Friday, December 19, 2008

On Bible Reading

So my Christmas present to myself this year was a hardback Harper Collins NRSV Study Bible.

The Bible is great for reading:
-I really like the paragraph format with the verse numbers in superscript. Bibles that divide the text verse-by-verse are a tremendous distraction to me. Of course, you can find paragraph formatted Bibles in any version, but some versions it is harder to find this. Here is an example of the book of Ecclesiastes from the KJV in paragraph form.
-The language communicates to me without constantly reminding me it's old, different, and peculiar- which is another distraction in casual reading.
-The study notes are right at hand if a verse puzzles me or raises questions.

I think that's what really always got me in reading my Bible... the Book itself (language, formatting, archaisms) was too much of a distraction to work for daily reading.

When it comes to study, I could study out of a Tyndale NT if I had to. In study, you are prepared to dissect the verses and words and contexts. As a matter of fact, an older, more complex version could actually be better for study, if you think about it. I have had a Nelson KJV Study Bible since 2003 and it is excellent. The notes are conservative and the center references are some of the best I've seen. The binding is broken from when I drove off once with it on top of the car... oops!... so I am planning to get another copy sometime.

Another thing I am looking forward to is the "battle of the notes"... the Harper Collins notes, as I am given to understand, are not really conservative at all, while my Nelson notes are very conservative in their interpretation. I am looking forward to some good Bible study in the future with these two!

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