Saturday, January 03, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new

Today I finished reading the New Jerusalem Study Bible, reading Revelation chapters 7 to 22. This Bible is well worth reading through, though I am not particularly enamoured of the study notes, which often cast doubt on the Bible as coming to us from God, and embrace discredited theories such as the documentary hypothesis concerning the composition of the Pentateuch.

But I do like many things about the translation, including the use of Hebrew names for God and especially the use of Yahweh, instead of the convention of rendering the
tetragrammaton as LORD.

There are many interesting renderings in this translation, which, unlike so many others, is not tied to the Wyclif-Tyndale-King James tradition.

And today I began reading through my Christmas present from Cathy and Philip [my daughter and son-in-law], which is the ESV Study Bible. I would like to read through the whole book, including the 750,000 word biblical text and the 1 and a quarter million word study notes, resources and articles.

Over the past three years, prompted by Ron McCarthy, I've been reading rapidly through these Bible versions, taking three to five months to do so:
The ESV Reformation Study Bible
The NIV Archaeological Study Bible
The New Living Translation, second edition
The Good News Bible, Australian edition
The Books of the Bible: a presentation of Today's New International Version
The New Jerusalem Study Bible [including the Roman Catholic additions, which are not holy Scripture, but are well worth every Christian reading].

I have read most of the study notes in most of these, with the exception of the NJSB.

But there are so many in the ESV Study Bible, it is going to probably take at least twice as long as the other journeys. I'm looking forward to a more leisurely ride, which I began today using the one year Daily Bible Reading Plan included in this book. I always modify these and today did begin with Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, but then read Hebrews 1, Psalm 104 [referred to in the study notes for Hebrews 1] and Hebrews 13, on which I'm preaching tomorrow.

David Chapman's notes on Hebrews are excellent. I hope to find the rest of the study notes equally as worthwhile.

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