Sunday, February 14, 2010

God Sightings: The One Year Bible in NLT (review)

God Sightings: The One Year Bible
New Living Translation
Tyndale House Publishers

God Sightings Website
1396 pages . . . and I'm not finished

I'm going to go ahead and review what I've read of the God Sightings Bible because it's obviously going to take all year to read it. God Sightings is a Bible divided into 365 daily readings. It comes in different versions, apparently, but I got a copy of the New Living Translation for review.

The God Sightings Bible is not a chronological Bible but a Bible with a unique character in that it's got several readings from different parts of the Bible for each day. In addition to each day's Old Testament reading (in the order of a typical Bible), there's a passage from the New Testament, a passage from Psalms and a passage from Proverbs. I think this Bible is particularly great for people who have already read the Bible from front to back or in chronological order because it's a little less dull than reading straight through.

However, since I tried to read a chronological Bible, last year, and failed (I think because I was also taking Bible studies and doing reviews, I had just a bit too much on my plate) I decided to read not only the God Sightings Bible but another version, the Daily Bible, and compare the two. The Daily Bible I've got is a New International Version and it has some added "devotional insights". It's interesting reading them side-by-side because I've discovered that reading two versions at once is really helpful. Sometimes a passage that isn't clear in one version is plain in another. And, I do like the extra insights, although I've found that the God Sightings Bible is the more readable of the two and there've actually been some errors in the added material in the Daily Bible -- nothing major, but I wouldn't have caught them if not for the fact that I was reading two Bibles at once.

There's a companion guide to the God Sightings Bible, a website (link at the top of this post) where you can discuss the daily readings with other readers, and many churches are meeting to discuss the readings weekly as a Bible study. My church is doing so, but I opted to read on my own. I may change my mind. The great thing about this particular study is that you can dive in any time if you're caught up on the readings since everyone will be at the same place at the same time; and, particularly if you use the website, you don't have to worry about feeling like you're barging in.

As a side, note, there is no additional commentary in the God Sightings Bible. So, if you have no need for study helps or find them distracting, the lack of interruptions can be an added benefit.

When I first received my copy and flipped through it, I asked what the point of this version is and I got an excellent answer from publicist Audra Jennings of B & B Media Group. Audra said the intent is to help see God as "active in our daily lives". The companion guide helps with that. You don't necessarily need to be in a group or meet with people online, but I think it probably is a better idea than reading on your own. Each week, there's something specific to watch for in your daily life. In Week 1, for example, I believe it was "new beginnings" -- a great subject for focus at the beginning of a new year.

I'm not going to give this Bible a numeric rating, in part because I'll be reading it for another 10 1/2 months, but I am truly enjoying the daily readings and highly recommend it, especially to those who are looking for a way to read the entire Bible without getting bogged down in the Old Testament. The mixture of Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs is really refreshing. I've always had a problem with what I call "all those begats" but I'm actually getting through them and not bored. There's a guide for leaders of groups, as well, although I haven't seen it.

My thanks to Audra Jennings of B & B Media for the review copy!

In other news:

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

For our Valentine's Day, we're doing housework!! My husband had blocked off the path to my swap shelf and I managed to both forge a path to the shelf and throw out a lot of junk that was lying in the way. Amazing how papers accumulate if you don't keep up with them. The guys are out and about, right now, so I'm about to curl up to finish The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer.

We had a really stressful week because of a personal issue and the kiddo's illness, but the snow ended things on a high note and hopefully our "issue" has been resolved. Only time will tell. Kiddo has completely recovered from his stomach virus and is very, very happy not to be sick. He seldom gets ill, so he was just plain angry at the universe. It's nice to see him back to his old, happy self.

Are you doing anything special for Valentine's Day?

4 comments:

  1. You wrote: "I've discovered that reading two versions at once is really helpful."

    YES! I think reading a section from two (or more) versions is often more helpful than reading what someone else thinks about the passage. And it sometimes makes a difference to read the passage five or even ten times in a row, because doing that has been known to make me suddenly see something I hadn't noticed before. One way of doing that is to, say, type out a single verse or two. (That's reading it once.) Then change the font, which may put the words on different lines because of the size of the font -- and different words stand out. (That's twice, already.) Maybe play with the text by indenting or changing the font color of all SPOKEN words. (That's three times you've read it.) And so forth. Try it someday, when you have the time, and let me know what you think of my study tips.

    As for the "begats" (I don't like the King James Version because it uses words like "begat" that are no longer meaningful), you can find all sorts of fun things in them, if you look. In the first chapter of Matthew, find the FIVE WOMEN listed in the genealogy of Jesus: Tamar (pregnant by her father-in-law), Rahab (a prostitute), Ruth (a foreigner from Moab, who became the great-grandmother of King David), the wife of Uriah (we know her as Bathsheba, whose husband Uriah was sent to the front of the battle to be killed because Bathsheba was pregnant by David), and Mary herself (mother of Jesus who was not yet married when she got pregnant). Reading THIS genealogy makes you wonder why only these five women are named -- though the "wife of Uriah" is actually unnamed, seemingly to emphasize the point that David sinned (why do people want to blame HER, when she was summoned by the KING?).

    There you go -- today's Bible lesson, in a mere two paragraphs!

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  2. Bonnie,

    When I was a kid, my mother had a parallel Bible with 4 different versions that I absolutely loved. I kept sneaking it off the shelf to read because you get so much more out of a Bible passage when you read it several different ways. We're definitely in agreement on that!

    I'll try your method, sometime, thanks!

    You know what strikes me about Bible characters is that they're such a freaking mess. The characters in Genesis are downright kinky, the women you mentioned are mostly noted for sin -- or at least singled out for being socially unacceptable. That is really a huge, huge comfort, isn't it? That's one of the few things I wish I could tell everyone. Look, the Bible is cool because it says, "Humans are imperfect, but there's still a loving God who cares for you . . . even if you're a serious screw-up." I love that. :)

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  3. I loved hearing from you on my blog; that was a Valentine in itself! As to cleaning, when it that job ever done? Acculumated papers, accumulated clothing, it all seems to pile up unawares if we're not careful and diligent to rid the detritus! I hope all is well with you, Nancy, and the issues Go Away speedily.

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  4. Bellezza,

    Cleaning is never done, but we've been really, really lax. I don't think I bothered even tidying for the last couple months of Miss Spooky's life and then I was paralyzed with grief, so we're just now really hitting it hard. We're ready to find some furbabies. :)

    Thanks. I think we're okay. Watching my accounts like a hawk. We had an identity theft problem.

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