Did you know there are almost 100 versions of the Holy Bible? From the King James Version, printed the first time in 1611 AD to the New American Bible Revised Edition in 2011.
If you struggle to understand, or find reading the Bible very difficult, perhaps you should try another version.
Bible study apps can be very helpful. Most are free and give you numerous Bible versions to choose from.
A study Bible contains the scriptures and notes to help you understand the text a little better, providing background and explanations for what you’re reading. It is ideal for personal devotions and Bible study groups. While the ‘study’ part of the Bible is not meant to be taken as God’s word, it may help access the deeper meaning of scripture.
In an app, the information is usually in a separate window, but is synched to the text so as you scroll through scripture, the information panel changes too. In apps there are frequently links to maps, related passages, lexicons etc.
What to look for in a study Bible:
– Easy to use — can you navigate with ease without getting lost? Can you enlarge the size of the text?
– Layers of information — can you go deeper into the commentary if you want?
– Bias/perspective — ‘believer’s’ commentaries, for example, usually reflect a fundamental conservative approach to scripture. A ‘woman’s commentary’ would reflect a more liberal theology
More in-depth than a study Bible, a Commentary is meant for serious and focused Bible study. The IVP Women’s Bible Commentary by Catherine Clark Kroeger presents a feminist interpretation of scripture, which may, or may not, be to your taste.
Information compiled by Diane Allengame, St. James Anglican Church, Caledon