Sunday, July 06, 2008

The One Year Bible - English Standard Version

I'm working my way through The One Year Bible, English Standard Version (ESV). It is divided into 365 daily readings. A chapter or so of the Old Testament, a bit of a Psalm, a small bit of Proverbs, and a New Testament reading each day. At first I found it jarring going from an interrupted Old Testament narrative reading to a narrative reading in the book of Matthew, but you get onto the rhythm of it all after a few days.

According to my daily reading progress, today is February 5th -- and it's quite warm for February! I've got excuses. I was in Toronto/Phoenix for January, Africa for February, and was in Toronto for a bit of March and all of June. What happened in April and May, I have no recollection of. Moses has just received some important instructions from God on the mount, and Jesus is letting the disciples know that they shall be "hated of all nations" before the end of the age. It certainly seems to be heading that way.

The English Standard Version is a new translation. How do I find it? Thanks for asking. Smooth reading, quite natural, maybe a bit plain. But smooth. (I guess Bible readers can be connoisseurs just like others are of fine wines -- "a smooth, bright translation, at times slightly rude, but never impudent!".

In Matthew, the passage about the demonized boy having fits is translated as an epileptic seizure. This is unfortunate because this translation is unsupported by the Greek and there is no evidence that epileptic seizures are based on demonic activity -- it is purely an interpretive decision that the translators made. There's a few other spots where I question what they have done, but, overall, very readable.

At the rate I'm going, it's going to be the Six Year Bible, but I hope to pick up the pace.

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"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"