NOTE: Every day through the end of 2013, I will update this blog, counting down to
my #1 favorite module built (or reformatted) and released in 2013. I hope you’ll
come back every day to see what’s next!
Last year I started a DDT tradition of listing my favorite new modules for the year.
They’re not necessarily the largest in content; nor the most conservative; nor even
the most useful (although “useful” gets big points in my scientific polling...).
These modules are simply my favorite ones from this year. Here are my criteria:
1. Modules must have debuted (or had a major reformat) in 2013 to qualify.
2. Modules must have been released for both eSword and theWord.
3. Modules must be legally distributable.
4. Modules must be ones that I like & use; no ifs, ands, nor buts. After all... it
is my list! (This criteria alone is going to make this list rather strange to most
readers, I believe.)
5. Formatting counts! Modules on this list will be nicely formatted and “easy on
6. It doesn’t matter who built them, nor what site(s) they are available on. As long
as #1-#5 all describe the module, then they qualify to be on the list.
Building this list is fun, because I get to think back on an entire year of library
building! I get to be so grateful for the builders who have invested their time to
further the gospel of Christ. I get to thank my Savior for what He’s doing in the
wheat of this world (while the tares, sadly, are growing too). Our community is truly
blessed by the men and women who give so sacrificially of their time to produce our
wondrous library. “Thank you, thank you, thank you” (in my best “Gomer Pyle” voice),
to all of you who build modules!
Last year’s list included a surprise at the end - My “Top Ten” turned into “The Big
Eleven.” Will there be more surprises this year? Read on to find out! (HINT: Yes,
there will be more than 10 modules in the list.)
Would you like to make a comment about the list? A friendly disagreement? Have I
made an egregious error by leaving off your favorite module from 2013? Drop me a
note. If your comment is substantive (and not, “you’re so stupid!”), I’ll include
your note in the post.
One final note: many of these “Big 10” modules are hosted offsite. To find those,
you’ll want to visit these websites. Once you’ve arrived there, you’ll find these
modules quickly doing a site module search.
If the modules are not marked “find it here,” you’ll find them “there.”
THE HONORABLE MENTIONS
The modules in this group didn’t technically make my “BIG Ten” list. But they’re
not just good; they’re very good. When I write that they receive Honorable Mention,
I mean that with sincere honor in my heart. Consider these titles (in alphabetical
“Commentary on Ezekiel, Jonah & Pastoral Epistles” by Patrick Fairbairn. The subject
matter of this nicely built commentary gets this module here. Ezekiel? The Pastorals?
There aren’t many commentaries covering these sections of Scripture; and Fairbairn
gets them in one set.
“Christ in All the Scriptures” by Don Fortner. A complete Bible survey by a modern
day Baptist focusing on Christ.
“The Seventy Weeks of Daniel” by Thomas Ice. 12 blog posts on 4 of the most important
verses in the Old Testament. Pre-trib. Yep. Find it here.
“The Analyzed Bible” by G. Campbell Morgan. A wonderful overview of every book of
the Bible. Brief enough to be quick, yet informative enough to be genuinely helpful;
a very nice combination indeed.
“Hebrews” (7 Vols) by John Owens. How could something like this not make at least
an Honorable Mention?!
“A Popular Commentary on the New Testament” (4 Vols) by Philip Schaff. An excellent
treatment on par with Barnes & Clarke. It probably deserves a higher rank (but then
again, all on this list probably do, too!).
“The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever” by Elmer Towns. We Christians are far too ignorant
of our own history. This is really “must-reading.” Find it here.
“Kingdom Program in Matthew” by Michael Vlach. A proper view of Matthew’s gospel
is so helpful in understanding the entire connection between the Old Testament and
the New Testament. Vlach presents Matthew in the proper view. Find it here.
And now: The BIG Ten Countdown begins.
DDT’s 2013 BIG Ten Module Releases
The BIG Ten college athletics conference has welcomed Nebraska to the fold: the twelfth
member school of the “Big Ten.” So, I figure if a bunch of pointy-headed academics
can have 12 schools in a conference named The BIG Ten, then I can have twelve modules
listed in my “BIG Ten Module Releases of 2013”!
