1997 to present) by Magnus Press (San Jose, CA) under the title, Jesus in the Image of God. It is available through Christian Book Distributors for $10. Personally I liked the Me Be Like Jesus? title as best describing its content, but the current version has only minor changes in conent from the earlier printings. Enough of its provenance; what is it about?

To quote from author Flynn’s Preface:

But what is Christlikeness? It is not physical resemblance, not cultural similarity, nor following Him in every outward circumstance, nor conjecturing what Jesus would do in certain cases. Rather, Christlikeness is to have the mind of Christ, to catch His spirit, to cultivate His qualities, to apply His attitudes to every condition.

The imitation of Jesus is a New Testament imperative. The Gospels and Epistles spotlight qualities in Jesus’ life which we are commanded to imitate in our own Christian walk. This book singles out several such traits, and helps us see more clearly these specific ways to demonstrate Christlikeness.

In 11 chapters Mr. Flynn shows that we are called to be like Jesus (“conformed to His likeness” – Romans 8:29) in 10 very specific ways. Here is perhaps the best known example: love one another. He commanded that we love each other as He loved us (John 13:34) Paul urged the Ephesian Christians to imitate Jesus in this quality in Ephesians 5:1. Space does not permit me to show how the author amplifies this quality, and each of the other nine a very biblical and practical way.

My encouragement to you is to purchase this book! And if you are a preacher or small group leader, plan on teaching it to others! It is one of the most practical studies you can do on Christian living!

Addendum: Leslie Flynn passed away in 2006. He was the author of 43 books, and a minister for the Grace Baptist Church in Nanuet, NY for 40 years. Click here to read his obituary.

Books That Changed My Thinking (2)

My parents were baptized and became New Testament Christians when I was five years old. From that time on I was (and have been) in Sunday School and worship assemblies without fail. Being constantly exposed to Bible teaching is one thing. Knowing how to study on my own was quite another.

At Florida College I was required to take a course called Hermeneutics, taught by Roy Cogdill. I do not believe I had ever heard the word “hermeneutics” before that time. But that course and its textbook completely changed my understanding of the Bible and how to study it.

The text was Principles of Hermeneutics, by Clinton Lockhart. Written in 1901 by a scholar and college president, the style is stilted and dense by comparison with most modern books. But, my what a revelation to my mind! For the first time I learned that there are actually well accepted and reasonable “laws” to describe how we understand human speech; and these laws therefore apply to our interpreting of the Bible.

Now I began to understand that fundamental biblical interpretation is not a mysterious process. Nor is the meaning of a passage of scripture based on what I want, think, hope, wish, imagine, or may have been taught it to mean. Instead it is rooted in the author’s purpose, and shaped by the circumstances, method and language he used to write his portion of holy writ. Look at just a few of the laws or rules discussed in Principles of Hermeneutics:

  • Axiom 1: “The true object to speech is the impartation of thought.”
  • Axiom 2: “The true object of interpretation is to apprehend the exact thought of the author.”
  • Axiom 7: “An author’s purpose determines the character of his production.”
  • Axiom 13: “Truth must accord with truth; and statements of truth apparently discrepant can be harmonized if the facts are known.”
  • Axiom 15: “Every communication of thought, human and divine, given in the language of men, is subject to the ordinary rules of interpretation.”
Rules having to do with harmonizing passages, context, vocabulary, figurative language, prophecy and more are included in this slim book of 250 pages. This is a science for genuine Bible students, but will not appeal to those who wish to teach and preach from emotion, sensationalism, or popular topics of the day. Nor is it a set of Bible class lessons or Sunday sermon topics.
There are hundreds of other books on hermeneutics, but I think few of them will serve and guide the student better than Principles of Interpretation, by Clinton Lockhart.
Where can you get this book? It is published by Gospel Light Publishing Company in Delight, Arkansas (www.gospellightbooks.com) or from Sunset’s Extension School website (www.extensionschool.com). Cost is about $10-12.

Books That Changed My Thinking (1)

As I look back over 40+ years of Bible based education and training, and then studying and ministry, there are a few books that have had a profound effect on my thinking. This is the first of several posts on some of those books, and why they impacted me.

Evidence That Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell. This was not the first book on Christian evidences I bought, but it was the most comprehensive and logically compelling. The foundational tenets of the Christian faith are rooted in history. While some appeal to “science” as if it is the be all and answer to all, much of what we all know and/or believe is rooted not in science (a fairly recent invention as we know it), but in history – evidences, eyewitnesses, documents, monuments, etc. Mr. McDowell has continued to expand and refine his writings in this area, and many other very good ones exist as well. But this title was instrumental in making me re-think what I had accepted on faith as a child and then had heard denied (without evidence) in university philosophy and religion classes.

The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict is the updated and expanded version of this very impactful text. In a world where many consider truth relative and have no good reason for believing what(ever) they do believe, this approach to Christian truths is foundational!

Resources on the Feasts of Israel

Some time ago we released our 7 lesson series on Seeing Jesus in the Feasts of Israel. There were many resources I used while studying and presenting this series. Below are listed just a few of them:

My favorite resource is From Shadow to Reality, by John M. Oakes. It is available from IPI Books for $15.00 plus shipping. The book covers not only the feasts of Israel, but the sacrificial system, holy days, prophecy, types and anti-types, and more. It is a great addition to any Bible students library.

Feasts and Holidays of the Bible foldout chart produced by Rose Publishing. Also worthwhile to make copies available to serious students in your audience. A set of 80+ Powerpoint slides is also available: Feasts & Holidays of the Bible PowerPoint CD-ROM.

Two freely downloadable studies by the Radio Bible Class Ministries entitled The Holidays of God: The Spring Feasts and The Holidays of God: The Fall Feasts. While these studies take the symbolism of these feasts further than I feel comfortable with, they have a great deal of thought provoking information and application in them.

Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles, by David Brickner and Christ in the Passover, by Ceil & Moshe Rosen are two well written small books with great insight into Jewish history and culture.

I have very much enjoyed reading various books and articles available from the En-Gedi Resource Center website. Their emphasis on the Hebrew background and mindset of the Scriptures helped in this study on the Feasts.

Hopefully, these resources will help others in their study of these unique Biblical holy days of the Old Testament.

“First Steps – Studies for Those New in the Faith”

“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death…so we too might walk in newness of life” – Romans 6-4

Author: Richard Cravy

This study outline is excellent for both personal study and group study with an emphasis on those new to Christianity. First Steps features 15 lessons in 4 sections. Each lesson is designed to be self-contained and used as a weekly lesson for a class format.

The four sections of First Steps are:

  1. First Steps to Understanding the Bible
  2. First Steps in Christian Evidences
  3. First Steps to Understanding Salvation
  4. First Steps in Christian Living

Extra Resources on the Feasts of Israel

Seeing_Jesus_CDs.jpgBack in November we announced the release of our 7 lesson series on Seeing Jesus in the Feasts of Israel. There were many resources I used while studying and presenting this series. Below are listed just a few of them:

Feasts and Holidays of the Bible foldout chart produced by Rose Publishing. Also worthwhile to make copies available to serious students in your audience. A set of 80+ Powerpoint slides is also available: Feasts & Holidays of the Bible PowerPoint CD-ROM.

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