Resources to help you read the Bible

As promised, here are some resources to help you read the Bible. Revd Rebecca Fardell

Church of England Lectionary

  • Lectionary for Advent 2015 to the eve of Advent 2016 from Church House Publishing

This gives readings from the Old Testament, New Testament and Psalms for each day. We have used the readings from Morning Prayer in Church Matters in the past. It is available as a book (ISBN 978-0-7151-2280-8) or the Church of England website (http://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/lectionaries.aspx)

On-line daily readings with notes

  • Bible in a Year bibleinoneyear.org

A free Bible reading app with a passages from the Bible and commentary by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel. There is a section from the Old Testament, New Testament and Psalms or Proverbs for each day. As this enables you to read the Bible in a year, the passages for each day are quite long.

  • Lyfe biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible/lyfe

Free daily readings with reflections from The Bible Society. These notes have a short Bible passage, some reflections and a suggestion of how you might respond to what you have read in your daily life.

  • You Versionyouversion.com

This is available online or as an app and automatically posts a daily reading; you can also tailor the readings to your particular circumstances, choose a short course on a particular theme or follow a particular preacher or theologian.

  • Word Live wordlive.org

Free daily readings with reflections from Scripture Union. These notes have a Bible passage, some reflections, a suggestion of how you might respond and some notes to help you go deeper.

Printed daily readings and notes

 Daily Bread Scripture Union

This gives a passage for each day and some notes which help you to understand the passage and how you might respond to what God is saying through it. This comes in quarterly editions and is also available as an app.

 Encounter with God Scripture Union

These Bible notes include daily content and  feature articles which provide insights into Christian spirituality, tackle contemporary issues, and profile teachers who inspire. This comes in quarterly editions and is also available as an app.

 Books

  • …for Everyone series by Tom Wright (e.g. Matthew for Everyone)

This series of books provides a guide to all the book of the New Testament. Each portion contains a short passage from the Bible with a commentary to help you understand the passage and how it is relevant to life today.

  • King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus by Timothy Keller

This book draw’s on Mark’s gospel to explore who Jesus was and why he matters.

  • My Rock, My Refuge: a year of daily devotions in the Psalms by Timothy Keller

This book is designed to teach us how to pray using the Psalms. It takes a Psalm each day of the year and gives a short meditation and prayer which will help you to explore the Psalter.

  • Reflections for Daily Prayer Church House Publishing

This covers Monday to Saturday each week and offers accessible reflections on a Bible reading from the lectionary for Common Worship: Morning Prayer.  It is also available as an app.

  • Search the Scriptures ed Alan M Stibbs

This  book will help you study the whole Bible. It has introductions to each book of the Bible and a series of questions on a passage to help you bring out the content, meaning and application of the daily reading.

Other resources to help you

 free on line Bibles

http://bible.oremus.org and http://www.biblegateway.com provide you with a wide range of translations. The Bible Gateway will also deliver a verse to your inbox each day if you sign up.

  • Holy Bible read by David Suchet

CDs or MP3 downloads of David Suchet reading the whole Bible in the NIV translation. Great for long journeys and whenever you wish to listen to a top Christian British actor read the Bible beautifully.

 The Bible Society http://www.biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible

This website contains useful articles and films to help you explore the Bible.

  • A walk through the Bible by Leslie Newbigin

This short book gives an overview of the story of the Bible which is essential if we are to understand the individual parts which make up the whole.

Compiled by Revd Rebecca Fardell May 2016


 

7 top tips for reading the Bible by Paula Gooder

The Bible can seem overwhelming, boring and difficult, but a few basic tips can help you understand it more. Try these…

  1. Understand the historical context in which the Bible is written

Even the newest bits are about 2,000 years old. So start asking yourself questions about what it might have been like when the books were written and Google the answers.  It will take you on a journey into the world of the biblical writers and open your eyes to new and fascinating insights.

  1. Don’t read passages entirely on their own, look at what comes before and after them

It’s easy to take verses, or sometimes whole stories, out of context, by reading them by themselves. Try to work out where they fit in the bigger story or argument of the book. You’ll get a much better sense of what’s going on and what it all has to say to you.

  1. Read what’s actually there, not what you think might be there

This is particularly true for famous verses; we can think we know what it says and not actually read it. So slow down and chew it over. You’ll often find you understand it in a new way.

  1. Read the Bible with other people

We all bring our own experiences to the Bible so it’s really helpful to read the Bible with other people, for example, a home group or a prayer triplet. You’ll gain other people’s perspective on what they think the Bible says. To get some really different ideas, read it with someone from a different culture.

  1. Don’t read the Bible from start to finish like a novel

It isn’t one. Start with the bits that you can get on with. You might find Mark might be more interesting than Hebrews, Genesis more than Leviticus, because stories are often easier to read than sermons or laws.  Once you have read the stories you might like to turn to some poetry (Psalms) or some letters.

  1. Use different translations

The are lots and lots of different translations. Look for the the one you like best. It’s often a good idea to have a very literal translation (like the NRSV) and one that’s in easy-to-read modern English (like the CEV). The differences between them will get you thinking.

  1. And finally, don’t beat yourself up if you’re struggling

The Bible can be a difficult book to read when you begin, but the more you read it, the more you’ll get to grips with it. If you keep going you’ll learn to love it and understand it better, and soon you won’t be able to remember how you got by without it.

Taken from The Bible Society website http://www.biblesociety.org.uk

 

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