A list of recommended Bible commentaries by authors you can trust, several single commentaries, and an number of recommended Bible commentary series.
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This list of Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, and topical resources are for the novices and scholar alike and can help you choose the right ones for your library.
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I list some serious tools here , but there is something for most anyone. These are the resources I use in Logos for the most intense part of Bible study. That is testing the translation and trying to gather up what is lost in the translation from the original language into English. I cover Bibles, lexicons, Grammars, and more.
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The logos library panel can show a person their most frequently used resources are and perhaps to ones dismay it can show a person which resources they have purchased and never used. Checkout my most used resources and see if some of them could improve your Bible study.
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The passage of Colossians 3:12-17 is such an integral part of the book that is difficult to divide this section into a smaller unit to study. The context covers most of the book. Yet we learn so much by examining these few verses closely. Upon salvation we “put on a new self.” (Colossians 3:10) Then we put on 6 virtues.
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?
Some of the wonders of the world, both modern and ancient, are structures people have built. Considerable pride of human accomplishment swells up within those who marvel at them. Indeed, they are impressive.
Adoption explains much about salvation.
Understanding all that happens to a person and their soul upon salvation is a complex subject. Systematic Theology devotes a whole section called “soteriology” to it.
I have taken up the hobby of creating original Midi music. I have always preferred instrumentals and I am enjoying my creations. Here are mp3 files of some of my music. Listen and/or download them if you like. People often tell me it sounds like the background music of a movie. I have no idea what genre they would be classified as they are all instrumentals without lyrics.
I seem to enjoy them more than most people, but you might find something you like. There is some variety in them. They are in alphabetical order by file name. I originally posted all of my songs. But they included the good and the ugly ones. I am currently posting the top 15 of my 55 pieces.
License: These copyrighted songs/pieces are “as is” for your enjoyment and are not to be modified without prior written permission granted by Daniel Gray. They may be used in personal and public works with some limitations.
- Music credit must be given to “Daniel Gray, www.basichurch.org”.
- The work must not be, or include profane, discriminational, ungodly or anti-Christian material.
- The final work/product must be free of charge to use/listen to, or view and not sold.
1. If you know what delight sounds like, maybe this catches a glimpse of it. Uses 2 pianos, 2 guitars with drums. Named: A Measure of Delight. File: A_measure_of_Delight.mp3
2. This is my first song using the Ample guitar M II Lite. Drums accompany it. Not named yet. File: Ample1.mp3
3. Piano, strings, bass, and drums. Named: City Life. File: CityLife.mp3
4. The coffee tends to resist mixing with cream. Tension builds and the swirling begins. Enjoy your coffee, black. Piano, strings, bass, and drums. Name: Coffee And Cream. File: CoffeeAndCream.mp3
5. This is the kind of music a father might write when his daughter moves out to marry her husband. Guitar,piano, strings, and drums. Not named yet. File: Melody27c.mp3
6. A very peaceful piece. Piano, saxophones, Bass, Sonatina Tuba, and drums with sound effects. Not named yet. File: Melody 36b.mp3
7. A beautiful calming piece, Piano, Sonatina tuba, drums. Not named yet. File: Melody37c.mp3
8. A interesting piece that reminds me of people in a disagreement. Organ, piano, bass. The Argument. File: Melody39.mp3
9. I named it The Enchanted Forest, I am told it is a happy enchantment. A relaxing piece. Piccolo, 2 guitars, bass, and drums. Named: Enchanted Forest. File: Melody42b.mp3
10. A low keyed mellow piece but not boring. Piano, guitar, bass, strings, and drums. Not named yet. File: Melody44.mp3
11. A simple piece with 2 guitars, bass, and drums. Not named yet. File: Meloday50a.mp3
12. This is a busy Piece with 6 instruments. 2 guitars, piano, ukulele, bass, and drums. Not named yet. File: Melody58.mp3
13. This is the one piece where my wife said she thought I was on to something. Guitars, bass, drums, The piano carries the melody as the organ sets the rhythm. Not named yet. File: Melody64.mp3
14. 2 Pianos, organ, bass, and drums. Not named yet. File:Melody70b .mp3
15. A fun energetic piece. Imagine your neighborhood jogger loving every moment and making the most of every step. Piano, synthesizer, strings, flute, saxophones, and sound effects. Named: The Happy Jogger. File:The_Happy_Jogger.mp3
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This is a Christian website and Basichurch.org holds solely to Christian beliefs and doctrines based on the Bible.
