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                        "YOUR PERSONAL BIBLE"


INTRODUCTION

1. When it came time for Israel to have a king...
   a. He was to have his own copy of the Law - Deut 17:18
   b. To read every day, learning to fear God and observe His Word 
      - Deut 17:19
   c. Keeping him humble, faithful, and prolonging his reign - Deut
      17:20

2. As Christians, we are kings as well...
   a. Made such by Christ to His God and Father - Re 1:4-5
   b. Charged to observe all that He commanded - Mt 28:18-20

[If the kings of Israel were to have their own personal copies of the
Law, certainly the kings of Christ ought to have (and read) their own
personal Bibles!  Here are thoughts on selecting a Bible...]

I. RELIABILITY

   A. CONSIDERATIONS...
      1. Differences in manuscript philosophy
         a. Byzantine textual tradition
            1) Received Text (Latin:  Textus Receptus)
            2) Based on the traditional text of Greek-speaking churches
            3) Sample translations:  KJV, NKJV
         b. Alexandrian textual tradition
            1) Critical text (Westcott-Hort)
            2) Based on the oldest of Greek texts, not the majority
            3) Sample translations:  ASV, RSV, NRSV, NASB, NIV, NLT,
               ESV
         c. Majority textual tradition
            1) Similar to the Textus Receptus
            2) Based on consensus of majority of Greek texts
            3) Mostly used by translators for consultation
      2. Differences in translation philosophy
         a. Word for word
            1) Also known as formal equivalence
            2) Sample translations:  KJV, NASB, NKJV, ESV
         b. Thought for thought
            1) Also known as dynamic equivalence
            2) Sample translations:  NIV, NLT
         c. Paraphrase
            1) Restating the text using modern idioms
            2) Sample translations:  TLB, GNB
      3. Differences in translators
         a. Many translators
            1) Using many (often hundreds) of scholars to translate
            2) Sample translations:  most of the ones mentioned
         b. One translator
            1) One person produces the entire translation on his own
            2) Sample translation:  TLB (The Living Bible)
         c. Diversity in religious belief
            1) Scholars from various denominations
            2) Sample translations:  most of the ones mentioned
         d. Uniformity of religious belief
            1) Scholars from the same denomination
            2) Sample translation:  NWT (New World Translation, by JWs)
      4. Differences in style
         a. Text bibles
            1) Bibles that contain simply the text
            2) With occasional footnotes or cross references
         b. Study bibles
            1) Bibles that include extensive commentary on the text
            2) With detailed charts, reference articles, background
               information

   B. RECOMMENDATIONS...
      1. Word for word translations
         a. New King James Version (NKJV)
         b. English Standard Version (ESV)
         c. New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      2. Thought for thought translations
         a. New Living Translation
         b. New International Version (2011 edition)
      3. Study bibles
         a. ESV Study Bible
         b. NLT Study Bible

[Once decided upon a reliable translation, assuming that one will read 
their Bible with regularity, an important consideration is...]

II. READABILITY

   A. CONSIDERATIONS...
      1. Differences in reading level
         a. 12th grade:  KJV, RSV
         b. 11th grade:  NASB, NRSV
         c. 10th grade:  ESV
         d. 7th-8th grade:  NIV, HCSB, NKJV
         e. 6th grade:  NLT
      2. Differences in page layout
         a. Paragraph vs. verse-by-verse
         b. Single column vs. double column
      3. Differences in font size
         a. Small Bibles often have 6-8 point font
         b. Larger Bibles have 10-14 point font 

   B. RECOMMENDATIONS
      1. Reading level:  7th-10th grade
      2. Page layout: verse-by-verse, double column
      3. Font size:  9-10 point font
      4. Electronic or digital Bibles often allow you to set the layout
         and font size

[Readability is subject to personal preference.  What is important is
that for you the Bible is readable, and that you read it!  If you do,
your Bible will take some wear and tear.  A few thoughts regarding...]

III. DURABILITY

   A. CONSIDERATIONS...
      1. Differences in cover
         a. Higher quality:  goatskin, calfskin, Morocco leather
         b. Lesser quality:  genuine leather, bonded leather, paper
      2. Differences in binding
         a. Higher quality:  Smyth Sewn, overcasting
         b. Lesser quality:  glued
      3. Differences in paper
         a. Thick paper (24-27 lb) prevents bleed through or 'ghosting'
         b. Thin paper (17-21 lb) allows for smaller Bibles

   B. RECOMMENDATIONS...
      1. It depends on your use of your Bible
         a. Will it remain mostly closed, unread?
         b. Will you open it frequently, in class or during the sermon?
         c. Will you use it to study, to teach, for devotional
            purposes?
      2. For frequent use, I recommend the best Bible you can afford
         a. With durable construction that will last
         b. With a layout that makes it enjoyable to read
      3. Such Bibles may cost 100-200 dollars
         a. How much do you spend for a iTouch, iPhone, iPad?
         b. How much do you spend on entertainment (cable, movies,
            dining)?
      4. The Bible is the most valuable physical property you own!
         a. It offers wisdom beyond what you can learn from man - Ps
            119:97-105
         b. It provides blessing and guidance for living - Ps 1:1-3
         c. It provides the way to salvation - 2Ti 3:16-17; He 4:12; Jm
            1:21

CONCLUSION

1. For additional information, some good sources are...
   a. Bible Design And Binding - a blog by Mark Betrand
   b. Why I Like The NKJV - by Gary F. Zeolla
   c. Bible Information Page - by EvangelicalBible.com
   d. Allan's Bible-Direct.com - perhaps the premier binder today (UK)
   e. EvangelicalBible.com - an excellent online source for Bibles
      (including Allan's)

2. But whether our Bibles are premium calfskin, paper, or electronic...
   a. The important thing is that like the kings of Israel we should
      read our Bible daily!
   b. Only then will we also learn the fear and humility we need to
      serve God faithfully!

The most important purchase, your most important possession, will be your
personal Bible...!
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