Jan 1, 2016
Congratulations on starting TODAY on a life-transforming journey! The Digging Deeper Daily plan will help you be successful in your commitment to read the whole Bible in a year. The unique order of the readings— together with the brief devotional notes, will help see the various threads that unify the message of the Old and the New Testaments. I hope these notes will help you remember what you have read the day before, and hint at the deep and incredibly rich treasures in God’s Word. But the most satisfying treasures that you find this year will be the ones you dig to discover for yourself! Check out the ‘Shovels’ page of dailybiblereading.info for tools to help you go deeper in your study.
The first five books of the Bible are the Jewish Torah, and the Bible refers to them collectively as ‘the Law’. Many other books in the Bible attribute the authorship of these five books to Moses. Genesis is the foundational book of the whole Bible. When we were in our first Bible translation project among the Orya in Papua, Indonesia, I witnessed how getting a little detail of the foundation wrong (such as, how the first sin happened) can wreck the whole building that is being constructed. This book of Genesis tells us what God wants us to know about the beginning of our world, the beginning of sin, mankind’s rebellion against God, and who God and Satan are.
Job is probably the oldest book of the Bible, so it makes good sense to start our daily poetry readings here. Job probably lived sometime around the time of the patriarch Abraham. Amazingly for such an early book, we find established religious practices and beliefs, excellent poetry, well-developed mythology, and very sophisticated philosophy. One would expect an early book to end with a neat answer that sums up the author’s opinion. Or one would expect an early author to create a debate where the hero is totally right and the other speakers are clearly wrong. Instead, all the human speakers in the book of Job mix truth and error. And it is a mark of inspiration that Job leaves us still searching for some answers.
1 This is the Good News about [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ], the Son of God.
The order in Greek here is ‘Jesus Christ’, and sometimes the Greek puts the order the other way around. I will consistently read ‘Christ Jesus’. Here is the reason I do this: Although it has become natural for us to say ‘Jesus Christ’, it is actually against English grammar. ‘Christ’ is a title. And in English, titles (such as president, doctor, or ambassador) always come first. The reason why I point this out is this: I have found people who think that ‘Christ’ is Jesus’ last name. The title ‘Christ’ (from Greek) means exactly the same thing as Messiah (from Hebrew). Both mean ‘anointed one’.
You will notice that I read many Bible names in a strange way. I read them with a more phonetic pronunciation— which in fact, is more like how the Indonesian language and many others read them. This allows me to be more consistent in my pronunciation, and it also happens to be more like the Hebrew and Greek pronunciations. English pronunciations for some names is quite far from the source language pronunciations. An example from today is the name Isaiah, which I pronounce as ‘Yesayah’.
6 John wore clothes made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and his food [included//was] locusts and wild honey.