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#1 Julie Falling

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:33 PM

As a Sunday school teacher, I am frequently asked for recommendations from students and their parents. Having access to as many solidly evangelical study Bibles as possible is a real asset for me as a teacher and as a student. This particular study Bible bills itself as being conservative and comprehensive. I'd like to have it in Accordance and really don't want to invest in a hard copy.

Edited by Julie Falling, 14 November 2012 - 04:34 PM.

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#2 R. Mansfield

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:36 PM

If I'm correct, the NASB Study Bible from Zondervan is basically the same as the NIV Study Bible, but the notes have been adapted to quote from the NASB.

So, you may already have it and simply not realize it. I've got two different editions of the NIV Study Bible in my Accordance library.
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#3 Julie Falling

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:45 PM

Thanks, Rick. I did see that when I was reading up on the NASB version but had forgotten that Accordance has it. I wonder how different the notes are?

I appreciate it when a commentary (which is what study Bible notes are, right?) let's me know when the author thinks the translators blew it. And, frankly, every version falls down somewhere in my opinion. I may just dive in and get the Zondervan NIV version. I will confess that I am not a big NIV fan. At the same time, I have a bunch of commentaries based on the NIV that do correct the text when NIV got it wrong.

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#4 R. Mansfield

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:52 PM

From what I understand, the notes are only different in regard to how they quote the translation. The actual content and explanation are the same.

Now what I don't know is whether the NASB Study Bible that Zondervan currently publishes contains the notes that were updated to the newer version of the NIV Study Bible notes from a few years back. The two versions I have in Accordance are the 1985 edition and the 2002 edition.

I would guess the older version is no longer available.

In regard to your not liking the NIV, fortunately Bible software lets you put the study notes next to whatever translation you prefer.

Update: I just looked at accordancebible.com and I actually don't see the NIV Study Bible listed with the Study Bible notes section. It may be a module not currently offered.

Edited by R. Mansfield, 14 November 2012 - 04:53 PM.

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#5 Julie Falling

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:08 PM

Being able to open study Bible notes with any translation I want is just one of many huge advantages of Bible software. And, yeah, I looked for the NIV Study Bible and couldn't find it, either. Hmm. Most of the Accordance folks are buried with the conferences, but maybe someone else may know what's going on. What was the code for the module? Sometimes it will come up that way.

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#6 R. Mansfield

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:17 PM

I looked them up in the Finder and see NIV Study Bible and NIV New Study Bible.atool

Attached File  Screen Shot 2012-11-14 at 5.12.26 PM.png   486.59KB   34 downloads

Incidentally, it looks like that .atool extension is something new and must have been included in the huge number of module updates (over 100) that I downloaded today.

I wonder if the distinction suggests a new functionality for some of the modules?
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#7 Julie Falling

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:47 PM

I had a bunch updates today, too, but half what you had.

Wonder what has happened to the NIV Study Bible? Your module is still being updated. I had wondered if the notes could have been released by Zondervan as a single volume (or two volume) commentary so that the study Bible notes were a duplicate, but can't find any indication that that had happened. Guess we'll have to wait for some Accordance folks for the answer.

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#8 williamk

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:02 PM

Rick is correct about NIVSB notes > NASBSB notes. The goal of the NASB project was singular: port the notes from the NIVSB and adapt them only insofar as required by the different wording of the NASB text. The NASBSB notes are not new -- only different to the degree needed to match the NASB.

#9 Julie Falling

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:06 PM

Thanks, William. It looks, however, like they are no longer available through Accordance.

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#10 Greg Terry

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:43 PM

I may be wrong, but I think the NIVSB notes were in the Accordance packages released by Zondervan, specifically, the Zondervan Essential Bible Study Suite. THat was my first official Accordance package. Perhaps, it might be rereleased some day as an Accordance module.
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#11 Julie Falling

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:06 PM

Sean R. posted in January that the Z. Essential Bible Study Suite is available here -

http://rejoicesoftware.com/zn_mac_essential.htm.

Well, can't get it from them, either, because it's been discontinued. Guess I'll just have to wait and see if it comes back to Accordance.

Edited by Julie Falling, 16 November 2012 - 10:35 AM.

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#12 Julie Falling

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:24 AM

Hey - I did a web search again, and the Zondervan Essential Bible Study Suite/Mac has been pulled from almost every site I could find that used to sell it. Disappointing. Now, I can buy it used for ~ $2000 off Amazon. Somebody called Abe Books is selling it for nearly $3000 and then has the gall to ask for another $3.99 for shipping! Seems a bit excessive.

I certainly would like to see the study Bible notes available in Accordance as a separate module.

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#13 arcanemuse

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:01 AM

Look on Amazon for the NIV Study Bible Complete Library. I just bought a used one for 50 bucks. You will find that the NIV Greek and NIV Hebrew won't install in the download and you will have to do some creative stuff to get them off the cd. I spent months looking for the 84 NIV. The new one is awful. I have it but I don't use it. That is a really good CD and has lots of cool stuff on it. Hope that you find one. :-)
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#14 Julie Falling

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:43 PM

I've decided to hold out until either the NIV version or the NASB version is (re)released in Accordance.

I have both versions of the NIV. I rarely use either except when comparing versions. I have more confidence in the essentially literal versions.

I have created workspaces specifically for comparing a lot of versions in a form from which I can copy. I have Eighteen, Sixteen, and Fourteen version workspaces (though the GNT-T is not a version). I find the form more useable that what is generated by a Search All of English Bibles. Colorful, too!

Attached File  Eighteen Bible Search.png   510.08KB   68 downloads

Edited by Julie Falling, 16 December 2012 - 03:07 PM.

