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The NASB is getting updated to NASB 2020

IN CASE YOU ARE UNAWARE, the Lockman Foundation is in the process of updating the New American Standard Bible translation. I’ve been following their progress for awhile now. I’m regularly checking the status of their progress and posting them at: NASB 2020 Update news and review, last updated on October 2, 2019. Check it out.

May the peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

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Rob Oberto, D.Min, is the award-winning author of Intimacy with God, available from Amazon. ©2018-2019 Rob Oberto, All Rights Reserved.

NASB 2020 Update News and Review

The Lockman Foundation Translation Committee is updating the New American Standard Bible. Zondervan expects the NASB 2020 to arrive in the Spring of 2021. They also say that the 1995 edition will continue to be sold after the NASB 2020 edition is released.

In this post, we examine the NASB 2020 passages released as of March 26, 2019. I stopped adding new ones because these are sufficient examples of the type of changes they are making:

Bible on table with Candle

Continue reading “NASB 2020 Update News and Review”

It had me at Meow.

This post is a diversion from my normal blogging topic, but I wanted to share it with you anyway.

I‘ve never liked cats. There was a time when I tried to befriend them, but I gave up after getting scrapes up my arms from sudden paw strikes. How can they go from a delightful purr to a vengeful, snarling, instantaneous, all claws-out swipe?? I gave up. Dogs were better. Most want to be your friend. Cats…who knows what they want.

Photo by Ruca Souza from Pexels.

But yesterday, I met the most delightful black cat. I was working outside when he wandered up to our house. I first heard his meowing; he meowed frequently. I had only seen him, at least I think it was him, on our security video. He would trigger it in the early morning hours by walking across our front yard. This was the first time I saw him in real-time.

He hung around me. He liked to be patted. He crawled up on my lap and genuinely seemed to like me. He became interested in what I was doing, chased blowing leaves, and played with the small branches of my tree trimming efforts. If I stooped down, he’d come right over for a pat and a snuggle, and he followed me around. He was everything I wanted in a dog. This went on for more than an hour. But he kept meowing as though he was looking for something or calling out to someone.

I checked his license and called the county to find out if the cat was lost. In his mind, I think he was lost, but in reality, he lived just two streets over. When I went back outside, he was across the street meowing and walking the fence line between us and the road to his house. There is solid fencing on all the yards in the direction of his home. It was then that I realized he couldn’t find an opening through the fence, and that he doesn’t jump.

So, I thought maybe, for the first time in my life, I’d get a cat to go on a walk. Cats don’t go on walks with people. They only look at you like you’re an ignorant human who serves them food. Yet, I thought I’d try. Sure enough, he followed me. Oh, he chased a few leaves and my shadow on the way, but he kept up with me as I led him around all the fences . Once we rounded the corner of the next street over, he recognized where he was and ran toward his home.

I’ve never liked cats. My daughters do. One has two of them. However, I was kinda’ hoping this guy was lost, and his owner couldn’t be located, so he could stay here with us and I’d name him Pal. I’m glad he found his way home, but I miss him.

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Rob Oberto, D.Min., is the award-winning author of “Intimacy With God” available from Amazon. ©2019 Rob Oberto, All Rights Reserved.

The #1 Read Bible vs The Bestselling Bible

When it comes to Bible translations, I’m apparently out-of-sync with the majority according to The Barna Group and the ECPA (below). My #1 preferred Bible translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible. I expected to change to the updated version of it, see my review of the Christian Standard Bible, when it came out in 2017, but I didn’t. The gender neutrality language was a big factor, but, more importantly, my two daughters gave me the Holman Christian Standard Study Bible as a Christmas present in 2012. So, it tugs at my heartstrings and it has my name nicely engraved in gold on the front leather cover. The HCSB has some shortcomings, but, by-and-large, I find it to be the most accurate and readable.

My morning devotions at Cape Cod, MA

The New American Standard 2020 update is in the works. The previous link will take you to my ongoing review of it. I had great expectations for this update. So far, however, I’m not thrilled by the 2020’s passages that the Lockman Foundation has been releasing. It’s a plus/minus kind of the thing. They’ve improved the translation of some passages, but they’ve also downgraded the translation of others by making them annoyingly wordy. To date, the negatives slightly outnumber the positives.

But this post is about the #1 Read Bible translation by all Bible readers, not just me. I was totally surprised to find — drum roll please — that the most often READ translation, according to The Barna Group in 2018, is the King James Version with the New International Version a distant second. Statista reports the following:

However, the King James Version is not the Bestselling Bible. I find this very interesting. According to the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s Bible Bestseller List, the New International Version is actually the BESTSELLING Bible, with the KJV in second place, and the English Standard Version ranking third in both lists.

