By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen
My theme is “how to keep Bible reading fresh.” Well-taught Christians know the Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God. We are familiar with the many Biblical statements about the Bible itself, including 2 Timothy 3:15 – 17; 2 Peter 1:21; Psalm 1, and Psalm 119. We know the value of regularly reading it, and might even read it daily.We look to the Bible to learn what we should believe about many subjects, how we shold behave, for strength in our daily struggles, and to find comfort in times of sorrow.
But the fact is, we need help to keep our Bible reading fresh. For, though the Bible is the Word of God, it is human nature for things, including Bible reading, to loose their freshness. To counter this, we can do some practical things. We can pray that God will speak to us as we read his Word. We can keep our sins confessed and forsaken, for sin dulls our ability to benefit from the Bible. We can apply Biblical truths to daily life. We can consult notes in study Bibles and commentaries to help us understand perplexing words and verses. One of my favorite study Bibles is the NKJV Study Bible, published by Thomas Nelson. It uses the New King James Version, so it is in modern English. Its many notes are helpful, always affirm one’s faith in the Bible as God’s Word, and its many charts and maps are valuable. A good, one-volume Bible commentary is called The Believer’s Bible Commentary ,which was edited by William McDonald and Art Farstad, both now deceased, and both of whom were Biblical scholars who believed the Bible to be the Word of God. It, too, is published by Thomas Nelson.
But there is something else that will help keep our Bible reading fresh: choose a shorter Biblical book to read through, and do it several times. But each time, read it through in a different translation. Some time ago, I did this with the Old Testament’s unique, 12- chapter book called “Ecclesiastes.” I read it through one time in at least these translations: King James Version, New King James Version, New American Standard Version (updated in 1995), New International Version (1984 edition), and the English Standard Version This method kept the reading fresh, because most of my Bible reading is of the King James Version. I have read the KJV so many times that my mind tends to wander due to close familiarity with it.
What if you have only one Bible translation, and can’t afford another one? The translations mentioned above can be read free on the internet. Here is a link to one website on which these and other translations can be found: www.biblegateway.com. Click on the button on the left side that will lead you to available translations.
If you are not a Christian and want to learn how you can become one today, click on the following link to a good but short message that will tell you what you need to know. Then, do what it says. Here is the link: www.godssimpleplan.org/gsps-english.html.