A Break…

Roundhouse begins Sunday, and so we will begin our trek that direction this evening.   It will be nearly two weeks before we actually make it back home (driving time and all), and as such, there will be no new posts until that time, unless something important needs to be said.

We thank you for reading our writings, and we pray that the Lord blesses you as you do His work!

-Bradley S. Cobb

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The Preacher Who was Kicked out of the Church…

martindale-elijah

Elijah Martindale, a pioneer preacher of the 1800s, was quite an interesting character.  If you read the free preview edition of the Quarterly (you can download it here), then you got to read some of the interesting things that happened in his life, including the fact that he was kicked out of the church that he was preaching for…

because he preached the truth on baptism and salvation.

There are a lot of interesting things that happened in this man’s life, and we only touched a few of them in the Quarterly.  But today, we are giving you a much fuller picture.

Today’s addition to the absolutely free Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary is The Autobiography and Sermons of Elijah Martindale.  Take a look at what you can read in this free eBook:

  • Chapter I.
    Birth and Early Training — Emigration to Ohio — To Indiana — Indian Troubles — Returning a Second Time to Our New Home — Religious Impressions.
  • Chapter II.
    Marriage — Deep Conviction for Sin — Christian Experience and Baptism — A Journey with William Stubbs — Uniting with the Newlight Church.
  • Chapter III.
    Ordained to the Ministry — First Sermon — Poverty and Persecution — Mourners Uncomforted — Preaching Near New Lisbon — Flattery.
  • Chapter IV.
    The Jerusalem Doctrine Calls Down Persecution — Voted Out of the New House — Some Things Lacking — Controversial Preaching — Ministers Exhorted to Faithfulness.
  • Chapter V.
    Preaching the Gospel — Desire for Union — Love for the Erring — Zeal of the Old Preachers
  • Chapter VI.
    Preaching Near Middletown.
  • Chapter VII.
    Preaching at Bentonville.
  • Chapter VIII.
    A Flourishing Church at Hillsboro.

Sermons and Articles

  • Chapter IX.
    On Family Training.
  • Chapter X.
    The Gospel Invitation.
  • Chapter XI.
    A Sermon on Supporting the War
  • Chapter XII.
    Sermon On Prayer.
  • Chapter XIII.
    Letter To Church Members.
  • Chapter XIV.
    Object And Form Of Local Churches.
  • Chapter XV.
    On Exhortation.
  • Chapter XVI.
    Parable Of The Ten Virgins.
  • Chapter XVII.
    Religion And Politics.
  • Chapter XVIII.
    Where Is The True Church Of Christ?.
  • Chapter XIX.
    Letter To My Brother John.
  • Chapter XX.
    Extract From Speech Delivered At An Old Settlers’  Meeting At New Castle, Ind.
  • Chapter XXI.
    Sermon delivered at the Christian Chapel, New Castle, April 13, 1873.
  • Song I Used To Hear My Father Sing.
  • A Brief Excerpt Of The History Of The Martindale Family In America.

I found this to be a very interesting read, and I think you will too.  It’s not that long–actually only 67 pages.

If you like the church, the truth, conflict, and history, you’ll get all of it in this book that we’ve proofread, reformatted, and made into a nice-looking eBook just for you!

Read it online, or download it for later reading by clicking the link below:

Autobiography and Sermons of Elder Elijah Martindale

-Bradley S. Cobb

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A New Book on Revelation

Back in 2012, I was asked to preach a series of sermons on the book of Revelation.  That turned into 48 lessons–and the Bible study adventure of a lifetime!

As I studied through the book, I discovered that most of what I had been taught about its contents was wrong.  It could be understood.  It did have meaning–both then and now.  And so I embarked on a quest to understand it as best as possible, and to take what I learned and make it understandable to others.

Since completing that series of sermons, I have had numerous requests to put them in print, both from the members here, as well as others who have read through the material.  In fact, people I don’t even know have emailed me, saying that other people (who I also have never met) told them that they needed to get my Revelation material.  It is both gratifying and humbling to know that the 48 sermon outlines I put together have been so well-received.  It is also a scary proposition, because while most people will say that (within certain parameters) the interpretation of Revelation doesn’t matter, I’ve seen more heated arguments over this topic than almost any other among some preachers.

