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Good News Bible

(24 Posts)
jumpyjan Tue 25-Aug-09 16:16:23

I only own a copy of the New Testament & Psalms and want to do some more reading. I am thinking of buying the Good News Bible but was not sure how the content differs from the New Testament & Psalms - can anyone explain?

Sorry if this is a silly question!

MaryBS Tue 25-Aug-09 16:31:33

I presume you currently have the Good News version of the New Testament and Psalms? So its just a question of what extra you get?

Psalms is Old Testament, so you are missing all of the Old Testament except these. A list is here

Hope this helps. If I can help any more, let me know...

AMumInScotland Tue 25-Aug-09 16:31:56

Hi, the Good News Bible will contain the whole Old Testament as well as the New Testament and the Psalms. The Psalms are one small part of the Old Testament.

The Old Testament covers the time from stories passed on about the creation of the world up to a time a bit before Jesus was born, and is the collected history of the people of Israel and the development of their religion.

jumpyjan Tue 25-Aug-09 16:39:16

Ah thanks MaryBS & AMIS - do you think the Good News Bible is the best place to start if I want to do more reading?

I have had a look on a couple of Christian bookshop websites and was a bit overwhelmed with the choice!

AMumInScotland Tue 25-Aug-09 16:46:30

The Good News Bible is designed to be easy to read and understand, so if you're a "beginner" then you may find it a good place to start. But the easiness of reading is at the cost of an accurate translation, so if you want to know just exactly what the Bible says on a given subject then it varies in its usefullness - specially when it's a passage which can be interpreted in different ways, because the translators will have decided which is the "right" interpretation (according to them) and put that across in a straightforward way, without maybe including the complexity of the original.

If you want something more accurate, but still readable, the New International Version (NIV) is a popular one.

Personally I like the Revised Standard Version (RSV) which goes very much the other way and keeps an accurate translation without trying to be helpful by explaining things!

MaryBS Tue 25-Aug-09 17:51:31

Its also quite hard to just pick up the bible and read it, its not like a novel that you can read from beginning to end - you CAN but I'm not sure you'd get too much out of reading it that way, and would probably be bored!

There are study guides which talk you through reading the bible, (not that I've tried), for example so you can read the bible in a year.

Good News is reasonable, I've not used it since I was at school though. I would dispute that the NIV is accurate, it follows an agenda and sometimes sacrifices accuracy by the editor putting his "slant" on what the passage says (like missing out or adding words which affect the meaning). You aren't necessarily likely to notice that unless you do some serious biblical criticism though!

My preference is for the NRSV, similar to the RSV, but the language is more modern. Plus it is the one our church uses - a big factor in deciding which to buy. But I like it anyway.

What are you hoping to get out of it - that is probably the decider? Do you belong to any group, if not, would you like to? It may be if you joined a study group, they'll be using a particular bible, and you may want to use the same as them. Some bibles come in a study version, which help you understand the text as you read it.

jumpyjan Tue 25-Aug-09 19:12:31

Thanks again for your posts. I guess there is no right or wrong answer and there are more options than I thought.

Yes, I am a 'beginner' AMIS so I think I am going to start with the Good News Bible and take it from there. But it is useful to hear about the other versions/interpretations etc so I can approach it with that in mind.

I think this is the bible that my church uses, certainly some friends from the church use this.

No, MaryBS I don't expect I will read it from cover to cover. I think I just want to start by reading certain passages and for help/guidance on certain issues. I think I will probably do an Alpha course once I am able to do stuff in the evenings (have 4 month old) so it may help with that.

bloss Tue 25-Aug-09 19:18:37

Message withdrawn

BrokkenHarted Wed 09-Sep-09 12:08:52

I am aware how old this is but i thought i would just say for someone beginning reading i would agree the NIV is usful but would say if you are planning on reading without any help i would get the 'life application study bible (NIV)' This comes with very useful notes and helps you apply the bible to your life which can be hard when reading without any notes.

Notquitegrownup Wed 09-Sep-09 14:51:56

I have a Good News, and NIV and a RSV - all recommended here - but I do think I would find it useful to have one with a few more notes and explanations added, without having to find extra explanations.

I'm just a bit blush as to how many Bibles I have - they are all wonderful and have provided many hours of thought provoking reading.

Praying that you may find lots of answers, and lots of questions too, as you start your reading.

AMumInScotland Thu 10-Sep-09 09:58:07

The important thing to remember about study bibles though is that, sometimes, the notes that have been added have very little to do with the actual bible text and lots to do with the prejudices of the person adding the notes. They can be useful and thought-provoking, but sometimes they are wildly inaccurate. I had a study bible when I went to theological college, which added all sorts of "explanations" of things in the text, some of which I couldn't find any mention of in any of the many learned commentaries in the library - they were clearly straight from the imagination of the person who wrote them, and not in the slightest bit the general opinion of bible scholars.

weegiemum Thu 10-Sep-09 10:04:15

I too (another theology student here) be careful of study bibles, I think they are there to push an agenda.

