Which Bible is for me?

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”  Psalm 119:105 NIV

I can think of no discipline that will add greater momentum to your Christian development than reading the Bible.  Trust me on this point.

Over my lifetime until three years ago, I read the Bible numerous times, but in a random fashion.  I learned a lot, but also missed a lot.  Over the last three years I’ve followed a systematic plan that takes one year to make it all the way through, which means each day requires reading 3-4 chapters–10-20 minutes worth.  In a 24-hour period of time, it isn’t very much.  

Even though the material is familiar, I learn something new every single reading.  I don’t think this reflects a lack of concentration or memory on my part.  Let me suggest that it’s the influence of the Holy Spirit in opening my eyes.  

The process is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  The New Testament only makes sense upon receiving the background of the Old Testament.  The connectivity between them starts to take shape to present the whole picture.  Right now in  my life I’ve assembled all the pieces on the outside of the puzzle and filled in some adjoining sections.  With more study the middle pieces will come together one-by-one.  Quite frankly, I don’t think there are enough years left in my life to complete the entire puzzle, but that’s okay because I don’t feel anyone has.  I think we’ll learn where the remaining pieces go in the next life. 

What is the best translation of the Bible for you to read and study?  It’s not that hard to make a determination on your own.  There are four basic types:                                                                                                                                                  Formal Equivalent–A literal word translation of the Hebrew and Greek into  English.  Example:  KJV.                            Dynamic Equivalent–A thought-for-thought translation.  Example:  NIV.                                                                                     Optimal Equivalent–A combination of literal and thought-for-thought.  Example:  HCSB.                                                      Paraphrase–None of the above; putting the Bible into one’s own words.  Example:  The Message   

If you’re in the market for a Bible, check out the many translations available at www.biblegateway.com.  This website contains 59 different English versions.  Last year I picked up a copy of the NIV at a discount store for only five bucks.  The print is large and the paper is thick.  It’s perfect for highlighting verses and making notes.  

What translation is best for you?  It’s the one you’ll read!   


Prayer:  Thank you, God, for your Holy Word.  May we use it to learn your perfect plan for our lives.  Amen.  

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