I've used the New English Translation (NET - also known as a translation made for the electronic "net" of the World Wide Web) for years because of its helpful translators' notes. In 1995 more than twenty scholars collaborated on this new translation, releasing the New Testament online in 1998, the Old Testament in 2000, and parts of the Apocrypha in 2002. With this print Bible, they've gone in a different direction. In The Abide Bible, readers are encouraged to engage with Scripture using methods of contemplation. Specifically, five types of prompts:
- Contemplate - slowly and thoughtfully ponder certain passages, praying over them (also known as lectio divina).
- Journal - based on certain themes or questions from scripture.
- Picture It - sidebars that help you place yourself in the stories themselves by using your senses to encounter the events (a form of imaginative prayer).
- Praying Scripture - guided prayer exercises.
- Engage Through Art - major works of art interspersed throughout to aid in devotion (also known as visio divina).
It's a gorgeous cover, this one is the stone leathersoft, and full of prompts. There's a single column of text on each page, so room for making your own notes as well. I've been learning about new ways to interact with scripture. I enjoy study notes, learning about context, the original languages, and scholarly translation notes. But there's a slower, thought-provoking way to read scripture, settling on each word, praying that God would illuminate who he is in his fullness. Not just facts, but God himself.
Intrigued? I hope you'll check out this new Bible. The publisher, Thomas Nelson, is doing a 21-day contemplative video series through the book of John. Sign up for this free series here. They are also giving one Bible away at freebies.com. Enter here.