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09/09/2005 07:51:36 AM · #51
Originally posted by benhur:

we use the King James version as this is the most accuratly translated version from the original Hebrew and Greek texts.


No offence, but how do you determine the accuracy of the translation?
Have you thoroghly read through and completely understood the Greek and Hebrew originals?
09/09/2005 08:00:42 AM · #52
There are several Bibles set up to help you read your Bible in a year.
I would like to suggest e-sword. It's free and you download it to your desktop. It has ALL the Bible versions so you can compare as you read. It has Strongs and also a place to make notes. It, too, has a setup for reading the Bible in a year. It's great to have.

Check it out : e-sword
09/09/2005 08:07:22 AM · #53
Some interesting discussion here...

About three years ago, I decided to start my life over and wanted to read the bible so I started in Matthew and read all the way through the New Testament and then started in Genesis and read the Old Testament.

I read through the thing in about a month because I was addicted.

So many of the recommendations here are good. I picked up a version called 'the message' and am liking it a lot because it takes away the archaic quality of most other versions. I mean, who says "do not" or "was not" anymore? Don't. Wasn't. etc. Little things like that make it easier for me to get into the important stuff.

Sure, the KJV is not hard to understand but the poetic feeling then comes from the obsolete language rather than what the original author or poet was trying to convey.

So here's the other thing...if the stuff in there is true, and if there is a god who wants you to get it, it'll happen.

Oh, and my recommendation is to start with the stuff about Jesus' life (Matthew/Mark/Luke/John) and then move to some of the short letters after that (James, etc.) and then skip back to Genesis and Exodus. The Jewish history is a must for you to fully understand what's going on in the big scheme, and that's in the Old Testament...although much is explained in Hebrews.

An understanding of Israel's expectations and history help you to grasp some of the things about Jesus' life...like why were some people so quick to believe, what was it about what the prophet's said that was so recognizable about Jesus? and why were some people so pissed at what he was saying? and what were people expecting of Jesus when he got here anyway?

Message edited by author 2005-09-09 08:09:36.
09/09/2005 08:12:38 AM · #54
Originally posted by Didymus:

Originally posted by benhur:

we use the King James version as this is the most accuratly translated version from the original Hebrew and Greek texts.


No offence, but how do you determine the accuracy of the translation?
Have you thoroghly read through and completely understood the Greek and Hebrew originals?


Not personally But I have an uncle who can read both old Hebrew (latin) and Old Greek, and he has been read the Bible many times and compared them, also I use Strong's concordance James Strong was a reliable figure on the old texts.

This is a life times work to look at every thing and you still will not know every thing there is to know.

I had another Uncle who died a few years back, at the ripe young age of 96, he had read and studied the Bible for over 80 years, but he still didn't understand or know every thing - his words not mine.
09/09/2005 08:17:59 AM · #55
Romans chapter 12 - TONS of life lessons just in that one chapter (all of Romans is great)

James
Hebrews
Psalm 91

... but yes, start with a gospel :)
09/09/2005 08:36:04 AM · #56
Hey man, I'm glad you have started reading the Bible. Everything we will ever need to know about life, bussiness and well...basically everything is in there, we just have to open ourselves up to it.
I am studying theology at a large university here in atlanta (Emory) and if you have any questions, just let me know. I am not planning on being a clergyman or anything, i just want to know more...make sense?
heres a great link to TON of different Bible versions that might be easier to understand. //www.biblegateway.com
Well, I need to go. If anyone else might have some questions ask me....and if i dont know (which I probably wont) i can find out from a professor or something.
Make it a great day!
drew
09/09/2005 09:10:55 AM · #57
Besides my regular KJV bible I have a KJV Bible on CD-Rom. I found it at Radio Shack about five years ago and cost only $10.00. What I like about the CD version is that each chapter is titled explaining what the chapter is about (example: The Gospel according to Mark - Ch 8: Peters confession). So as I read I know its about peters confession. Yes the KJV is harder to understand sometimes but it my preferred version of the Bible. The CD-Rom also gives me the opportunity to search. Making it easier to find a passage. It also come with manuals and activities, Torrey's textbook and studies, Psalms Commentaries, and Bible Quiz.
Very nice CD version for only $10.00.

As for you question on where to start or what to read in the Bible, I believe that each book is as important as the other and the Old Testament is just as important as the New Testament. I believe you should know about the Old Testament to Understand the New Testament.

I agree with most posters here that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are very good to read. The Psalms are VERY good and up lifting.

