Dr. Robert Lowery shares how he tries to “read through the New Testament once a month and the Old Testament as least twice a year:”
I read from a variety of translations, but usually I read the NIV six to eight months of the year and then the remaining months I read from a variety of translations–NASB, ESV, NLT, NRSV, etc.)… I buy a paperback of the NIV at the beginning of every year and mark it up quite thoroughly, underlining (at times following a code–blue for God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, black for the beautiful indicatives found in Scripture, red for the imperatives, etc.), drawing happy faces by sections, unhappy faces, puzzled faces, angry faces (Yes, sometimes I don’t like what God says!)… I am captivated by the metaphors the biblical authors use… I write in the margins of my Bible short sentences summing up my thoughts, etc. I read the Bible not only as sacred literature but as literature, paying close attention to the plot, characters, settings, the role of the narrator/author (I have been deeply influenced by Leland Ryken’s How to Read the Bible as Literature and recommend that you read the work not once but several times so that his principles get into your reading DNA)… I write down questions that I want to pursue in a more detailed way…
(Ellipses are his.) The rest of his post answers the why, when, where, and how questions about his reading.
First it was lonelygirl15. More recently it was Michael Eisner. Now a Bible publisher is launching a weekly series on YouTube:
On May 14 B&H Publishing Group’s Holman Bibles division will launch HolmanTV.com, a video blog designed to expose high school and college students to the Holman Student Bible, which releases in July. A series of 3–5 minute weekly video episodes will be posted on MySpace, YouTube and FaceBook, leading viewers to HolmanTV.com to follow the lives of “Holman” and “Gigi,” 20-somethings who are cubicle-bound in Nashville but dreaming of making it big in the music business….
[B&H marketing manager Tim] Jordan said each episode will have a 10-15 second introduction (“like a short TV show”) and will end with a 17-second commercial for the Holman Student Bible. But, Jordan said, “there will be no product shots, no one holding up a Bible. If we make it too heavily commercial they will smell that out and be turned off.”
Technocrat7 at Technocracy unleashed writes about starting a one-year Bible reading plan in the middle of the year:
We’ve already read today’s passages. So far, so good. It’s not the first time that I’ve started studying Joshua in the middle of the book (a few years ago, I started attending a church group while a study of Joshua was underway). Joshua might not be the easier book to start reading in the middle of, but this way we’ll know right away if we start to fall behind.
Noël Piper in 2003 shared how she read the Bible in a year:
I didn’t begin in January. I simply let the Spirit push me into it “any time now.” I began in July.
I started in Hosea and read to the end of the Old Testament. I knew what had become of my efforts before when I had started quite literally, “in the beginning.” I also knew there were chunks of the minor prophets I had never laid eyes on. There’s something intriguing about unknown territory.
I didn’t try to read books in sequence. After Leviticus, I was ready for some adventure in Acts. I completed one book before I began another, except for the Psalms and Proverbs which I read in scattered chunks whenever I wanted to.
Any day is a good day to start reading your Bible.
Crossway is currently selling several Bibles at 50% off, including two One Year® Bibles. These Bibles are “quality seconds,” or slightly used or damaged items that they can no longer sell as new.
The Logos Bible Software Blog points to an article about how the rise of smoking in China drives up the cost of Bible paper.
There are at least two good reasons to stop smoking. Number one: It may damage your health. Number two: It raises the production costs for Bibles, ASSIST News Service reports. The Chinese craving for cigarettes is responsible for rising paper costs in bible printing, according to the business manager of the German Bible Society, Felix Breidenstein. Because of the rising demand for cigarette paper in China the special thin paper used in bible printing is getting more expensive, as Breidenstein told the German news magazine Der Spiegel.
Also see the original article (in German) or Google’s translation.
The same paper machines that produce Bible paper also produce other very thin papers like cigarette paper. Bible paper weighs about 35 grams per square meter (gsm, or grammage), while cigarette paper weighs about 20-24 gsm. Typical photocopier paper weighs about 80 gsm.
These thin-paper machines produce proportionally less Bible paper as they use more of their capacity for cigarette paper. Prices for Bible paper naturally rise when supply falls.
Other factors affect the recent increase in Bible-paper costs (including higher prices for raw materials), but the two trillion cigarettes smoked annually by the Chinese (and the 3.5 trillion smoked elsewhere) play a part.
Christopher at TaylorWest has been blogging about paraphrases of the Bible (spoiler: he finds them helpful). Tucked in at the end of one of his posts are the reasons he reads the ESV with his kids and how he tries to (not) interpret the text for them:
When we read the Bible together at night with our children, we read from the ESV. Karis, Isaiah, and Gloria all follow along in their Children’s Edition of the ESV. When questions come up about the meaning of the text, I sometimes have to say, “Well, the meaning of the text isn’t that clear. I believe this is what the author meant, but others take it differently. They think it say[s] this.”
I think this demonstration of humility before the text instills greater trust in the text than if I were to simply say, “This is what the text means.” Especially since later on as they grow in their understanding of the text, they may find that my interpretation was not at all what the text said or meant. I don’t want my children to place their trust in my interpretation of a text. I want them to trust the text and figure out what it means. I believe this will create little theologians who will seek God’s help in figuring out what the text says instead of relying on daddy.
(Emphasis added.) Unrelatedly, earlier in the post he states well the ESV’s goal of being ambiguous where the original text is ambiguous:
I have to admit here, this is why I love the ESV. For the most part, they leave the English ambiguous where the Greek is ambiguous. Anyone who knows about the function of adverbial participles in Greek will know that there is often any number of ways the participle can be interpreted. In these cases the ESV has done a good job in leaving the participle open to interpretation instead of offering its own interpretation.