Essays for King Jesus

  • open Bible to Romans 1

Authored By

  • Marlin Sommers
Published On
Saturday, January 2nd, 2021

A preacher should have as much money in his library as in his pickup truck, or so says a pastoral advisor to my church. Those charged to regularly teach the scriptures need good tools for study. So do the rest of us. Not all of us will spend thousands of dollars on commentaries or devote years of our lives to studying the Greek and Hebrew languages in which the scripture was written. But, as Christians, we all must be students of the Word.

Fortunately, the most important tools for Bible Study are inexpensive and easy to obtain, at least for English speakers. The tools I have in mind are the Bible itself, in its multiple translations into our native language. Bible translations can be a confusing subject. There is an alphabet suit of different translations available like the ASV, CEV, ESV, KJV, NAB, NEB, RSV ….and the list goes on! What we should remember is that this represents an embarrassment of riches for English speakers. In this article I focus, not on choosing a bible for primary use like public reading and memorizing, but rather on assembling a small collection of translations for study purposes.

Choosing a set of translations for Bible study

Bible apps make it easy to compare many translations of a given verse. This is helpful, but I still advise getting two or three translations in print. You will become familiar with these select translations, and it will be easier to pore over passages, or to read extensively, with a book in front of you. If you don’t own at least two or three translations in print, what should you purchase to build your library? If you have several translations and want to add a few more, how do you know what translations will best complement your existing collection?

  • part 4 header

Authored By

  • Keeshon Washington
Published On
Saturday, December 26th, 2020

This story is Part 4 of a 4-part series.

Read Part 1 HERE

Read Part 2 HERE

Read Part 3 HERE

Leaving Home 

When I was sixteen my mom had not compromised all of her desires for me. She was still my mom, and I still gave her a respected voice in my life. One desire she held firmly was that I should go to college after I graduated. I always resented this rule because even after being influenced by the Mennonites for several years, I still felt smaller than white people and thought college was a lofty idea. It wasn’t a goal that was meant for someone who had been through the things I encountered. My mom had gone to college, but she was a white woman.

  • part 3 header

Authored By

  • Keeshon Washington
Published On
Sunday, December 20th, 2020

This story is Part 3 of a 4-part series.

Read Part 1 HERE

Read Part 2 HERE

“God Please Bring My Dad Back!” 

Every day I would come home from school to a continual argument going on. It always had to do with either money or drugs, and the energy and sound coming from my parents often sounded demonic. It wasn’t uncommon for them to direct this energy towards me and I would then be verbally abused as well. If not directly targeted, I would be encouraged to choose sides and agree with one parent over the other. When I refused to do that, they would both be hurt by me and I would feel like trash for not being a better person. I will never doubt that they loved me and ultimately are a reason I survived, but their addictions caused me massive amounts of pain.

One example of this painful lifestyle is the time I saw my brother (Budder) almost die in front of my house. An argument had begun between our house and the neighbor’s, and it became violent enough that soon dozens of friends and family sprawled into the street. I watched as our neighbors brought out weapon after weapon to scare Budder and his friends, but Budder is a stubborn person. It all climaxed when the craziest lady of the group held a butcher knife over my brother’s head and swung it down towards his neck. It felt like time had slowed down, and that I was watching my brother’s life flash before my eyes. My dad grabbed her hand before she was able to bring it all the way down, and I’m thoroughly convinced the swing would have killed my brother. My dad was also on blood thinner, so a  cut to his wrist could have easily been fatal. But this was everyday life; I had become numb to it all.