For years I have struggled with the tension that I could read the latest novel from cover to cover in days and yet when it came to reading the Bible I struggled to read even a handful of verses. I felt this was wrong. I wanted reading the Bible to be easy. I liked being in the Word. I’ve formed the daily disciplines essential to successful living. I’ve fallen in love with the scriptures and through perseverance taught myself to read larger passages of text and to enjoy it.
The Bible is a book like no other. It is living and breathing and it convicts, encourages, corrects, and uplifts you as you read. If you have read this blog long you know my love for the Word. It is with great joy and excitement that I review The Reader’s Bible. This Holman Christian Standard Bible is a hard covered bible that comes with a matching box to slip the Bible in while you are not reading. I am a bit particular about my Bibles. I don’t like a lot of the newer translations. I like the word for word translations over the paraphrase thought for thought style. I also need it to be as close as the way I have read it before. Having committed scripture to memory I dislike reading a version different from what I have memorized. So as I said I am extremely picky.
I typically read the New King James Version or the Amplified Classic. So I was slightly hesitant to review this as it was the Christian Standard Bible knowing that there was a huge chance that I would not like it. This Bible boasts of a single column design. A huge advantage to me in this Bible is that it has eliminated the headings, subheadings, verse numbers, and the Chapter is listed at the bottom of the page by the page numbers. So it is clearly simplified to pick up and read as any other book.
This translation uses what they call an optimal equivalence which is a word for word translation but when that would be a confusing or hard to read passage a more dynamic version is used. The end result being an accurate translation comparable to the NKJV that is simplified and easy to read. This makes it easy to sit and read many chapters at a time if that is something you would like to do.
It is readable for the everyday person and yet could still be used for sermon preparation or teaching if used with another translation to get the verse numbers. For me this is a win-win scenario. I had fallen in love a couple of years ago with copying scriptures by hand to read them in context minus the verse breaks and headings to get the bigger picture and to simply let the verses speak for themselves. This Bible makes this easy to do at a glance.