"Christians and the Internet" newsletter
CATI, Vol. 1, No. 39:  September 29, 2000.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. GOSPEL COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK: ONLINE CHRISTIAN RESOURCES
2. BIBLE GATEWAY:  DOOR TO THE KJV, NASB, NIV, NKJV, AND MORE!
3. FREE NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ON CD-ROM FROM ZONDERVAN!
4. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR THIS NEWSLETTER
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1. GOSPEL COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK: ONLINE CHRISTIAN RESOURCES

One of the more important Christian Web sites is "Gospelcom":

Gospel Communications Network: Christian Resources
  http://gospelcom.net/

One of the reasons why Gospelcom is important is that it is
made up of a number of important Christian ministries.  (In
a moment we'll provide 40 specific examples of the more than
180 current members of Gospelcom.)

Who is Gospelcom?  Here is Gospelcom's own answer:

"Gospel Communications Network is an alliance of Christian
organizations dedicated to spreading the Gospel over the
Internet's World Wide Web as described in our Mission
Statement."
  http://www.gospelcom.net/welcome/who-is-gospelcom/

We'll look at that mission statement in a moment, but before
we do, here's a (very) brief history of the background of
Gospelcom:

"In 1994, conversations between Gospel Films Director
of Marketing Duane (Smitty) Smith and Calvin College
Communications Professor Quentin (Dr. Q) Schultze gave
birth to an idea for spreading the Gospel on the Internet.
The idea was presented to Gospel Films President Billy Zeoli,
who quickly caught the vision.... Under Zeoli's leadership,
the plan now included inviting other Christian ministries
to join in an online alliance to 1) promote cooperation
among likeminded organizations, 2) minimize duplication of
efforts, and 3) maximize online traffic. The...alliance was
to be called the Gospel Communications Network...."
  http://www.gospelcom.net/welcome/who-is-gospelcom/

In 1995 Gospelcom went online with 10 ministry organizations,
and now in 2000 has more than 180 member organizations.

Here is Gospelcom's mission statement:

"Being convinced that the responsibility for evangelizing
the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the imperative
task of dedicated Christians and that the internet technology
offers an effective vehicle in the accomplishment of this
task, we propose to operate the Gospel Communications
Network (gospelcom.net) as an alliance of on-line Christian
ministries."
  http://www.gospelcom.net/welcome/who-is-gospelcom/

And here is the evangelical statement of faith to which
Gospelcom (and its member organizations) subscribe:

"We agree to this Statement of Faith: 
1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only
infallible authoritative Word of God. 
2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in
three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 
3. We believe in the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His
virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His
vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His
bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of
the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory. 
4. We believe that regeneration by the Holy Spirit is
absolutely essential for the salvation of lost and sinful
men. 
5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit,
by Whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live the
Godly life. 
6. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the
lost - those who are saved to the resurrection of life, and
those who are lost to the resurrection of condemnation. 
7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in Christ,
and the evidence of that unity being shown by how we love
one another."
  http://www.gospelcom.net/welcome/who-is-gospelcom/

All of the member organizations are evangelical in belief, and
some are specifically Reformed in conviction as well (such as
Christian Schools International, The Highway, Renewing Your
Mind with R.C. Sproul, and Westminster Theological Seminary).

Here are 40 examples of Gospelcom members which CATI readers
perhaps find to be especially of interest:

Alistair Begg (Truth for Life)
  http://www.gospelcom.net/tfl/

American Tract Society
  http://www.gospelcom.net/ats/

Apologetics Index
  http://www.gospelcom.net/apologeticsindex/

Barnabas Financial Ministry (Larry Burkett)
  http://www.gospelcom.net/barnabas/

Bible League
  http://www.gospelcom.net/bibleleague/

The Calvinist Cadets
  http://www.gospelcom.net/cadets/

Christian Computing Magazine
  http://www.gospelcom.net/ccmag/

Christian Schools International
  http://www.gospelcom.net/csi/

Christian University GlobalNet
  http://www.gospelcom.net/cugn/

Council for Christian Colleges & Universities
  http://www.gospelcom.net/cccu

Dynamic Youth Ministries
  http://www.gospelcom.net/dym/

Evangelical Press Association
  http://www.gospelcom.net/epa/

Evangelism Online: Guide and Bulletin
  http://www.gospelcom.net/guide/

E-Word Today
  http://www.gospelcom.net/eword/

FaithFacts
  http://www.gospelcom.net/faithfacts/

Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  http://www.gospelcom.net/fca/

