How to choose a good NON-study Bible.

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Earlier in this series, I suggested that if you were going to get a new Bible in 2017, you should invest in a Study Bible. However, that might not be the best fit for you if you are looking for something lightweight or that contains no extra-biblical material such as commentary or study notes. In fact, we can read probably Scripture faster and more focused without all the supplemental material. If you are in the market for a streamlined edition of the Word for daily reading there are still a few “upgrades” worth investigating in before making your final selection.

My three favorite “extras” when selecting a Bible.

  1. A concordance. This is hands down, my favorite feature in my Bibles. If you are unsure what a concordance is, it is a section (usually located in the back) of many Bibles that contains important biblical words and where you can find them. Perhaps you can’t remember the location of a specific verse but you remember it contains a keyword such as “baptism” thus you can look in the concordance for a list of verses that contain that word. I have found that it also helps broaden my understanding of a word or concept to see it used in another context. The bigger the concordance the better!
  2. A wide margin. There are many Bibles that have ample space for writing in them. A few ways you can utilize that space: taking notes during a meaningful message at church, prayer journaling, scripture doodle, structural laws for inductive study, or anything else that you can think of!
  3. Center-column cross references. A cross reference is a verse that has a similar theme or topic as the verse that you are reading. It’s a helpful tool that can help you “connect the dots” across the pages of Scripture. I love to see when an Old Testament passage or prophecy is being quoted in the New Testament and reference its original location. Especially when Jesus is doing it!

 

Why am I sharing this?

The new year has begun and many of us have committed to reading through the entire Bible in 2017, so I thought it might be helpful to start a blog series and share some of the resources that I use and some of my favorites.

I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment and let us know what you’re using to engage with Scripture so that everyone can benefit from your breakthrough!

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How to read the Bible when it’s hard to read.

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Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wrote that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step” and this weekend many of us have taken the first step! As with any journey, reading the entire Bible in a year will have long, difficult stretches. A little preparation & a lot of perseverance will ensure that we can reach our destination. 

Here are my three favorite ways to get through a hard portion of Scripture: 

  1. A dramatized audio Bible. A few years ago I discovered The Bible Experience and it was a game changer! There are times where I don’t feel like reading or where a passage of scripture itself is difficult to follow (i.e The Book of Leviticus) so I listen to it instead. I prefer to listen to a dramatized audio Bible because it includes sound effects, background music, and has different readers narrating the text with actual emphasis/inflection in their voice. Whereas an “audio Bible” typically has a single monotone reader simply narrating the text.
  2. Use an easier translation or paraphrase. I prefer to read the Bible in a modern yet accurate translation such as the ESV or NIV but certain books of the Bible (i.e The Book of Job) are much easier and more enjoyable to read in a version such as the New Living Translation or The Message.
  3. Find an outline or chart of the book. I have found it helpful to read through an overview of a book of the Bible before I set out to read it in an effort to understand the original author’s train of thought and the context in which it was written. This is particularly useful for some of Paul’s doctrinal works (i.e The Book of Romans) Many Bibles have outlines preceding each book, so slow down and explore yours or look online and you will find an array of supplemental materials to broaden your understanding.

 

Why am I sharing this?

The new year has begun and many of us have committed to reading through the entire Bible in 2017, so I thought it might be helpful to start a blog series and share some of the resources that I use as well as some of my favorites.

I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment and let us know what you’re using to engage with Scripture so that everyone can benefit from your breakthrough!