Friday, January 11, 2013

7 Great Ways to Read the Bible

You have decided to read the bible in one year, or three, or three months, but you are struggling with the very practical question: What bible should I read? Many of us try to figure out whether we should read the bible from a good study edition (and which one) or whether we should read it on-line, on our mobile device, or Kindle.

So here are the 7 best ways to read the bible, on various media platforms. Take your pick; you won't be disappointed

1. Read a print Study Bible I have two favorites. The Lutheran Study Bible is the one we give our catechumens. It has excellent resources in it, and lots of space to write marginal notes. My other favorite is the HarperCollins Study Bible - Student Edition: Fully Revised & Updated. I've loved this study edition for years, and it is also (like the LSB) in the New Revised Standard Version translation, the translation we most frequently use in public worship in the ELCA.

2. Read a free version of the bible on-line The bible is available for free on-line in many forms. The best option for a totally free study bible is probably the Net Bible, This is a new translation, translated specifically to be a net based bible. It has plenty of study resources and is an excellent (if moderately conservative) translation. For those looking for other options, the Oremus Bible Browser, , allows you to browse many of the most popular English translation.

3. Read via an on-line study tool  Many people want to study the bible, but with study tools embedded. For this purpose, there are many dynamic study resources. One of the best is hosted at Luther Seminary, . This site is a guide to the bible but also a study tool. You can create study plans, take notes, and join the conversation. In addition, many clergy find sermon prep web sites helpful for studying the lectionary text for the week (lectionary being a fancy word for the schedule of readings for Sunday worship). Two of the best are and The Hardest Question, . The most comprehensive is

4. Read the bible in the original languages It may interest you to do a little research into the original languages. There is a wiki lexicon and concordance for New Testament Greek at and the full Greek Bible at . And for a resource that has Hebrew, Greek, study, interlinear, and even flash card resources, check out .

5. Read a fresh translation of the bible Many new translations of Scripture come out each year. It may interest you to read a translation other than the one you are used to. One of the best is the CEB Common English Bible. The English is how it is spoken, today, and has a fresh feel to it.

6. Download an excellent bible study program The best on the market is With a program like this, you can read many different translations, and more study tools than any one person other than a professional student of Scripture, would ever need. 

1 comment:

  1. Regarding suggestion 5: My preferred reading version of the Bible is the 1611 King James Version, but for freshness I don't see how anyone can beat the Polari Bible.

    Here are some of my favorite passages in Polari:

    ...fabulosa, fabulosa, fabulosa, Duchess Gloria Dowry butch... (Revelation 4:8)

    Ye are all the chavvies of sparkle, and the chavvies of the journo: we are not of the nochy, nishta of munge. (I Thessalonians 5:5) homie trolleth unto the Auntie, but by me. (John 14:6)

    I wish there existed a non-electronic version, but as of this time all there is, is the on-line version.