Bible time

June 29, 2011

One of the blessings of this sabbatical time is having time for more Bible reading and study. The weekly rhythm of Parish work rarely leaves time for what was always a favorite pastime of mine. I know, hard to believe that an ordained person spends LESS time reading the Bible than I did when I wasn’t, and maybe that’s not quite accurate, but this time away has helped me see how I have neglected spending time in the Word like I used to, need to, and love to. Of course I study the Bible each week, but the vast majority of that time is spent in the Lectionary readings for Sunday (and Wednesday) plus any Bible study prep I need to do. This is not the same as devotional reading or detailed study of say an Epistle or minor prophet. So during this Sabbatical time I am committed to reigniting that passion and dedicating time to it.
Our very busy travel schedule of the first part of the Sabbatical prevented me from doing this too much, although I did begin some study and of course am doing a good bit of devotional reading in the Scriptures – some daily office lectionary based, some otherwise. I can say reading the Bible as part of daily devotions, as part of some detailed study (more on that at a later time), and as part of a daily plan of reading, has all been wonderful.
So how am I doing this? Well, as much as I love a good floppy Bible with concordance and highlighters, I have found a software tool that is amazing. You Version is a Bible app developed by the people at life, a megachurch in Oklahoma. It’s really well done software, and includes over 120 Bible translations in over 40 languages. You can pick so many different versions to read a passage in. You can make notes as you go, bookmark passages, etc. I love the notes, as I read if something is meaningful to me, or may be great for a sermon down the road or a Bible study aid, I can bookmark it and write a note about it that I can reference later. You tag the notes with categories also.
You Version runs on Windows or Mac and there are really good Android, iphone, and ipad versions. They all work together, sharing notes, etc. Another nice feature is the Bible reading plans, they have dozens that guide you through daily readings of the Scripture, some are designed to read the whole Bible in a certain time frame, others have themes they follow. Included is a “BCP” plan that follows the daily lectionary so can be used for your own daily office reading if you desire. I highly recommend this product, and it’s free! Go to, or download the app in the Apple app store or the Android Market. Let me know what daily plan you decide to follow!

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