Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

A week ago on Sunday morning, I completed reading the Message Bible. You can read my review here.

What I didn't mention was that I don't actually own a copy of the Message Bible.

No, for with my completion of the good book in that paraphrased translation I have also completed another long-standing, and somewhat meaningless, ambition – to read the whole Bible over the... oh, you read the title.

It might sound like it's not that different online to on a page. Yeah, I think it is.

With a book, it's much easier to thumb back to check stuff that you've read earlier. With all due respect to, and (the three sites I've regularly used), it's just not so easy to navigate on a screen, because you can only see a part of it at a time.

It's also harder to mark particular passages that stand-out, without getting through a lot of glass. Lately I've started copying and pasting specific verses that I want to make a note of, for whatever reason, but even those bulging Word documents are themselves tough to scroll through.

Sure – you can do a search on a particular word or phrase, but those notes that I've made will mostly never be seen again, camouflaged-away as pieces of microscopic magnetism, which even if visible would still be impossible to read until decoded.

Since I left my copy of the God's Word translation in my other hemisphere, I've been catching-up with that online lately too. It's a little rarer to find on the world wide web (although not as scarce as copies of the Good News), so I used to read the downloadable pdfs at the translation's own site

Hrrrrm. Pdfs. I don't like those. You can print them out to read them like actual pages of the book, sure, (as I have done) but on a screen I just find Acrobat annoying. Always asking if you want to update, scrolling heavily, and all those out-of-sight notes at the foot and in the sidebar.

I was therefore elated to recently discover the whole God's Word version also hiding away on, with others. Sure, "Iim" can look alot like "Lim" on-screen (Joshua 15:29), but overall I found this much easier on the eyes, and more comfortable to scroll-through.

Until the early morning of April 21st this year when I read Judges 4:13...

So Sisera summoned all his chariots
Somehow that didn't look right. I went back and looked it up on the pdfs…

So Sisera summoned all his chariots (900 chariots made of<br />iron) and all his troops from Harosheth Haggoyim to come to the Kishon River.<br />
Oh, em, jee, they're Marvel UK-ing the Bible!

I'm sure it was just a one-off glytch (not that unusual on these online-Bible sites, which will sometimes accidentally format a heading as part of the next verse, and they have now fixed the above instance), but there was only one possible effect that I could allow this to have on my reading. I would have to reluctantly go back to reading those awkward pdf-copies.

And so all was well again. Until last Saturday night. I don't know if it's a fault in the file, or in my pdf-viewer, but this was how the Book of Isaiah finished:

Back with open arms to

Yessirreebobaroonee, there's nothing quite like flicking through parchment.

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