- We believe the Bible
- There is only one true God.
- God is a Triune being
- There is only one way to God.
- We are all a work in progress.
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
- There is a heaven and a hell.
- God has foretold the end times.
We Believe the Bible (Return To Top)
We must know what the Bible is before the title above can have any real meaning. We must first ask, “What is the Bible?” You will see a link for “What is the Bible” when I get it written.
To put it simply, the Bible is the word of God. The revelation of Himself, His desires, and His love for us. The Bible is accurate in everything it addresses and is without contradiction within itself. We approach the Bible seeking to understand its message literally unless a passage indicates it one should read it differently such as in the poetic passages. We seek to understand the intended meaning of the author as the original readers would have understood the Bible in their time and culture. Any other way of reading the Bible leads to misunderstandings and apparent contradictions.
Be believe all sixty-six books of the Bible are the verbally inspired word of God. The Bible is the only inspired word of God. The Bible is useful for understanding what God has revealed to us of Himself, his desire for us to have a relationship with Him, and how we can have a relationship with Him. The Bible consisting of its sixty-six books and the evidence of Him in Creation are the only revelations God has us. This is why we believe the Bible.
There is only one true God. (Return To Top)
The God of the Biblea god is anything a person worships, there are many gods. Some of these objects of worship may have an evil spirit associated with them; however, there is only one true god. He is a holy god whose name is greatly revered, so we usually simply call Him God instead of using his personal name.
God is the necessary cause of all creation. Without Him nothing would exist other than Himself for he is eternal and the creator of all other things that exist.
God Is A Triune Being. (Return To Top)
The Bible explicitly states there is only one god, yet there is The Father, The Son (Jesus) and The Holy Spirit. The Bible attributes deity to each of these. Therefore, we understand God is triune, three persons, yet only one god having one essence and cannot divide into separate entities parts. Theologians refer to this as the trinity or the Godhead. It has been the Christian understanding of God from the beginning on and remains the traditional position of the Christian faith.
Let me say to clarify in the beginning of Christianity, people relied on the Old Testament scriptures and the teachings of the apostles. The church did not formulate any doctrines until after the writing of the New Testament and its scrolls gathered and carefully studied. These doctrines assist us in and discussing Biblical concepts.
The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirt are united not only in essence but also in purpose. God is a living sovereign being, self-existent without beginning or end. The Bible describes God as being present everywhere, knowing all things, unlimited in power and unchanging. God is holy, righteous, and full of goodness and truth. God is complex and exceeds our comprehension in many ways, perhaps in every way. We appreciate the mystery of God and anticipate knowing more of His mystery when we get to heaven.
There is only one way to God. (Return To Top)
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. Matthew 7:13 (NASB95)
A narrow or a wide view of something has no bearing on its truthfulness. 1+2 is always 3. That is a very narrow view but always true. A person can work an algebra problem and show 1=2 using math, but you must break the rules of math to get 1 = 2. That is un-math that leads to untruth. The age-old question, “What is truth?” has become now the common statement, “There is no truth” or “Truth is relative.”
Truth seems elusive after so many lies and partial truths thrown at us by advertising, overwhelming our senses. It seems easier to not accept anything as truth than to sort through all the available information. Probability statistics might indicate the designation of “untruth” or “partial truths” fits all information. The same probability would erroneously say the narrow view that 1+2=3 is not true.