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#15 Donovan R. Palmer

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:25 AM

I've decided to hold out until either the NIV version or the NASB version is (re)released in Accordance.
I have created workspaces specifically for comparing a lot of versions in a form from which I can copy. I have Eighteen, Sixteen, and Fourteen version workspaces (though the GNT-T is not a version). I find the form more useable that what is generated by a Search All of English Bibles. Colorful, too!


Wow, not only are you a poweruser, this is a work of art!

#16 Dan Francis

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:22 PM

I realize it is not exact1y what you are looking for but you might want to consider the ESV study Bible. I am going to pull off the notes for NIV and ESV for Mat 5 and psalm 1 for you to compare.


NIV STUDY

Ps 1-2 These two “orphan” psalms (having no title) are bound together by framing clauses (“Blessed is the man ... [whose] delight is in the law of the LORD”; “Blessed are all who take refuge in him”) that highlight their function as the introduction to the whole Psalter. Together they point on the one hand to God’s law and to the instruction of the wisdom teachers (Ps 1) and on the other hand to a central theme in the Prophets, both Former and Latter, namely, what Yahweh has committed himself to accomplish for and through his anointed king from the house of David (Ps 2). In this way these two psalms link the Psalter with the rest of the literature and alert those who take it in hand that to hear these psalms aright they must be understood within that larger frame of reference. At the same time, as the port of entry into the Psalter they make clear that those who would find their own voice in the psalms and so would appropriate them as testimonies to their own faith must fit the profile of those called “blessed” here. See also note on Ps 40-41.


Ps 1 Author and date unknown. Godly wisdom here declares the final outcome of the two “ways”: “the way of sinners” (v. 1) and “the way of the righteous” (v. 6). See 34:19-22; 37; see also essay, Wisdom Literature. As part of the introduction to the Psalter, this psalm reminds the reader (1) that those of whom the Psalms speak (using various terms) as the people of God, those whom he receives in his presence and favors with his salvation and blessing, must be characterized by delight in God’s revealed will—those who stubbornly choose the way of sinners have no place among them (v. 5; see Ps 15; 24)—and (2) that the godly piety that speaks in the Psalms is a faithful response to God’s revealed (and written) directives for life—which is the path that leads to blessedness. For a prime indicator of the psalm’s central theme cf. the first and last words, which frame the whole (“Blessed ... perish”).


1:1 Speaks progressively of association with the ungodly and participation in their ungodly ways. Blessed. The happy condition of those who revere the Lord and do his will (see 94:12; 112:1; 119:1-2; 128:1; Pr 29:18; cf. Ps 41:1; 106:3; Pr 14:21; Isa 56:2) and who put their trust in him (see 40:4; 84:5, 12; 144:15; 146:5; Pr 16:20; Isa 30:18; Jer 17:7; cf. Ps 2:12; 34:8). Reference is not first of all to health and wealth but to the assurance and experience that they live under the guardianship and faithful care of the gracious Lord of life. The Psalter begins by proclaiming the blessedness of the godly and ends by calling all living things to praise God in his earthly and heavenly sanctuaries (Ps 150). walk in. Order one’s life according to. counsel. Deliberations and advice (see Pr 1:10-19). stand. Position oneself. sinners. Those for whom wickedness is habitual—a way of life (see v. 5). sit. Settle oneself. mockers. Those who ridicule God and defiantly reject his law (see Pr 1:22 and note).


1:2 on his law he meditates. Seeking guidance for life in God’s law rather than in the deliberations of the wicked. day and night. See Jos 1:8.


1:3 like a tree ... does not wither. See Jer 17:8; a simile of the blessedness of the righteous. Such a tree withstands the buffeting of the winds and, flourishing, it blesses people, animals and birds with its unfailing fruit and shade.


1:4 like chaff ... blows away. A simile of the wretchedness of the wicked. Chaff is carried away by the lightest wind, and its removal brings about cleansing by extracting what is utterly useless (see note on Ru 1:22).


1:5 will not stand in the judgment. Will not be able to withstand God’s wrath when he judges (see 76:7; 130:3; Ezr 9:15; Mal 3:2; Mt 25:31-46; Rev 6:17). assembly. The worshiping assembly at God’s sanctuary (as in 22:25; 26:12; 35:18; 40:9-10; 111:1; 149:1; see Ps 15; 24). righteous. One of several terms in the OT for God’s people; it presents them as those who honor God and order their lives in all things according to his will. In every human relationship they faithfully fulfill the obligations that the relationship entails, remembering that power and authority (of whatever sort: domestic, social, political, economic, religious, intellectual) are to be used to bless, not to exploit.


1:6 way ... way. What is here said of the two “ways” applies by implication also to those who choose them (see 37:20).


ESV STUDY

Psalm 1. The first psalm serves as the gateway into the entire book of Psalms, stressing that those who would worship God genuinely must embrace his Law (or Torah), i.e., his covenant instruction. This psalm takes topics found in wisdom literature such as Proverbs and makes them the subject of song; the purpose is that those who sing the psalm will own its values—namely, they will want more and more to be people who love the Torah, who believe it, who see themselves as the heirs and stewards of its story of redemption and hope, and who seek to carry out its moral requirements. They can delight in the idea of being among the “righteous,” feeling that nothing can compare with such blessedness. By its sustained contrast, the psalm reminds readers that in the end there are really only two ways to live.


1:1–2 Contrasting Sources of Values. The truly happy person guides his life by God’s instruction rather than by the advice of those who reject that instruction.


