For the twentieth day, and third Sunday, of my ‘Thirty Days of Thankfulness,’ I thank God for His Word. I have at least ten different translations in print on my shelves at home (and one in my desk at work), including the Good News Bible, the KJV, several NRSV study Bibles and a couple of NIV devotional ones. I may even have a few children’s editions and the teen editions from when my kids attended youth group and Sunday school at our local church.
But my favorite place to read and study the Bible is on my computer or my Nook Color via a website called Bible Study Tools. It’s my one stop shop for research, searches and a plethora of translations. When I’m looking for just the write devotional or inspirational verse, I can always find it there.
As an example, let’s review my favorite Bible verse, Philippians 4:8, first from the King James Version:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
As compared to the NRSV edition:
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Or the Good News translation (popular back in the 60s or 70s I believe):
In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.
Or one of my favorites for a really modern devotional paraphrase warm fuzzy translation called the Message:
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
And for the occasional status update on Facebook or Twitter, I like to use the New Century version:
Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.
If I want to delve deeper into a verse, passage or chapter, I’m just a click away from a dozen study tools. The site also can help me read the Bible in a year, has several daily devotions and study guides and provides a daily verse. And I’m just scratching the surface! I follow the site via Twitter and receive daily trivia questions that I can sometimes answer without having to look it up.
While I always take my study bible with me to an evening Bible study gathering, if I’m leading the discussion, I do most of my research and preparation online.
I am so very thankful for the abundance and availability of God’s Word, leaving me no excuse not to read His Good News whenever I can.