Adam and Eve faced a similar dilemma in the Garden of Eden. God had given them one rule. "Don’t eat of the forbidden tree or you will die." The serpent told them they would not die but instead would be like God knowing good and evil. They chose wrong, they died and all of humanity condemned to death. We all die. We cannot choose not to accept the reality and truth of death.
God set forward a plan to redeem humanity, individual by individual. Each person making the choice for themselves to serve God, or not. Just as in the case of Adam and Eve, there are other voices saying different things like, “any plan will do.” God’s plan is salvation and redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah (the promised one).
“And there is salvation in no one else;
for there is no other name under heaven
that has been given among men by which
we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 (NASB95)
The context of the Bible verse above says that only Jesus Christ can save us. There is no other alternative according to God.
We are all a work in progress and not perfected on earth. (Return To Top)
There are various kinds of Christians. Most Christians are Christian by name only and not Christian at all. There are those who were told they were Christian. Perhaps even born Christian. Others said a prayer once and pronounced “saved” and told nothing could change that no matter what they ever did wrong. For them there is no sense of sin and no need for change in their lives. To God they are no different than any other sinner who resists his love.
Others may have had a religious experience but did not nurture their relationship with God. They do not spend time with God to maintain their relationship. They do not read their Bibles, pray, or fellowship with Christians. Jesus once told a parable of seeds that sprouted. Some of the seeds were fried by the sun while others were choked out by overcrowding weeds. In the end these seeds died out and never amounted to anything. This is the story of many would be “Christians.” To God they are no different than any other sinner who resists his love.
Then there are what I would call the real Christian or the true authentic Christian. Some would say “a follower of Christ.” These are people who became conscious of their sins. They understood their sins displeased God and they chose to turn away from their sins. In their hearts, they came to hate the sin in their lives. They realized Christ had to die on the cross because of their sins. Their hearts turned away from their sins. Also, with their will power they implemented changes to avoid sinning against God again. They also let the Holy Spirit help and guide them to a godly life. They repented of their sins with their mind, heart, and will.
They desire God. They desire His love and the personal relationship He offers them. For them, to pick up a Bible and learn of God is bliss and time spent talking with Him is lovely. Time spent with fellow Christians is a source of encouragement and strength for them. To God they are His child.
This may sound like the perfect “Christian.” However, God is working on them all along the way. The Christian will never reach a state of perfection by God’s standard. God’s spirit will direct the Christian to examine various things in their life. When the Christian is sensitive to this leading of the Lord, they will address the issue and repent. This happens many times over as God nudges them toward holiness through this process of sanctification. Through this process Christians become more like Christ, more holy though still imperfect, but a forgiven sinner, and getting better all the time. The authentic Christian is a work in progress as the Lord guides them toward holiness.
Some people live in constant self condemnation. This is not healthy physically or spiritually. We must let God forgive us and we must forgive ourselves. But if you are not experiencing spiritual growth in your Christian walk, you should be asking why. If your church is not teaching this it should, the New Testament of the Bible uses the words sanctify, sanctified and sanctification nearly thirty times. It is a significant theme in the Bible and should be part of our lives.
What kind of Christian are you? Does your life please God?
Bible verses: Psalm 139:23-24; Psalm 51:1-12; Romans 12:1–2; Colossians 1:10
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Return To Top)
The purpose of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are to help the church in her work of evangelizing the world. There are nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enters people when they become Christians. There is also a second blessing of being “filled with the Holy Spirit” which is often referred to as “the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Some people claim this vanished with the Apostles of the New Testament. This claim is unwarranted and unsupported by scripture.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for today and not expected to cease while the Church is on earth. The purpose of the being filled with the Holy Spirit is for empowerment to build the church and as a sign to those in need of Christ. This purpose continues until Christ comes to gather up his church and take them to heaven. God works through people to do miraculous things. He uses manifestation these gifts
See: Acts 2:4; 4:8; 4:31; 9:17; 13:9; 13:52; 1:8
There are nine gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Cor 12:4-10. There are no other gifts of the Spirt found in scripture.