1:1 Blessed. The truly happy person is happy because God showers him with favor. Jesus uses the Greek equivalent in Matt. 5:3–11; cf. also James 1:12. The Latin translation, beatus, is the source of the word beatitude. the man. A specific, godly individual (Hb. ha}ish, “the man”) is held up as an example for others to imitate. Such teaching by use of a concrete example is common in OT wisdom literature. wicked … sinners … scoffers. These are people, even within Israel, who refuse to live by the covenant; the godly person refuses to follow the moral orientation of such people’s lifestyle. Some have seen an increasing level of sinfulness in the terms “wicked-sinners-scoffers,” together with an increasing loyalty in the metaphors “walk-stand-sit”; however, it is likely that the terms “wicked” and “sinner” here are equivalent, while a “scoffer” is certainly more committed to evil (see note on Prov. 19:25–20:1).


1:2 the law of the LORD. As the ESV footnote indicates, this could be taken as God’s instruction (Hb. Torah, which often designates the Law of Moses), particularly as he speaks in his covenant. For this reason no one should ever think that such a person receives his blessedness by deserving it, since the covenant is founded on God’s grace. Meditates describes an active pondering, perhaps even muttering to oneself in pursuit of insight. Some suppose day and night speaks of the work of professional scholars who spend all their time pondering the words of the law, but in view of the similar instruction in Josh. 1:8, readers should see this as setting the ideal of facing every situation, be it ever so mundane, with a view to pleasing the Lord by knowing and following his Word.


1:3–4 Contrasting Fruitfulness. Here are two similes, based on agriculture in ancient Palestine, describing the effects of the two kinds of people.


1:3 The first image is that of a tree in a dry climate, which nevertheless thrives because of its constant supply of water. A tree bears fruit, not for itself, but for others; thus, when the faithful prospers, it is not for himself, nor is the prospering even necessarily material, but he succeeds in bringing benefit to others. See Jer. 17:8 for the same image.


1:4 wicked. See v. 1. chaff. This is the husks and straw removed by threshing, and it is lighter than the edible kernels; when a farmer tosses threshed wheat into the air, the wind drives away the chaff. Those who reject God’s covenant are like chaff in that they bring no benefit to anyone (cf. 35:5).


1:5–6 Contrasting Outcomes of Their Lives. These two verses lead readers to reflect on where these two kinds of life are headed, showing that God will make the contrast last forever.


1:5 Therefore indicates that these verses are the conclusion of the psalm. judgment. This could be any particular judgment that falls on the wicked in this life, but it is more likely the final judgment, which allows some to enter the congregation of the righteous, while excluding others (Eccles. 12:14).


1:6 Knows must be something stronger than simply “knows about,” since God knows about the wicked and their deepest secrets (cf. 94:8–11). Some have argued that the word means “cares for,” but it is better to take this as “knows with affection and approval, i.e., prefers” (cf. Gen. 18:19; Amos 3:2). will perish. That is, end in destruction.


NIV STUDY



5:1-7:29 The Sermon on the Mount is in effect King Jesus’ inaugural address, explaining what he expects of members of his kingdom. It is the first of five great discourses in Matthew (chs. 5-7; 10; 13; 18; 24-25; see Introduction: Structure). It contains three types of material: (1) beatitudes, i.e., declarations of blessedness (5:1-12), (2) ethical admonitions (5:13-20; 6:1-7:23) and (3) contrasts between Jesus’ ethical teaching and Jewish legalistic traditions (5:21-48). The Sermon ends with a short parable stressing the importance of practicing what has just been taught (7:24-27) and an expression of amazement by the crowds at the authority with which Jesus spoke (7:28-29). Opinion differs as to whether the Sermon is a summary of what Jesus taught on one occasion or a compilation of teachings presented on numerous occasions. Matthew possibly took a single sermon and expanded it with other relevant teachings of Jesus. Thirty-four of the verses in Matthew’s Sermon occur in different contexts in Luke than the apparently parallel Sermon on the Plain (Lk 6:17-49). The moral and ethical standard called for in the Sermon on the Mount is so high that some have dismissed the Sermon as being completely unrealistic or have projected its fulfillment to the future kingdom. There is no doubt, however, that Jesus (and Matthew) gave the Sermon as a standard for all Christians, realizing that its demands cannot be met in our own power. It is also true that Jesus occasionally used hyperbole to make his point (see, e.g., note on 5:29-30).


5:1 mountainside. The exact location is uncertain. It may have been the gently sloping hillside at the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee, not far from Capernaum (see note on Lk 6:20-49). The new law, like the old (Ex 19:3), was given from a mountain. sat down. It was the custom for Jewish rabbis to be seated while teaching (see Mk 4:1 and note; 9:35; Lk 4:20 and note; 5:3; Jn 8:2). disciples. Lit. “learners.” Since at the end of the Sermon the “crowds” expressed amazement at Jesus’ teaching (7:28), “disciples” may here be used in a broader sense than the Twelve. Or perhaps the Sermon is addressed to the Twelve with the crowds also listening.


5:3 Blessed. The word means more than “happy,” because happiness is an emotion often dependent on outward circumstances. “Blessed” here refers to the ultimate well-being and distinctive spiritual joy of those who share in the salvation of the kingdom of God. See notes on Ps 1:1; Rev 1:3. poor in spirit. In contrast to the spiritually proud and self-sufficient. theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom is not something earned. It is more a gift than a reward.


5:4 those who mourn. Over both personal and corporate sins (see Ezr 9:4; Ps 119:36).


5:5 meek. This beatitude is taken from Ps 37:11 (see note there) and refers not so much to an attitude toward people as to a disposition before God, namely, humility. the earth. The new promised land (see Rev 21:1; cf. note on Ps 37:9).


5:6 hunger and thirst for righteousness. Have a deep longing for both personal righteousness and justice for the oppressed.


