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Tag: Bible Reading

The Big Picture Reading Plan (NT Overview)

The Big Picture Reading Plan (NT Overview)

Many people struggle to understand the Bible. Sometimes it is even hard to know where to start reading. To help you get started, or to refresh your reading, ware offering the Big Picture Reading plan to help you to have a solid overview of the New Testament. 

 

Day 1

Matthew 1:18—2:23 

Day 2

Matthew 5:1–16

Matthew 6:1—7:12

Day 3

Matthew 14:13–36

Day 4

Mark 2:1–17

Day 5

Luke 10:25–37

Luke 11:1–4

Day 6

Luke 15:1–32

Day 7

Luke 19:28–48

Day 8

Luke 22:1–23

Day 9

John 3:1–21

Day 10

John 4:1–42

Day 11

John 11:1–44

 Day 12

John 14:1–31

Day 13

John 19:1—20:10

Day 14

Acts 2:1–47

Day 15

Acts 8:26–40

Day 16

Acts 9:1–31

Day 17

Acts 16:11–40

Day 18

Romans 8:1–39

Day 19

Romans 12:1–21

Day 20

1 Corinthians 13:1–13

Day 21

1 Corinthians 15:1–58

Day 22

Ephesians 2:1–22

Ephesians 6:10–20

Day 23

Philippians 3:1—4:9

 Day 24

Colossians 3:1—4:1

Day 25

1 Thessalonians 4:1–18

Day 26

Hebrews 11:1–40

 Day 27

James 1:1–27

James 3:1–18

Day 28

1 Peter 1:3–25

Day 29

1 John 1:1—2:17

Day 30

Revelation 21:1—22:21

 

The Book

The Book

 

Photos of The Book (Cllick Me)

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One of the most popular categories, in Bible Publishing, today, is what is called the Reader’s Bible. In this article, we are looking at the volume that created this category and we have to go back in time to 1971, the year when Tyndale House Publishers revolutionized the way people interact with the Bible and released a volume simply titled, The Book. Note: I acquired this copy of The Book on my own; Tyndale House Publishers did not ask for this article and my opinions are my own.

The Name

Calling this edition of the Bible The Book was quite apropos for two reasons: Christians and Jews are called, pejoratively, called the People of the Book and secondly, this particular edition of the Scripture is laid out like a normal book.

The Concept

When you go to the Bible section of the bookstore and you pick up a Bible, most of them are fairly intimidating and many of them are rather busy. There are all manner of “helps” but those “helps” are often times a distraction to our interaction with the Bible This is where The Book comes into play and really shines. It is laid out like a normal book, really it’s laid out very similarly to a novel. I will cover the layout more in the next section but, suffice it to say, you could sit in your favorite chair with The Book and your favorite beverage and, easily consume, large amounts of the Bible in a single sitting. 15 years ago when I got my first copy (I have worn out 3 or 4 copies over the years), I read the entirety of the Gospel According to Mark in a single sitting and without even realizing the time lapse.

Layout, Font, Paper

The Bible text is laid out in a single column paragraphed format, exactly how any secular book would be laid out. There are 3 and only 3 helps in the text itself and they are chapter numbers, verse numbers, and subject headings. It rather blends a novel and a text book. There is one other set of “helps” in the front of The Book, a topical guide to read about the Christian Life.

The font, which is entirely black letter, is very crisp and easy to read, which should not be a surprise in a volume designed to be read in large quantities of pages. It looks to be in the Lexington Family with the chapter numbers being bold, dark, and very large.

The paper is not your normal Bible paper which is often fairly thin; this paper is a little thinner than in a textbook but very well suited to its purpose. To my surprise, many of the people that I have seen with this volume do highlight and make other markings in The Book. I would venture to say that if you were inclined to write in The Book, you will have no issues with just about any writing implement.

Translation

Originally offered in The Living Bible Paraphrase (the green one in the pictures), the Book is currently offered in the New Living Translation. The New Living Translation is what we call a meaning based translation. It is more free flowing and endeavors to capture the original thoughts as the original readers would have understood them. It is not a technical or a woodenly literal translation.

Cover and Binding

The Book is offered in both Hardcover and Softcover (Paperback). It is considered a milestone in the publishing world when a book goes paperback and The Book has done that in both editions.

The binding seems to an adhesive binding. You might expect me to be disappointed in this fact but, in the case of The Book, I am not disappointed at all. It is exactly what I expected. Since The Book is designed to be as close to a “regular” book as possible, a glued binding fits.

As a Carry Bible

The Book is an incredible choice for an everyday carry Bible. First, it is the perfect format for reading and second, people see the cover and cannot help asking, “so what is The Book about?” and when that happens, it opens the door to a conversation about the Bible and the Gospel.

As a Giveaway Bible

The price point is not my favorite level for a giveaway Bible but The Book is a very practical choice for a Bible to giveaway. In this format, people that otherwise will not read the Bible, will find themselves with an option that they not only will read but will actually want to read it.