So, without further adieu, here we go....
#9-12: “Potpourri For $2,000, Alex”
This first section of modules may seem a little disparate at first; but they all
have something important in common: are all great niche modules. Each helps to fill
a gaping hole in our universal digital library.
I’ve organized the DDT library loosely on the Dewey Decimal system. It seems to be
fairly intuitive for organizing a Christian research library. Many of the “Dewey
Decimal” categories here at DDT have a ton of great research modules already available
(example: I have 73 titles listed under “Christology”; I have 21 titles on the book
of “Romans”; etc.). However: some of the categories have little or no representation
(example: I have only one book that treats all of 1Corinthians; none that cover all
of Isaiah; two books on anthropology; etc.).
So, these first four books cover areas where our libraries are quite thin. And not
only that: each of them are classics in their fields. What a great combination: essentiality
#12 - The Answers in Genesis “Answers Research Journals” (Vols 1-3) (12/20)
True, there are other Young Earth Creationist materials already available as modules.
But they are either 1) ancient, and in need of editorial revision; or 2) popular,
and not academic. The three volumes of “Answers Research Journals” that have been
released as modules this year are all hot off the presses (within the last 10 years
or less) and very academic in nature.
These three modules have some of the best contemporary Young Earth Creationist scientists
from Answers in Genesis and Institute for Creation Research doing the bulk of the
writing. They are conservative; Christ-honoring; biblical; & scholarly. If you think
that it is required for “fundimendlists” to skip all of their high school classes
in thinking, just try one of these volumes (or better - all three!). But be prepared
to read slowly, because these “fundys” are deep.
I have released the first three volumes of the Answers in Genesis “Answers Research
Journals” as individual modules, and they are available on this page (look under
#11 - Answers in Genesis - “Unwrapping the Pharaohs” excerpts (12/21)
This one is so cool I can hardly stand it! Egyptology, as a field, is filled with
more liberals than a Democratic Party Convention. Add to that the difficulty in piecing
together the earliest of the Egyptian dynasties (thus the ones that interact with
the Patriarchs & Moses), and you have what turns out to be a “Bible denying mess”
when it comes to Egypt-Bible chronologies.
Well, not with this one. AiG published an entire book called Unwrapping the Pharaohs
(under copyright, but available to read online here). It is a survey of ancient Egyptian
history; but it focuses on how the Bible should intersect with Egyptology if you
believe what the Bible says about history. Unfortunately, that is a rare proposition;
but it is what makes the book so very good.
I’ve excerpted 5 chronological tables from the book for this module. They show how
the Bible explains an accurate Eygptology. It really is fascinating reading; and
it gives a depth to the Biblical narratives that only a proper understanding of history/archaeology
Do you think Rameses had anything to do with the Exodus? Think again, and check out
this module, which is available here (look under “Entire Old Testament”).
#10 - Elmer Towns - “The Names of the Holy Spirit” (12/22)
Finding contemporary authors writing on the Holy Spirit is easy; finding contemporary
authors writing biblically about the Holy Spirit is something else entirely. With
the confusion rained down upon us from pentecostals, bapticostals, charismatics,
etc., finding a solid trustworthy source on the Holy Spirit can be daunting. Even
prominent fundamentalists have got major problems on this doctrine.
Elmer Towns’ work The Holy Spirit solves all of these issues. The profundity of his
work comes in its simplicity. As a spirit-filled believer, he simply lays out the
Biblical teaching on the doctrine of pneumatology -The Holy Spirit. Towns is a master
of breaking the complicated right down to where it is at its simplest, yet still
accurate. Love it, love it, love it!
This title is the definitive pneumatological work for eSword and theWord - and it’s
available right here (scroll down to “pneumatology”).
Hengstenberg on the Psalms is a classic; it ranks right up there with Spurgeon’s
Treasury of David. If this were just his work on the Psalms, that would be enough
to earn Honorable Mention. But adding in Ecclesiastes & Ezekiel? Are you kidding?
