Book Review – Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary

JP: We are giving one of these away in the name the class contest.

Book Review – Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary


The Bible is a big book, and since the nineteenth century, many big Bible dictionaries have been published to assist readers and students of the Bible to understand important words, concepts and background information. The most recent effort in the field of Bible dictionaries is the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary (ZIBD). This dictionary is Moisés Silva’s substantial revision and expansion of Zondervan’s previous Bible dictionaries, the Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary (ed. Merrill C. Tenney) and the New International Bible Dictionary (ed. J. D. Douglas).

ZIBD is, in all technical aspects, quite well done. The full color photographs, maps, and charts are helpful without being overdone so as to dominate the text. The introduction is entirely correct when it says that “the new artistic design and use of fonts greatly enhance the attractiveness and clarity of the work” (v). In the articles I compared with the original Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary, the changes in wording improved the clarity. One other commendable point is that the publisher has kept the price affordable for such a large volume, as well as making a Kindle version available for those who prefer an ebook.


The Seven Churches of Revelation – Part 1

Pergamon Altar

JP: Notes for Sunday December 11th. Image above: The Pergamon Altar

Name the Class

Now that there are two young adult classes at 4th we need to come up with a name for ourselves.

The process will be:

The small print (contest rules): This Contest will be governed by the laws of the State of Minnesota, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts of the State of Minnesota for any disputes arising out of this Contest. If someone cheats, or a virus, bug, catastrophic event, or any other unforeseen or unexpected event that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled, (also referred to as force majeure) affects the fairness and / or integrity of this Contest, we reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this Contest. This right is reserved whether the event is due to human or technical error. If a solution cannot be found to restore the integrity of the Contest, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Contest. If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Contest by hacking or by cheating or committing fraud in ANY way, we may seek damages from you to the fullest extent permitted by law. Further, we may ban you from participating in any of our future Contest, so please play fairly.

The Seven Churches of Asia

JP: For our study this Sunday

Clarence Larkin’s “The Messages to the Seven Churches compared with Church History”

Seven Churches of Revelation

JP: I do not subscribe to this view of the seven churches of Revelation, but we will discuss this briefly on Sunday. Image source: This chart is also in Clarence Larkin’s The Book of Revelation (p 19)

A large image of Larkin’s “The Messages to the Seven Churches compared with Church History” may be found here.

The notes of the Old Scofield Reference Bible also promulgates this view:

The messages to the seven churches have a fourfold application:

  1. Local, to the churches actually addressed;
  2. admonitory, to all churches in all time as tests by which they may discern their true spiritual state in the sight of God;
  3. personal, in the exhortations to him “that hath an ear,” and in the promise “to him that overcometh”;
  4. prophetic, as disclosing seven phases of the spiritual history of the church from, say, A.D. 96 to the end. It is incredible that in a prophecy covering the church period, there should be no such foreview. These messages must contain that foreview if it is in the book at all, for the church does not appear after Revelation 3:22 . Again, these messages by their very terms go beyond the local assemblies mentioned. Most conclusively of all, these messages do present an exact foreview of the spiritual history of the church, and in this precise order. Ephesus gives the general state at the date of the writing; Smyrna, the period of the great persecutions; Pergamos, the church settled down in the world, “where Satan’s throne is,” after the conversion of Constantine, say A.D. 316. Thyatira is the Papacy, developed out of the Pergamos state: Balaamism (worldliness) and Nicolaitanism (priestly assumption) having conquered. As Jezebel brought idolatry into Israel, so Romanism weds Christian doctrine to pagan ceremonies. Sardis is the Protestant Reformation, whose works were not “fulfilled.” Philadelphia is whatever bears clear testimony to the Word and the Name in the time of self-satisfied profession represented by Laodicea.

A Vision of Christ

JP: My notes from Revelation chapter 1. Image above = Cave of the Apocalypse on Patmos

Seven Churches of Asia