I have nearly finished reading the Bible through in two years. I have often over the years tried to read the Bible through in one year, and even succeeded a couple of times, but my success rate at this has been around 30%, and I think I'm not alone at finding it a challenge. But reading the Bible through in two years I have found much more achievable and more rewarding — you have more time to reflect on what you are reading.
I want to do the same over the next two years. And with my birthday approaching at the right time, I have asked for a Two-Year Bible. The only question I have is what version? I did a scary calculation today, and realised that I have been reading the NIV almost exclusively now for over seventeen years! Time for a change methinks.
I had thought of going to the New Living translation, because they have a two-year version, and because Keri Jones, our apostle always recommends it so highly. But my recent meditations in Amos have made me think twice. The layers of symbolism in Amos 1:3 and similar verses is an excellent place to compare versions:
ESV: For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment
NIV: For three sins of Damascus, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath.
NLT: The people of Damascus have sinned again and again, and I will not forget it. I will not let them go unpunished any longer!
In the ESV (which is a recent discovery I am appreciating more and more) the NKJV and NASB the word and is preserved which allows an exploration of all the layers of significance. In the NIV the dynamic equivalence has obviously picked up on the tetrad and translated it to fit better with this form using even instead, but you miss the possibility that this is actually a seven split into 3 and 4. Whilst in the NLT you are completely oblivious to any levels of prophetic symbolism at all!
What to do? Am I splitting hairs (and numbers) and could do with just taking in the broad-brushstrokes? Should I stick with the ol' faithful NIV and aim for 20 years!? Or should I go to the ESV and really dig down deep!?
Any comments or advice appreciated. Two years is a long time so I want to get the right version before I set out!!