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Jan 1, 2024

Hey there! Welcome to this day number 1 in the NLT series for the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan. These podcasts are hosted at Today in this episode number 1 we read Genesis 1-2, Job 1, and the first half of Mark 1.

It’s great that you're starting TODAY on a life-transforming journey through the Bible! 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 you see the various threads that unify the message of the Old and the New Testaments. I hope that my 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! Please check out the How-to pages that are linked in the banner of When you are curious about a Bible verse, I recommend the collection of ‘Shovels’ I have collected to aid you in digging deeper in your study. See the Shovels page under ‘About’ menu entry in the How-to pages. The How-to pages also give good suggestions for podcast listening apps and Bible reading apps.

If you hear mistakes, have questions, or would like to comment, please feel free to contact me via the contact link at

I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Tyndale House Foundation for the permission to record the whole NLT Bible in these podcasts. The full copyright notice is found on the front page of and at the end of each day’s episode notes.

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. The result can be misery. 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 1:
The story of Job is set in the period of the patriarch Abraham, and it takes place in the land of the East. What I did not realize until recently is that signs indicate that this book was written at a later time and almost certainly by an Israelite. By the author writing that Job was “the richest man in the East”, it places the author in the West, in the land of Israel. The author frequently uses the name of ‘Yahweh’, which I think would not have been done in Abraham’s time— which was long before God’s name was revealed to Moses at the burning bush. The author was a highly educated man. All of the book— except the first two chapters, are in exquisite poetry. The author displays an in-depth knowledge of mythology, the constellations, and the then current wisdom concerning the world— including the underworld and traits of exotic animals. I might as well say it: The philosophy of this book is worthy of Solomon.

Whoever he is, the author displays incredible wisdom. One would expect an ancient book that is didactic in nature to end with a neat answer that sums up the author’s opinion. Or one would expect an ancient 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. It is a mark of inspired wisdom that in the end, the book of Job leaves us still pondering and searching for some answers.

MARK 1a:
Mark does not specifically identify himself as the author of this Gospel, but the church fathers unanimously say that the John Mark mentioned several times in the New Testament was the one who wrote it. Mark was a companion of Peter, and the eyewitness content in this book is that of Peter. I will give more introductory information about Mark’s Gospel in tomorrow’s podcast.

NLT Translation notes:

Gen. 1:3Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the [end of the] first day. … And evening passed and morning came, marking

the [end of the] second day.

and so forth.


Mrk. 1:1 This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began 2 just as the prophet Isaiah had written, … [quoting what God said to his son:]

6 [John reminded people of the prophet Elijah,] because his clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. And he ate food such as locusts and wild honey.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.