Fellowship of Christian Magicians
  http://www.gospelcom.net/fcm/

GEMS Girls Clubs
  http://www.gospelcom.net/gems/

Gospel Communications International
  http://www.gospelcom.net/gci/

The Highlands Study Center (R.C. Sproul, Jr.)
  http://www.gospelcom.net/hsc/

The Highway (Jeff Nesbitt)
  http://www.gospelcom.net/thehighway/

Hollywood Jesus (David Bruce)
  http://www.hollywoodjesus.com/

Institute of Theological Studies
  http://www.gospelcom.net/its/

International Bible Society (NIV)
  http://www.gospelcom.net/ibs/

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
  http://www.gospelcom.net/iv/

Key Life Network (Steve Brown)
  http://www.gospelcom.net/kln/

Larry Crabb (Institute for Biblical Community)
  http://www.gospelcom.net/ibc/

Latin American Mission
  http://www.gospelcom.net/lam/

Lockman Foundation (NASB)
  http://www.gospelcom.net/lockman/

Mission Network News
  http://www.gospelcom.net/mnn/

The Navigators
  http://www.gospelcom.net/navs/

NavPress
  http://www.gospelcom.net/navs/NP
  
Open Doors (Brother Andrew)
  http://www.gospelcom.net/od/

Peggie's Place
  http://www.gospelcom.net/peggiesplace/

Presbyterians For Renewal (PCUSA)
  http://www.gospelcom.net/pfrenewal/

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries
  http://www.gospelcom.net/rzim/

Renewing Your Mind with R.C. Sproul
  http://www.gospelcom.net/ligonier/

Westminster Theological Seminary
  http://www.gospelcom.net/wts

Youth for Christ
  http://www.gospelcom.net/yfc/

Youth Unlimited
  http://www.gospelcom.net/yu/

Again, not all of the preceding are specifically Presbyterian
or Reformed in perspective, but I expect that all evangelical
Christians (including members of Presbyterian and Reformed
churches) will find many of the Web sites of these Christian
ministries at Gospelcom to contain profitable and interesting
material of value.

Enjoy!
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2. BIBLE GATEWAY:  DOOR TO THE KJV, NASB, NIV, NKJV, AND MORE!

What is "Bible Gateway"?  Following is a description of the
Web site as well as some interesting background:

"The Bible Gateway is a tool for reading scripture online.
Additionally, it provides advanced searching capabilities,
allowing readers to find particular passages in scripture,
based on keywords.

"Originally, the Bible Gateway was...a script that would
create HTML versions of Bible chapters. Halfway into its
development, developer Nick Hengeveld realized that it could
do the same thing on the fly and be much more versatile. Nick
developed the Gateway on his own and its initial home was the
Calvin College Web server, where Nick worked. 

"...Nick became the first webmaster at Gospel Communications
Network. Here at Gospelcom, the Gateway began running on
the main Web server, which provided better performance and
reliability. The Gateway also acquired rights to several new
versions through the kind cooperation of other Gospelcom
members such as International Bible Society [source of the
NIV] and The Lockman Foundation [source of the NASB]. The
Gateway then moved to its own dedicated Web server at
Gospelcom, increasing performance even more."

  http://bible.gospelcom.net/bg/info.html 

The site is called "Bible Gateway," because it is indeed a
gateway to different Bible translations, including my own four
current favorite English translations, the KJV (the King James
Version, also known as the Authorized Version), the NASB (the
New American Standard Bible), the NIV (the New International
Version), and the NKJV (the New King James Version):

Bible Gateway
  http://bible.gospelcom.net/

Here you'll find the complete text for the KJV, NASB, NIV, and
NKJV as well as four other English translations (Darby, Young,
Worldwide English, and RSV or Revised Standard Version).  (The
Amplified Bible and the NRSV or New Revised Standard Version
are not available at this time, although Bible Gateway hopes
to make them available "soon.")  If you're after the Bible
in French, German, Italian, Latin, Norwegian, Portuguese,
Spanish, Swedish, or Tagalog, you will find the Bible also
available in those languages.

