Just the other day someone asked me which Bible translation I preach and teach from. While I primarily use the NIV to preach and teach from that is only because the NIV is the first translation that I was exposed to. I’ve also used the NASB, KJV, and NKJV for preaching and teaching. It all depends upon the audience.
An easy way to compare and contrast verses in different translations is with a Bible program. I’ve personally been using QuickVerse since version 3 and I am currently using QuickVerse 2008. It’s not that I really, Really, REALLY like QuickVerse, but since I’ve been using it for over 10 years now I’ve built up quite a library. Unfortunately QuickVerse does not come with Hebrew. It hasn’t for years and for $800 it should come with more.
One of these days I’m going to take the plunge and buy Logos. Logos has been the “standard” in Biblical scholarship. I’ve just never been able to afford it! (The Scholar’s Library: Gold costs over $1,000!). Of course, they know it’s expensive, but you get what you pay for and it comes with Hebrew! Unlike QuickVerse, the Logos library is ever expanding. One other “bonus” is that if you really want this scholarly tool, they now offer a payment program.
The more economical BibleWorks (about $350) has Greek and Hebrew and a LOT of Bible translations. BibleWorks is good, affordable, and easy to use, but lacks many of the scholarly works in Logos.
So . . . money, money, money – these all cost money. So, what’s good AND free? e-Sword. e-Sword is a fully functional FREE Bible program – BUT if you want contemporary Bibles (like the NIV) you’ll need to start forking over ca$h and the modules vary in price and could easily start to add up to the price of BibleWorks.
Now, if you are just starting out in the ministry, don’t have a budget, maybe a student, and you’re broke – but you have an Internet connection (or can access one) there’s always the Biblegateway.com with dozens of FREE translations including Greek and Hebrew! Study “on the cheap” – but it gets the job done!
Registered students pay a $200 fee, but the good news is that you can go through the online course for free, just without help. Jeff Smelser is the minister of the Centreville church of Christ and has done a great job in putting the site together.
Greek Bible Study
If you want an excellent parallel Bible with NT Greek then Greek Bible Study is superb. The only caveat is that you have to register, but that is so you can take notes and it’s all FREE!
The New Testament Greek Lexicon
If you want a quick free and flexible lexicon, check out Crosswalk. You’ll find other tools linked from their site too!
Finally I’d like to give a tip of the hat to Duke University’s Dr. Mark Goodacre and his site The New Testament Gateway. Why should I list every great NT Greek site, when he’s got them?
A database of sermon illustrations is really useful to the preacher only when he cannot draw upon a real life scenario to make a point. Unfortunately for most of us, very few of us have lived long enough and done enough to have an illustration for every text in the Bible. So, where does a preacher go?
I have a few favorites.
Crosswalk.com has 10,000 Sermon Illustrations to search and pick from. Although I have personally found multiple dupes in their database, they still have quite a good collection.
SermonCentral.com is my second favorite place to get illustrations from. They’re my second favorite not because of a lack of material, but because I don’t like the search results when I look for something. I suppose if I was a paid PRO member the results might be better.
With that in mind, IF I was a paid subscriber, PreachingToday.com would be a nice resource, but unlike SermonCentral.com there are no freebies here. So, skip it unless you can work it into the church budget.
Some other places that I check out from time to time (in order of my personal preference) are:
One of the things that really gets a sermon, lesson, or class going is a good illustration. My own list of jokes and stories is found here:
Bible101.org Jokes & Stories
So, where do I visit for a good joke or story? One of my favorite places is Cybersalt.
Other sites with cartoons, and humor can be found here:
Church Mice – A Christian Comic
Church Mice: a Christian Cartoon by Karl Zorowski. Weekly sermons online. Click here to skip intro
Church and Family Cartoons by Tim Walburg
Church and family oriented cartoons by Tim Walburg – New cartoons added frequently usually every week
Theophilus is about following Jesus. Familiar situations portrayed with Theophilus, Brother Fairasee, and their friends in these cartoons will cause you to think, study, laugh and cry
The Back Pew – A Ministry of Clean Humor and Gods
Christian cartoons updated daily on thebackpew.com
The SideStream, Free Non-Traditional Christian Clipart
The Sidestreamtm, free Christian clipart, cartoons, comics and more
The Sheep Comics at Sheepcomics.com Inc.
The Sheep Comics. Join one lambs adventures in the corporate church as he searches for the truth about the Great Shepherd
Christian Jokes and Christian Humor – Christian Jokes with Riddles, Cartoons
Tickle your funny bone with Praize Christian Cartoons. We have clean comics for all ages
Christian Cartoons dot Com
Christian Cartoons dot Com: The Christian Cartoon & Comics Showplace and Resource Center
DuJour.ws – The Official DuJour Website by Robert Seymour – Topical
Topical humor with Harold and his friends
Katoon Knuggets by Troy Knechtel. Free daily updated Christian cartoons and illustrations
Toons: click on a toon to make it bigger
Creationist toons from Answers in Genesis.
Unlimited started in 1998 as Midweek Smile, a mailing list for clean humor or good quotes.
reverend fun :: todays cartoon
Reverend Fun: Bible based Christian cartoons updated daily
One of the most difficult things to do is to find a new ministry position. Well, finding one is easy, but whether or not you like them and they like you is another story.
I compiled this list for myself and shared it with a friend. It’s a list of sites that have listings for various ministries. Ministers can also post their desire to relocate on these sites. Of the sites listed, I like the first three the best. ACU’s site will also let you post your resume.
It has been my observation that Harding, the Chronicle, and ACU have the most updated lists and are therefore (IMHO) the best sources.
Of course, this same list is also a good place for churches to look for ministers! Like any minister would tell you, it is always nice when a church acknowledges them and either sends a “denial/no thank you/position filled” letter or a “congratulations/thank you/let’s talk” letter. It would also be nice if congregations would take down their listings after their positions are filled.
The same is true of ministers “looking” – to at least take themselves off of “looking” lists and to acknowledge congregations that were applied too that they are “no longer interested.”
Communication is the key here folks! We’re in that business, yet we struggle with effective communication. Good Bless in everyone’s search!