If you use a laptop or desktop for that matter. I encourage you to go to http://www.e-sword.net. It’s a fantastic Bible study program that’s absolutely free of charge. You can download translations of the Bible free. You can also get commentaries, maps, and other tools, if you want to get really serious. I may do a video showing you how to use it. That’s MAY.
Another good place to go, is www.biblegateway.com. You can get lots of free versions there.
For those of you who use a smart phone, you have tons of apps available to you at the low low price of FREE. If you have an iPhone, go to the app store. If you have an android go to the Google Play store. The first app I recommend is, YouVersion. You can download a ton of versions to you phone, or just use them online and save the memory in your phone. Also, Bible Gateway has an app. It’s also great. I think I’ll leave it with those two apps to avoid confusion. There are others. Look around in the store and find one you like.
Wow, all this technology. Isn’t it awesome? Let me recommend some actual translations of the Bible for you. First, I’ll recommend the Good News Bible. Sometimes known as Todays English Version. It’s written in very simple English.
When it first came out, it was called, “Good News For Modern Man”. I remember loving it. I was pretty young, and it was so refreshing to read the Bible in words I understood. This translation has been through many editions over the years. At first, it struggled, but as the years have passed, it has just gotten better. I highly recommend it for new Bible readers, and for anyone for whom English is a second language. I use it all the time. It’s one of the translations I find myself returning to.
Next, I want to tell you about The New Living Translation. This is also very good, especially if you’re new to the Bible. The Language is simple, but the translators were solid Bible Scholars. Personally, I don’t love the way it flows, but my wife does. In fact, it’s her absolute favorite translation. I have one edition of it, called, “The Jesus Centered Bible”, that is awesome. In the New Testament, it’s a typical Red Letter edition, meaning the words of Jesus are written in red. But in the Old Testament, it marks all of the stories and prophesies about Jesus in Blue. And it has lots of good notes about those places. If you’re going to spend money on a new Bible and want a kind of study Bible, I recommend this one above all the others. Again, that’s the New Living Translation.
Thirdly, I want to tell you about the English Standard Version. This is a strong translation. The language is a little more formal than the Good New Bible, or the New Living Translation, but it’s used in many Churches these days. Again, it’s not my favorite, but it’s the favorite of a lot of Christians. I use it in my sermon preparation and occasionally for my personal devotions.
There are lots and lots of good translations of the Bible. If you have one you want to ask me about, write to me, My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Or ask me via the comments section of the radiofreebuckie.com website. Or through the rfb facebook page. I’ll give you an honest evaluation.
Now, if you prefer the Authorised Version, the KJV. That’s fine. That’s the version I grew up reading. There is nothing wrong with it. In fact, because a lot of my early memory verses came from that translation, I still find myself quoting it for things like the Christmas story, and the 23rd psalm. I just think you’ll have fewer problems if you read a more modern English translation.
Before we leave the subject of translations. There are two I want to disrecommend to you. And frankly, I can’t dis recommend them enough. First is the New World Translation. It’s unlikely you’ll come in contact with this version because it isn’t sold to the public. This is the Jehovah’s Witness Bible. It has been changed dramatically, to fit the doctrinal position of the Jws. That’s why regular bookstores won’t sell it. Avoid it like the plague. The same advice goes for “The Passion Bible” or “The Passion Translation.” This one is done to promote the teachings of a group of American Churches. I’m guessing it has twice as many words as a regular Bible. The guy kind of included his interpretations and commentary right into the translation. I don’t know for sure if it’s even available in the U.K. Except on Bible Gateway. Just avoid it.
Like I said earlier, please write me with any questions at all about translations.
Now, for the heart of this episode. I believe the reason most people get confused, or give up on the Bible is because you read it in the wrong order. Most people, naturally, start right at the beginning with Genesis and try to read straight through. If they manage to make it to Leviticus, they give up. It happens all the time.
The Bible has two main sections, The Old Testament, then The New Testament. The old has 39 books, the New 27. So there are 66 books. It’s like a library, or a set of encyclopedias, in one volume. Would you go into our local library, and start reading the first book and then try and work your way around. Of course not. The same with encyclopedias. You wouldn’t start with the As and read through it to the last volume. You would look up your subject in the catalog or alphabet and go there.
The best way to understand the Bible is to read the New Testament first, then the Old. And… I wouldn’t recommend reading even the NEW testament in order. The first 4 books of the NT are what we call Gospels. They tell us who Jesus is. Then we have the book of Acts which tells you what to do about it. Its the only book of the Bible that tells us how people became Christians and how churches were formed. Then we have 21 letters to give us instructions on the best way to live as followers of Jesus. Finally, we have the book of Revelation that explains how it will all end. I recommend that you read the Gospel of Luke first, followed by the book of Acts. Luke wrote both of them, so it’s easy to follow his flow. First you’ll learn who Jesus is, then what to do about it.
Next Go read I and II Thessalonians. I’m going to give you a suggested order for the whole New and Old Testaments. I’m not going to give it all over the broadcast because I’ll lose you. I will include it with the show notes at www.radiofreebuckie.com. You can also write to me and I’ll give you the reading plan.
What I’ve done is try and keep themes together and to give you the thoughts in the Bible’s text generally in an easier to harder order. It will truly help you grasp the teachings better. Make sense?
Just a couple more suggestions for you. The first is that you read the New Testament twice before moving to the old. It will really make a difference. Then read the Book of Hebrews again before you read the old testament. That is a key in unlocking the OT. When you have a good understanding of Hebrews, the Old Testament will make so much more sense to you. I promise.
Wow! We covered a lot of ground. I want you to read the Bible and understand what you’re reading. It will change your life…forever. Don’t be afraid if you have questions about things you don’t understand. As them. If you don’t have someone you trust, ask me. I’m here to help.
I’m sorry this is coming out late. It’s just been one of those weeks. Have a great weekend. Talk to you soon. Tell your friends about this show. Please like the facebook page and save the link to the website. Chow. I’m out.
Here is the reading plan:
Luke, Acts, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Matthew, James, Mark, 1 and 2 Timothy
John, 1,2,3 John, Galatians, Philippians, Titus, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians,
Colossians, Philemon, Hebrews, 1 and 2 Peter, Jude, Romans, Revelation
Old Testament: Genesis, Joshua, Psalms, Isaiah, Exodus, Judges, Proverbs, Jeremiah, Leviticus, Ruth, Job, Lamentations, Numbers, I Samuel, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel, Deuteronomy, 2 Samuel, Song of Solomon, Daniel, I Kings, Hosea, 2 Kings, Joel, I Chronicles, Amos, 2 Chronicles, Obadiah, Ezra, Jonah, Nehemiah, Micah, Esther, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi