Jan 1, 2021
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 you 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. Please also check out our free dedicated listening apps for your smart device by searching for the DailyBibleReading podcast in the app store or play store.
NLT podcast listeners: You have chosen to listen to the first podcast in the NLT series. Please be aware that these recordings of the NlT were first made in 2014, when I was very new to podcasting. Now, after three year’s experience, I hear all sorts of little things I would now do differently, including pronunciation, tone of voice, and audio editing. I almost decided NOT to re-release this series of podcasts this year. If you are patient through the first month or two, you will find that I eventually got better in making the podcasts. Even though I don’t like listening to these first podcasts, there are some serendipitous and spontaneous moments that I hope my grandchildren will enjoy listening to. If you are listening using earbuds in a car speeding down the freeway, perhaps some of the glitches in production won’t be noticed. However, if you find yourself bothered by the imperfections, try listening to the GNT recordings instead.
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.
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 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.
Due to the 400 word limit for the YouVersion Devotional Content pages, the introduction to Mark is given on Day 2.
GNT Translation notes:
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.
NLT Translation notes:
Gen. 1:3Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And 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.