Message edited by author 2005-09-09 09:23:33.
09/09/2005 09:15:16 AM · #58
Matthew 6:25-34...actually the entire chapter is excellent.
1 Corinthians chapter 13

These are two of my favorite passages...I go to them often...especially when I'm feeling a bit stressed, worried, or just plain sad.

I use mainly the NIV translation but I also use a MacArthur study bible which is a NKJV and extremely thourough. I also enjoy using a "devotional". Right now I am using "Strength For Today" by John MacArthur and I also enjoy the writings of Charles F. Stanley but there are many other teachers/writers out there that are also wonderful.

09/09/2005 09:22:53 AM · #59
One of my favorite's is the book of Acts, it takes place after Jesus was crucified and describes the building of the "church". And our continued struggles.
09/09/2005 09:25:39 AM · #60
Love more, Hate Less, and when all else fails talk back to the voices in your head. LOL, im just playing guys.

I am an fan of all things philosophy, and though I read a ton more eastern, I have never once doubted the bible. I think the bigger key here is the search. To have the capacity to want to know more about yourself, and finding the great teachers of the infinite to help you find it.

Message edited by author 2005-09-09 09:26:18.
09/09/2005 09:33:48 AM · #61
I would say read the old testament, it may seem a tad tricky at first but you'd prob learn more there. I have read the bible several times and gotten great joy and insight from it, though I do not believe in the bible being holy law. You can learn a great deal from it and I would just start at the beginning and take it slow, you will find your own fav parts.
09/09/2005 10:19:29 AM · #62
Originally posted by mandyturner:

You should try the NIV version or even "The Message"--it reads liks a novel.


..which is exactly why you probably shouldN'T read it...NIV and such versions are controversial because they change so much text to make it 'easier to understand' that the real meaning is buried in beaurocracy. Sher suggested a study Bible which is a great tool. Also, as a side note, my cousin's hubby is Greek and works in the middle east, he had a chance to read through some original script in the original greek and he swears it's bang on to the King James version.

P.S. Paul's thoughts on marriage and relationships is a good read

Message edited by author 2005-09-09 10:22:46.
09/09/2005 10:27:08 AM · #63
You can try any of these Bible ideas. Basically they let you choose the version and send daily reading plans.
13 Bible reading plans:
Whole Bible in a year
Old Testament in a year
New Testament in a year
Old Testament in two years
Words of Jesus 4 times in a year
Whole Bible chronologically in a year
Whole Bible chronologically in a year #2
New Testament Letters 3 times in a year
New Testament & Proverbs twice, Psalms once in a year
New Testament & Psalms twice, rest of Bible once in a year
Proverbs in a month
Gospels in a month
Psalms in a month

09/09/2005 11:01:28 AM · #64
I suppose my first question would be - what do you want out of reading the bible? Good stories? Understanding of current politics? Communion with God? Frankly, my own preference is to read Old Testament in a more archaic version like King James and read the New Testament in a modern translation which reflects the OT's more literary longer origins while the NT was written for more of everyday audience (Revelations excluded). That said use whichever won you feel comfortable reading. If you get to the point down the road where the nuances of translation matter, you can be more picky then, but starting out I'd aim to get a feel for it.

A couple things to know -

The Catholic version of the Bible has a few extra books in the Old Testament, because when Protestants broke away from the Catholic church they opted for a different version of the Jewish Talmud to use as the Old Testament.

Some Bibles may include Apocrypha (and will likely be labelled as such) which are books which are not accepted as official church dogma, but were written about Judiasm or Christianity or Jesus during the time other parts of the Bible were written - what got put in and what didn't can be useful to know as the Bible was put together by people (whether divinely guided or not is your call).

If you read the King James some words are in italics - these are words that the translators added to "clarify" the meaning, but that shouldn't be surprising since we've been doing 2000 years of interpretation and translating (more if you count Christianity as an evolution from Judiasm). I wouldn't get too attached to any one interpretation until you've spent some time with it.

PS A few years ago, Bill Moyers did a very interesting series of discussions with a variety of Jewish, Islamic, and Christian people about the meaning and understanding different traditions had of the Old Testament - can't think of the name off the top of my head.
09/09/2005 11:13:05 AM · #65
If you are interested in the Bible (particularly the Gospels) as a practical 'life' manual, I would suggest looking at the work of Laurie Beth Jones. In a very accessible style, she illustrates the practical lessons that are available addressing many spheres of life.
09/09/2005 11:16:53 AM · #66
Originally posted by GoldBerry:

Originally posted by mandyturner:

You should try the NIV version or even "The Message"--it reads liks a novel.


..which is exactly why you probably shouldN'T read it...NIV and such versions are controversial because they change so much text to make it 'easier to understand' that the real meaning is buried in beaurocracy.