I like the NIV, but prefer the newer TNIV (Today's NIV) for its inclusive language. NRSV good as well. I'm not a fan of the Good News, cos I think it does sacrifice accuracy for readability.

If you are going to start reading the Bible regularly, then I think it is great to start with one of the Gospels (Mark is shortest). I also read a psalm every day.

Its sometimes nice too to either keep a notebook to jot down what you are learning/understanding, or to underline passages that seem to mean something to you.

Have fun!

weegiemum Thu 10-Sep-09 10:04:59

AMIS - I didn't realise you had been to Theological college. Where did you go?

AMumInScotland Thu 10-Sep-09 10:25:20

The CofE one in Nottingham - but only as a trainee clergy wife!

BrokkenHarted Thu 10-Sep-09 12:39:32

I agree abou the points Re sudy bibles but for someone who is just starting to read they are useful (thought expensive!!) I started reading John first. I think it was a great intro to Jesus and Christianity.

nickelbabe Thu 10-Sep-09 12:50:59

the good news bible imo is the best and easiest to read translation.
the NIV is the worst translatio nand in many things completely changes the meaning (especialyl in psalms), it's not written in easy to understand english and drives me nutty.

whenever i read something in the NIOV version that i don't understans, i always read the good news translation to get an idea of what it means in proper everyday modern english (we use NIV as church and they're horrid)

i would recommend good news to anyone!

nickelbabe Thu 10-Sep-09 12:53:04

(i can type honestly: i meant NIV and understand etc... blush )

cat64 Thu 10-Sep-09 12:59:44

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BrokkenHarted Thu 10-Sep-09 13:25:36

Oh i also have the ESV ( English Standard Version) which is a VERY good accurtae yet understandable translation which i use in my daily bible reading to compare with the NIV. Sometimes (most of the time for me) having more than one translation is great and really helps.

stressedHEmum Thu 10-Sep-09 20:46:50

Cat64. could it have been The Youth Bible, at all? My teenagers have this, amongst others, and it has a whole bunch of scenarios about things like anger, grief, peer pressure, drugs etc with points to think about and links to passages. I really like it because it helps relate scripture to teenage life. My favourite, though, and that of all my boys is the MANGA BIBLE. DS3 has it in the Raw, DS1 and DS2 have the full one with the accompaning full text (think its NIV). It is a brilliant way to get youngsters reading the bible, even my minister likes it!

As for the Good News bible, I really don't like it, I just feel that it isn't a great translation to be honest. A huge part of my degree was Divinity (OT studies, NT studies and relevant languages), the rest was classical languages and ancient history, so comparing the GNB to the Koine makes you realise how much has been sacrificed for modern phrasing. My pet hate about it is the Beatitudes. Usually, I use the TNIV for dailly reading along with a couple of others for comparison and then, if I am confused, I check in my NT in Greek or my Septuagint (not ideal but my memories of Hebrew are shaky.)

Study bibles like the TNIV Life Application one are good if you are just beginning your walk, as they explain who is who and basic stuff like that, but like everything else, you have to be careful because they are all pushing their own agenda.

cat64 Thu 10-Sep-09 22:28:07

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aig Sun 13-Sep-09 16:57:06

I have only just caught up with this thread. If you are fairly new to the bible there is a good, readable (although not absolutely up to date on biblical criticism) book called 'How to Read the Old Testament'by Etienne Charpentier. You can buy it on Amazon market place.
I think it is brilliant! I read it before doing a Uni module on Biblical criticism and it helped put everything simply into place. He also wrote one on the NT but suggests you read the OT first.

jumpyjan Wed 16-Sep-09 19:30:55

Thanks all for your comments. I did not realise my thread had been revived so sorry for not coming back sooner.

I have to say I am a bit confused and not sure what to do. I ordered a copy of the Good News Bible but so far have only really read some Psalms and some of the passages that they recommend for when you are feeling certain emotions (sadness, needing guidance etc). I have found that some of these have really stayed with me and were very comforting. But I have not really read much of the rest of the bible. Perhaps I will read Mark as someone suggested.

I think I have noticed something about the language too. I can't put my finger on what it is exactly but I think some of what I have read is not as I remembered it (probably from school).

MadHairDay Wed 16-Sep-09 20:19:50

I do think it's a good idea to start at Mark, jj - the bible is so huge it's hard to jump in. Take it slowly and take it easy on yourself. Good News is fine, I like the TNIV and NRSV best but like some of the other versions for their different emphases and language, particularly the message and occasionally the New Living translation.
AMIS, I was also at that college as a trainee curate's wife...

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