The CCEL Times 2.9 (September 4, 2007)
To view this newsletter on the Web, go to www.ccel.org/newsletter/2/9
In This Issue:
From the Director
John Calvin has had a profound influence on protestant Christianity. His Institutes of the Christian Religion is right near the top on many lists of the most important books of Christianity. His Commentaries really taught Protestants how to read the Bible. Although the Commentaries were written in the sixteenth century and do not reflect the latest in biblical scholarship, they are still my favorite. In my experience, most commentaries will help clarify a word or explain a phrase, but Calvin's commentary often gives me an "ah ha, now I understand the heart of the passage" experience.
As you'll see in the next item, we've just released our CCEL Commentaries CD. It has the complete and unabridged commentary series by Calvin and Matthew Henry another of the all-time most popular commentary series. It also contains twenty-one other classic commentaries on parts of the Bible as well as the NRSV and KJV versions of the Bible. It's a quick and convenient way to study Bible passages.
New Commentaries CD!
This CD contains the complete set of Calvin's Commentaries and Matthew Henry's Commentaries on the Whole Bible, unabridged, as well as the searchable NRSV Bible. In addition, it contains Barnes' Notes on the New Testament and several other one-volume commentaries on New Testament books. A complete list of contents is available.
This CD is the perfect tool for in-depth study of a Bible passage with these commentaries. Simply click the "Bible" tab, select a Bible passage and view the text of the passage in one pane. Then select and read classic Commentaries in the other. Not only is it quicker, more convenient, and less expensive than the print editions it also saves you several feet of shelf space!
Purchase your own copy of the CCEL Commentaries CD or other products at our online store. Your purchase of CCEL products helps keep the CCEL running and supports the distribution of classic Christian books around the world. We truly appreciate your business.
Plugging in to the CCEL in South Africa
We are back from our trip to South Africa to the Union Bible College at Hilton, South Africa, on the northwest side of Pietermaritzburg. I wanted to report to you how thrilled my students were to receive both the English Bible CD and the Christian Classics CD.
Computers are still relatively new for these students, but several do have their own laptops, and the school has a very nice computer lab with 15 or so computers for the students to use.
We spent one weekend in the village of Mlengana in the Transkei, and this village has had electricity for just over six months. We stayed with the Baptist pastor, a graduate of UBI, and he had his computer! My conclusion is that these CDs made a great gift for these men and women who will be ministering all over South Africa and Mozambique.
How have you used the CCEL to deepen your research, discover new voices, and enliven your faith? Submit a usage testimonial.
The CCEL has recently added the Annotations tool to the CCEL Toolbar (visible while you are reading a book). This allows logged in users to add inline notes to any page of a book or highlight a selection of text. Note that your previous annotations will not show up until you log in.
To make an annotation, go to a book page and highlight some text with your mouse. Then click one of the highlighter icons on the toolbar at the bottom left of the screen. There are three different highlighter colors, a button to add a note, and a button to remove any highlights in the selected region. After clicking one of the buttons your highlight should immediately appear on the page, or if you are creating a note, a text box should appear for you to type a note. Any annotation you make to a text should remain where you placed it for future viewing. Hopefully you will find annotations to be a useful addition to the CCEL.
Letters of Ignatius
Some of the oldest surviving post-biblical Christian documents are the seven letters of Ignatius (c. 30-107). They have as much personal passion and martyr's zeal if less theological intricacy — as the letters of Paul, written just decades before. A lovely but dubious tradition says that this Ignatius (not to be confused with Ignatius of Loyola, [1491-1556]) was the child whom Jesus placed in the disciples' midst in Matthew 9.
No doubt countless martyrs in the early church would look to the example of Ignatius, who awaited his fate with cheerful eagerness on his way to Rome, imagining the "wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs" when he would be thrown to the lions, until "no scrap of my body be left." Such gruesome death was the most fitting end or beginning, as he saw it to his discipleship that he could imagine. By the time he wrote to the Romans, he had clearly internalized the message Paul wrote to the Philippians: "to live is Christ and to die is gain":
Grant me no more than to be a sacrifice for God while there is an altar at hand. Then you can form yourselves into a choir and sing praises to the Father in Jesus Christ that God gave the bishop of Syria the privilege of reaching the sun's setting when he summoned him from its rising. It is a grand thing for my life to set on the world, and for me to be on my way to God, so that I may rise in his presence.
this classic at the
Praying With the Classics
Praying With Anselm (1033-1109)
My heart's voice is to Thee, my Lord and eternal King, Christ Jesus. The work of Thy hand dares to address Thee with loving boldness, for it yearns after Thy beauty and longs to hear Thy voice. O Thou, my heart's desired One, how long must I bear Thy absence; how long must I sigh after Thee, and my eyes drop tears? O Lord, all love, all loveable, where dwellest Thou? Where is the place of Thy rest, where Thou reposest all joyful among Thy favourite ones, and satisfiest them with the revelations of Thy glory? How happy, how bright, how holy, how ardently to be longed for, is that place of perennial joys! My eye has never reached far enough, nor my heart soared high enough, to know the multitude of the sweetnesses which Thou hast stored up in it for Thy children. And yet I am supported by their fragrance, though I am far away from them. The breath of Thy sweetness comes to me from afar.
by this author at the CCEL.
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