Dec 18




I confess I didn’t get around to reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation until about 12 years ago.  Slogging through several thousand years of people and places with names we can’t pronounce is daunting.

The first year I committed to reading the Bible in a year, I gave myself a break and spent that year reading Eugene Peterson’s contemporary Bible interpretation, The Message.

Admittedly, The Message is not a scholarly translation, but the reading was enjoyable and although I still stumbled over some of those names, I didn’t stumble over the understanding.

The next year I returned to reading my tried and true NIV Bible. It took nearly twice as long to finish but I was no longer daunted. I thus went on to reread the NIV version each year for the next ten years.

Last year, a woman in our Bible study group read aloud from her New Living Translation. It felt fresh and gentle to my ears. Therefore, I spent this year reading through my own New Living Translation. I could not ignore the new understanding I received from reading the same Scripture with slightly different words. Nor could I ignore how much I enjoyed it.

I had often heard of the value of reading Scripture in more than one translation. I’ve even given that advice to others struggling with Bible reading.

I am happy to report, I have finally followed my own advice. And it has proven to be a wonderful experience.

In preparation for 2018, I started digging through my bookshelf and found over a dozen versions of the Bible sitting patiently on those shelves. Enough to keep me filled with new understandings and increased love of Scripture for many years to come.

As many of you know, I write book reviews over at the women’s magazine Ruby for Women. My book recommendation today here at CarolPetersonAuthor is to read the Bible each day from beginning to end. And varying the version you read will help you read with excited expectation at new applications God will reveal.

God does not fail to surprise.


  1. Pam

    I am in my sixth consecutive year of reading the Bible through. It was actually a book club book that inspired me to make the vow to read the Bible through every 12 months for the rest of my life (as long as I am mentally able). I don’t do it from January to December, but whatever date I finish on, I start the next day with the goal to finish within 365 days. It usually takes me a couple weeks short of a year. And it doesn’t mean I don’t miss a day here or there, I just make it up to stay on track. My favorite Bible so far has been the NIV as in “The Daily Bible: In Chronological Order 365 Daily Readings.” Reading the Bible in chronological order has been so helpful and has given me a better understanding of Biblical history. It also makes reading all about the ceremonial laws and festivals and the other instructions for the Israelites in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers so much easier to remember and understand as the description of laws and instructions are organized in categories. I have also read “The Message” and sometime next June, I’ll start reading “The New Living Translation” based on your recommendation. I find that with each reading, I am doing better in tackling and handling the difficult pronunciation of the names of people and places. Awhile back I bought the “Holman Bible Atlas” and I am using it to locate the named places as I read the Bible. I hope some day to travel in Israel and have a good grasp of the layout of the physical locations. I can’t emphasis enough how much I have been blessed by making this commitment. I wish I had started in my 20’s instead of my 60’s. Yes, I had read the Bible through before and over the years I have read parts of the Bible in my devotions and as part of different Bible studies, but it isn’t the same as reading the Bible through systematically every year or every 12 months. I remember and understand more every time I read it through. I have a better grasp of the “whole” picture and the read is fresh and new every time. I read things I don’t remember ever reading before because that time it has meaning to me. It is not a struggle anymore; it is a huge blessing. As you say, God does not fail to surprise.

    1. carolwritesbooks@gmail.com

      I loved learning your reading style, Pam! I requested a chronological Bible for Christmas this year. Hope…hope…

      I too wish I’d started earlier in life, but maybe I wouldn’t have had the patience or understanding to continue back then. At least, God has gotten us going, Pam and keeps us going, learning and growing us into the women He desires us to become. Pretty cool, sister!

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