Archives for November 2010

Music in Christian Worship

by: Robert Hinchliffe

The history of music in Christian worship is a substantial one which can trace its origins all the way back to pre-Christian times in the Old Testament. In those very early days we read of the Jewish people singing, playing instrumental music and even dancing. Such activity was widely used as a means of expressing faith. Music played an important role in many acts of celebration and worship. It was into that society that Jesus was born.

Over the two thousand years since Christ’s life the use of music in Christian worship has gone through many phases and many musical idioms. It is really over the second of those two thousand years that church music, as we know it today, has developed.

One of the most important events in the whole of the world of music came about through the work of a Benedictine monk, Guido of Arrezzo who lived from about 995 to 1050. He didn’t actually ‘invent’ staff notation but he perfected it, completing the evolution of the earlier neumes into plainsong script, which was the forerunner of what we know today as ‘tonic-solfa’. All music had previously been passed down by aural tradition so the facility to write down music for others to read and perform was a massive step forward. Almost all musical expression since that time has come as a direct result of that development.

From that time on, composers were able to create substantial works for use in worship. This early church music was written to form the framework of an act of worship. The music was performed primarily by professional musicians attached to the church and was not for congregation participation. Composers did eventually begin to incorporate chorales (hymns) into the liturgy which gave the congregation the opportunity to join in at certain points in the service.

Many of the greatest composers over the centuries have added their voices to the ever growing repertoire of great church music. Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven and many others have given us masterpieces adding to the wealth of music in Christian worship. We tend to know many of these works today through concert performances, forgetting that many were originally created as liturgical pieces for use in church services.

At times of spiritual revival (the Protestant Reformation, the missions of Moody & Sankey, the evangelical energy which led to the founding of Methodism and the Salvation Army, etc.) there was a burst of hymn writing surrounding these events. These highly creative times in church music led to the appearance of many of the greatest and most popular congregational hymns of all. The hymns from these eras of church history have stood the test of time and are still to be heard today in even the most contemporary of worship situations.

Over the last 50 years worship music has gone through a whole new phase of development. Since the early 1960’s composers of church music have gained much inspiration from the popular music of their day. We now regularly encounter worship bands accompanying church singing rather than the traditional organ. More and more, we hear the term “worship song” rather than the word “hymn” and congregations are becoming much more attuned to worship music in a popular contemporary idiom. This can be a contentious issue at times but it is important that all Christians have the right to express their faith in a manner which suits them. Many churches are coping with this by having both traditional worship and contemporary worship on a Sunday.

So, music in Christian worship continues to develop and change. We now have a massive repertoire of music in many, many different styles and idioms to choose from. At all costs, we must avoid the blinkered view of focusing on music of one idiom and ignoring the rest. Every generation adds to the rich tapestry of worship music we have available to us.



Bible Software

by: Robb Capielo

Have you ever thought about how nice it would be if your Bible came with a search engine feature? In our fast-paced world, spending time searching for a bit of information can be maddening. When all you really want to do is find a specific verse or story, flipping through each page of scripture to find it can be time-consuming.

Luckily, it is possible to search through your Bible with just the click of a mouse. Granted, you won’t be searching through your paper copy, but you will be flipping through an electronic duplicate. That’s right–there is computer software available that makes it possible for you to find the answers you’re looking for in just seconds!

The Bible Source carries a range of software for every type of user. Whether you’re preparing a sermon for Sunday morning, or simply want to refresh your memory about where a passage is contained, we have the appropriate software for you. You can choose from software that contains only one translation or more than two dozen–the choice is yours.

Give your fingers and eyes a break the next time you need to find something in the Bible–use Bible software. You’ll save a lot of time and you may even become more apt to consult the Bible since your searches will be easier. Check out The Bible Source today for all of your electronic Bible needs–you’ll find just what you’re looking for!

Bible Software

Bible Study ESV Journaling Bible

By Seth Miller

Bible study refers to the detailed study of the Bible or the gospels. In order to gain from Bible study, it is essential to know how to study this holy book. Bible study is essential for those of the Christian faith. It is said that a true Christian should have a strong yearning to study the Scripture. Bible study is important in that it teaches Christian precepts and truth.

Bible study can be undertaken on one’s own with the aid of notes or with the help of qualified instructors. There are many international Christian organizations that offer Bible study courses to men, women and children. These classes feature constructive interactive sessions, interesting lectures and detailed notes which help to master difficult precepts. Interested persons can join these courses according to personal conveniences. Many Bible study courses are offered free of charge. This is mostly done by evangelists and missionaries who wish to popularize the Christian religion. Online Bible study courses are also provided.

Bible study can be approached from a religious or a literary angle. The Bible is one of the best pieces of literature available in the world, so study of the Bible is important for a literary enthusiast. It is said that serious Bible study can enrich one’s vocabulary and imagination. At the same time, it serves a didactic purpose as well. Bible study is an important part of theological studies. Different versions of the Bible are studied by theologians.

Bible study is the most rewarding experience for young children, who can be taught good values and discipline with the help of the beautiful stories. Children’s Bibles are available for this purpose. The Bible is a desirable book to adorn the bookshelf of both litterateurs and the religious-minded.

GET THE FEATURED PRODUCT: ESV Journaling Bible at TheBible

The KJV MP3 Audio Bible

KJV MP3 BibleOne of the most technologically advanced versions of the Bible is an MP3 Bible. For those of you who do not know what an MP3 is, it stands for MPEG Audio Layer 3. It is a digital audio technology that allows you to compress music or sound files into much smaller files with little or no loss of sound quality. It is able to do this by removing inaudible information from the file. You can store MP3s on your computer and upload and download them over the Internet, which means they can be listened to on a variety of different media, including CD players, iPods and MP3 players, or right on the default media player of your personal computer.

To give you an idea of how much compression takes place using the MP3 format, consider this: An Audio Bible narrated and recorded onto CD’s takes about 60 audio CDs to record. This is about 72 hours of recorded narration. In contrast, the MP3 Bible only requires two to four MP3 CD-ROMs to hold the entire MP3 Bible. This can then be uploaded or downloaded to your playing device. This technology makes it extremely easy to transport and use Bible MP3s at conferences, retreats, catechism classes where children’s Bible stories are played, evangelism and outreach programs, and listening groups. Well-known pastors sometimes record the Podcasts themselves and they often contain short dramatizations of the Bible or homilies related to the weekly readings.

Since many cultures in developing parts of the world have never heard the Word of the God or ever had a chance to hold a copy of Bible in their hands, MP3 Bibles are one of the best new ways to share the scriptures with them. Many volunteer organizations will bring MP3 Bibles and other audio Bible formats to villages and play them for a large group. When used in conjunction with printed Bibles, children and villagers who have not learned to read can follow along and begin learning written words. Right now there are audio Bibles for hundreds of different languages, and new translations are being worked on as we speak.

Whether you prefer reading the Bible, listening to Bible MP3 recordings at home or at the gym, you have many new opportunities to incorporate the Bible into your life and the lives of others around you. You can even donate MP3 Bibles to those less fortunate to help evangelize the Good Word and spread the teachings of Jesus to other cultures in countries far from your own.

GET THE PRODUCT: KJV MP3 Audio Bible at The Bible Source