By the way, here's where you can find some brief background on
the eight English translations currently available at Bible
Gateway:

Bible Gateway Translation Information
  http://bible.gospelcom.net/bg/translations.html

You cannot, of course, show the entire Bible on one Web page
at once (that would have to be a rather large Web page!), but
you can look up a passage of up to a chapter at a time.  Just
use "Passage Lookup" on the left side of the screen.  Choose
your translation (for the NIV NT, you have a choice between
regular and formatted), decide if you want footnotes and/or
cross-references, type in the box the location of the passage
you want, and click on the "Lookup" button.

Bible Gateway is fairly (but not entirely) forgiving about how
you enter the reference in the box.  For example, both of the
following are accepted as equivalent by Bible Gateway:

     Philippians 4:6-9

     Phil. 4:6-9

If you try for Canticles rather than Song of Solomon, you may
be told, however, "That book does not exist"!

If you'd rather avoid the typing and do not mind looking at
an entire chapter, look for the "View a list of the books of
the Bible" section toward the bottom of the "Passage Lookup"
area.  Choose your translation from the drop-down box (click
on the down arrow after the translation name to choose the
translation you want) and then click on the "View" button.
After the next Web page loads, click on the chapter you want
to read.

There's yet a third approach you can use in "Passage Lookup."
Click on "Compare translations for one passage" at the bottom
of that area.  When the next Web page loads, it will look a
lot like what you've seen on the previous with one important
difference:  even though the same list of translations shows,
at this point you can choose more than one translation to be
displayed!  This allows you to compare how different versions
render the same passage of Scripture.

As I suggested earlier, my own personal recommendations from
the list are the King James Version (for both its literary 
beauty and its historical significance, although it should be
supplemented by one or more modern translations to facilitate
understanding), the New American Standard Bible (good for a
close study of the text from a word-for-word approach),  the
New International Version (good for understanding based on a
more meaning-for-meaning approach), and the New King James
Version (for those who want a contemporary version that yet
maintains where possible the traditional wording of the King
James).  Each of these has its particular strengths.  My own
personal suggestion is to take advantage of them all where
appropriate.

So that tells you what you can do with "Passage Lookup" on the
left side of the Bible Gateway home page.  But what about the
"Word Search" area on the right side?

Well, that's not really a puzzle.  It works sort of like an
online concordance, if you are looking for a particular word
or phrase in the Bible but you're not exactly sure where it
is located.  In some ways, it's like the index in a book when
you want to find something, except that with "Word Search" you
are asking Bible Gateway to search for specific words rather
than a general topic.

Here's where you'll find helpful hints on how to use the "Word
Search" area on Bible Gateway's home page:

Bible Gateway Help with Searching
  http://bible.gospelcom.net/bg/searching.html

Read it for better searching!  It's not long (just six short
paragraphs or so) and it's easy reading, but it tells you
things you ought to know (e.g., in the "Word Search" area "It
is important to use only the 'Restrict search' list or the
'Start' and 'End' lists. If you use all three, the results
will not be what you expect.").

"You'll find some answers to "Frequently-Asked Questions" on
this page: 

Bible Gateway Frequently-Asked-Questions 
  http://bible.gospelcom.net/bg/bible_faq.html

In general, you'll find many brief but helpful comments here.
Be aware, however, that you may or may not entirely agree with
everything in a particular resource suggested on this page.

For example, the "Frequently-Asked-Questions" page suggests
the Radio Bible Class site as a place where you'll find some
"excellent resources for finding Biblical guidance and help,"
and much on that site is indeed helpful, but you should be
aware that the RBC holds some positions (such a belief that
at Pentecost "God temporarily set aside the nation of Israel
as His primary means of revealing Himself to the world" or a
belief in a "pretribulation rapture" of the church) with which
other Christians may not agree.

So if you're looking for an online Bible study or an online or
email devotional based on the Bible, recognize that there may
be different viewpoints represented in the various resources  
that Bible Gateway may suggest.  Although the Bible Gateway
site is evangelical in standpoint, not all that you find there
will be necessarily, say, Reformed in perspective.