Because of the continual encouragements to make this material available in a permanent format, I have been editing, reformatting, correcting, and expanding my detailed sermon outlines, and preparing them for publication.  It’s not complete yet, but it is getting there–and it looks like it will be well over 450 pages by the time it is done.

Here is what others have said about this material:

I’ve studied the Bible for over fifty years, and this is the first time Revelation has ever made sense to me.–A long time Bible teacher.

I can’t believe I didn’t see this before.  You’ve made it so clear and easy to understand.–An elder.

Awesome.  Just awesome.–Another elder.

If you want to understand Revelation, talk to Bradley Cobb–Michael Shank

[Your] ability to rightly divide the Word of truth never ceases to amaze me.  How can your points be argued, debated, refuted, discredited, minimized?  They can’t be!–A well-know preacher and author.

The material you have online has been a great help to me in my studies.–A long-time preacher.

We need to get this material out in the brotherhood–it makes it so easy to understand!–Shane Otts, preacher, Judsonia church of Christ.

Our target release date is Monday, October 10th.

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The Roller-Coaster of Faith – The Life of the Apostle Peter (Part Nine)

ApostlesLogoThe Garden of Gethsemane

After the apostles all pledged their allegiance to Jesus, they walked to a place where Jesus instructed them to sit while He took Peter, James, and John a bit further.  The lord was “exceeding sorrowful, even unto death,” and told the three to wait there and watch on His behalf.1  He went further on and prayed, but instead of watching, Peter and the two brothers fell asleep.

When Jesus returned to find His three closest followers sleeping, His words were directed at Peter, whom the Lord apparently expected to show some leadership: “Simon, you’re sleeping?  You couldn’t watch for even an hour?”2  By this point, the other two apostles apparently had awakened, because Jesus said, “You all watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.  The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.”3  But after the Lord went away to pray again, Peter’s weakness took over and he again went to sleep with the other disciples.

Jesus didn’t wake them the second time He returned, but when He came back the third time, He sarcastically said, “You sleep now, take your rest.  Enough!  The hour is come!  Look, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Get up; let’s go!  Look, he that betrays me is at hand.”4  Then Peter and the rest of the apostles stood and took their place by Jesus’ side as Judas and a band of Roman soldiers, as well as many Jewish officials came to arrest Jesus.5

Peter watched as Judas came forward and gave Jesus a kiss, and then saw the armed men make their move to grab Jesus.  It’s at this point that Peter, standing beside Jesus, unsheathes his sword, and with amazing accuracy (or perhaps just lucky dodging on the part of his target) slices the right ear off of a man named Malchus, a servant of the high priest.6  While Jesus probably appreciated the show of loyalty, He told Peter to “Put up your sword,”7 and “Allow this to take place.”8  Then Jesus touched Malchus’ ear and healed him, effectively counteracting Peter’s actions.9  It was soon after this, all the disciples realizing that Jesus wasn’t going to fight—nor let them—that they all ran away and left Him alone with His captors.10

-Bradley S. Cobb

1 Matthew 26:38.  Jesus told these three men to “watch,” but He didn’t mean “watch me while I pray.”  He meant to watch for anything that might happen (specifically the arrival of Judas and the soldiers he would bring with him).

2 Mark 14:37.  It is worthy of note that Jesus calls him “Simon” once again, which appears to indicate disappointment in him; or at the very least, showing that Peter was not living up to his divinely-given name of “Rock.”  The fact that all three were sleeping, but that only Peter was chastised, shows that Jesus expected more of him than the others.

3 Mark 14:37-38.  Verse 37 has singular pronouns, showing that Peter was being chastised; while verse 38 has plural pronouns, showing Jesus speaking to the three disciples.

4 Mark 14:41-42.  The NET Bible says, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough of that! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us go. Look! My betrayer is approaching!”

