Scripture That Comes To Life

By Brett Eastman

BibleOne man’s advice on finding a Bible that speaks to you.
By Ben Irwin

I grew up in a Christian home surrounded by Bibles—all 400-year-old King James Versions. One day, someone gave me one in a language I could understand, and it transformed my life. I went to seminary, worked as a youth pastor for little while, and then worked for Christ Bible Publishers, where I edited Christian literature—which I love. Because of my experience, I’m passionate about helping people engage the Bible—for the first time or all over again in a fresh way.

Many small groups members want to go deeper, but after looking at shelves upon shelves of Bibles, are unsure of what translation to choose. Unlike a paraphrase Bible, which is written by one or a few, a translation is edited by a committee of scholars. Both have tremendous value to the church.

Several translations are available today, which include fantastic resources. The New International Version is clear and accurate, while the New Living is readable, using language similar to ours today. The New American Standard provides detailed word study, while the New King James is an updated version of the cadence and tradition people love.

Eugene Peterson wrote a paraphrase, called the Message, which is greatly popular because it speaks in our everyday language. The Good News Bible is a version that’s between a translation and paraphrase, and is great for ESL students.

To choose the one that’s right for you, ask your pastors what they use, look into small group members’ Bibles, or go to the bookstore and leaf through as many versions as possible to see which resonates with you. Be sure to choose a Bible that helps you understand life, explains meaning, and makes you want to go for more.

Once you have your Bible, let it come to life. Live in the text and talk about it, especially the difficult parts. Ask what makes sense and what doesn’t. Remember, comparing different translations in the context of community makes Scripture come to life.

Brett Eastman

Brett Eastman

Brett Eastman has served as the small groups champion in several of the largest mega churches in the country including Saddleback Church, Willow Creek and Fellowship of the Woodlands for over a dozen years. After founding Lifetogether - 10 years ago he has either consulted and/or produced Custom DVD Curriculum and training materials for 100 of the largest and fastest growing churches in America. He has published with the top 10 Christian Publishers, produced over 250 bestselling series, designed dozens of church wide campaigns, and produced on camera over 500 bestselling authors, pastors and church leaders selling over 4,000,000 copies to date including the Award Winning Purpose Driven Group Series, Doing Lifetogether Series published by Zondervan. Lifetogether's focus is to partner with local church pastors trying to help connect their entire congregation by producing innovative small group resources in order to ultimately reach their community through community.