In my opinion the best bible to read is one that is not sitting on a shelf, it is a Bible that is wide open in front of you, and most importantly one that you can understand easily. Please don’t get stressed or worried about what translation you have. Reading God’s Word is the reason we have a Bible. I was at a church and a young man was about to read some scripture from his Bible. Before he started reading he apologised to everyone because he had an NIV Bible and the others preferred a different English Bible translation. My heart sank. When did it become okay to pressure this person or that person into feeling bad about their bible for any reason? I often read The Message Bible at church, I don’t apologise for it, I just let everyone know that I am reading from The Message. I let them know because if they read along with me The Message is quite different and probably won’t match word for word to their Bible translation. I find The Message Bible refreshing for a change but I don’t use it as my study Bible. Anyhoo, with that being said; don’t feel bad no matter what translation of the English Bible you have. You have a Bible and that is a good thing! This post is more about sharing information, there is no musts or do’s here.
Why read the Bible? If you want to know God then you will want to read His word. By reading the Bible you get to know the heart of God. God gives us understanding when reading His word. We were created to have a relationship with God. The more you know Him the easier it is to know His will and live your life in a way that pleases Him. When you feed on the word of God it nourishes your soul and the trials of this world is much easier to handle. We are also able to help, feed and nourish others. For example if your car is not maintained OR if you put the wrong type of petrol (gas) in it, OR if it has no petrol (gas) in the tank your car will not get very far. And it won’t be able to take you to where you need to go. We are like that too, we might get taken in the wrong direction, or we just won’t get very far if our spiritual tank is empty, or if we are filling up on the wrong stuff.
Are you a bit confused about which bible is best? Easily done, as there are loads of different bibles to choose from. It is a personal choice, everyone has their favourite translation. I would recommend New Living Translation, New American Standard Bible, English Standard Version and lastly New International Version for study bibles. The first three are good word for word translations and are easily understood. NIV is easily understood but not necessarily a word for word perfect translation.
What Bible translation do I use? I use lots of different translations but I typically like the NLT or NIV for studying. I use my iPad and iPod daily for reading my Bible. It has all the translations I could ever need or want offline and online. I read through the whole Bible starting in Genesis and finishing in Revelation each year. Each day I read part of the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. It only takes a small amount of time anywhere from 20 minutes the longest is about 40 minutes a day. For ease of going through the Bible I listen to Daily Audio Bible. I change Bible translations each week and have done this over the last two years. The reason I like to change translations is because I like to be challenged about what does this mean or that mean. When a different translation comes along to what you are use to it can make you think. For me it is a matter of discipline to go through the Bible each year. It is not something everyone must do, it is a personal decision, choice and my preference.
Along with going through the Bible each year I also like to read books by Christian authors. I also like to do my own topic studies. This varies from taking one book from the bible and studying it or using other resources like books and DVD’s. I also like resources where everything is packaged together including the leader’s manual, DVD’s, work books (member books), and journals whether it is for individual study or group bible study.
If you don’t attend a Bible believing church, or if you have had a mixed up church background. Or if you can not go to a Bible study with mature Christians. Or even IF you are having problems understanding your Bible. Or if confusion is setting in. I would highly recommend using a Bible translation like the New Living Translation AND doing a Beth Moore Bible Study for personal growth. I would definitely keep using Beth’s material until you are able to have a solid foundation. It may take a few years. Thankfully Beth has loads of resources. Beth takes one topic at a time and does an in depth study. Don’t be discouraged it can be easy for anyone to get confused when studying your Bible on your own with little to no guidance. Persevere you are worth it! I love this quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
“By eliminating simple obedience on principle, we drift into an unevangelical interpretation of the Bible. We take it for granted that as we open the Bible, we have a key to its interpretation. We no longer depend on God for the answers and understanding, depending instead on our [own] understanding.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Below is a bunch of resources you might enjoy ~ Sarah xxx