The Bible is a book. It may be called a collection of books compiled into one majestic volume. As a book it is designed to be read. In this respect it is like all other books. But in important ways, the Bible is not like any other book. It is the Book of books. We customarily call this book the Holy Bible. Its holiness is found in its otherness. It is a sacred book because it transcends and stands apart from and above every other book. It is holy because its ultimate Author is holy. It is holy because its message is holy. And it is holy because its content is designed to make us holy.

The Bible is an inspired book; that is, it is “breathed out” by God (2 Tim. 3:16). It is inspired in a way that reaches far beyond the inspiration of human artists. The Bible offers more than brilliant insight, more than human sagacity. It is called “inspired” not because of its supernatural mode of transmission via human authors, but because of its origin. It is not merely a book about God; it is a book from God. Therefore, the true church confesses its trust and confidence that the Bible is the vox Dei, the veritable “voice of God.”

The Bible is a normative book. The church has rightly declared that the Bible is the “norm of norms, and without norm.” A norm is a standard, a measuring rod by which things are judged. We may use many lesser standards to regulate our lives, but all such regulations must be subordinate to Scripture. To be the “norm of norms” is to be the superlative norm, the standard by which all other norms are measured. The Bible is not simply “first among equals”; other standards have no parity with it. As Jesus is exalted as King of kings and Lord of lords, so we submit to His Word as the norm of norms, the standard of truth, and the one infallible rule for the people of God.

God is the Lord of heaven and earth, and He alone is able to impose absolute obligation upon His creatures. He does this through the written Word. The Reformers of the sixteenth century recognized this unique authority of the Bible, expressing it in the motto sola Scriptura, “Scripture alone.” The Reformers did not despise other authorities or deny the value of tradition and the creeds, but they distinguished the singular authority of the Bible, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.

God calls every Christian to pursue righteousness. Our trust is to be childlike, but our understanding must be mature. Such trust and understanding require study of God’s Word. The authentic disciple meditates on it day and night. Our goal is more than knowledge; it is wisdom, the fruit of inward and outward obedience. It is our prayer that the Reformation Study Bible will aid students of the Bible in their understanding of Scripture that they might walk wisely before the Lord in all wisdom.

The Reformation Study Bible is so called because it stands in the Reformed tradition of the original Geneva Bible of the sixteenth century. In modern Geneva, Switzerland, a memorial wall has been built and dedicated to the sixteenth-century Reformation. This International Monument to the Reformation is adorned with statues of the great leaders John Calvin, Theodore Beza, William Farel, and John Knox. Surrounding these figures is the phrase Post Tenebras Lux—“After darkness, light.”

The light of the Reformation was the light of the Bible. Luther translated the Bible, which in his day could be read almost exclusively by professionals who knew Latin, into everyday German that could be read by ordinary people. John Wycliffe and William Tyndale translated the Bible into English. Yet there was substantial opposition to these efforts in England. Tyndale was burned at the stake in 1536, and later, the Reformation was suppressed during the reign of Mary Tudor (1553–58). The Roman Catholic Mass was enforced, services could not be conducted in English, and priests were forbidden to marry. Two hundred eighty-eight people were burned alive, including the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer.

These persecutions drove exiles from Britain to the European Continent. Many of the most capable scholars among them came to Geneva. There they undertook the task of preparing a new translation of the Bible in English. This new translation, the Geneva Bible, was published in 1560 and was carefully designed to be accurate and understandable. It was the first English Bible to use verse divisions, as “most profitable for memory” and for finding and comparing other passages. It included study notes explaining Scripture based on the interpretative principles reclaimed during the Reformation.

The Geneva Bible was the most widely used translation in the English-speaking world for a hundred years. It was the Bible used by John Bunyan, Oliver Cromwell, John Knox, and William Shakespeare. Though the King James Bible was published in 1611, it did not supplant the Geneva Bible until fifty years later. It was the Geneva Bible that the Pilgrims and Puritans carried to the shores of the New World. It was used by many American colonists who read it, studied it, and sought to live by its light.

Since the Geneva Bible was published, a multitude of English translations and study Bibles have appeared. This present volume intends to return to the clarity and power of that important translation. By presenting a modern restatement of biblical, Reformation truth in its comments and theological notes, the Reformation Study Bible aims to carry on the legacy of the Geneva Bible in shining forth the light of biblical Christianity, which was recovered in the Reformation.

The Reformed tradition understands biblical Christianity as “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). This faith, we believe, is expressed in the ecumenical creeds common to all Christian traditions, together with the Reformation distinctives that are the result of accepting the Bible as the supreme and only infallible authority for faith and practice. We believe that these ecumenical creeds and the Reformation confessions provide the church with a full-orbed summary of the doctrine of Scripture. The words of the Bible are true, and its message is powerful. It conveys the infallible promise of God, its Author, that it will not return to Him empty but will certainly accomplish His intended purpose (Is. 55:11).

From the Introduction to the new edition of the Reformation Study Bible, written by Dr. R.C. Sproul, general editor. Dr. Sproul is also the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries.

New from Reformation Trust. The new edition of the Reformation Study Bible has been thoroughly revised and carefully crafted by 75 theologians and pastors from around the world under the editorial leadership of R.C. Sproul. Pre-order by February 18 and receive free shipping anywhere in the continental U.S. Visit ReformationStudyBible.com.