Yes, I see that my favored HCSV is not on either list, and I see that the Christian Standard Bible is in fifth place. That’s okay. The question, though, is how can the King James Version be the most read while the New International Version is the Bestselling? For me, and everyone I know, the KJV is the least readable. From a readability standpoint, I would expect the New King James version to be preferred over the King James Version, but, oddly, it’s not.

So, how can it be the most read??? I believe there are two reasons. First, the KJV has been around for the longest time. It’s tradition. Also, a good many churches believe it is the only English version authorized by God. Trevin Wax, via The Gospel Coalition, wrote an excellent article summarizing the King James Only Controversy.

The second, is that the KJV is in public domain. Which means anyone can publish it for free, plus publishing costs of course. It also means, that anyone can quote it, at length, free of copyright infringement considerations. This makes it more available in print and online, and less expensive than all other options.

I don’t know which translation you favor, but, in addition to the Greek and Hebrew originals, I regularly consult several when studying, researching, or teaching. However, for my personal devotions, I’m sticking with the Bible my daughters lovingly gave me for Christmas in 2012. I gave my wife an NIV Study Bible a few years ago, and our daughters read the ESV, I believe. That makes them more in line with the majority of readers. Most importantly, they are fully devoted to Christ in every area of their lives. This is the goal of every translation. So, go for it King James readers! What’s most important is that we are reading it! 

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Dr. Rob Oberto is the award-winning author of “Intimacy With God” available from Amazon. ©2019. All Rights Reserved.

The Courageous Faith of Joseph and Mary

I‘m reposting this from last year because, once again I find myself impressed by the courage and faith of Joseph and Mary. A lot of things could have happened to them in their time and culture. Per the Law of Moses, for example, intimate relations between a legally betrothed [engaged] couple could carry the death sentence. Any case lodged against them would have been very difficult to defend against because she would bring into court the irrefutable evidence of her bulging tummy.

Continue reading “The Courageous Faith of Joseph and Mary”

Is Christmas a Pagan Holiday?

During the Christmas season you will hear some Grinch say: “Christmas is just a pagan holiday.” That statement casts doubt on the validity of Christmas in the hearts of all who hear it. But is it true? In a post last year, I researched this question and discovered the reason for the statement and why we can confidently know that Christmas is not a pagan holiday.  Go to post.

Asia Bibi can’t leave in deal with protesters demanding her death

THIS NEWS IS VERY SAD. After Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquitted Asia Bibi on October 31st, the hard-line Islamist movement Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) took to the streets in massive protests throughout Pakistan demanding her public execution by hanging.

As The Guardian reports: “Bibi, a Christian farm labourer, was acquitted of blasphemy on Wednesday. She had spent eight years on death row after she drank from the same cup as a Muslim, prompting false allegations that she insulted the prophet Muhammad.”

candle on old wooden background

Persecution.org reports:

“Extremist groups have called for the Supreme Court Justices to be killed and for their decision to be reviewed.” In fear of his life, Asia Bibi’s lawyer Saif-Ul-Malook, the Supreme Court Advocate for Asia Bibi, has fled the country.

I think I have absolutely no safety,” Malook told NDTV. “No security and I am the easiest target… anybody can kill me.

“Despite this lack of safety, Malook says that he has no regrets in taking up Bibi’s case.”

The Pakistani government defended the Supreme Court’s ruling and supported it militarily. However, the protests have dramatically disrupted the nation and caused $1.2B in damages. Now the ruling administration has struck a deal with the hard-line TLP that, according to the BBC:

  • Releases all protesters who were arrested and investigates any violence done against them
  • Starts a legal process to ban Asia Bibi from leaving the country
  • Asks protesters to stop and to disperse
  • Allows a petition to be filed that would force a review of Pakistan’s Supreme Court’s verdict of her acquittal

Asia Bibi is scheduled to be released later this week; a move that The Guardian says is her death warrant.

Sunday, November 4th, is the International Day of Pray for the Persecuted Church. Please pray for:

  • Asia’s protection and escape from Pakistan
  • The protection of Pakistani Christians
  • God to confound the persecutors

May the peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

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Rob Oberto, D.Min., is the award-winning author of “Intimacy With God” available from Amazon. ©2018 Rob Oberto, All Rights Reserved.

#asiabibi

Asia Bibi acquitted of blasphemy! Allowed to leave Pakistan.