There are so few works on these sections of the Bible that anything would get noticed;
but Hengstenberg? Oh, yeah! But that’s not all . . . .
His comments on Revelation will probably not be appealing to typical DDT users; but
his comments on John are very good.
This 10 volume work was a slam dunk entry into this list. I’d like to rank it a little
higher than #9, but his verbosity & Calvinism are going to hold him here in the real
BIG Ten - right where it belongs.
#6-8 - My Obligatory “I Love Bible Prophecy!” Section
I have no idea how Bible believers can be aware of world events and not be excited
about Bible prophecy. Russia & Iran (Gog & Persia) cozying up together; the formation
of the European Union (the rebirth of the Roman Empire); and of course, the national
resurrection of Israel. Whoa.
I’ve been feasting on Biblical prophecy in my personal studies; so, it’s no surprise
that not only have I made quite a few prophetic modules, but that I rank some of
them here in my BIG Ten list. If you haven’t read them yet, well, don’t wait too
much longer, or you might not get a chance to read them at all (know what I mean?).
#8 - Lamb and Lion Ministries - “The Resurgence of the Israeli Military” (12/24)
Dispensational Christians believe that, prior to the commencement of the Tribulation
period, the nation of Israel must exist. Why? Because the antichrist, representing
the Roman empire, is going to sign a seven year peace treaty with the nation of Israel.
That could not have happened prior to 1948, but it could have happened at any point
This module is basically a short overview of the incredible military history of the
modern day State of Israel. If you think God’s hand was on the founding of the United
States, you’ll be convinced of His hand of Providence when you consider the military
history of the modern State of Israel. Alas, this module is not a complete history
of the period. (I’m looking forward to the day when someone decides to release one
into the public domain!) It is, though, an exciting overview that may well motivate
the reader to do more research into the modern history of Israel (like it did me).
Those who believe that the modern day resurrection of the State of Israel is a biblical
coincidence will find this module interesting. Those who believe that the modern
day resurrection of the State of Israel is a biblical conclusion will find this module
inspiring! You can download the module here.
#7 - Thomas Ice - “Weblogs on the Olivet Discourse” (12/25)
The Olivet Discourse is the single most important passage in the Bible on prophecy.
And this module is the single most important work on the Olivet Discourse available
for both eSword and theWord.
“Weblogs . . .” focuses on Matthew 24 with 36 lengthy articles. (There are also three
more articles on Matthew 25.) Ice takes a consistently dispensational view of this
passage, focusing on the text and its interpretation. His expositions are solid.
You may disagree with some of his conclusions, but you’ll need to answer his arguments
from the text in order to do so.
Anyone studying The Olivet Discourse would be well served to start here. This is
the definitive text on this subject (available for both eSword and theWord!). You
can find it here (scroll down to “Olivet Discourse”).
#6 - Thomas Ice - “Lovers of Zion: A History of Christian Zionism” (12/26)
Because of U.S. Copyright laws (everything published after 1963 is under copyright
for a very long time), there is very little available to be made into eS/TW modules
about the modern State of Israel (founded 1948). So, to find anything like this module
is a blessing. But to have it written from a Dispensational/Zionist perspective?
This module traces in a summary fashion the idea of Zionism in the Christian church,
from the Ante-Nicene fathers right up to President Truman and his official recognition
of the Ben Gurion government 11 minutes after it was established.
Ice does a fabulous job of revealing the Hand of Providence moving throughout this
Age of Grace to bring about the Dry Bones period of the Resurrection of the Nation
of Israel. I highly recommend this module not only for its theological viewpoint,
but also for the excellent historical insights it provides.
#5 - A Book So Important That It Gets Its Own Category!
What more needs to be said? We’d all be better off reading it, that’s for sure .
. . .
#5 - A. Ray Stanford’s “Handbook of Personal Evangelism” (12/27)
There are precious few contemporary works available on personal evangelism for eSword
and theWord. So, having one written recently (copyright 1991) is a real blessing.
But it is the fact of its excellent contents that gets it here on this list.