5 The word “band” in John 18:3 refers to a cohort, a collection of 600 Roman soldiers, though it is occasionally used to refer to as many as a thousand, or as few as 200 (see NET Bible notes, Barclay’s Daily Study Bible notes on the passage).  Matthew and Mark call this group it a “great multitude” of armed men (Matthew 26:47; Mark 14:43), which may have included some of the Jewish temple guard.

6 Matthew and Mark tell us that the attacked man was a servant of the high priest.  Mark is the one who informs us that the disciple with the sword was standing by Jesus.  Luke tells us that it was the right ear that was cut off.  John is the one that gives us the identity of both the attacker and the attacked: Peter and Malchus.  John 18:10.

7 John 18:11.

8 Luke 22:51.  The word “suffer” (KJV) means “allow.”  Jesus spoke this to the disciples—primarily Peter—telling them to let it happen.  After all, Jesus had told them several times previous that He was going to be betrayed, taken, and killed.  If the apostles fought, they were fighting against God’s plan.

9 Luke 22:51.

10 Matthew 26:56.

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Three Free Books

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I hope that caught your attention.  We were busy last week and didn’t get as many books added to the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary as we wanted, so we’re making up for it this week!

Today, we’re adding three more books for your enjoyment!  And here they are:

The Gospel and Its Elements

By James Challen, this book could be called a doctrinal history of the Restoration Movement.  By that, I mean that he writes about the biblical doctrines and practices pleaded for (without mentioning the names of anyone involved) by people like Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, James Challen, and others.

To download it, just click the link below:

The Gospel and Its Elements (James Challen)

A Primitive Missionary Church

Written by H.L. Hastings (a big name in the late 1800s for his fight against atheists and skeptics), this sermon is all about the church in Thessalonica.  While we might not agree with everything he says, it is a worthwhile read–and it isn’t that long.  The download link is below:

A Primitive Missionary Church (H.L. Hastings)

The Disciples of Christ in Illinois and Their Attitude Toward Slavery

Originally given as a lecture before the Illinois State Historical Society in 1913, N.S. Haynes presented his manuscript for publication in their official minutes.  It gives a very brief history of the Restoration Movement, then a brief history of how the Restoration made its way into Illinois, and then briefly shows the attitude of many of the brethren in the state toward slavery prior to the Civil War.  It is an interesting historical piece, and we have taken the liberty to correct a few historical errors that the author made (with notations of what was changed appearing in footnotes).

You can download it and read it here:

Disciples of Christ in Illinois and Their Attitude Toward Slavery

-Bradley S. Cobb

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The Roller-Coaster of Faith – The Life of the Apostle Peter (Part Eight)

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The Denial of Denial

While they were in this upper room, Jesus said that one of them would betray Him, causing all the apostles to begin to question which one it would be.1  Peter, wanting to know the answer, but apparently not willing to ask Jesus himself, told John to ask for him—and when Jesus gave the answer, Peter apparently still didn’t get it.2 But soon thereafter, having left the upper room and gone to Mt. Olivet,3 Jesus told the apostles that He was going away.  Peter didn’t understand, and said, “Lord, where are you going?”  To this, the Lord replied “Where I go, you [Peter] can’t follow me now; but you will follow me later.”4  Jesus was about to be murdered, and this could be seen as a prophecy that Peter will also be murdered for his faith.5

Still not quite understanding what Jesus meant, Peter said, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now?  I will lay down my life for your sake!”6  Jesus looked at Peter and spoke directly to him:

“Simon, Simon;7 Look, Satan has demanded you [apostles], so that he might sift you like wheat.  But I have prayed for you [Peter], so that your [Peter’s] faith doesn’t fail.  And when you [Peter] have returned, strengthen your brethren.”8

It is in this statement that Peter is given a special commission unique to him—he is commissioned to strengthen, to encourage, to uplift the other apostles after the death of Jesus.  Jesus knew that they would all forsake Him (and He will say as much momentarily), but He had been praying for Peter so that Peter would have the strength to not completely lose his faith, and so that he would be able to build up the other apostles—the apostles who would have been very depressed and in need of encouragement.