Prayer answered!! More needed. Late last night the news reported that on October 31, Pakistan’s supreme court’s decided to acquit Asia Bibi, keep her safe, and allow her to leave the country. Christians around the globe have been praying for her ever since she was arrested on false blasphemy charges in 2009.

Asia Bibi_Praise_AdobeStock_95194359

The Pakistani supreme court’s decision was challenging and dangerous. The mob pressure to execute her was, and still is, intense. Many want her dead because someone accused her of blasphemy against Mohammad. They have been chanting “Hang infidel Asia.” The Guardian reports: Protests erupt in Pakistan after blasphemy conviction overturned – video.

IDOP_Social Media Image

The judges overturned Asia Bibi’s death sentence because there was no evidence to support the charges against her. Hearsay is not evidence. Much to their credit and courage, the court made its decision facing threats of being viciously killed unless they executed her. Yet, if they found her innocent, the minority Christians throughout Pakistan would be placed in greater peril than normal. Despite all the threats, potential repercussions, and controversy, they adhered to the evidence of law and the principal that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

CBS summed-up the court’s decision saying: “The Supreme Court concluded that it was ‘inescapable’ that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against Asia Bibi, a mother of five who was convicted in 2010 for insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad during an argument. She remained on death row while appealing the case.”

International Christian Concern reported: “Bibi, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy in 2009, was the only woman in Pakistan’s history to be sentenced to death under the country’s notorious blasphemy laws. The 56-page judgment, authored by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nasir, found that the prosecution against Bibi had not proved the blasphemy charges beyond a reasonable doubt and that the presumption of innocence remained with the accused.”

The hours days and weeks to come will expose the heart and soul of the people of Pakistan. I thank God for opening the hearts of the judges to do the right thing by acquitting Asia Bibi, protecting her, and allowing her to leave the country. I pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal God’s righteousness to the Pakistani people, and that they will find peace in Christ. I pray that my own country will do the same as the mobs here are also rising up against law and order, and committing violence against any opposing their pursuit of political control.

May the peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

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Rob Oberto, D.Min., is the award-winning author of “Intimacy With God” available from Amazon. ©2018 Rob Oberto, All Rights Reserved.

#Asiabibi

 

 

Please pray for Asia Bibi’s acquittal and God’s abundant grace in Pakistan.

OUR PRAYER IS CRITICAL at this very moment. Asia Bibi is a Christian Pakistani mother of five who has been languishing in prison since 2010. I’ve been following her process through Pakistan’s judicial system for several years. Her final appeal was made to a special, three-member bench of Pakistan’s Supreme Court on October 12th, 2018. The judges are deciding her fate. Their decision is expected by the end of October. You can see a picture of Asia on the American Center for Law and Justice’s October 18th update, where she is asking for our prayers.

candle on old wooden background

International Christian Concern’s report on October 16, explains:

The accusation against Bibi stems back to an argument between Bibi, a Christian, and her Muslim coworkers in 2009. Bibi’s coworkers became very angry with Bibi after she used the same water bowl as the Muslims. In Pakistan, Christians are often associated with being low caste and untouchable. In the argument that followed, Bibi’s coworkers claim that she used derogatory language against the Prophet Muhammad, violating Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws.

Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are often abused to settle personal scores or incite religious hatred. Little to no evidence is typically needed beyond an accusation to incite mob violence against the individual accused and the border community that individual represents if a member of a minority community.

The crowds are demanding she be executed by hanging, see The Christian Post’s article, and they have threatened Pakistan’s Supreme Court justices with horrible deaths if they release her. Yet, her release will result in a fury of persecution against Pakistan’s minority Christians. This decision, however, will reach beyond Pakistan’s borders to every Islamic country, and every Muslim-Christian interaction. The situation is a powder-keg that only God’s power, grace, and wisdom can defuse. Your prayer is needed.

Please pray for:

  • Asia’s release, her family, and her continued faith
  • The protection of Pakistan’s Christians
  • God to confound and convert the persecutors.
  • God to open the hearts of the judges to His righteousness

May the peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

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Rob Oberto, D.Min., is the award-winning author of “Intimacy With God” available from Amazon. ©2018 Rob Oberto, All Rights Reserved.

Husbands Love Our Wives as Jesus Commands — Pastor Unlikely

I’m sharing this recent post of my blogger friend Pastor Unlikely. His message is a good reminder of the example of love that Jesus modeled for us. Enjoy!

Jesus Gave Everything for His Bride We are often derailed from the marriage that Jesus wants for us by our innate desire to protect ourselves. Too often we apply the world’s wisdom to our relationships and not God’s. 1,356 more words

via Husbands Love Our Wives as Jesus Commands — Pastor Unlikely