Today is March 6th. 65 days ago (which was January 1st), I made one of those crazy New Year’s Resolutions to read through the entire Bible, one book per day.
As of about an hour ago… done.
Some days were long… reading through Genesis, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc. Other days were very short… reading through Philemon and Jude. For the first 50 days, I also read 3 Psalms per day until I had read through all 150 Pslams.
So, here I am. Having read through cover to cover. I have to admit, I’m a bit stunned and overwhelmed with things… trying to process all I have read.
New Version of the Bible
Last year I picked up a new version of the Bible – The HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible). It is a very good translation of the Hebrew and Greek. I like it quite a bit. You can read more about what I wrote about this version on a previous post.
I wanted to use this version. It’s hard to compare it completely, but it’s almost a cross between the NIV and the NASB. I bought the hard cover study Bible version. I do recommend this version for someone who is looking for accuracy, reliability, and for someone who has been a Christian for a few years and isn’t afraid of a translation that isn’t a “modern translation.” I like the modern (i.e. the NLT), but this one is more accurate.
Regarding the study notes – ehhh… weak. 9 out of 10 times I wanted to refer to the study notes on a verse, it either had no reference to that verse or what it said provided no further insight. The keyword studies, graphs, pictures, maps, introductory information, etc. – all very good, and probably better than most. The study notes at the bottom, just plain weak. You can also really tell that some notes have strong denominational positions.
I’m glad I read this version. The version is strong. The tools are excellent. The study notes leave much to be desired (to date, the NIV Study Bible probably has some of the best study notes in my opinion).
The Story of Salvation In A Short Time
I remember back in college (Lincoln Christian University) we would be given an assignment to read a book of the Bible in one sitting. Of course we complained about it. But, it was for a purpose. To grasp the whole picture in as short of a time as possible. You see things connected, a thread that runs through the book, a plot, a purpose, a tragedy, a rescue.
For those of you who like The Lord of the Rings, next time you watch it, get all 3 movies in the set, the extended versions, and watch the whole trilogy 5 minutes at a time. It’s about 14 hours worth of viewing… which would take you 280 days (yikes). Or, get really crazy and watch all 3 movies back-to-back-to-back. Start at 10 am and finish about midnight.
You get what I’m saying here. While the latter would be hard on the eyes… you’d need plenty of Visene, Mt. Dew, pizza, and 5 minute potty breaks between movies, you would have a much greater understanding of the story than if you did it in the former way. You would have a more limited understanding.
That is what I tried to do. I wanted to see and understand how things fit together, get a better feeling of the heart of God and how He has continued to reach out to us, His incredible patience with us, the same deceptive lies we continue to believe, the work of the enemy, the perfect timing of the incarnation, the growth of the church, the different letters that were written, and ultimately, the divine fulfillment of the promise laid down in Genesis 3.
Here’s the incredible glory – in Genesis 3:14-19 God lays out the punishment and the promise to the serpent, the woman, and the man for their rebellion and sin. Hundreds of pages of salvation history pass by telling of God continuing to reach out to His creation, man’s rejection, man’s restoration, the fulfillment of prophecy, the Church, the mission, etc. 1,181 chapters later, the white horse appears with it’s rider, who is called Faithful and True… Jesus comes riding in Revelation 19-20, defeats, binds, and casts into the lake of fire the Devil, judges those condemned to the same lake of fire, and in chapter 21 says “It is done.” Paradise with the One is fully restored.
“Both the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Anyone who hears should say, ‘Come!’ And the one who is thirsty should come. Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift.” Rev 22:17