5:8 heart. The center of one’s being, including mind, will and emotions (see note on Ps 4:7).


5:9 peacemakers. Those who promote peace, as far as it depends on them (Ro 12:18). In so doing, they reflect the character of their heavenly Father and so are called “sons of God” (see Jas 3:17-18).


5:10 Blessed. Because persecution provides an opportunity for believers to prove their fitness for the kingdom (see Heb 12:4-11 and notes). persecuted. Righteous living is often offensive to unbelievers (cf. v. 11). theirs is the kingdom of heaven. For the blessings of God’s kingdom see 3:2 and note.


5:13 salt. Used for flavoring and preserving (cf. Mk 9:50 and note). loses its saltiness. Most of the salt used in Israel came from the Dead Sea and was full of impurities. This caused it to lose some of its flavor.


5:14 light of the world. Although Jesus himself fulfilled the mission of the Lord’s servant to be “a light for the Gentiles” (Isa 42:6; see also Lk 2:32 and notes on Isa 49:6; Lk 2:31), he expected his followers to carry on the work (see vv. 15-16; cf. Jn 8:12; Php 2:15 and notes).


5:15 lamp. In Jesus’ day people used small clay lamps that burned olive oil drawn up by a wick (see note on Ex 25:37). bowl. A bowl that held about eight quarts of ground meal or flour.


5:16 praise your Father. Good deeds are not to be done in a public way for one’s own honor (“before men, to be seen by them,” 6:1) but for the glory of God (see 1Co 10:31; Php 1:11 and notes; 2:11). Father in heaven. Matthew uses the phrase “Father in heaven” or “heavenly Father” 17 times, Mark and Luke only once each, and John not at all.


5:17 the Law. The first five books of the OT. the Prophets. Not only the Latter Prophets—Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, which we call Major Prophets, and the 12 Minor Prophets (lumped together by the Jews as “the Book of the Twelve”)—but also the Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings). Taken together, “the Law” and “the Prophets” designated the entire OT, including the Writings, the third section of the Hebrew Bible. See 13:35, where Matthew introduces a quotation from the Writings (Ps 78:2) with “what was spoken through the prophet.” fulfill. Jesus fulfilled the Law in the sense that he gave it its full meaning. He emphasized its deep, underlying principles and total commitment to it rather than mere external acknowledgment and obedience.


5:18-20 Jesus is not speaking against observing all the requirements of the Law but against hypocritical, Pharisaical legalism. Such legalism was not the keeping of all details of the Law but the hollow sham of keeping laws externally to gain merit before God while breaking them inwardly. It was following the letter of the Law while ignoring its spirit. Jesus repudiates the Pharisees’ interpretation of the Law and their view of righteousness by works. He preaches a righteousness that comes only through faith in him and his work. In the rest of the chapter, he gives six examples of Pharisaical externalism.


5:18 smallest letter. One word in Greek (iota), which we use when we say, “It doesn’t make one iota of difference.” It is the nearest Greek equivalent to the Hebrew yodh, the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet (see Ps 119:73 title). least stroke of a pen. The Greek word for this phrase means “horn” and was used to designate the slight embellishment or extension of certain letters of the Hebrew alphabet (somewhat like the bottom of a “j”).


5:20 Pharisees. See note on 3:7. teachers of the law. See note on 2:4. kingdom of heaven. See note on 3:2.


5:21 it was said. The contrast that Jesus sets up (vv. 21, 27, 31, 33, 38, 43) is not between the OT and his teaching (he has just established the validity of the OT Law). Rather, it is between externalistic interpretation of the Rabbinic tradition on the one hand and Jesus’ correct interpretation of the Law on the other. murder. Several Hebrew and Greek verbs mean “kill.” The ones used here and in Ex 20:13 specifically mean “murder.”


5:22-24 brother. That is, brother or sister.


5:22 Raca. May be related to the Aramaic word for “empty” and mean “Empty-head!” Sanhedrin. See note on Mk 14:55. hell. The Greek word is ge(h)enna, which derives its name from a deep ravine south of Jerusalem, the “Valley of (the Sons of) Hinnom” (Hebrew ge’ hinnom). During the reigns of the wicked Ahaz and Manasseh, human sacrifices to the Ammonite god Molech were offered there. Josiah desecrated the valley because of the pagan worship there (2Ki 23:10; see Jer 7:31-32; 19:6). It became a sort of perpetually burning city dump and later a figure for the place of final punishment (see notes on Isa 66:24; Jer 7:31).


5:23-26 Two illustrations of dealing with anger by means of reconciliation.


5:25 Cf. Lk 12:57-59.


5:26 penny. The smallest Roman copper coin (see note on Lk 12:59).


5:28 looks at a woman lustfully. Not a passing glance but a willful, calculated stare that arouses sexual desire. According to Jesus this is a form of adultery even if it is only “in his heart.”


5:29-30 Jesus is not teaching self-mutilation, for even a blind man can lust. What he is saying is that we should deal as drastically as necessary with sin, a point Jesus repeated on at least one other occasion (see 18:8-9; Mk 9:43-48).


5:30 hell. See note on v. 22.


5:32 except for marital unfaithfulness. See note on 19:3. Neither Mk 10:11-12 nor Lk 16:18 mentions this exception.


5:33-37 The OT allowed oaths except those that profaned the name of God. Jesus would do away with all oaths, in favor of always speaking the truth.


5:38 See notes on Ex 21:23-25; Lev 24:20.


5:39 resist. Here it probably means in a court of law. strikes. The Greek verb used here means “slaps you with the back of the hand.” It was more an insult (cf. 26:67) than an act of violence. The point is that it is better to be insulted even twice than to take the matter to court. Ancient Near Eastern society had become very litigious.


