For the Love & Memorization of Scripture

I have loved the Bible from the time I was little. From my first NIV Adventure Bible, to begging my parents to get me the Breakthrough Covenant Partner Bible when I was twelve, to the NLT, ESV, KJV, NASB, NKJV and some time in the TLV I have always enjoyed reading different translations. I have over fifty Bibles in various translations and editions. I’ve always been one to go back and forth. A few months ago I started a process in which I am studying the New Testament in part by rereading a small book or a portion of a large book every day for a month. This has really helped me retain more material in each book.

I started with the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible and then moved to the CSB He Reads Truth Bible. In the beginning I really liked the He Reads Truth layout but I noticed when I read, other translations would come out of my mouth whether I was looking at the CSB or NKJV. I noticed most of the time I would slip into the King James and occasionally some NIV or Amplified would come out. Part of this process is also studying the chapters in depth so I am using commentaries; one uses the NASB and the other the ESV. I began to become frustrated with the fact that I couldn’t keep the text straight, so as much as I love using different translations, I knew it would be best to pick one.

As much as I liked the layout and contents of the CSB He Reads Truth Bible, I just couldn’t get into the translation and knowing this is a three year process I knew I needed to pick a translation and settle in. In the end I decided to go with the NKJV. The first reason was I had picked up the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible before I began the process. Over the years many teachers I listened to used the NKJV and it was familiar to me plus I used the KJV for several years so it’s an easy pick up.

The main reason I have used different translations over the years is because I love the Scripture and because I love the Scripture I really want to do better at memorizing things during this three year process. Having read so many different translations my mind has become cloudy when I come to passages I used to know. Even though I love multiple translations using them has made memorizing Scripture more difficult for me. At the end of this three year process I want to really know the New Testament and using one translation exclusively for devotional and study purposes will be very helpful.

Another reason I have decided to use the NKJV going forward is because it hasn’t been updated since it was published in 1982, which assures me that anytime now or in the future the text will be the same and the NKJV has extensive textual footnotes. I know that rereading the same text every day for a month will automatically lend itself to some level of memorization.

Psalm 119:9-11 NKJV ““How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” I mention Psalm 119 frequently on my blog which is a primary reason I believe it is a good idea to use one translation going forward.

So what am I going to do with all my other Bibles? I will still read the notes in various study Bibles I have but will not read the text. I will eventually start building up my NKJV Bible library. My new thinline came in today and I will be using it for daily reading and study going forward. I will use the new Legacy Standard Bible and the Amplified Classic Bible as commentaries and will not actively memorize from them.

For years I have said I wanted to settle on a translation and now I have and I am excited about the consistency my devotions, study and regular reading will now have. In the coming years when I read through the Bible I will get a NKJV text Bible to do yearly reading if I want fresh eyes on a blank page.

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