I own several translations of the Holy Bible. When I was a child, one of the most popular versions was called a red letter Bible. In it, Jesus’ words are printed in red, which brings a new layer to reading the Gospels. My aunt gave my father a red letter Bible as a gift for his birthday, one year. When he died, I inherited the Bible. I believe it’s at least 45 years old.
It is a treasured legacy from my father because it was the first Bible that was truly mine. Since then, I have received three Bibles as gifts. The first was from my grandfather. When he died, my mother received the Bible his last church gave him upon his retirement. That Bible sits in my office to honor my grandfather. The second is an intra-linear Bible, from my first student appointment. And the third, I received from my home church when I was commissioned as a Provisional Elder. I purchased an Oxford Bible for Disciple Bible Study and Seminary. I also have a few books of the Bible which stand alone because they were part of my Hebrew and New Testament studies.
I have purchased two more Bibles in the past year. The CEB Storytellers Bible offers commentary about many passages in the Old and New Testaments. The scholars provide a new way of reflecting on stories that we know by heart, by introducing different questions about the culture, history and theology of ancient peoples. My most recent addition is a Lectio Divina Bible. The latest version has deepened my contemplative and prayer time with the Holy Scriptures. I also use both Biblegateway and Biblehub to read other versions of the Bible, including The Message, the New Revised Standard Version and the New international Version of the Bible.
I never tire of reading God’s word. Sometimes, I even read it in other languages as well. Each time I read the Bible, no matter what passage I have selected, I discover new lessons, new insights and new meaning. I have committed to reading the Bible each day. Even though the Scriptures were written centuries ago, it’s always amazing that God brings them to life each time we read them. Maybe that’s why over 5 billion copies of the Bible have been printed, in nearly every language of our world. Let’s commit to reading a chapter or two, or even a book or two this week. And Amen.