5:40 tunic ... cloak. The first was an undergarment, the second a loose outer one. Since the outer garment was used to sleep in, OT law prohibited anyone from taking it even as a pledge overnight (see Ex 22:26-27; Dt 24:12-13).


5:42 Probably not a general requirement to give to everyone who asks but a reference to the poor (cf. Dt 15:7-11; Ps 112:5, 9).


5:43 hate your enemy. Words not found anywhere in the OT. However, hatred for one’s enemies was an accepted part of the Jewish ethic at that time in some circles (cf., e.g., the Dead Sea Scrolls work, The Rule of the Community 1.4,10). See note on Lev 19:18.


5:44 Love your enemies. See note on Ex 23:4-5. pray. Prayer is one of the practical ways love expresses itself (cf. Job 42:8-10).


5:45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. Loving one’s enemy does not make one a son of the heavenly Father. But it does make one known as a son. the evil and the good. God shows his love to people without distinction.


5:46 tax collectors. Traditionally known as “publicans,” these were local men employed by Roman tax contractors to collect taxes for them. Because they worked for Rome and often demanded unreasonable payments, the tax collectors gained a bad reputation and were generally hated and considered traitors (see notes on Mk 2:14-15; Lk 3:12).


5:48 Be perfect. Christ sets up the high ideal of perfect love (see vv. 43-47)—not that we can fully attain it in this life. That, however, is God’s high standard for us.


ESV study

5:1–7:29 The Authoritative Message of the Messiah: Kingdom Life for His Disciples. This is the first of five major discourses in Matthew (chs. 5–7; 10; 13; 18–20; 24–25). Speaking to his disciples (5:1), Jesus expounds the reality of discipleship lived in the presence and power of the kingdom of God but within the everyday world. Some interpreters have thought the purpose of this sermon was to describe a moral standard so impossibly high that it is relevant only for a future millennial kingdom. Others have thought its primary purpose was to portray the absoluteness of God’s moral perfection and thereby to drive people to despair of their own righteousness, so they will trust in the imputed righteousness of Christ. Both views fail to recognize that these teachings, rightly understood, form a challenging but practical ethic that Jesus expects his followers to live by in this present age. The sermon, commonly called the “Sermon on the Mount,” is probably a summary of a longer message, but the structure is a unified whole. It has similarities to the “Sermon on the Plain” in Luke 6:17–49, but there are also significant differences. The three main theories about their relationship are: (1) they record the same sermon but Matthew and Luke give summaries that report different sections and emphases; (2) they record two different sermons, given on different occasions but repeating much of the same content, as itinerant preachers often do; and (3) either Matthew or Luke, or both, have collected sayings that Jesus gave on different occasions and put them together in a sermon format. View (3) seems to make Matthew’s presentation of this as a single historical event untruthful (cf. Matt. 5:1–2 with 7:28–29; 8:1; and Luke 6:17, 20 with Luke 7:1), and evangelical commentators have not generally adopted it. Views (1) and (2) are both possible, and it is difficult to decide between them.


Jesus’ Five Discourses


The authoritative message of the Messiah (Sermon on the Mount) chs. 5–7

The authoritative mission of the Messiah’s messengers ch. 10

The mysteries of the messianic kingdom revealed in parables ch. 13

The community of the Messiah revealed chs. 18–20

The delay, return, and judgment of the Messiah (Olivet Discourse) chs. 24–25



5:1–16 Setting, Beatitudes, and Witness of the Kingdom of Heaven. In his Beatitudes, Jesus makes pronouncements to the crowds and religious leaders and gives instructions to his disciples concerning the nature of life in the kingdom (vv. 3–12). He follows this with two piercing metaphors on salt and light to illustrate the impact that the disciples will have on the world around them (vv. 13–16).


5:1 mountain. The traditional site of this sermon (though Matthew does not pinpoint the location) is above Tabgha, near Capernaum, on a ridge of hills northwest of the town, with a magnificent view of the Sea of Galilee. A twentieth-century church marks this site today, although down the hill in Tabgha there are remains of a small Byzantine chapel (probably from the 4th century) commemorating the sermon. This ridge is likely also where Jesus went “to a desolate place” (14:13; cf. Mark 1:35) and where he went “up on the mountain” (Matt. 14:23; 28:16). he sat down. Teachers in Judaism typically taught while sitting (cf. 23:2), a position Jesus takes regularly (cf. 13:1–2; 15:29; 24:3–4; 26:55).


5:2 While Jesus was seated, he opened his mouth (a Jewish idiom) and taught them, i.e., his disciples who had come to him (v. 1). “Disciples” (Gk. “learners”) were those who had made a commitment to Jesus as the Messiah; the “crowds” (v. 1) were those who were curious and often astounded by his teaching and ministry (7:28–29) yet for the most part remained neutral and uncommitted.


5:3–12 The Beatitudes all begin with “Blessed are …” They are called “beatitudes” from Latin beatus, “blessed, happy” (but see note on v. 3). These short statements summarize the essence of the Sermon on the Mount.


5:3 Blessed. More than a temporary or circumstantial feeling of happiness, this is a state of well-being in relationship to God that belongs to those who respond to Jesus’ ministry. The poor in spirit are those who recognize they are in need of God’s help. theirs is the kingdom of heaven. It belongs to those who confess their spiritual bankruptcy. On a contrast with the first seven beatitudes, see note on 23:13–36.


5:4 those who mourn. The spiritual, emotional, or financial loss resulting from sin should lead to mourning and a longing for God’s forgiveness and healing (cf. 2 Cor. 7:10).


