Contending For The Faith

November 5, 2008

The Free John MacArthur Sermon Archive

Filed under: John MacArthur — Lynda O @ 7:52 pm

Here is some really great news, from Grace to You and the free sermon archive.  Though today was the official start date, I noticed the changes already in place by 8:00 p.m. last night.

In addition to offering the files for free, they enhanced the website “resources” section in several minor ways.  Now we can also view the sermons by date; click on a year from the list — 1969 through 2008 — to see which sermons were delivered in a certain year.  Just a trivial thing, I know, but something I always have wanted to know, the date (at least the year) that MacArthur gave a particular sermon.  Through this feature I learned that they only kept recordings of two sermons from MacArthur’s first year (or at least, two that survive and available online), but 39 the following year, and even more by 1971.  This feature is only available by browsing for each year.  If I have a particular sermon title and want to know its year, that requires downloading, then viewing in Windows Explorer and moving my mouse over the title to see the “tag” information.  Yet this also is an improvement, since before the only sermons I could download — even to view the year — were the handful I had collected from the “Free Weekly MP3” feature of one free sermon per week.  The sermon listings also appear to have been cleaned up, removing the many duplicate entries that I had previously observed.

The main new feature is of course the actual download method.  The link options available on each sermon now include a new “download” link; and then two options become available, for a high-quality (64 bit compression) or low-quality file (16 bit compression), to make downloading even easier than under the old web system of selecting the product “MP3” instead of “CD” and adding it to a checkout cart.

I have, and still will, study MacArthur sermons by reading the transcripts of full series; I read through the full Genesis 1 through 11 sermon series, then a few other sermon series (The Master’s Men 5-parts, a few sermons from Exodus related to the Mosaic Sabbath, a handful of others), and will soon start reading the full sermon series through the book of Daniel.  At my computer during the day, though, I’ve been using the Grace to You resources section as a type of commentary source, relying heavily on the text search capability for all the sermon transcripts.  If I’m reading a passage and want further details concerning its meaning, I can look up the sermons “by scripture” and find the sermon that specifically addressed that text.  (This is a great commentary capability for the New Testament as well as certain books of the Old Testament, since MacArthur has preached through every New Testament book except Mark’s gospel.)  At other times in my study, I want to find references to a particular phrase, such as “hermeneutic” or “literal interpretation” or “rapture.”  Using these methods for looking up sermons, before I would just read the relevant text, a few paragraphs here or there.  Now I’m beginning to also download the full sermon, to listen to on my computer.

So in keeping with my current study topics, I found and downloaded a three-part series called “Will the Church Go Through the Tribulation?”  and listened to part 1.  It was great, and I found myself taking a few notes along the way, or “rewinding” in Windows Media Player a few times, same as I do with other sermon MP3 files.


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