SBC DIGEST: Lifeway producing new Spanish study Bible; SBTC offer churches partnership with Bless Every Home

Prolific historian, César Vidal, to release Spanish study Bible with Lifeway

By Aaron Earls/Lifeway

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) – Notable author and historian, César Vidal, has signed on to produce a new Spanish study Bible described as “an encyclopedia of knowledge” with Lifeway’s B&H Publishing Group, the world’s largest provider of Spanish resources.

Vidal is the author of more than 100 books, speaks multiple languages, and holds doctorates in the fields of history, law, philosophy and theology. His podcast, “La Voz de César Vidal,” receives approximately 1.5 million downloads per month and ranks in the top 10 podcasts in Spanish-language media.

“Vidal’s personal conversion by reading the New Testament in Greek at a young age, his knowledge of the Greek language, his credentials as a historian and theologian, and his dedication to the constant study of Scripture allows for this Bible to be a vast source of information not only for the Spanish-speaking reader, but for those who love to study Scripture and are ready for new insight into the Word of God,” said Giancarlo Montemayor, director of global publishing for Lifeway.

The “César Vidal Study Bible” is scheduled to release in 2024 and will use the Reina Valera 1960 text. In addition to being contextualized around historical events and facts found in the Bible, it will also incorporate extra-biblical historical sources to corroborate the text and expand the understanding of what was intended at the time the Bible was written and what it means today. This historical foundation is meant to prompt faith and fruitful living from the reader.

“The Bible has been ever present in my life,” said Vidal. “I experienced a conversion more than four decades ago by reading the New Testament in its original language, Greek. That is why, above anything, for me, the Bible has been the object of systematic study for the last decades, a study geared towards not only the intellect, but above all, to forge character and model the daily life on the foundation of the teachings of Jesus.”

Vidal and Lifeway have previously partnered to release “Más Que un Rabino” (More Than a Rabbi) and “Apóstol Para las Naciones” (Apostle to the Nations). Both books were the culmination of more than three decades of study and research into the history of the Jewish people, of Jesus Himself, and of His first disciples—especially those who were Jewish.

“It has been a pleasure to have Vidal’s valuable content published by Lifeway,” said César Custodio, senior manager of Spanish marketing and sales. “His first two books have been great resources with excellent acceptance in the market. Vidal’s trajectory makes him one of the most important voices in the Hispanic community.”

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SBTC partnership offers churches a tool to pray, care for neighbors

By Jane Rodgers/Southern Baptist Texan

GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) — Every Great Commission-focused church wants to reach its neighborhood for Christ. Door-to-door visits, passing out flyers and tracts … such traditional methods still work but may be less effective in today’s increasingly mobile society where neighbors often do not know the folks down the street.

Imagine being able to pray daily for neighbors by name, to care for them, to share the gospel with them.

To encourage that dynamic, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is offering its affiliated churches the opportunity to learn about their neighbors and track evangelism efforts by making Bless Every Home’s Bless Partner service available.

Bless Partner facilitates one-on-one evangelism with those around you, said Bruno Molina, SBTC language and interfaith evangelism associate.

When a church joins the Bless Partner service, members sign up to be “Lights” in their neighborhoods, Molina explained. Members see a map of their area and determine the perimeter of their prayers.

“They decide,” Molina said. “Say, they choose 100 people … [they] can see on a map where those people live, their names, their addresses.” The Lights then record interactions with these neighbors.

Something as simple as helping your neighbor take out her garbage is an example of caring. The Bless Partner app allows church members to log such events and note times when they have prayed or shared the gospel with someone. The church can see the same information, Molina said.

The app even offers an optional prompt to remind members to pray for individuals. “Every morning, they’ll get a reminder to pray for five people in their area,” Molina said. “When they pray for these people by name, they can check them off on the app.”

With Bless Partner, churches need not wonder about the extent of their members’ evangelistic efforts. “You’re not guessing, hoping and praying that people are doing [these things],” Molina said. “If you’re on the app, you’ll know exactly where your people stand. The app is a good accountability tool to make sure you are living out the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.”

The information on residences and residents distributed by Bless Partner can all be found in public records, Molina said. The app simply consolidates the information to make it accessible to churches and members.

The SBTC is providing affiliated churches a scholarship to cover the first two months of the Bless Partner service when they register under the SBTC umbrella, Molina said. Churches that choose to continue the service after the initial two months will pay only $15 per month for the entire church, regardless of size. Churches may unsubscribe to the service at any time.

The first 100 churches registering under the SBTC umbrella will receive a third month free of the Bless Partner service and a special bonus: three months of the New Movers service also offered by Bless Every Home.

The New Movers service provides churches with weekly lists of up to 25 households that have moved within a 15-mile radius of the church. According to the Bless Every Home website, the list includes the new residents’ names and address and notes how many miles they have moved from their last home. Church staffs can mobilize their member Lights who have opted to visit new movers. The Lights receive email notifications to pray for and visit the appropriate new movers. These contacts can also be logged.

Read the full story here.

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