5:5 The meek are the “gentle” (cf. 11:29), those who do not assert themselves over others in order to further their own agendas in their own strength, but who will nonetheless inherit the earth because they trust in God to direct the outcome of events. Cf. Ps. 37:11.


5:6 Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness recognize that God is the ultimate source of real righteousness, so they long for his righteous character to be evident in people’s lives on earth. They shall be satisfied by responding to his invitation to be in relationship with him.


5:7 The kindness and forgiveness that the merciful show to others will also be shown to them.


5:8 The pure in heart are those whose pursuit of purity and uprightness affects every area of life. they shall see God. Note the ultimate fulfillment in Rev. 22:4; cf. note on John 1:18. In contrast to Jewish traditions that overemphasized external ritual purity, Jesus taught that purity of heart was most important (cf. note on Matt. 5:28).


5:9 peacemakers. Those who promote God’s messianic peace (Hb. shalom, total well-being both personally and communally) will receive the ultimate reward of being called sons of God (see note on Gal. 3:26) as they reflect the character of their heavenly Father.


5:10 Those who are persecuted are those who have been wrongly treated because of their faith. God is pleased when his people show that they value him above everything in the world, and this happens when they courageously remain faithful amid opposition for righteousness’ sake.


5:11–12 Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you … on my account. Just as Jesus experienced opposition and persecution, his disciples can expect the same. Their reward may not come on earth, but it surely will be theirs in heaven. so they persecuted the prophets. Throughout history, beginning with Cain’s murder of Abel (Gen. 4:8; cf. 1 John 3:12), there have been those who oppose God’s people.


5:13 As salt is beneficial in a number of ways (as a preservative, seasoning, etc.), so are disciples of Jesus who influence the world for good.


5:14 light of the world. Jesus’ disciples have the kingdom life within them as a living testimony to those in the world who do not yet have the light.


5:15 The typical lamp in a Jewish home was fairly small and was placed on a stand to give maximum illumination.


5:16 The world will see the light of the kingdom through the good works done by Jesus’ disciples (and believers today), with the result that the Father who is in heaven will be glorified.


5:17–48 The Messianic Kingdom in Relation to the Law. Verses 17–20 explain how Jesus and the kingdom fulfill the law of Moses; this is the key to interpreting the Sermon on the Mount and indeed the whole of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus then offers six antitheses (vv. 21–48) that contrast proper and false interpretation and application of the OT.


5:17 abolish the Law or the Prophets. The “Law” or “Torah” refers to the first five books of the OT, while the “Prophets” includes the rest of the OT, all of which was held to have been written by prophets (cf. Matt. 13:35, which cites Ps. 78:2; on “Law [and the] Prophets,” cf. Matt. 7:12; 11:13; 22:40; Rom. 3:21). but to fulfill them. Jesus “fulfills” all of the OT in that it all points to him, not only in its specific predictions of a Messiah but also in its sacrificial system, which looked forward to his great sacrifice of himself, in many events in the history of Israel which foreshadowed his life as God’s true Son, in the laws which only he perfectly obeyed, and in the Wisdom Literature, which sets forth a behavioral pattern that his life exemplified (cf. Matt. 2:15; 11:13; 12:3–6, 39–41, 42; also Luke 24:27). Jesus’ gospel of the kingdom does not replace the OT but rather fulfills it as Jesus’ life and ministry, coupled with his interpretation, complete and clarify God’s intent and meaning in the entire OT.


5:18 until heaven and earth pass away. Jesus confirms the full authority of the OT as Scripture for all time (cf. 2 Tim. 3:15–16), even down to the smallest components of the written text: the iota is the smallest letter of the Greek alphabet (or the yod of the Hb. alphabet) and the dot likely refers to a tiny stroke or a part of a letter used to differentiate between Hebrew letters. pass from the Law. The OT remains an authoritative compendium of divine testimony and teaching, within which some elements (such as sacrifices and other ceremonial laws) predicted or foreshadowed events that would be accomplished in Jesus’ ministry (see notes on Gal. 4:10; 5:1) and so are not now models for Christian behavior. Until all is accomplished points to Jesus’ fulfillment of specific OT hopes, partly through his earthly life, death, and resurrection, and then more fully after his second coming.


5:19 These commandments refers to all the commands in the OT (although many will be applied differently once their purpose has been “fulfilled” in Christ; v. 17). The rabbis recognized a distinction between “light” commandments (such as tithing garden produce) and “weighty” commandments (such as those concerning idolatry, murder, etc.). relaxes one of the least. Jesus demands a commitment to both the least and the greatest commandments yet condemns those who confuse the two (cf. 23:23–24). The entire OT is the expression of God’s will but is now to be taught according to Jesus’ interpretation of its intent and meaning.


5:20 Jesus calls his disciples to a different kind and quality of righteousness than that of the scribes and Pharisees. They took pride in outward conformity to many extrabiblical regulations but still had impure hearts (see 23:5, 23, 27–28). But kingdom righteousness works from the inside out because it first produces changed hearts and new motivations (Rom. 6:17; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:22–23; Phil. 2:12; Heb. 8:10), so that the actual conduct of Jesus’ followers does in fact “[exceed] the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.”


5:21–48 These verses demonstrate that Jesus’ interpretation of the OT is the antithesis of faulty interpretations and applications by the religious leaders. Repeatedly introducing his comments with “You have heard that it was said” (21, 27, 33, 38, 43), Jesus corrects not the OT (see note on v. 43) but the misunderstandings of the OT that were prevalent at the time.


5:21 Premeditated murder is prohibited by the sixth commandment (Ex. 20:13) and under OT law carried the death penalty (Num. 35:31). The prohibition is grounded in the fact that humans are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26–27; 9:6). Concerning unpremeditated murder (manslaughter), see notes on Deut. 19:4–6 and 19:8–10.


