Reading your Bible doesn’t have to be a duty. It can be fun, enjoyable, and incredibly relevant in your daily life. Even for the majority of Christians who do read their Bible on a daily basis, they do so out of a sense of obligation rather than desire.
If this is true, then I think it’s time to consider another option for reading your Bible; how you can take your Bible with you wherever you go. After all, it is infinitely more valuable to go with the flow than it is to plop down your privileges to attend church, sing in the choir, read the approved teachings, or sit in the honored guest speaker’s pulpit and listen to incense-filled sermons.
Reading your Bible should not be limited to “authorized” types. Think about a medical doctor or a military general. Is there anywhere that you would not be scoffed at for choosing to read on a military base or in a medicine factory? Yet, Christianity itself is made of layers and there is no definitive authority figure that designed the layers. Scripture itself is composite of many layers, writings, cities, laws, themes, ethics, and its entirety was shaped by collaboration. But I know of no one that designed “authorized” Bible translations, at least in any of the “new” translations.
Many of the earlier American translations of the Bible were stony and were hardly the most appetizing either. Yet, that was no excuse to toss them aside. They were the most helpful for the people at that time because they were the most intuitive. The new translations were purposed more as a business necessity-to help people speak and understand English. Even Scientific studies have shown that people who read-only “formula” types of addressed Bibles and studies them proved their own weak understanding of the text and viewpoint. And so, I feel the new version should be the most beneficial for the serious Bible student, and not replace the less demanding, but more expensive, hand-annotated versions.
One of my favorite features of the modern daily English translations is that they’ve brought our version of Scripture into the 21st Century. Many, however, argue that the changes from the 1611 English Standard Version to the 1980’s NIV (the works of Jerome, Trenchant, and others) are rises in interpretability terminology and are totally inaccurate. They argue that people have changed in the millennia since. Emboldened by events like, “The Message,” Teaching in the New Testament(Simon and Schuster), ActionScripture (Zondervan), World International Bible congregation, and others, they maintain that its words, not phrases, that are the essence of the Bible and that the changes are merely worded usage and diction.
This is a valid point, which can easily be proven by studying every example of a specific Bible word in its original context. But that said, there’s no substitute for experience and it’s in the word limits that many of us have experienced the most spiritual nourishment found in our daily devotion.
So begin by sitting down to read your Bible. Get off the web and begin the journey that will change your life forever.