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Posts Tagged ‘NIV 1984 translation’

I recently did something I have been putting off for years. With great regret, I at last steeled myself enough to throw my much-loved and much-used NIV bible I have had since somewhere in the middle 1980s into the bin. In one way, it felt as if I was throwing part of me out along with it. My hands had held that deep red cover so often that a lot of the fake leather had worn off and my fingers had turned some of those pages so much that the corners were ripped, with one or two having disappeared altogether.

Now many might think, ‘Why all that fuss? It’s just an old book!’ And at one level, that is true. After all, it is not the book itself that is sacred but rather the words it contains—and they can be found just as well in my brand-new, more recently translated NIV bible I received at Christmas or in any other bible. And yet … and yet …

You see, that old bible symbolised so much to me in so many different ways. It was my companion through countless amazing times in my life, as well as hugely difficult ones. I carted it with me to all sorts of places—on camps and retreats, away on holidays, to lectures at theological college, to nearby parks to sit and reflect, to places where I spoke. When it finally become too risky to use while speaking somewhere because it threatened to fall apart on me, I let it rest on my desk beside my laptop and bought another copy to take with me instead. And there my favourite, old bible has remained for many years now as I have written several more books and many blogs. I have read it each day, then left it lying open so I could look over at any time and be reminded of what God had said to me as I read. And sometimes that re-read turned into a little prayer, either whispered or spoken aloud—perhaps for perseverance in writing or in preparing a message to speak somewhere or as intercession for someone else.

As well as featuring occasional finger-marked and dog-eared corners, some of the pages of that old bible also contained verses I had underlined or highlighted with a little line at the side. At times, I had even put an exclamation mark beside some words that had particularly impacted me or left a brief comment there in tiny letters. And I had read some passages so often that I could visualise where the words I wanted to find were on the page before I even looked them up—so much so that even my other NIV bible of the same vintage did not seem quite right to me at first.

Yet, I know I will soon become used to this other bible now open on my desk. I am familiar with its wording and will keep my more recent Christmas NIV for speaking somewhere. Whichever bible I use, it is still God’s precious Word that I look forward to exploring again in the year ahead and finding great wisdom and encouragement in its pages. And I hope you do too.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105

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