But also in this statement is a prophecy that Peter would have a need to return.  That is, Peter was going to go astray.  This pronouncement is what caused Peter to say, “Lord, I’m ready to go with you, both into prison and to death.”9

The Lord replied by saying that not just Peter, but all the apostles (Judas had already left) would “stumble because of [Him] this night.”10  But Peter spoke up again, “Although all of them shall stumble, yet not I!”11  Peter’s self-exaltation was about to be deflated, because Jesus replied with perhaps the most memorable words spoken to Peter in the entire Bible:

“Truly I say to you [Peter], that this day—even in this [very] night—before the cock crows twice, you shall deny me—deny that you [even] know me—three times!”12

Then Peter replied again, this time vehemently,13 “Even though I might die with you, yet I won’t deny you!”  And the rest of the apostles said the same thing.14  But it wasn’t too long after this that they all abandoned their Lord.15

-Bradley S. Cobb

1 Luke 22:21-23.

2 John 13:21-30.  The apostles thought that Jesus had sent Judas on an errand; even at this late hour, they didn’t understand that Judas was the one who would betray the Lord.  See the chapter on Judas Iscariot for more details.

3 See Matthew 26:30-35; Mark 14:26-31; and compare them with Luke 22:31-34.

4 John 13:33, 36.  The pronouns in this verse are singular, showing that Jesus is speaking directly to Peter, not to the other apostles.

5 Regardless of whether this is a prophecy of how Peter would die, it is a prophecy that Peter would die as a faithful follower of Jesus Christ—otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to follow Jesus where He was going: heaven.

6 John 13:37.

7 Jesus calls him “Simon,” probably to emphasize that Peter isn’t going to be much of a “rock” during the events which were about to happen.  But then Jesus says, “When you return, strengthen your brethren,” or in other words, “be a rock for your brethren.”

8 Luke 22:31-32.  The pronouns in the Greek show that Satan asked for all the apostles, but that Jesus prayed for Peter specifically.

9 Luke 22:33.

10 Mark 14:27.  The word “stumble” is the Greek word skandalizo, where we get “scandalize.”  They would act as though it was a scandal to follow Jesus.

11 Mark 14:29.  Peter elevates himself over the rest of the apostles by saying this, Even if they are scandalized by you, I won’t ever be!  This makes Jesus’ next statement even more powerful, for it shows the truth of Jesus’ statement that “Whoever exalts himself shall be brought low” (Luke 14:11).

12 Mark 14:30.  The phrase “deny that you [even] know me” comes directly from Luke 22:34.  Mark’s account says “before the cock crows twice.”  The other biblical writers just say “before the cock crows.”  This supposed contradiction has been sufficiently explained and harmonized in many places.  See Gleason Archer’s Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, pages 339-341, and Eric Lyon’s The Anvil Rings: Answers to Alleged Bible Discrepancies, Volume 1, pages 74-78.

13 Mark 14:31 mentions that Peter got vehement in this response.

14 Matthew 26:35

15 Matthew 26:56.

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The 1957 Lipscomb College Bible Lectures

We are sorry for not getting more posted this week.  We will be making up for that next week, where each daily post from Tuesday through Friday will (Lord willing) contain multiple additions to the Jimmie Beller eLibrary to finish celebrating the one-year anniversary.

We spent the early part of this week at the hospital with one of the families from the congregation here in McLoud.  Kitty Patterson, a wonderful friend and sister in Christ, was hospitalized last week, and the doctors discovered a 4-inch cancer that ended up getting into her stomach, intestines, and colon.  They gave her no chance of surviving the surgery, but through the prayers of her Christian family, she came through it with flying colors.  She will be hospitalized for close to another week, and then will have to be in a rehab center for several weeks while she recovers.

I know you’ll understand when I say that being there for her and her family was tops on our priority list, and getting new posts done fell by the wayside until today.

And now, on to our new addition to the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary.

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What we are giving you today is a series of lessons, given by some very prominent preachers of the last century.  It is the 1957 David Lipscomb College Bible Lectures (Part 1).  I don’t know if a part 2 was ever published, but if it was, I don’t have a copy of it.  🙂

If you’d like to know what is contained in this eBook, you have two choices: download it and read it, or just look below.