This book handles doctrine; this book handles practice; this book is an encouragement
to young believers; this book provides answers to questions; this book handles current
theological issues. Check out some of the chapter titles: “The Message: God’s Plan
of Salvation;” “Eternal Life;” “Repentance;” “Lordship Salvation;” “The Roman Catholic;”
“The Atheist & Agnostic;” “Mormonism;” and so much more (you can see he’s not afraid
of controversial subjects; and they’re all handled so well!). 23 excellent chapters
that are highly recommended.
Christian leaders: if you want to train your workers in bringing people to Christ,
why not start here (scroll down to “Evangelism”)?
#1-4 - “It’s the Commentaries, Stupid!”
One of the slogan’s of Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign was “
(It’s) the economy, stupid!” James Carville wanted everyone involved with the campaign
to focus on the recession of 1991, thereby influencing voters to vote against President
Bush (and therefore for Governor Clinton). It worked. The phrase “It’s the economy,
stupid!” has become part of modern political science.
There are nearly 2,000 volumes of excellent ebook material formatted for eSword and
theWord listed here in the pages of my website. Several hundred of these are considered
to be some of the finest works in their fields - and plenty of them are “commentaries”
(just not in the .cmtx/.cmt.twm format). Yet I occasionally notice that people refer
to the ebook modules as “filler” because these people want commentaries. While that
simply reveals their ignorance as to what is available in the ebook format (like
the 8 excellent titles previously noted in this list), I get it. Users love commentaries.
(I do, too, by the way.)
So, while I’ve never seen anyone write “It’s the Commentaries, Stupid!”, I think
most users implicitly think this. After all, the commentaries are so easy to use:
click a verse, find a link.
This year, we’ve had 4 excellent commentary sets converted for eS/TW. And they have
(deservingly) taken the top four places in my 2013 favorite modules list.
#4 - ^The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (54 vols) (12/28)
Let me give you some of my random thoughts about this commentary set (in no particular
order). First, at 54 volumes, there is a ton of material here. Second, the material
is formatted very nicely. It’s very easy to use, and very easy to find the verse-by-verse
material. Third, this is not a conservative commentary set. The end user will have
to be very judicious/discerning of it’s theology & commentary. Fourth, the NT portion
is not identical to another commentary with a similar name (Cambridge Greek Testament
for Schools & Colleges). The ...Greek Testament focuses exclusively on the Greek
text, while this ...Cambridge Bible focuses on the English text. Finally, Cyril Barber
(my favorite commenter on the commentaries) pans this set with these words: “Based
upon the RV, these works have in general been superseded.”
OK - so why here on this list? Well, basically for bulk. With all of the wealth we
have at our fingertips in the universal module library for NT commentaries, our OT
section is still a little thin (at least compared to the riches of the NT commentaries!).
There are 33 volumes of OT commentaries in this set to help round out our studies.
It is this beautifully formatted bulk of information that propels this to #4 on my
#3 - ^John Eadie - Commentaries on Galatians through Colossians (4 Vols) (12/29)
These four commentaries were first published in the mid-1800’s. They are still quite
valuable today for the linguistic help that they provide.
As a TR guy, I don’t like all the emphasis on the modern text theories. Eadie does
comment a bit about “which texts omit this/that”, etc. But that isn’t what makes
these commentaries so valuable. Once he gets past the textual criticism, his actual
comments on the Greek text of the New Testament are very valuable.
Cyril Barber has nothing but good things to say about all four titles; three of them
are asterisked as “* essential.” My only disagreement is that I’d like to see all
four of them asterisked!
Some may think they are a little technical. I agree - they are a little technical.
But for those who want to dig into the original language, this is a welcome addition
to the universal digital library. By the way: this module works great in my TW Greek
Perhaps at some point in the future (2014? Please?) the rest of Eadie’s commentaries
can be appended to this commentary.
#2 - ^Frederic Louis Godet - Commentaries on Luke, John, Romans & 1Corinthians (9
These nine volumes (two each on Luke, Romans & 1Corinthians; three on John) are somewhat
similar to the the Eadie commentaries noted just above. Why?