Deapee, don't take this response at face value...research this for yourself. I have done some research and know others who have done more and have found Goldberry's statement to be untrue and often based on little more than traditionalism.

But don't believe me, either...look into it for yourself and decide what the truth is.

Message edited by author 2005-09-09 11:17:45.
09/09/2005 11:50:45 AM · #67
If you are looking to understand the world better, there are some other important books. For when you have finished:

//www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/

//www.sacred-texts.com/jud/talmud.htm

//www.sacred-texts.com/bud/bb/index.htm

There are a lot of other resources at //www.sacred-texts.com.

Good luck (let us know if you find "the answer"!).
09/09/2005 12:10:46 PM · #68
Ok first if your not an mormon avoid "LDS" stuff as that is what the Latter day Saints are. Same For if your Not a johova witness, avoid their material as both sometimes take a diffrent slant on scriptures as can all demoninational bibles.

Most Christian bibles Unless they are Catholic, Johova whitness, or the Book of Mormon contain the same books, the diffrence lies within how the grammer structure and verbage is used, the King James version is a classic but is written in older archaic language and used older techniques in translating. Just because it is newer does not make it less accurate. Also Big diffrence in Catholic Bible and KJ NKJ NIV ect is the Catholic Bible contains the apcropha(sp) basically a set of scriptures and books deemed by most prodstants to be unnessay or confusing, most though respect it as very useful and elightening.
Not to start an argument but the Book of mormon has had its authenticy challanged many times and does not stand up very well to those challanges do some research on the Kinderhook plates and you will see what I mean.

Now for the Good stuff :) there are many great programs and bibles that are side by side comparison meaning you will have 2 or 3 translations right next to each other...very usefull and elightening. There is also Darnbys(sp) Literal as well as other litteral translations, all of them are word for word translation, some dont even change the word order which can make them confusing. There are also bibles like The Message which is more of a Thought by thought translation but it uses more common english and changes names to try and make it eaiser to read which ruffles alot of stalwarts feathers but I kinda like it for the most part. As for what to read. I say start with the gospels and read each from beginning to end, then start with Genisis and go straight through the whole thing. The reason why is Christ quotes the OT alot so reading his teachings first will help you notice what he refrenced in the OT then re reading the Gospels will even further your understanding.
Also the book of revelations is great, people been trying to understand it for centuries and have been talking about it just as long and will continue to until everything unfolds, I wouldnt dwell on it to much and instead focus on salvation.
09/09/2005 12:33:28 PM · #69
Originally posted by deapee:

So I got out my bible and I'm trying to read because it's something that I sort of want to get into...

... I'm just sick of listening to so many different interpretations of the bible and where this means that and that means this, I want to see what it's all about for myself.
:D


So you see, from all these responses. There are a lot of good people from all religions with comments, suggestions and ideas. You are the one to make the final descision ... how many of these interpretations are close to the original text and teachings and how many are Man's philosophy mingle with the word of God trying to lead mankind away. Remember that Satan works in small ways to change the trueth to those things that are easier for us to do or to justify our not so good actions. No matter which version or interpretion you use, most are based on the King James version, from there changes have been made and man philosophies have been added. Simple changes of common words or phrases can and do make a big difference in the meaning of life. Remember that it shouldn't be easy but it will be worth it.
09/09/2005 12:41:16 PM · #70
Oh f&#^ing boy. Stick with the 1611 "authorized" if you can make your way through this and make sense of it:

And it came to passe in the time of her trauaile, that beholde, twinnes were in her wombe. And it came to passe when she trauailed, that the one put out his hand, and the midwife tooke and bound vpon his hand a skarlet threed, saying, This came out first. And it came to passe as he drewe back his hand, that behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken foorth? this breach bee vpon thee: Therefore his name was called Pharez. And afterward came out his brother that had the skarlet threed vpon his hand, and his name was called Zarah.
09/09/2005 12:46:54 PM · #71
Originally posted by nemesise1977:

Ok first if your not an mormon avoid "LDS" stuff as that is what the Latter day Saints are. Same For if your Not a johova witness, avoid their material as both sometimes take a diffrent slant on scriptures as can all demoninational bibles.


Now ... Now. his first questions said not to go after individual religions and beliefs. So be careful that we all don't misquote untrueths about other religions. All religions have other "stuff" as you said ... ALL Religions do. If you are going to point out things then the Catholics, Baptists, Muslims, Jews, Methodists, etc etc all have stuff that only they believe in or are intretations of their belief.

