Showing posts with label bgbg2. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bgbg2. Show all posts

January 17, 2020

Bible Gateway: opening the gate to God’s Word


Bible Gateway has been my “go to” Internet resource for years, so it finally occurred to me to review the site that includes blog posts, podcasts, study notes, articles, and more. Most impressive, though,  is its being, as it says, “A searchable online Bible in over 150 versions and 50 languages.” 

Since I regularly receive review copies of new editions of God’s Word, my bookshelves are piled high with Bibles, but I certainly don’t have all 150 versions! So I often click onto the Bible Gateway site to compare translations and, especially, to research a biblical topic.

For example, when I felt urged to see what the Bible says about love, I readily found over 600 references simply by typing the word “love” in the Search box provided at the top of the main page. Then I added brief devotionals and published the book by that name.

That same Search box let me type in the Bible book, chapter, and verse(s) of the actual prayers in the Bible then compare numerous translations before paraphrasing them for the prayer book I've always wanted, the Book of Bible Prayers. Shortly thereafter, I published the Book of KJV Prayers with the same scriptures but from the King James Version only.

Instead of having to retype each prayer for the latter, I was able to copy/paste the KJV text directly from the Bible Gateway site into a word processing file then remove verse numbers and break lines into a more contemporary rhythm of speaking.

The site’s features also work wonderfully well in preparing sermons and Bible lessons. Not only does it take less time to look up topics and key scriptures, the site offers a wealth of translations for comparison. A quick click onto the version in place lets you immediately change to another.

If you look up a single verse, you can also see numerous versions of that same verse on a single page. By comparing the words chosen to translate the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts into English, we get a broader perspective of biblical truths, and we see that God’s Word truly is living, constantly speaking to us, and moving us closer and closer to the Lord.



October 29, 2019

Holy Bible: Contemporary English Version


Most of the Bibles I discuss on this blog come as review copies from Bible publishers, who have just released a new translation, study edition, or children’s Bible. This time though, I bought the Holy Bible: Contemporary English Version (CEV) from Amazon because I often choose this version from many, many choices on Bible Gateway when I need the wording of an easy-to-read translation.

Unlike Bible paraphrases, which usually group verses together, thus making them impossible to follow the readings in a Bible study group, the CEV has verse-by-verse numbering typical of most translations. Chapter and verse numbers, of course, were not in the original biblical texts in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, but they’re helpful additions that enable us to follow along, even if someone reads from a translation we’re not using.

Besides that feature, the word choices in CEV are familiar enough for non-CEV readers to follow. Take, for example, the Lord’s Prayer (aka Our Father) in the favorite version recorded in Matthew 6:9-13:

“Our Father in heaven,
help us to honor
your name.
Come and set up
your kingdom,
so that everyone on earth
will obey you,
as you are obeyed
in heaven.
Give us our food for today.
Forgive us for doing wrong,
as we forgive others.
Keep us from being tempted
and protect us from evil.”

A footnote in my paperback copy of CEV (hotlink below) goes on to say, “Some manuscripts add, ‘The kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours forever. Amen’.”

Most contemporary translations omit that verse, too, but some include it with a footnote to let you know it was not part of the original Gospel text. It is, however, biblical and was an established part of the church liturgy in King James' day.

To give you another example of the CEV translation, look at Psalm 23. As you read, notice now the word choices are true to the intent and meaning of this beloved prayer-poem, while being so much clearer in meaning:

“You, Lord, are my shepherd.
I will never be in need.
You let me rest in fields
of green grass.
You lead me to streams
of peaceful water,
and you refresh my life.

You are true to your name,
and you lead me
along the right paths.
I may walk through valleys
as dark as death,
but I won’t be afraid.
You are with me,
and your shepherd’s rod
makes me feel safe.

You treat me to a feast,
while my enemies watch.
You honor me as your guest,
and you fill my cup
until it overflows.
Your kindness and love
will always be with me
each day of my life,
and I will live forever
in your house, Lord.”

And, finally, I wanted a copy of CEV because it's the translation I chose for the one Bible verse I posted beside my desk. This beautiful reminder of God’s love for us is shown so clearly in Zephaniah 3:17, CEV!

“The LORD your God
wins victory after victory
and is always with you.
He celebrates and sings
because of you,
and he will refresh your life
with his love.”

Amen!

review by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019


Click this link to order. 



July 16, 2019

Which Bibles capitalize pronouns for God?


Does it matter if a translation of the Bible uses capital “H” instead of lower case for He/Him/His pronouns referring to God? In the eternal scheme of things, probably not. Nevertheless, I prefer it.

Why? Two reasons:

1.) Capitalizing pronouns that refer to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a way of honoring God and showing esteem.

2.) Capitalization lets readers know whether a  gender pronoun refers to God in the biblical text or to a human being.

If you’re now wondering which translations of the Bible use capital “H,” regardless of the publisher, here’s a list of the ones I found, thanks to a search of a pronoun-laden verse on Bible Gateway.

 TVB – The Voice Bible



Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, poet-writer and life-long lover of God’s Word in the many translations we're blessed to read, study, and absorb



October 27, 2017

What the Bible Says about the Bible

Every morning, Bible Gateway emails me a Bible verse for the day. Today’s scripture reminded me of the power we have when we see and believe what the Bible has to say about the Bible:

“God’s word is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates to the point that it separates the soul from the spirit and the joints from the marrow. It’s able to judge the heart’s thoughts and intentions,” Hebrews 4:12, Common English Bible (CEB.)

Reading the Bible brings into focus the relationship God developed with His people – an ongoing relationship that wasn’t just for a particular time and place, but for all times, all places, and all of us – here and now.

In Deuteronomy 12:28, for example, Moses received God’s Word, which said:

Observe and obey these words I’m commanding you, so things will go well for you and your children because you followed what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God.

Psalm 106:12 tells us, Our ancestors trusted God’s Word and praised God in song.

The whole earth may do the same! As Psalm 147:15 says, God gives a command to the earth, and whatever God says is quickly done!

When we don’t know what to do or are feeling vulnerable, we can take comfort in Proverbs 30:5: Every word of God is tried and true – protective armor for those who take refuge in Him.

This source of care and comfort isn’t only for a troubling moment though. As Isaiah 40:8 tells us, The grass dries up. The flowers wither. But the word of our God will last forever.

The same can be said for every word Jesus gave. Even before His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, Jesus was known for speaking truth from God’s perspective. As Luke 5:1 reports: One day as Jesus was standing by Lake Gennesaret, crowds of people pressed around Him to hear God’s word.

In Luke 11:28, Jesus told us to expect to be blessed when we hear God’s word and put it into practice.

After He ascended into heaven, His followers came together to pray. Then, after they prayed, the place where they’d gathered began to shake! And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit! And they began speaking God’s word with confidence, Acts 4:31.

As people listened to those early believers, they, too, began to believe, and the church grew. In Acts 12:24, however, the Bible doesn’t mention the growth of the church or of Christianity. Instead, it says, The word of God continued to grow, spread, and increase.

That’s what it’s about! Our faith isn’t about the size of our church membership or our church buildings or number of denominations. It’s about letting the Word of God grow strong in us and spreading that Word to others.

What power we have in God’s Word!

What power we have when we believe the Bible means what it says about the Bible!

As Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:15-17: Ever since you were a babe in Christ, you have learned Holy Scriptures that helped you to be wise in a way that led to salvation through your faith in Christ Jesus. Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, training, showing mistakes, improving, and exercising character, so those who belong to God will be equipped to do everything good.


Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2017, poet-writer and author of the new book, What the Bible Says About Love.