“What Difference Do It Make?” by Ron Hall

In essence, What Difference Do It Make is a retelling of the first text, with expansions and additions of “stories of hope and healing.” I don’t want to give too much away, but this guides us through the lives and pain of Ron and Denver, seeing part of their original text, with much more information added in, after the fact, that helps complete the story. Overall, this book is, more than anything else, about hope.

 

This book was quite a challenge to accept in many ways. Before I started reading this book, I had a discussion with some men I am discipling. We were talking about our concerns helping the homeless because they may use what we give them for sin addictions. After reading this book, I cannot say the same. Y’shua said that we are to give of anyone who begs, and for those who would ask a coat, give them also our tunic. I have learned that we need to give to the least of these, as if entertaining angels. Secondly, it isn’t helping them. It is blessing them. To help them would get them out of there entirely, but requires us to get quite dirty on our own end as well.That, and the fact that if the church stepped up and did what they have been called to do, there would be no homeless situation.

 

Biblically-based, rooted in scripture, and of sound foundations, I support this book for those either looking for a hopeful tale or need a serious wake-up call about how we are to help the homeless.

Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.

“The Expanded Bible”

The Expanded Bible, by Thomas Nelson, is an interesting take on biblical translation. With contributing scholars Tremper Longman III, Mark L. Strauss, and Daniel Taylor, Thomas Nelson Publishing has released their very own version of the scriptures. The New Testament only, Expanded Bible does not have an index, concordance, set of maps, commentary, or the like. Rather, it is simply their translation for reading purposes, but, well, expanded.

 

After attempting to use this book to for reference in teaching a Bible study, I have concluded the following:

 

PROS

Easy to read

Good typeface

Scriptures in bold, alternative options regular text, enclosed in brackets

Referential scriptures on side panel to view story in other parts of NT (parables, etc.)

Thicker paper to permit highlighting, pen marks without bleeding

Larger font than most Bibles, easier to read with less eye strain

 

CONS

Translation team only consists of three members

Not very durable

Advertised as Bible translation but fits the bill of paraphrase

 

Quite some time goes into the research from original texts, etc., even when it comes to revisions of the same translation. It is very important to ensure that the scriptures are, in fact, the scriptures. In the “Introduction” to the book, there is no evidence of sound research, etc., that is provided by other translations. Rather, there is only an explanation on the creation of another translation, and the statement, “no translation serves the goals of clarity, accuracy, and readability better than The Expanded Bible.”

 

While this text can be used for reading and provision of resource for research when creating lesson plans, it seems to be more of a paraphrase than legitimate scripture. Falling in line with The Message, this book is an excellent resource for enhancing your understanding of the scriptures, but is not scripture in itself. Great as a resource, but not recommended as a Bible.

Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.