The gifts of the Spirit are:
- The word of Wisdom
- The word of Knowledge
- Gifts of healings
- Gift of miracles, Miraculous powers.
- Discernment of spirits
- Kinds of tongues
- Interpretation of tongues.
Some people believe there are more than the nine gifts of the Spirit listed above. They look at Ephesians 4:11-14. This does not list any Gifts of the Spirit. Rather it lists the roles within the church that God has called people to fill for the purpose of “equipping of the saints for the work of service” and “the building up of the body of Christ” (NASB95) This is understood from the context. The gift is to the churches and this gift to the churches are the people filling these roles in the church. Any addition of gifts to the nine above will distort the understanding of the gifts. Read Ephesians 4:11-14 in its context in several translations and you will see it is not listing gifts of the Spirit.
- People to be apostles
- People to be prophets
- People to be evangelist
- People to be pastors
- People to be teachers
1 Peter 4:10 is another place some find additional gifts. Really it tells people how to use their gifts to serve as a good steward of their gift. There are no additional gifts listed. Some of the gifts of the Spirit involve speaking. Verse 11 simply says to speak “as one who is speaking the utterances of God.” All the gifts are used in service of God and in a spirit of love. Peter is telling us how the gifts are to be used. Be careful of the context of verses people use to identify additional gifts of the spirit. Otherwise it can be misleading. 1 Cor 12:28 does not discuss the gifts of the Spirit either.
The gifts of the Spirit are different than natural God given abilities and not identified by personality test. Not to say personality test are not useful to churches for finding the best service areas for volunteers. They are useful in helping people find their place of fulfilling service within the church body. There are books available to help a person discover their spiritual gifts. These are personality test and have nothing to do with properly understanding or identifying the gifts of the Spirit a person has.
The operation of the gifts of the Spirit should be within a church congregation trained to understand the scriptures relating to the operation of the gifts. There are checks and balances in their use.
There is accountability. This is what is lacking in the ministry of so called “televangelist.” The faith movement ministries designed to line someone’s pockets with riches are disgraceful and harmful. They draw in people by the lure of wealth rather than the desire for God and the people miss God.
The same is true of the person exercising the gifts outside the oversite of such a congregation. The church must evaluate the words of the prophets. The gifts of healing results in the instant or near instantaneous and lasting healing.
Documenting the healings done through a person with the gift of healing allows one to see if they are truly healings. Sometimes they are not healings at all but only some physical manifestation that seems like something occurred. Other times, the healing is short lived. If the documented healings are not real and lasting, the person should stop because it is not God do it. Such a person is doing more harm than good assuming (or pretending) to have the gift because they do not. When God heals, it is a “real” healing that serves a purpose. The gifts of the Spirit are wonderful.
A person must be filled with the Holy Spirit before a person they receive any of the gifts of the Spirit. A person knows they have been filled with the Holly Spirit when they experience glossolalia, speaking in tongues. This is “the first initial physical evidence” of the filling of the Holy Spirit. The Assemblies of God emphasizes this in their training for minsters and I believe is it something they really got right. If a person has not experienced glossolalia, they do not have any gifts of the Spirit because it is “the first initial physical evidence” of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
See: Acts 2:1-4; 10:44-46; 19:1-6; 8:14-19
There is a heaven and a hell. (Return To Top)
Are heaven and hell for real? Yes, Heaven and hell exist. The resurrection of Christ proves there is an afterlife. Let us see what the Bible says about heaven and hell.
The word “Heaven” heaven in the Bible around 450 times. The Hebrew word and the Greek word translated heaven means “sky.” The phrase “heaven and earth” refers to the universe. Perhaps a good definition of the words translated heaven would be “off the earth.” Exactly where “off the earth” a passage addresses requires careful attention to the context of the passage.