5:22 angry. The dangerous and destructive effect of human anger is likewise stressed throughout Scripture (e.g., Prov. 20:2; 22:3; 29:22; 2 Cor. 12:20; Gal. 5:20; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8; James 1:20). Anger typically entails a desire to damage or destroy the other person, either in some personal way or literally in the form of murder (cf. Matt. 5:21 and James 4:1–2). Calling someone a fool is closely related to anger, in that it represents a destructive attack on one’s character and identity. Thus Jesus warns that the person who violates another person in this grievous way is liable to the hell of fire.


5:23–24 First be reconciled. Reconciliation with the person who has something against you must take precedence even over offering one’s gift in worship. The one who initiates the reconciliation here is the one who has wronged the other person.


5:25–26 Come to terms quickly. The importance of reconciliation is illustrated by the example of the person who is about to be judged in court. Not to be reconciled will have disastrous consequences on a human level but much more so if one is not reconciled to God. (Regarding the question of Christians and lawsuits, see note on 1 Cor. 6:1.)


5:27 Adultery was considered an extremely serious offense (cf. Ex. 20:14) because, in addition to violating another person, it broke the marriage covenant (Mal. 2:14) that was a reflection of the relationship between God and his people.


5:28 with lustful intent (Gk. pros to epithymeœsai auteœn, lit., “for the purpose of lusting for her”). Lust begins in the heart, the center of a person’s identity and will. It is not enough to maintain physical purity alone; one must also guard against engaging mentally in an act of unfaithfulness. Jesus is not adding to OT law but correctly interpreting it, for even in the Ten Commandments God had required purity of heart (Ex. 20:17; cf. 1 Sam. 16:7; Ps. 19:14; 24:4).


5:29–30 right eye … right hand. The right side often stood for the more powerful or important. The eye is the medium through which one is tempted to lust, and the hand represents the physical actions that result from lusting. cut it off. Jesus uses deliberate overstatement to emphasize the importance of maintaining exclusive devotion to one’s spouse. Even things of great value should be given up if they are leading a person to sin. See note on Mark 9:43–48.


5:31–32 A certificate of divorce in the ancient world gave a woman the right to remarry (e.g., Mishnah, Gittin 9.3: “The essential formula in the bill of divorce is ‘Lo, thou art free to marry any man’”) and reflects the fact that divorce and remarriage were widely accepted and practiced in the first century world. But I say to you indicates that Jesus does not accept the practice of easy divorce represented in v. 31. Because divorce was widespread in ancient times, God had instituted a regulation through Moses that was intended to uphold the sanctity of marriage and to protect women from being divorced for no reason. (See notes on Deut. 24:1–4; Matt. 19:8.) Here and in 19:3–9, Jesus bases his teaching on God’s original intention that marriage should be a permanent union of a man and woman as “one flesh” (Mark 10:8). Divorce breaks that union. Sexual immorality (Gk. porneia) can refer to adultery (Jer. 3:9; see also the use of the term in Sir. 23:23), prostitution (Nah. 3:4; 1 Cor. 6:13, 18), incest (1 Cor. 5:1), or fornication (Gen. 38:24; John 8:41). Scripture prohibits any kind of sexual intercourse outside of marriage (thus forbidding the practice of homosexuality and bestiality as well). Except on the ground of sexual immorality. This implies that when a divorce is obtained (by the injured party) because of the sexual immorality of one’s spouse, then such a divorce is not morally wrong. But when a man divorces his wife wrongly (i.e., when his wife has not been sexually immoral), the husband thus makes her commit adultery. Even though some female Jewish divorcees would have gone back to live with their parents in shame, many would have sought to remarry (which seems to be the typical situation that Jesus is addressing here). Jesus is thus indicating that such second marriages begin with committing adultery, since the divorce would not have been valid in God’s eyes. (On whether the adultery is onetime or continual, see note on Matt. 19:9.) But Jesus places primary blame on the husband who has wrongly divorced his wife, by stating that he (the husband) “makes her commit adultery.” Whoever marries a divorced woman is not an isolated statement that applies to all divorced women, or it would contradict the “except” clause that Jesus had just given (as well as the further exception in 1 Cor. 7:15). The statement rather continues the same subject that Jesus had mentioned earlier in the sentence, and thus means, “whoever marries such a wrongly divorced woman commits adultery.” See also the notes on Matt. 19:3–9; Mark 10:2–12; Luke 16:18; 1 Cor. 7:15; and Divorce and Remarriage, pp. 2545–2547.


5:33–37 An oath involved invoking God’s name, or substitutes for it, to guarantee the truth of one’s statements (cf. Num. 30:2). Jesus’ disciples are not to swear at all. Instead, their character should be of such integrity that their words can be believed without an oath.


5:38 eye for an eye. This “law of retaliation” (Latin lex talionis) was God’s means of maintaining justice and purging evil from among his people (see Deut. 19:20–21). It was intended to prevent inappropriate punishment (the punishment should fit the crime) and was imposed by civil authorities rather than individuals.