Contents

  1. The Hope Of The World (John H. Banister)
  2. The Place Of The Bible At Lipscomb (Batsell Barrett Baxter)
  3. The Pattern For Personal Development (E. G. Couch, Jr.)
  4. Facing Denominational Trends (Carroll B. Ellis)
  5. The Scriptures—Our Pattern (Reuel Lemmons)
  6. The Pattern—The Bible (Jim Bill Mcinteer)
  7. Christ, Our Pattern In Teaching Our Young (Wyatt Sawyer)
  8. The Pattern In Sound Doctrine (Rex A. Turner)
  9. Lessons From The Past (Howard A. White)
  10. Where There Is No Pattern (Athens Clay Pullias)
  11. Principles Of New Testament Congregational Cooperation (Cecil N. Wright)
  12. Facts That Support Our Faith (Joe E. Sanders)
  13. Christ-Centered Living (Ernest O. Stewart, Jr.)
  14. The Objectives Of Lipscomb (Athens Clay Pullias)

To read this fully-reformatted eBook, or to save it for later perusal, just click the link below:

Lipscomb Lectures – 1957

-Bradley S. Cobb

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The Roller-Coaster of Faith – The Life of the Apostle Peter (Part Seven)

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Simon Peter’s Experiences During the Passion Week

The Cursing of the Fig Tree

On Monday of Jesus’ final week, Peter walked with Jesus and the rest of the apostles from Bethany towards Jerusalem.  Jesus saw a fig tree, but it had no figs on it, so Jesus cursed it.1  The next morning, as they walked by the same spot, Peter saw the tree completely dried up, and in his amazement said to Jesus, “Master, look!  The fig tree that you cursed has withered away!”  Jesus responded by telling the apostles, “Have faith in God.”2

The Prophecy about Jerusalem

Later that same day, when Jesus finished teaching in the temple, one of the disciples (some have suggested that it was Peter himself)3 said to Him, “Master, look at the quality of these beautiful stones and the quality of the buildings!”4  But Jesus replied that these beautiful buildings of the temple complex would all be destroyed.  After they went outside Jerusalem to Mt. Olivet, Jesus sat down and Peter came to him with Andrew, James, and John, and specifically asked him, “Tell us, when shall these things happen?  What shall be the sign (of your coming and the end of the age) when all of these things are fulfilled? ”5  In response, Peter and the other three apostles are informed about the overthrow of the Jewish people, the great tribulation that would come on that nation, and the destruction of their city and temple—which Jesus called “the coming of the Son of man.”6

The Passover and the Foot-washing

Wednesday,7 the disciples asked Jesus what He wanted them to do so they could celebrate the Passover.8  Jesus sent Peter and John into Jerusalem, telling them that they would meet a man with a pitcher of water, and that they were to follow him into his house, and ask him where the guest room was so that they could eat the Passover.  Then Peter and John prepared the Passover meal for Jesus and the rest of the apostles.9

While the Passover was being observed,10 Jesus stood up and wrapped Himself with a towel and began to wash the feet of the apostles, and to dry them with the towel.  When He came to Peter, the apostle tried to stop Him, saying, “Lord, you wash my feet?”11  Jesus kindly answered, “You don’t know what I’m doing now, but you will know after this.”  Peter still wasn’t having any of it and said, “No!  Never shall you wash my feet!”12  But Jesus silenced this protest with a warning: “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with me.”13  In other words, if Peter refused, he would be giving up his apostleship and all of the promises that were made to him.  So, Peter responds, “Lord, not only my feet, but [also wash] my hands and my head!”14  The Lord said washing Peter’s feet would be enough, and took the opportunity to again foretell that one of them wasn’t faithful.  Afterwards, He explained to them that they needed to be servants, and not try to be masters over others.15

-Bradley S. Cobb

1 Mark 11:12-14.  The chronology of the Passion Week is best served by Mark, who gave specific time markers, such as “on the morrow” (11:12) and “in the morning” (11:20), and “after two days” (14:1).

2 Mark 11:20-22.  Jesus gave more in response, emphasizing the strength and power of faith, in verses 23-24, but it is all summarized in the phrase “Have faith in God.”