There are three different Greek words translated as “hell.” They occur about fifteen times. Surprisingly, scholars write few pages about heaven while writing many about hell. One must be careful because Dante’s Inferno influences many people’s understanding of hell more than the Bible does.
The thing heaven and hell have in common is that they have to do with the afterlife. There would be no need for heaven or hell if there were no life after death. The Bible presents the afterlife as a given. Everyone who dies is resurrected. The Bible tells us the fact of Christ’s resurrection from the dead shows that we will also experience resurrection.
The Bible reveals two such resurrections in which the dead will rise and receive imperishable bodies. The Bible speaks of the first resurrection as the better resurrection. It gathers up those who have loved and served God and takes them to heaven. About a thousand years later the second resurrection gathers up everyone else for their eternity in hell.
The two resurrections are for two groups of people and separate purposes. The resurrected receive bodies that will last for eternity. There is a place for those who have chosen God and another place for those who closed off God and rejected Him in their earthly life. The Bible describes heaven as the abode of God. To be in heaven is to be with God. Hell is where the devil and his evil angles met their punishment away from the Lord along with the ungodly. The Bible does not reveal anything of anyone ever leaving hell.
The resurrections are real and so are heaven and hell.
For further reading: 1 Cor 15, 1 Cor 15:42; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 5:28-29; Heb 11:35; Rev 20:15; Mt 25:41; 2 Thessalonians 1:9
God has foretold the end times. (Return To Top)
Here is a brief “history” of the future. There will be a “great time of tribulation” followed by a thousand years of peace. The devil will cause the nations to fight against God. There is a good ending and a bad ending. Your ending depends completely on what you have done with Jesus during your life on earth.
God knew the history of the world from beginning to end before He even created the universe. It was no surprise to Him when Adam and Eve sinned. There is still history to be made on earth and God has revealed some of it to us in the Bible. It all fits into His plan and purpose.
God made promises to Israel and their ancestors. He will bless them. Some of them are yet to fulfilled. They will be satisfied in the future. The lands of the nation Israel have yet to expand to the boundaries God described to them. But they will.
Jesus will return to earth to gather up the believers, those that are decease and those living. They receive bodies that will last forever. These resurrected godly people go to heaven with Jesus.
There will be a great tribulation after Jesus takes away the godly people. These seven years will show what life is like without the influence of God or the influence of His godly people on earth. There seems to be three rulers during this time. One of them is the anti-Christ. The three rulers will implement a false religion that seems to mimic Christianity in some ways by forming an unholy trinity.
a thousand years of peace follows that time because God restricts the devil from the earth while Christ rules. This will show what life is like without the devil influencing people, and everyone following Jesus. It will be like life in the garden of Eden in many ways. If the extended peace time is not enough, consider people may not die during this time. That may sound far fetch but are scientist working even today to extend the human lifespan. In some ways it will be kind of like heaven.
At the end of the thousand-year rule, God unleashes the devil. The devil causes the nations of the world to turn against God. There will be a great battle called Armageddon where a tremendous number of people die. This will prove our human nature to resist God. It also shows the devil is all about destruction and discord. God sentences the devil and his demons to hell for eternity. Jesus finally raises up the dead. They are all godless people. Everyone from this resurrection is guilty and sentenced to hell for eternity.
The explanations of the end times can vary greatly on some points. I have sought to avoid points of contention as much as possible in this description. The hope is that people understand that God is always in control and the world is not careening off on its own. There is a good ending and a bad ending. Your ending depends completely on what you have done with Jesus during your life on earth.
This is a bibliography list of resources that earned a footnote in an article. This list does not include all resources consulted in the process of writing. But It provides a person with an overview of the kind of resources used in researching articles on Basichurch.org. There are currently almost 50 resources used.