Category Archives: Bible
Previous Post: B’reshiyth בְּרֵאשִׁית
SIDE NOTE: I’ve been behind on my reading, which is to say, I haven’t done any reading that I had intended to. It’s not that I feel as if I’ve disappointed my rabid readers *cough*. But I feel like I’ve lost the flow I had intended for this blog and backtracking makes me feel cluttered (which is what I’ve tried to avoid by not having a lot of Widgets). It’s one of those things where I wish I could turn back time or slow down time enough so I could catch up. For, you see, before writing this post I had intended to have read
- God’s Undertaker (2007) by John Lennox – which I was foolish enough to procrastinate from buying at my church’s bookstall. Now only Koorong is selling it for under $10 and I haven’t been bothered to travel all the way up there myself. In fact, never have I ever been to Koorong (is usually my first response in that game).
- Paradise Lost (1647) by John Milton – which I could have found online but I had wanted to read God’s Undertaker before tackling this beast.
I guess I could set the Publish Date for the subsequent posts to days before this one but that would be cheating, not to mention confusing for you two readers. To fill in my own blank, I would say that if I was a rich man I would probably buy lots and lots of books (and DVDs) so that I would not have the problem of being behind.
Getting to the real blogging at hand, my last post left off with the people of the world scattered and no longer united by language as a result of God’s judgment on the people of Babel. Somewhere around this time, we find a rich man living in the land of Uz. I’m not entirely sure if this land was owned by the descendant of Noah through Shem (Gen 10.23), but it would add some cred to my Bible reading plan if it was 🙂
This man’s name was Job (Hebrew: אִיוֹב ʾ iyov). It’s pronounced like joe-b, and NOT like the word for your occupation. And it seems like he wasn’t a descendant of Abram (I guess he could be considered a Gentile) yet he was faithful to God. He was just that good. And I know the Bible says that no one is good (Romans 3.12 and even Job 15.14) but Job comes very close, even to the extent that he would pre-emptively offer sacrifices as a precaution for the sins of his sons [1.5]. He was at least wise in his wealth.
He was both righteous AND rich.
This is a small note on The BIG Rescue Bible (CEV) that I’ve bought and started reading today.
After having a big breakfast (for lunch) with a mate, I went to ‘Steps’ at Liverpool, where I had acquired the very first Bible I had ever bought for myself. I bought what seemed to be their last copy of The BIG Rescue Bible and these are my thoughts after re-reading Genesis 1-11 for this test-drive.
I did find several copies of CEV’s that were more suited for a serious adult Bible reading but I couldn’t resist after I saw the cover. I knew that this edition of the CEV was targeted at kids, (most likely boys) but the title was an immediate draw card, focussing on how all of the Bible ultimately points to Jesus. Just from flicking around inside, I found various pages filled with colored illustrations of a scene from the book that preceded that page. The introductory pages are filled with great tools that explain
- how the Bible is irrevocably a story about God’s ‘Big Rescue’ of mankind that comes to its climax in Jesus,
- and how to read the Bible, including a breakdown of a Bible reference (e.g. Mark 1.1-3). This is followed by a ‘Guess what is in The BIG Rescue’ section that allows readers to exercise their reference deciphering skills and also discover cool little stories in the Bible as well.
The introductory pages speak to the reader on a personal level, saying that it is
“a book put together especially for you.”
and has sections on “Jesus and You” and “Jesus and Prayer”. And I’ve not yet seen another Bible that introduces the books so succinctly yet comprehensively, ending with a memorable verse from that book in bold italics. My favorite bit is probably the subheadings they give for parts of the text are separated in box adjacent to the text, which doesn’t confuse readers of what is and isn’t the Bible and makes it easier to scan for the parts you are looking for. And the back pages have all the information that may interest the more adult readers, as indicated by the smaller print it seems, including translation information and indexes.
The translation is excellent for ease of reading. And it avoids confusion and complicated words by replacing “ark” many times with “boat”, for example. But I did find some of the substitution slightly unfortunate, as “one of hers” [3.15] replaces “offspring” (NIV) making the intentional obscurity less clear; and “supernatural beings” [6.1-2] replaces “sons of God” (NIV) making more of a direct reference to angels when Biblical Studies in high school have taught me to consider alternatives 🙂 It also avoids explaining things like the Leviathan in Job 3.8 by talking, instead, about “Those with magical powers”, which I found amusing.
I was pleased overall with my new Bible. And I look forward to growing in my relationship with God by studying God’s word through this interpretation for this year. I don’t think it’s wise to give the Bible a rating since God’s word is infallible. I will, however, give 4 out of a possible 5 Patrick Stars to the Bible Society of America for their translation work and the same to the Bible Society of Australia for their publishing work of this edition.
A valiant effort indeed!
P.S. I almost forgot! There was a CD-ROM included which is also cool and interactive.
I am still yet to purchase a new Bible (I still intend it to be a CEV, EDIT: or the NCV, whichever I can find first), and print off the Bible Reading Plan. But I have kept up to date, having had read Genesis 1 – 11 today, which is pushing it a bit I guess, but that’s a freedom allowed by this Reading Plan. I have purchased and used my Prayer Journal, which is reflective of my prioritising. And being that I am in a hospital as I write this (to be present for a family member), I have had a lot of waiting time to really consider my words as I pray. I didn’t end up buying a Moleskine after finding a cheaper alternative in the form of a Piccadilly Notebook. It has the same quirks as a Moleskine, including a pocket inlay which most appealed to me for keeping small pieces of paper with prayer points on them.
So for today I’ve used one of the NIV Study Bibles I was given in high school for Biblical Studies. Study Bibles are great for their introductory notes and commentary below the text. Although it can be distracting, I found it interesting to read that bereshith, which means “In the beginning,” was the original title of Genesis. And ‘Genesis’, being the Greek for ‘birth’, ‘genealogy’ or ‘history of origin’ was given by the writers of the Septuagint.