If, however, you're looking for the Bible itself -- either to
look up a passage to read or to search for a particular word
or phrase, you should find this to be a very useful site.  And
you can bookmark it so that it defaults to your own favorite
translation.  Just use the links below:

Bible Gateway: KJV
  http://bible.gospelcom.net/bg?language=english&version=KJV

Bible Gateway: NASB
  http://bible.gospelcom.net/bg?language=english&version=NASB

Bible Gateway: NIV
  http://bible.gospelcom.net/bg?language=english&version=NIV

Bible Gateway: NIV formatted (NT only)
  http://bible.gospelcom.net/bg/?language=english&version=NIV-IBS

Bible Gateway: NKJV
  http://bible.gospelcom.net/bg?language=english&version=NKJV

Note that the preceding links set both "Passage Lookup" and
"Word Search" to the preferred translation.

Enjoy!
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3. FREE NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ON CD-ROM FROM ZONDERVAN!

A major publisher of evangelical books (including the NIV or
New International Version of the Bible) is Zondervan:

Zondervan Publishing House
  http://www.zondervan.com/

We'll say something about the NIV in a moment, but before
that, here's a sampling of some authors who are published by
Zondervan:  Ben Carson, Charles Colson, Walter Kaiser, Jr.,
John R. Kohlenberger III, Gordon Lewis, John MacArthur,
Ronald Nash, Moises Silva, Charles Stanley, Chuck Swindoll,
Joni Eareckson Tada, Cal Thomas, Robert Webber, and Philip
Yancey.  As you can, a variety of styles and perspectives
are represented.

Zondervan is perhaps best known, however, as the publisher of
the New International Version of the Bible, which may or may
not be your favorite translation.  Even if it is not your own
personal choice, the NIV is an important English version with
which all Christians (in my not-so-humble opinion?) ought to
have some familiarity.

On the Zondervan Web site, you'll find brief descriptions of
the following English Bible translations (including comments
on Reading Level, Readability, Reference Support Material,
Number of Translators, Translation Philosophy/Format, and
Notes):

NIV: New International Version
NRSV: New Revised Standard Version 
NIrV: New International Readers Version Amplified 
KJV: King James Version
NAB: New American Bible 
NKJV: New King James Version
TEV: Today's English Version 
Living: Living Bible
The Message 
NLT: New Living Translation
CEV: Contemporary English Version 
NASB: New American Standard Bible
God's Word 

And here's where you'll find the comments:

Bible Translations
  http://www.zondervanbibles.com/translations.htm

Zondervan, naturally enough, is especially interested in
communicating the benefits of the NIV (and NIrV), so if you 
order their brochure, Zondervan will send you a FREE full
version Bible CD-ROM containing both the NIV and the NIrV!

Here are the details:

"Obtain a copy of this brochure and you will receive with it
a free CD-ROM containing the full searchable NIV and NIrV
Bible texts. Order by calling 1-800-727-3480. When you order
the brochure with CD, mention the ISBN number (0-310-99975-8)
and the Source Code (270003)."
  http://www.zondervanbibles.com/NIVNIrV/cd.html

When ordering, do NOT provide a credit card number:  there
should be no need of that.  The CD-ROM should be entirely
free.  When I was asked for my credit card information, I
explained that it was unnecessary for this particular offer
from Zondervan.  The person taking the order confirmed that
fact and then simply took my name and address.

By the way, if you do use the NIV, you'll find a number of
helpful guides and interesting articles at the Web site of
the International Bible Society:

Official New International Version (NIV) Resource Center
  http://www.gospelcom.net/ibs/niv/

Enjoy!
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4. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR THIS NEWSLETTER 

This is the thirty-ninth issue of a free newsletter devoted
to "Christians And The Internet" ("CATI," pronounced "Katy,"
but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and the
"Internet").

To subscribe, write to cati@traver.org, including "Subscribe to
CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real
name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent.

Past issues:  you'll find archives of past issues of CATI
available online at http://traver.org/cati.  "It's not a
pretty site," but hopefully it may be a useful one.)
________________________________________________________________

Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2000 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.