a review of the Daily Companion Bible (DCB) – part 2

This post is part two in a three-part review of the Daily Companion Bible (DCB), a devotional edition of the Common English Bible (CEB).

There are a great many things I enjoy about the DCB. Following are a dozen of those matters, appearing here in no particular order.

1. The Biblical text is that of the Common English Bible so neither accuracy or clarity is an issue.

2. The quality of the binding is quite good. I have the hardback edition in hand. This Bible won’t fall apart anytime soon.

3. The font is simple, crisp, and clear. Though I’m in my early 50′s and have worn bifocals for years, I can read the text easily.

4. The placement of the nearly 350 pages of reading guides and devotional helps at the front of this Bible means that not only is everything in one place, but that this Bible can be used as a “regular” Bible and not merely function as a devotional Bible geared to fit one reading plan.

5. The simplicity of the structure and scheme of the devotional layout on a single page is pleasant. The structure is identical each day: 1-4 Scripture references to texts of widely varying length, a 2-3 paragraph devotional, 3-4 questions, a 2-4 sentence prayer, and 2-5 blank lines for personal notes.

6. The 7 page easy-to-grasp description of 5 of the most common spiritual exercises – prayer (centering and breath), meditation and study (lectio divina, inductive, memorization), fasting, solitude, and worship – is greatly appreciated.

7. The addition of some simple aids (definitions of weights & measures, the Hebrew calendar [with Gregorian month equivalents], 8 high quality maps by National Geographic, etc.) is a touch not found in most devotional Bibles with which I’m familiar. Incidentally, the maps included are the equivalent of map #’s 2, 4, 6, 10, 15, 17, 20, and 21 in the Bible Map Guide.

8. The printing of letters of the Hebrew alphabet in the margin of some of the Psalms (9-10,25,34,37,111-112,119,145) and the book of Lamentations to show that they are acrostic in nature is a plus. However, oddly and inexplicably, Proverbs 31:10-31 doesn’t receive this treatment.

9. The inclusion of multiple reading schedules (1 month, 90 days, 1 year) doesn’t go unnoticed.

10. The three-way indexing of the topical readings by topic, week, and Biblical text is the way it ought to be in all devotional Bibles.

11. The publishers have clearly bent over backwards to make this devotional Bible very-user friendly. Page numbers are cited in the table of contents for the Biblical books. Page numbers are also included in the daily and topical indexes, not merely Scripture references. It even has an alphabetical table of contents, a very helpful feature for Bible newbies.

12. The compact size 5 1/2″ wide by 8 1/2″ tall by 1 5/16″ thick makes it easy to carry in your hand. Given its size you’re left without excuse if you don’t carry it in your backpack, luggage or briefcase.

One more note: though I’ve certainly not read the entire DCB yet, I’ve not come across a single typographical error of any kind in my reading thus far. This is no small accomplishment in itself for it is a rare book these days in which I don’t encounter a typo or two.

In tomorrow’s post I’ll note some matters I believe could have been done better, what I’d like to see in the next edition of the DCB, and my overall impression of this volume.

a review of the Daily Companion Bible (DCB) – part 1

This post is part one of a three part review of the Daily Companion Bible (DCB), a devotional edition of the Common English Bible. Today’s post deals with how the DCB works. Tomorrow’s post will address a number of the features of the DCB that I think are quite well done. The final post will concern itself with things I think could have been better done, what I’d like to see in the next edition of the DCB, and my overall impression of the DCB. You should know that I use the CEB in all of my teaching and preaching in the church family of which I’m a part. In fact, the DCB will be the basis for our church-wide Bible reading project (Uncommon Truth for Common People) and a Wednesday night adult Bible class coordinated with that project in 2012.

The primary reading schedule of the DCB, is a five-day-per-week reading centered on three key areas crucial to our walk with God: (1) the foundations of faith, (2) the development of our character, and (3) spiritual discipline. All of the readings in a given week focus on a single theme, for a total of fifty-two themes addressed over the course of a year. Following is a list of the fifty-two themes. They appear here in alphabetical order, not the order in which they appear in the DCB.

Baptism. Character. Choices. Communion. Community. Contagious life. Courage. Evangelism. Family. Forgiveness. Generosity. God’s call. God’s promises. God’s will. Grace. Gratitude. Healing. Holy Spirit. Hope. Hospitality. Humility. Influence. Leadership. Love. Moderation. New song. Obedience. Perseverance. Prayer. Priorities. Purity. Purpose-driven. Radical faith. Reading the Bible. Reconciliation. Resources. Revival. Savior. Second chances. Self-denial. Self-Discipline. Serving. Setting an example. Sharing your faith. Stewardship. Testing. Thankfulness. Trust. Truth. Wisdom. Work. Worship.