The mis-trueth stated here is the LDS or "Mormon" Bible is their is their slant on scripture. The fact is, the officially recognized Bible of the LDS or "Mormon" faith is the King James version and no other. Indeed they also have the Book of Mormon but it is not a Bible but an additional set of scriptures just like most other religions have additional works.

To really learn you need to study different religions and different books yourself. So much untrueths are passed via word of mouth and that is where hatred and intolerance is grown. Most people who look down on other religions or say they are wrong really know nothing about them. The Bible is based on faith, some knowledge is required, hearing someone else slam another religion is not knowledge and is definately not faith.

You have a well written explaination other than the Bible is the Bible and other documents are separate depending on individual beliefs and ideals.
09/09/2005 01:04:50 PM · #72
I like Proverbs, Job, and the first four books of the New Testament.
09/09/2005 01:21:45 PM · #73
There are a lot of good comments here. After reading the first few comments, I was going to recommend John, then Romans and some of Paul's books, then maybe Psalms and Proverbs. Those seem to be a good place to start.

I met an Israeli a few months ago and while he was not a religious Jew, he had some fascinating things to say about Jewish texts of the Old Testament. Namely that there is significantly less content than English translations. In short, most English translations of the Old testament are considerably more wordy than many older texts. Having compared a few scriptures though doing my best with his help and a hebrew interlinear, I found that the meaning was not really compromised. Hebrew is fairly sparse when it comes to articles and certain words in English I understand.

I wouldn't worry too much about accuracy because this Israeli felt that it wasn't a question of accuracy, more efficiency.

Regarding the King James Bible, it is a pretty good translation for when it was written, but there's enough stuff outside of the "thee's" and "thou's" that might get your grammar working overload. It is not considered the most accurate translation out there. That designation usually falls to whatever each individual likes. Some people prefer poetry over truth and that is fine too. It should be remembered that the King James bible is at a disadvantage for accuracy because it is actually one step of translation further removed from original texts because it is translated from Vatican manuscripts that were in Latin and brought to Latin with Catholics with their vested interests.

Books containing Apocrypha are generally best avoided. These texts are contested by pretty much everyone except the Catholics (and even that is pretty shaky). The book of Mormon was written less than 200 years ago by Joseph Smith. He claimed to have holy direction while he was alone to make some stones and read them and then lose them so nobody else could have the same level of proof. It is worthwhile noting that Joseph Smith and his father came from a history of running snake oil type scams a la P.T. Barnum before this religious "revelation". I know this because my grandmother was a mormon. Mormons do not actually accept the Bible as true, so it would be unwise to read what they have to say.

I personally use the KJ, New Jerusalem Bible, NIV and the New World Translation as well as the Interlinear Emphatic Diaglott and whatever else happens to be nearby. The NJB and NIV are easy to read and have some really great expressions particularly in the gospels. I find the New World Translation to be the clearest though especially with consistency in translation. There are notes on translation on the words that are stuck to doctrine such as hell, spirit, soul, Jehovah, Yahweh... I have researched them in online encyclopediae including the Catholic encyclopedia which is online and find that this translation is considered pretty accurate when academics are primarily considered. When religion enters the picture, people tend to dislike it because it is printed by Jehovah's Witnesses. There are no added texts, no added verses, no added books.

I spoke recently with a very firm minded Pentecostal who took one look at it and told me that there were added texts. I was using the version in my PDA, so I shut it down and switched to my NIV and he refused to talk to me anymore. It should be stated that Jehovah's Witnesses are also the only ones who are currently printing the original King James Bible of 1611 because they used that translation as "their Bible" until around 1950. All other versions of the KJ currently available have been altered significantly.

Aside from that, just what everyone else said, particularly about doing your research and making your own decisions. Read the introduction in the Bible too, you might get some useful information about the goals of the translating team.

PS. This message is not intended to start an argument, but it is a caveat against putting too much trust in what is said by a guy who spells "Jehovah" - a very commonly known and used transliteration along with it's hebrew counterpart "Yahweh or Yehowah", as 'Johova'. Don't take either of our words for it. Look it up in a handful of encyclopedias.
09/09/2005 01:24:06 PM · #74
Don't bother with all that wimpy, feel-good, New-Agey stuff -- go straight to Leviticus to get a real feel for life under a Just and Merciful God ...
09/09/2005 01:27:58 PM · #75
Originally posted by eschelar:

PS. This message is not intended to start an argument, but it is a caveat against putting too much trust in what is said by a guy who spells "Jehovah" - a very commonly known and used transliteration along with it's hebrew counterpart "Yahweh or Yehowah", as 'Johova'. Don't take either of our words for it. Look it up in a handful of encyclopedias.

He shouldn't be saying it at all ... most Jews use Adonai as one of the substitute names ...
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