The Bible Rocks!
Yeah it's a dramatic statement, and in some countries I'd be locked up for saying that. And in others I'd be taken down be churches who might think that was blasphemous.
Me and the Bible
I first became friends with my bible after reading it through. It took about a year and a half, I finished on Good Friday 2003 - the day my Grandmother died. The version I read was the youth bible as this offered the most accessible english and meant I could actually read it. I also underlined bits and this really helped me become intimate with it. I subsequently 'upgraded' to the NIV (nearly infallible version) Study Bible, which is excellent and has all the answers to tricky cell group questions.
My top recommended books are:
- Exodus - contains all the musicals you've ever been to
- Psalms - good to dip into, some really beautiful things here
- Joel - some really powerful stuff
- Acts - come on! Just why isn't the church still like this?
- Peter (1 & 2) - a real easy read, with some true gems in it
- Revelation - oh yeah baby, this is the stuff. Fireworks and burning sulphur, great spiritual warfare.
Right so I've been floating around translations for quite a while. I started with the Youth Bible after a church heritage of the Good News. I read the Youth right through in my second year and gained a great deal from that. Then I received a NIV Life Application Study Bible which is fantastic, this proved a great tool for getting so much more out of the bible and helped enormously at Bible studies! However I've found it hard to become friends with the NIV like I did with the youth bible so I wasn't completely contented.
There was a short interlude in which I went to China. I took a lovely Good News with me, 'leant' it to a Chinese friends while I was out there. In Beijing Chongwenmen Church I acquired a NSRV dual Chinese English bible with gold edging and those little thumb cut-outs for the individual books for the sum total of about £2!! I returned with this. In China I also rediscovered me love for reading the word of God, something I'd lost during the previous year.
On returning I acquired The Message which, for those of you who don't know, is the Bible translated into contemporary language (or, for the Conservative Evangelicals amongst you, is the devils translation), but not the Street Bible which is cut somewhat and more of an overview rather than a full direct translation. The Message is excellent, I'm already on my third having given away two to friends, with language that gets the message across in language that really makes sense. Sometimes it's a little Americanised, and the Psalms don't work so well, but other than that really rocks and is Bono's preferred translation. I'd recommend you all go and get this and give it a go.
The Message Remix
Go on, pick it up and have a read!
On the topic of the Youth Bible
Peter: Yeah that's got Steve Chalk on the back.
Nick: More importantly it has sex on it.
Peter: That was on the front of mine.
Nick: Ah, I have sex on my back!