5:39 Do not resist the one who is evil. Jesus is not prohibiting the use of force by governments, police, or soldiers when combating evil (see notes on Luke 3:12–14; Rom. 13:1–4; 1 Pet. 2:13–14). Rather, Jesus’ focus here is on individual conduct, as indicated by the contrast with Matt. 5:38, which shows that he is prohibiting the universal human tendency to seek personal revenge (see note on Rom. 12:19). If anyone slaps you on the right cheek pictures a backhanded slap given as an insult (a right-handed person would use the back of the hand to slap someone on the right cheek; cf. Mishnah, Baba Kamma 8.6). The word “slaps” translates Gk. rhapizoœ, “to slap, to strike with the open hand.” turn to him the other also. One should not return an insulting slap, which would lead to escalating violence. In the case of a more serious assault, Jesus’ words should not be taken to prohibit self-defense (see Luke 12:11; 22:36–38; Acts 22:1; 24:10) or fleeing from evil (see 1 Sam. 19:10; Luke 4:29–30; John 8:59; 10:39; 2 Cor. 11:32–33), for often a failure to resist a violent attack leads to even more serious abuse. Acting in love toward an attacker (Matt. 5:44; 22:39) will often include taking steps to prevent him from attempting further attacks. Jesus’ teaching must be applied with wisdom in the light of related Scriptures that address similar situations (cf. note on 5:42).


5:42 Give to the one who begs from you. Christians should help those who are truly needy (and therefore forced to beg), but they are not required to give foolishly (cf. 7:6) or to a lazy person who is not in need (2 Thess. 3:10), or where giving would bring harm rather than benefit.


5:43 You have heard that it was said … hate your enemy. The OT never says that anyone should hate his or her enemy. This shows that, in his “you have heard” statements (21, 27, 33, 38, 43), Jesus is correcting not the OT itself but only misinterpretations of the OT. God’s hatred of evil was a central theme in the OT (e.g., Ps. 5:4–5). Consequently, those who embodied evil were understood to be God’s enemies, and it was natural to hate them (cf. Ps. 26:4–5; 139:21–22), but such hatred is never commanded by God.


5:44 Love your enemies. God hates evil, but he still brings many blessings in this life even to his enemies (v. 45) by means of “common grace” (the favor that he gives to all people and not just to believers). These blessings are intended to lead unbelievers to repentance (Acts 14:17; Rom. 2:4). Of course there is a sense in which God hates those who are resolutely and impenitently wicked (cf. Ps. 5:5; 11:5; Eph. 2:3), but God’s blessings of common grace constitute his primary providential action toward mankind here and now.


5:45 sons. The children of the heavenly Father are those who respond to his will as expressed in the ministry of Jesus (cf. 12:48–50). (Regarding “sons” [Gk. huioi], see ESV Preface, pp. 19–22.) sun … rain. God shows grace and care for all of his creatures; therefore Jesus’ disciples are to imitate God and love both neighbor and enemy.


5:46–47 In Palestine, tax collectors were representatives of the Roman governing authorities. Their tendency to resort to extortion made them despised and hated by their own people (cf. Luke 19:8). Christians should not merely do the same as unbelievers; their transformed lives should result in behavior that shows significantly greater love.


5:48 be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Scripture is a reflection of God himself as he has made his will and character known to his people. As Christians seek to live in conformity to Scripture, they are in fact pursuing the very perfection of God. This verse provides the conclusion and summary to the antithesis section (vv. 21–48), showing that all of the Law and the Prophets find their perfect (Gk. teleios) fulfillment in the perfection of the Father, which is what all Jesus’ disciples are called to pursue.


-Dan

PS:The NLT Study Bible is fairly decent too in the evangelical scale if you wish to see the two samples of it i can post it too… The ESV seemed in my mind to be closest to your desire so that is what i wanted to suggest.


-Dan


#17 Julie Falling

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:33 PM

Dan -

Thanks for going to all that trouble. I have the ESVSB and really like it (always keep it open in my Daily Reading window). If the Zondervan NIV/NASB ever shows up in Accordance, I'll probably buy it, but having looked at your post, there is a lot of overlap - not too surprising since they're starting from the same solidly evangelical perspective and starting from the same text. I appreciate the advice.


Wow, not only are you a poweruser, this is a work of art!


Donovan -

You give me way, way too much credit. I do not consider myself a power user. There is a lot I don't even know how to do yet, and I still haven't started the Hebrew (I'm afraid that will have to wait until the first of the year). I so much appreciate all I've been able to learn from all of you on these forums.

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#18 Dan Francis

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:41 PM

Well I would bet you won't have too long to wait… I am sure the current one (I have both the original 1985 and the fully revised 2002 version in accordance. I would bet Zondervan has revised partially the notes to bring it in line with the 2011 version (if any changes would have been made beyond that I don't know) but that means when Accordance gets around to rereleasing it it's a whole new process of preparing it. I checked my BibleReader's (OliveTree) and indeed the NIV Study Bible was updated. I am not sure what accordances policy will be but the update for OT was just done as matter a fact, one day there was an update and the old notes were gone. I likely would't have bothered to pay for an upgrade.

-Dan

#19 Julie Falling

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:51 AM

Thanks for the info, Dan. I'm hoping Accordance will use the notes with the NASB this time. There more than enough NIV stuff out there!

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#20 Dan Francis

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:06 PM

I do understand that but I have never seen the NASB version of the notes out there for any computer program, Zondervan released the NASB version to fill a need, the NASB was the best selling literal translation but had no comparable Bible to the NIV Study, yes there were things like the Ryrie but the amount of notes are minor compared to the 20,000+ notes of the NIV. I know many years back the Lockman Foundation had told me they had commissioned a study Bible that would put the NIV to shame, but that the 1995 update would need to be completed first. They never did release it, which surprised me (the woman I had spoken to claimed the notes had been completed). That being said when the Zondervan adaptation of the NIV notes came out, I at first thought that was it, but then I discovered it was just the NIV notes adapted. Since the ESV has come out the NASB has seemingly lost it's place as the natural choice for those wanting a literal translation (still a valid option just the ESV is an equal option) and the ESV Study Bible makes a study Bible that in every way rivals the NIV/NASB Zondervan option.

-Dan




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