Imagine for a moment you lived in a sane world.   In this sane world, sin is truly sin.  People understand evil.  They cherish what is good for society, and they shun what is bad.

We do not live in such a world.  In our backwards world, we live in an era where the insane run the culture, and they are running it to an early death.

For instance, Dads are undeniably the cornerstone of a healthy family.  Not to discount mothers, but in a society where fathers are more likely to be absent, it is easier to measure the impact they have on children.  The studies prove this one point: Fathers, biological fathers, are essential to a healthy family.

A few months ago, I reported on a new study that shows the impact of fathers on the family.  The conclusion was simple, fathers do not give more parenting, they give a unique form of parenting that children need.

Study after study has proven this fact.  Study after study shows an engaged biological father is the best for the family.

And yet again, another study has come out exploring the added benefits a dad brings to the family.  Look at some of the findings from the Atlantic Magazine article by Dr. W. Bradford Wilcox from the University of Virginia and you find

  1.  “Teens with involved fathers were 98 percent more likely to graduate from college, and teens with very involved fathers were 105 percent more likely to graduate from college.”
  2. “Young adults from more privileged backgrounds are especially likely to have had an involved father in their lives as teens.”
  3. “Compared to children from single-parent homes, children who live with their fathers in an intact family have significantly lower rates of  incarceration and teenage pregnancy and higher rates of high school and college graduation.” 
  4. “Engaged fathers play an important role in “helping sons and daughters achieve independent and distinct identities” and that this independence often translates into educational and occupational success.”
  5.  “A U.S. Department of Education study found that among children living with both biological parents, those with highly involved fathers were 42 percent more likely to earn A grades and 33 percent less likely to be held back a year in school than children whose dads had low levels of involvement.

Slam dunk!  No doubt about it!  Biological fathers make a tremendous impact on kids.  But when there is overwhelming evidence for the need to have two biological parents in the home, why is the secular world ignoring these facts?

There are several reasons:

 

1.  There is an attack on masculinity in our culture

It starts when children are young and it progresses into adulthood.  Boys, by nature, are designed to be a little rougher, active, and with distinct characteristics as a boy.  In a research study my wife read to me a few years ago (Yes, we read to each other…. isn’t that cute?), it is shown that men and boys are distinctly different from girls (gasp).  In one example, the study showed that boys are more vocal so they are more likely to make noise.  Girls, on the other hand, are more sensitive to sound.  In a classroom setting, the boy is playing drums with his pencil, tapping his feet, and making noises with his mouth while driving the more sensitive girls crazy.  The teacher, who is often a female, can’t stand it either.

They see the boy as being annoying and disturbing the class when in reality, the boy merely is being a boy.

In a culture that demands we accept people “as they are born” when talking about sexuality, the society contradicts itself by demanding  the boy be medicated or we label him as a trouble maker.  His crime?  Being born a boy.

2.  The insane social agenda to accept all types of families.

Not all types of families are the same.  Not all types of families are healthy.  If you don’t like that assessment, don’t argue with me, argue with science and more importantly, argue with the Bible.  It is clear, different types of families are more healthy than others.

The social culture is trying to show that two fathers or two mothers are as healthy as a biological father and mother.  The fact remains, they are not. Because these studies go against the grain of the social agenda, people are pushing these facts aside.

This, by the way, is what an insane society does.  They continue to push for an irrational agenda because it fits their preferred social agenda.  They ignore the evidence, they ignore centuries of proven history, and they ignore God because they are just arrogant enough to believe they still must be right.  They are not!

3.  This study proves that men and women are different.

Let’s be real, boys and girls are different.  These differences are more than merely physical, they are different in a number of ways.  This is not bad, but God designed men and women to be compatible with one another.

The problem is that this does not fit the social agenda being advanced in our culture.  They believe that women are just as capable as men, just as talented as men, and just as intelligent as men.  Yet, this totally misunderstands what compatibility means.  I am not saying I am more capable, talented, or intelligent than my wife.  In fact, in all three areas I believe I am the inferior in our relationship.

What I am saying is that her femaleness and my maleness are distinct and different, making us compatible to each other.

The irrational sociopathic groups are adamant that any distinction made is an attack on women.  Despite the evidence proving otherwise, they want to live in their insane world where, despite the facts, they believe women and men are distinct only  because of their physical make-up.

This is insane, but the political and social pressure is to deny the facts.

4.  They have a homosexual agenda

You cannot deny there is a push among many in the cultural centers of our day for complete acceptance of homosexuality.  Many are not allowing for any disagreement on the issue in the public sphere.  Whether you are the CEO of Mozilla and donated to help pass a marriage law in California, an athlete who expresses his disgust at a homosexual kiss on Twitter, a baker who desires not to bake for a homosexual wedding, or the Boy Scouts somewhat “compromise” on the homosexual issue, the cultural leaders of our day demand full acceptance and no compromise.

Evidence like what has been presented in his article goes against the clear agenda to uplift homosexuality.  Evidence like this goes against the narrative.

As a result, when a study shows that fathers are a necessity to a healthy family, they ignore it, hide it, and jettison science, the Bible, and history for their own insane approach to the world.

There is no doubt, children are better off in a family with a biological father and mother, but some people don’t want you to know this little secret because it doesn’t fit their agenda.