Thursday, September 28, 2023

"Three Versions" Bible Reading

Big Idea: Read the same passage a couple days in a row in a different version each day.

Three Simple Ways to Read the Bible

This month we’ve looked at a couple simple ways to read the Bible to learn from it yourself. Read the Bible and apply it asking the Holy Spirit to teach you.  

These easy-to-remember, easy-to-use methods are great when you are just starting out, trying your hand at personal Bible Reading. 

For the seasoned Bible reader, consider this when you are on vacation and your schedule is disrupted, or when you need a break from an intense series. 

“1-2-3” Ways to Read

1. One Thing to Grab You: Read until something grabs your attention, then reflect on it prayerfully.

2. Two Questions: Read then ask yourself; What does this show me about God? About Mankind?

3. Three Versions: Read 3 days in a row in a different version of the Bible each day.

That’s Greek to Me

The Bible, written mostly in Hebrew or Greek was written in another part of the world in another era.

Bible translation into various languages enable many to hear it in their own language rather than an unknown one. This is huge!

Why so many English Versions?

There are two approaches of Bible translation.

The word-for-word approach values accuracy to the original language. However some of it may sound awkward.

The thought-for-thought approach asks what the author is saying and states the thought in a relevant contemporary way. It is not for scholarly work, but is useful for everyday life.

Both methods have a place. Both give us a different perspective.

With electronic online Bibles, we have access to many different Bible versions for free.

Three Versions Bible Reading

1. The first day, read your passage prayerfully in your typical version.

2. The second day, choose a contemporary version and read the same passage again. Version examples are: New Living Translation, The Message, or the Good News Bible.

3. The third day, try the Amplified Bible. This version sounds a bit like reading a thesaurus, as it puts in brackets more words that explain the meaning of the text.

Extra:  You may want to add a fourth day. If you are fluent in another language, read it that way. Or look at Study Bible Notes. Reflect on the passage and read it again in the version you usually read.

Has your circumstance or mood (such as a headache, a pressed schedule, recent harsh words with someone…) adjusted the way you read the same passage from one day to the next?

As you read the same passage each day, note what new insight you pick up. Is there something you missed? Something said another way that hits you freshly?  

The Bible is living and dynamic, not stale. It is valuable across cultures and moods. Let it touch your life. Let it live in you today! 


Previous: “Two Questions” Bible Reading
Up next: Devotional Bible Study Methods


1. What is your expectation of reading the same Bible passage every day for several days in a row? Boredom? Or is it a way to let it sink in?

2. What is your favorite Bible version? Why?

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