not all who wander are lost...

I really enjoyed this post from Derek Sivers on taking a year to read the Bible. Even if you aren't a religious person, there is value in understanding where others come from (and where, as Sivers points out, western culture originates). He has two main suggestions: sample translations and then pick something easy to understand and supplement your reading with the Bible Project; they are both great suggestions!

For the first, don't just blindly pick a translation. Read about them, their translation philosophies as well as academic reviews. Not every translation is the same. For example, while the Passion Translation likes to call itself a translation, it was made by one guy who has refused to disclose any sort of translation committee and adds a healthy dose of pet theologies that aren't in the original text. The Message is a paraphrase where the author puts everything into his own words and phrasing (I do like the Message quite a bit and respect that the author is upfront and honest about what it is and is not). Personally, I'd recommend the NRSV as it's pretty straightforward to read, is a good translation with a published/transparent committee and is used in a lot of academic resources.

The Bible Project is also a great resource to help digest what's going on in the text. The team behind it have done a great job distilling out key themes and plot points that otherwise are easily lost in such a large and open book.

Ultimately I'll just say that I've found a lot of value in reading about the cultures and faiths of people different to me - it really has built understanding that has allowed me to connect with them from a place of understanding rather than fear or concern or superiority. If the Bible is different to you, consider checking out what it actually is (and isn't).


Recent posts

Links

On Mastodon