Monday, July 14, 2008

My Bible journey, over 50 years

I was brought up on the King James Version, and quite a few verses and many passages are permanently in my head from that version.

In 1965, when I turned 13, my mother gave me a copy of Living Letters, which was the first instalment of The Living Bible. It had a profound effect on me, because I began to understand things I had not grapsed in the 17th Century English of the KJV. I was pretty angry after reading Romans 9, and it took many years before I embraced God's sovereignty, so clearly taught there.

In 1972 my brother Malcolm gave me a copy of the full Living Bible, with which I had a love/hate relationship. It seemed very loose in places, but it also made the Bible clearer and put it into the language we speak.

In 1973, we were given a white, unadorned wedding edition of the Revised Standard Version.

Over the years I have enjoyed many Bibles, and had the opportunity to study biblical languages for four years while training for the Christian ministry [in which I lasted a whole two and a half years].

In 2005, a member of our church encouraged us to read through the New Testament, which I did using my new TNIV. This spurred me on to also read the Old Testament in that version, and then to read through the Bible in a variety of translations.

Over the past four years I have read the whole Bible through using
The NIV Archaeological Study Bible
The ESV Reformation Study Bible
The New Living Translation, second edition [which is a significant improvement over the first edition, which was a great upgrade of The Living Bible]
The Good News Bible, Australian Edition

I'm now reading through The Books of the Bible, a presentation of Today's New International Version, which gets rid of verses, chapters, headings and footnotes [they have been converted into endnotes, which I'm not bothering to consult], but does use spacing to enhance readability. It also rearranges the books into a more logical and chronological order.

Reading each of these Bibles has been a great blessing and I have learnt much more reading the Bible through than I've ever learnt from commentaries and Bible dictionaries, helpful as they are.

I have found Michael Coley's chart for reading through the Bible very helpful, though I always adapt it to my own needs.

I have the TNIV as my base Bible, but also have the KJV, the NLT [both editions] and the ESV on my Palm Zire 22 and find each of them helpful

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