Well, all of the positive comments that I previously wrote about the above Eadie
commentaries are also true of these Godet commentaries. First, they, too, were all
published in the mid-1800’s. Second, Barber loves them all (and all of them are asterisked,
too). Third, they are all a little technical when it comes to the Greek language
- which is a good thing for those wanting to delve deeper into the grammar/language
of the New Testament. And fourthly, the layout is great: verse by verse; it works
great with my TW Greek Exegesis layout.
So why is it #2, and not tied with Eadie? In short: it’s just better. It is better
because it is twice the size (whether you compare number of paper volumes or number
of digital megabytes); it is better because it covers more important NT books (Romans
all by itself beats out Galatians & Ephesians combined; and Luke-John-1Corinthians
handily beats out Philippians & Colossians). It is better because it uses the Textus
Receptus and not any of the modern textual criticism.
These Godet commentaries are simply a pleasure to use. From my perspective, they
are like a light workout; you have to work a little to use them, but the results
are oh! so valuable. These commentaries should be well used.
ATTENTION SPURGEON FANS: This is it! This is what you’ve been waiting for since you
started using eSword & theWord!
This massive set is usually referred to as The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, or
a combination of The New Park Street Pulpit & The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit.
The first 6 volumes of Spurgeon’s sermons were released as The New Park Street Pulpit.
In 1861, the name of the church was changed when the Metropolitan Tabernacle building
was finalized and the congregation moved into its new home. So, the remainder of
the 63 volumes were entitled The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit. So, no matter what
you call it, this 63 volume set is a complete record of all of Spurgeon’s Sermons.
Although Spurgeon is considered an expositor, by today’s standards, he was not. He
was a textual preacher, not an expositor. Typically he preached from a verse or two,
with a little exposition, and a great deal of topical content. Because he did not
preach his messages consecutively, using the printed version of ...Sermons for study
help can be somewhat difficult. But that’s where computers come in real handy!
This module was released for both eSword and theWord. But they are different in their
implementation. Let me describe each separately.
...Sermons for eSword: There are two eSword .topx files containing all 63 volumes
of sermons. The sermons are filed alphanumerically by Bible reference. So, you’ll
find texts from 1Chronicles first, 1Kings second, 1Samuel third, etc., then Amos,
etc. Volume 1 is the OT (plus a few sermons from Matthew), while Volume 2 is the
NT (minus a few sermons from Matthew that are in Volume 1). In this fashion, you
can easily find any of Spurgeon’s sermons based on the main text of his sermon. Volume
2 also includes an OT Index (look under “Index OT”) and a NT Index (look under “Index
NT”), which looks to be a complete index of every verse reference mentioned in ...Sermons.
So, with a minimum of fuss, you can find every Bible verse mentioned in Spurgeon’s
...Sermons for theWord: There are also two modules built for theWord; but they work
much better than their eSword cousins! One of them is a commentary module which serves
as a clickable index. The other is the entire 63 volumes built using the .gbk.twm
module type (theWord’s “ebook”). The .gbk.twm module is arranged canonically (and
not in Volume order). So, with just three windows open (a Bible window, a commentary
window, and a general book window), you can quickly get to Spurgeon’s comments anywhere
he has written a comment about any verse of the Bible. Every verse mentioned in all
63 volumes is clickable in the commentary index. The TW version is absolutely priceless
in its implementation. The TW version is really the finest implementation of Spurgeon’s
sermons possible with computer technology. Hyperbole? Try it for yourself, and see
what you think.
No matter which version of electronic Bible you prefer, Spurgeon lovers are going
to absolutely love these modules!
Those are my favorite modules built/reformatted in 2013. Did I miss your favorite?
If you drop me a note, and explain the error of my ways, I may just add your note
to the bottom of this blog.
That wraps up another glorious module year. May I express my gratitude to the volunteer
module builders who have formatted these beautiful modules:
and of course Josh Bond -the man amongst men when it comes to third party modules.
May God Bless us as we study His Word and look for that blessed hope, and the glorious
appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.