BP LEDGER: July 14, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information from various Southern Baptist-related entities and news releases of interest from other sources.

Today's BP Ledger contains items regarding:

Arabic Christian Conference

Criswell College

Modern English Version

Kugler to present 'A Citizen of Heaven' at Arabic Christian Conf.

TOCCOA, Ga. (Arabic Christian Conference) -- With concerns about refugees and immigration on many people's minds, attorney Bruce Kugler will present "A Citizen of Heaven" during the July 21-24 Arabic Christian Conference at the Georgia Baptist Conference Center in Toccoa.

Kugler's presentation sets forth the Gospel by comparing the requirements for immigration to the United States with the requirements to become of citizen of heaven. According to Kugler, immigration law is very complex and there are numerous steps a person must take to become a citizen of the USA.

"Fortunately, the process of becoming a citizen of heaven is a simpler and far more valuable," Kugler says.

The conference is expected to draw attendees from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Florida. The conference will take on an international flavor that can impact people far beyond the state, since some of the participants' homelands will include Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Morocco and Jordan.

"We now have a great opportunity to present the Gospel to not only our neighbors but to the world, and not even leave the state," said Mokhles Hanna, senior pastor of Arabic Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Pastors, lay workers and representatives of the SBC International Mission Board part of last year's conference, and the same is expected this year.

Also speaking at the conference will be Tharwat Fahmi, an evangelist from Cario, Egypt. Leading worship will be Ziad Shehadeh from Amman Jordan. A separate conference for high school and college students also will be held.

Kugler, an attorney in Illinois, formerly was a trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice. He is a member of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists and is best known for his "God's Courtroom" documentary film which has been dubbed into several languages including Arabic.

More information about the conference can be obtained by contacting Hanna at 678-682-1299 or mokhleshanna@gmail.com.

40-year Criswell prof honored

DALLAS (Criswell College) -- H. Leroy Metts has retired after 40 years of teaching New Testament and Greek at Criswell College.

Metts joined Criswell's faculty in 1976 and has since taught 20 different courses. He was twice named professor of the year and awarded an honorary doctorate from the college in 2009. Trustees accorded Metts the title of distinguished professor during their April 7 meeting.

Dozens of Metts' former students attended a mid-April chapel to pay tribute to his impact on their lives.

Theology professor Alan Streett praised Metts for his faithfulness to the Scripture and to the Gospel, saying, "When other people devoted their energies to writing or gaining a reputation or using the classroom as a springboard to a large pulpit and a large salary, Roy gave his life to the exegesis of God's Word and preached the Gospel of the Kingdom before the Kingdom was ever cool."

Criswell College President Barry Creamer honored Metts for the love that drove his passion for the Gospel. "What drives this is not just your love to have your nose in books; you love the Lord."

Gary Ledbetter presented Metts with a plaque from the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention that described him as "a living example of Titus 2:7-8," modeling good works, teaching, integrity, dignity and sound speech. Looking toward his former professor, the SBTC communications director said, "Forty years later, I'm grateful for what I learned in your first Greek class."

Academic Affairs Vice President Joe Wooddell commended Metts' generosity with his time, money and energy, and surprised him with news of his promotion to distinguished professor. "You should have gotten that 10 years ago," Wooddell said.

MEV Bible dedication penned for Queen Elizabeth

WINDSOR, United Kingdom (Modern English Version) -- The newest update of the King James Version -- the Modern English Version -- has been provided to Queen Elizabeth II with a special dedication written by James F. Linzey, a retired Army chaplain and Southern Baptist evangelist.

The MEV, produced by a 47-member translation team, including 10 Southern Baptists, was released in 2014 by Charisma House Publishers. The new translation relied on the same sources at the KJV -- the Textus Receptus for the New Testament and what is known as the Masoretic Text for the Old Testament.

Printed and bound specifically for Queen Elizabeth II, the special edition was accepted on her behalf by the dean of Windsor, David J. Conner, during a ceremony May 8 at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.

Among those in attendance were retired Royal Air Force chaplain Maj. Bob Lucas; Stephen J. Huston, a former counter-terrorism consultant to the British and American governments; Jonathan Watt, a professor at Geneva College in Pittsburgh; and Stephen Strang, CEO of Charisma Media.

Linzey, a member of First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, Calif., wrote the dedication which reads:

"To Her Majesty Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her Other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

"The translators of the Bible wish grace, mercy, and peace through Jesus Christ our Lord."

In addition to Linzey, other Southern Baptists members on the translation committee included Old Testament's editor-in-chief N. Blake Hearson, associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City.

Sections edited by Southern Baptist seminary professors were the Pentateuch, Terry J. Betts, associate professor of Old Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., who also translated Genesis and Exodus, and the historical writings, Eric A. Mitchell, associate professor of Old Testament and archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, who also translated 1 Samuel. Ishwaran Mudliar, professor of religion at Oklahoma Baptist University, served as section editor for the major prophets and also translated Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel.

Other Southern Baptist seminary professors involved in the translation included three Southwestern faculty members, Rudolph González, professor of New Testament, who translated Philippians and Philemon; John Laing, associate professor of systematic theology, 1 Kings; and adjunct faculty member Adam Dodd, part of 2 Samuel, along with Archie W. England, professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther, and Paul Allen Smith, associate professor of Old Testament studies at the Arizona campus of Gateway Seminary, Numbers. Jeffrey Rankin, associate professor of Christian studies at North Greenville University in South Carolina, translated 1 Chronicles.

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