3 See Robertson’s Word Pictures on Mark 13:1.  The reasoning behind this suggestion is because Mark gives the exact quote of what was said, and many believe that Mark’s main source of information was Peter himself.

4 Mark 13:1, mixed with the information (beautiful stones) given in Luke 21:5.  The word translated “what manner” (KJV) is a description of the quality of something, hence our translation above.

5 Mark 13:2-4.  The section given in parentheses above come from Matthew’s account of their questions (Matthew 24:3).  For the Jew, the destruction of the temple symbolized the “end of all things” (1 Peter 4:7), so it is no wonder that they would associate this with “the end of the world” (KJV) or “the end of the age” (NKJV).  See McGarvey’s comments in The Fourfold Gospel, pages 619-620, and his Commentary on Matthew and Mark, page 204.

6 Matthew 24:27, 30.  Among faithful brethren, there is a disagreement over whether Jesus’ discourse on the destruction of Jerusalem continues past verse 34.  Many (both conservative and liberal) believe it continues through the end of chapter 25; while many (both conservative and liberal) believe that beginning in 24:35, Jesus speaks of the end of the universe.  Part of this disagreement is based on the translation of verse 3, “the end of the world” (KJV) vs. “the end of the age” (NKJV).  If it is “the end of the world,” then it would make sense that Jesus addresses that topic.  But if it is “the end of the age,” then it could be a reference to the Jewish age—which in practice ended AD 70.  It’s validity ended no later than the day of Pentecost, AD 30 (Acts 2).

7 See the notes dealing with the final Passover meal in the chapters on Andrew and John for more specifics.  To the Jew, what we consider to be Wednesday evening would have been the beginning of Thursday (their new day started at 6pm).

8 Mark 14:12; Matthew 26:17.

9 This information is found in Luke 22:7-13.

10 The KJV of John 13:2 says “supper being ended,” but this cannot be the correct translation.  Jesus sat back down at the table (verse 12), and was still eating (verse 26) after this.  Almost every other translation (except the NKJV) renders this as “during supper” (ASV, ESV, McCord) or “while they were at the supper” (Living Oracles).

11 John 13:6.  The Greek order of this phrase put emphasis on the pronouns, and is most literally translated: “You of me wash feet?”

12 John 13:8.  Literally, Peter says, “No, not … into the ages!”  It’s a very strong statement, saying that even into eternity, he will not let Jesus wash his feet.

13 John 13:8.

14 John 13:9.  Peter didn’t just want a part with Jesus; he wanted as big a part as possible!

15 John 13:10-20.  The apostles had several times argued over who was the greatest among them; and they would do it again this same night—after Jesus gave them this lesson.  The principle of being a servant is something that they didn’t quite understand until after the resurrection.

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Studies in Philippians

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With today’s entry into the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary, we have reached the conclusion of the R.C. Bell series, “Studies in the Scriptures.”  Just go on over to the eLibrary and download his volumes on Romans, Ephesians, and Galatians under the “Commentaries/Bible Studies” section if you missed them.

Today’s addition to the library is “Studies in Philippians,” a series of twelve “essays” on this inspired letter from Paul to the Christians in Philippi.  At the end of each essay is a series of questions for discussion, making this a good tool to use in Bible classes or personal study.

To read this online, or to save it for future enjoyment, simply click the link below!

Studies in Philippians (R.C. Bell)

-Bradley S. Cobb

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Studies in Galatians

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Continuing our month-long anniversary celebration of the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary, we give you yet another FREE book to enjoy and learn from!

R.C. Bell wrote four books in his “Studies in the Scriptures” series.  We gave you Romans last week, Ephesians yesterday, and today we give you his work on Galatians! (come back tomorrow to get the fourth book).  This entire collection is available as one volume in print from Amazon.com, if you want it in a more permanent format.

Bell-StudiesGalatians

This book contains twenty “essays” on the book of Galatians, complete with discussion questions at the end of each one, making it useful for a Bible class setting, or for personal study.

To download this fully-reformatted and corrected book, just click the link below!

Studies in Galatians (R.C. Bell)

-Bradley S. Cobb

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