August 14, 2010

Sticking With It

In the prior century I made several failed attempts to read the whole Bible. I usually quit because I found the language tedious to read and hard to understand. (That, and a lack of spiritual maturity.) I had tried the King James and the New International versions. I finally bought a study Bible, one of those with lots of footnotes, in a modern translation. Since I was having so much trouble with the wording and reading, I picked a translation that was easy to read, a dynamic equivalence translation -- NLT. It took three years to make it all the way through, but it was very rewarding.

I'm now attempting a read-the-Bible-in-a-year program in a different translation. This time I picked a balanced translation, Holman, backed up by a number of formal equivalence translations, chiefly NKJV and NASB.

There are many different approaches to reading plans. I picked a chronological plan, which I thought would be neat. And it is at least a little neat. I'm hoping that reading the whole thing in a more compressed time frame and chronologically will give me another perspective on the whole thing. Less time will have elapsed from one book to another.

This time around, though, I find the reading much less enjoyable than the 3 year deep study approach. It's a lot more reading and a lot less studying. I would recommend the reading through in a year approach to someone only after they have done it the other way.

What has helped you stick with it and read the whole thing?


  1. Well, I finished it, and still have the same thought -- it was a lot of work and the study wasn't as deep as I thought. But reading it fast (and again) helped me gain fresh insight (or at least knowledge). Rather than certain verses being months away, this time they were days or weeks away. It helped me relate one passage to another. A very worthwhile thing to do.

  2. More thoughts:
    - Reading it again in another translation has made me often check certain passages in multiple translations and read commentaries on the passage, asking what is this really saying?
    - Multiple readings remind me of what I've read before but forgot.
    - Multiple readings are useful in that I notice things now that I didn’t notice before. Why didn't I notice them before? Funny how the brain works. It sometimes makes connections that it didn't at other times. For example, I didn't previously notice how Titus 3:1-3 applied to me.