Final Thoughts/Overall Impression

The Book is a great choice for gift giving, especially for new disciples. The most important aspect of our faith is the actual reading of the Bible. For 49 years, The Book has been helping Christians to do just exactly that. It will continue to do so for many years to come.

Pastor Matt Bassford on Switching to CSB

Pastor Matt Bassford on Switching to CSB

This morning we have a guest post from a colleague, Pastor Matt Bassford at Jackson Heights Church of Christ. Matt recently adopted the Christian Standard Bible as his preaching and teaching Bible and he has been gracious enough to share his thoughts. (More information can be found at Matt Bassford’s Blog

Why I Switched to the CSB

English-speaking Christians are blessed with a plethora of good translations of the Bible. Of course, translation is an art, not a science. There are no perfect translations, nor will there ever be.

However, practically every translation that we’re likely to encounter is more faithful to the original Hebrew and Greek texts we have than the Septuagint is to its Hebrew originals. If the Holy Spirit thought the Septuagint was good enough to incorporate into the New Testament, whatever we’ve got is good enough to get us to heaven!

Because we are so spoiled for choice, though, those of us who care about the Bible are likely to move from translation to translation, looking for one that is maybe a little bit more perfect than the rest. In my time as a preacher/Bible reviewer, I’ve preached and taught from at least 10 different translations, and at various times, I’ve used three translations (NASB, NKJV, and ESV) for my primary text.

A couple of months ago, though, I decided to try out a fourth translation for my every-day Bible—the Christian Standard Bible, or CSB. When I switched from NASB to ESV a few years ago, the CSB was a strong second-place finisher, and my occasional use of it ever since gradually swayed me to adopt it. Several factors played into this decision:

VOLUME QUALITY. My copy of the CSB is bound in edge-lined goatskin that Holman sent me as a promo copy in 2017 when they rolled the translation out. It’s true that I love edge-lined Bibles, and once you’ve gotten used to one, it’s tough to go back to paste-down.

However, it’s really the quality of the setting of the CSB that influenced me here. My CSB was set by 2K, a Danish shop that is world-famous for its Bible designs, and the quality shows. It’s better designed than the ESV I was using before. My CSB is prettier, easier to read, and has cross-references that are easier to use. As far as I’m concerned, anything that makes reading and studying the word more pleasant is well worth adopting!

STYLISTIC QUALITY. I love the English language and rejoice in good writing. As a result, I struggle to love translations that prioritize faithfulness to the words of the Greek (and sometimes even to Greek grammar) over making clear sense in English. Brethren often are fond of these translations (I think because they appear to remove human judgment from translation, though in truth they do not), but they often pose obstacles to our understanding. These obstacles can be surmounted in verse-by-verse study (as when the preacher reads a verse and then pauses to explain what it means in normal English), but they often make Bible reading difficult, especially for new Christians who don’t speak fluent NASB.

By contrast, the style of the CSB is accessible and lively. Instead of talking like Bible characters, speakers in the CSB sound like real people. For instance, in Luke 6:46 in the CSB, Jesus says, “Why do you call me “Lord, Lord” and don’t do the things I say?”

The CSB also is full of aptly phrased renderings. Consider the difference between Ruth 2:12 in the NASB (“May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.”) and the CSB (“May the LORD reward you for what you have done, and may you receive a full reward from the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”). The NASB undeniably sounds more Hebraic, with idioms like “your wages be full”, but it’s the CSB that sounds like good English. That’s important!

TEXTUAL FAITHFULNESS. It is, of course, possible for translators to take accessibility too far. Unlike most brethren, I’ve used the NLT extensively (I read the whole thing cover-to-cover a few years back), and though I like it for reading, I feel like the translators take too many liberties, especially in the New Testament, for the translation to be suitable for close study. When I’m reading from the NLT, there are a dozen places in the book of Romans alone where I stop and say, “Man; they sure booted that one!”

The translators of the CSB are much more careful. So far, at least, I feel that the translation sacrifices little in the way of nuance and faithfulness in exchange for great gains in style and clarity. Of course, there are CSB renderings that I don’t like, but there are renderings in every translation I don’t like. To this point, they are infelicities I can live with.

I also like the balance that the CSB has struck on gender equality. The translators generally render the Greek _adelphoi_ as “brothers and sisters” (unless the context makes it clear that only males are under discussion), and they replace “how blessed is the man” in Psalm 1:1 with “how blessed is the one”. However, the pronoun throughout Psalm 1 is “he”, and the translators preserve the singular “son of man” in Psalm 8:4 (compare “human beings” in the NIV). It remains to be seen whether the upcoming 2020 revision of the NASB will fare as well.

I certainly don’t insist that every Christian out there needs to switch to the CSB Right This Minute. It almost certainly is true that the Bible you’re using right now is get-you-to-heaven good (though if you struggle to adhere to a Bible-reading program, consider that your choice of translation and setting may be at fault). However, for those who are looking for another Bible or simply are curious, the CSB is well worth checking out.