Following is an example of how one of those themes is treated, the aspects of that theme that are dealt with, and the Scripture references related to a given week’s reading. Week 34 deals with the theme of priorities. During the course of that week you would read:

Monday – God’s top priorities – Micah 6:6-8; Matthew 6:25-34
Tuesday – Justice is God’s priority – Mark 12:28-34; Amos 5:11-15,21-24
Wednesday – True devotion in action – James 1:19-27
Thursday – Caring for the least of these – Matthew 25:31-46
Friday – Humble priority – Luke 18:9-14; James 4:1-10

If you’re wondering as to how much of the Biblical text is referenced and where most of those references are, know that there are roughly two and a half times as many references to NT texts as there are OT. Texts from the vast majority of the Bible are utilized in the daily readings; however, there are no references at all from the books of 1 Chronicles, Nehemiah, Song of Solomon, Hosea, Joel, Obadiah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Philemon, or 2 John. The following books have only 1-2 entries each: Leviticus, Numbers, Judges, Ruth (but it is the entire book), Esther, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Job, Ecclesiastes, 2 Thessalonians, 2 Timothy, Titus, and 3 John.

In tomorrow’s post I’ll share a number of the features of the DCB that I think are quite well done.

30 days with the Human One (13)

 

We seen it in the news ever so often. Someone has lost their way while climbing a mountain, hiking through the woods, sailing across an ocean, or traveling through a desert. A massive search and rescue effort is launched. Days pass. Frantic friends and loved ones hold vigils as they hold their breath, anxious to hear good news as lives hang in the balance.

Sometimes the good news comes; sometimes it never does. We’ve seen the tearful reunions and we’ve seen the devastation of hopelessness. Whose heart doesn’t go out to people in such a situation?

So why exactly did “the Human One” come to this world? The Gospels record a number of “purpose statements” of Jesus, but perhaps none are as concise, nor commands our attention so, as the statement the Human One makes just before he enters Jerusalem, headed for the cross.

The Human One came to seek and save the lost. (Luke 19:10 CEB)

With that in mind, quietly, thoughtfully consider for a moment:

  • what sort of foolishness you’ve been involved in to lose your way.
  • what the Human One left behind to look for you.
  • what sort of love drove the Human One to look for you.
  • what it cost the Human One to find you and save you.

We need to pray.

Jesus, never give up in your quest for me. Find me. Save me. Bring me home to you, I pray. Amen.

power to the people! (aka: 7 reasons why I switched to the Common English Bible)

 

1. For years I’ve longed for a translation of the Bible that speaks with an English vocabulary somewhere between the Contemporary English Version (CEV) and the Today’s New International Version (TNIV). The Common English Bible (CEB) does just that. Clarity for the people!

2. For quite awhile now I’ve wanted to see a rendering of the word make frequent and consistent use of some of the Biblical scholarship that I’ve greatly benefited from and have been blessed by. The CEB has done that. Scholarship for the people!

3. For years now I’ve wanted to see a fresh translation of Scripture from the ground up, not merely a reworking of an existing translation or version. The CEB is precisely that. Freshness for the people!

4. For sometime now I’ve been growing increasingly unhappy with Zondervan’s handling of the whole TNIV/NIV business. I finally got disgusted enough that I decided to jump ship (understand, the NIV and TNIV have been my default Bibles in years past). The CEB appears to have a more open and authentic base to it. Authenticity to the people!

5. For quite a spell I’ve wished to see a committee-based translation have the nerve (and backing from the publisher) to make some truly bold, original renderings of the Biblical text as has been the case in recent years among some single-translator renderings of the Bible. The CEB does that. Courage for the people!

6. For years I’ve wished for a solid Bible translation to appear that the publisher was confident about to truly support that they would share with all a general timeline of the anticipated publication dates of various editions (i.e. – supporting reference works, pew Bibles, study Bibles, audio Bibles, etc.). The publishers of the CEB have done just that. Planning for the people!

7. For a very long time I’ve yearned for all of the preceding to funnel into a translation that also includes in its work the Apocrypha. The Common English Bible (CEB) offers editions that include the Apocrypha. Knowledge for the people!

will you help me give away a free Bible?


Would you like to

  • receive a brand new Bible,
  • in a fresh, new translation (CEB),
  • that is clear and accurate in its rendering,
  • that is based on some of the best of scholarship,
  • delivered to your doorstep,
  • at no cost to you whatsoever,
  • with no strings attached?

 

You could

  • give it away to a stranger,
  • donate it to your church library,
  • take it to that church member who is hospitalized,
  • hand it to an acquaintance in appreciation for something they’ve done,
  • gift it as a Christmas present to someone you wouldn’t normally buy for,
  • present it to that good neighbor you’re glad you have around,
  • pass it on to your children or grandchildren for their use,
  • send it to that old friend you haven’t seen in years,
  • or make it your own.

If any of this strikes a chord with you, all you’ve got to do is

  1. be the first to comment on this post with these words,
  2. “I’ll put a Common English Bible to good, God-honoring use,”
  3. no later than midnight tomorrow night (Thur., Dec. 8).

That’s all there is to it.

Do so and I’ll make sure you receive your f-r-e-e Bible.

Merry Christmas!