How do we know God intimately if we don’t read the Bible? That is a question more and more people are asking as our biblical literacy rates drop lower and lower and the level of virtue found in Christians also ebbs low. How can we be “transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2) if our minds rarely concentrate on God’s holy words?
The Bible must be our constant companion. Not “must” as in we will be in trouble if we don’t. “Must” as in we will starve if we don’t.
Some of us who have been Christians for many years have to admit that the words of the Bible become a bit too plain; they begin to lose their meaning and impact. When that happens, an excellent way to freshen up the liveliness of the Word is to read the Bible in a new, less familiar translation or paraphrase. That is precisely the impetus for this blog.
Renowned New Testament scholar N. T. Wright has just produced The Kingdom New Testament, a provocative translation of the New Testament. True to the theology that runs throughout all of his work, Wright’s New Testament accentuates the theme of God’s coming kingdom that was so pivotal to the teaching of Jesus and the message of the early Church. Fresh and modern, The Kingdom New Testament makes the reader take notice of the text, something I very much need again.
I am Jason Knight, a committed follower of Christ. Daily I strive to put to death my will and to let God’s will be done in my life, often with mixed results. Thank God for his grace! A husband and father of boys, life is very busy. That is probably why I have chosen to use this blog with my year-long reading; it produces an accountability and structure I often find lacking in my own life. By day, I teach 11th & 12th grade Bible and religion at Harding Academy in Memphis, Tennessee, a wonderful place to work and a vocation that places me on the front lines with teenagers deciding what they will do with Jesus. Exciting! Life is especially blessed when a good steak, a rich dessert, a stimulating book, a beautiful hike, or time with friends and family come my way.
The format for my posts are simple: Starting January 2, 2012, each weekday I will read one chapter from the New Testament using N. T. Wright’s translation. I will at least post my favorite few verses from that day’s reading. Maybe other days I will add my own reflections as well. The point is to read; blogging is secondary. Can I read more than a chapter a day? Sure, but I am using the age-old practice of slow, close, meditative reading. This is what Eugene Peterson calls “eating the word” or “chewing on the text.” In the midst of busy chaos, I find it immensely necessary and restorative.
I invite you to read with me. Maybe you pick up Wright’s translation. Or Eugene Peterson’s The Message. Maybe this is the year you pick up your own Bible and really read through the New Testament. I hope you will join me!