Listen to the entire GNT Bible using a well-designed 365-day reading plan.
000: 2024 DDeeper Trailer and How-to's
Hi there! I’m so glad you have clicked to listen to this trailer to the Digging Deeper Daily Bible reading plan for 2024. If you want to read the Bible in a great reading plan that will hold your attention and enable you to stay with the program, you are in the right place. My name is Phil Fields. I’m almost 74 years old and happily married to Gale. We have three children, and five grandkids. In 1983, when our kids were still small, our family went as Bible translators to Papua, Indonesia. We finished a New Testament translation for the Orya people in 2005. Since that time I have been leading an organization which is translating the Bible into the national language of Indonesia. We’re hoping that the entire Bible in the Plain Indonesian Translation will be finished at the end of 2025. Our sponsoring organization is Pioneer Bible Translators. When I started the Daily Bible Reading Podcast in 2014 the audience I had in mind was my grandkids. I wanted to make a set of Bible recordings for them, to leave behind what I would tell each one of them if and when they fall into difficult times. Here’s a list of what I will cover: Remember this new Web address: DDeeper.today. Please Sign up for email Why it’s a good idea to use a good Bible reading plan. Choose a Bible translation that makes sense for you for daily reading. Different ways to follow the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan Pointers about podcast listening How to contact me. Remember this new Web address: DDeeper.today. I realized recently how hard it is to find my websites when they are named DailyBibleReading.info. When I started podcasting in 2014, there were not many podcasts or blogs with that name. So I am hoping that the oddity of the new web address will help everyone looking for information on the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan and podcasts. The site is DDeeper.today with two D’s. I figure most other podcasters won’t misspell Deeper like I have. Even though it starts with two D’s, I’m pronouncing it like it started with just one. Please Sign up for email: There are times when I want to announce a special episode or a new feature in the YV Bible app. And listeners often like to hear about our Bible translation ministry. That is why I suggest that you sign up for my email updates. You will join a special list that is only for 2024. You will receive no more than 5 emails. I won’t ask for donations or try to sell you something. Please sign up by going to DDeeper.today, click the How-to’s link, and choose the menu item entitled 2024 Email Sign-up. Why it’s a good idea to use a good Bible reading plan: If you start at the beginning of the Bible and attempt to read straight through, you will likely get bogged down somewhere in the Old Testament. The Bible is not organized like a novel. The Digging Deeper Daily reading plan will help you be successful. If you are looking for a reading plan that covers the whole Bible, I highly recommend you choose a reading plan that contains something from the New Testament every day. For more information about the 3D reading plan, please click the How-To link at DDeeper.today and scroll down. I suggest that you view the short video on that page entitled How to Study the Bible. READ in a real-book Bible: You’ll want to download the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan. The link for that is found right on the front of DDeeper.today. It is labeled Plan.PDF. READ the 3D reading plan using Bible apps on your smartphone or tablet: Subscribe to the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan in the YouVersion Bible app. This app is available for Android and Apple devices. LISTEN to the DDeeper.today podcasts. The podcasts have an introduction to each of the three daily readings. The introductions remind you of what you heard yesterday, and the podcast ends with a prayer that I normally don’t close with an Amen, hoping that you will continue to pray. How about READing and LISTENing?! Open your podcast player and start the introduction to your next episode. While listening to my greeting, you’ll have time to open the YV app to your next day in the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan. You’ll get way more out of each day’s readings if you have time to do it this way, reading and listening. When you sign up for a YV reading plan, you are given an option to do the plan privately or share it with your friends. If you share the plan with friends, at the end of each day’s readings, you will be given the opportunity to share something you gleaned from the readings. This is fabulous and a great way to connect with your friends through the Bible app. But since the Digging Deeper Daily plan is for the whole Bible in 365 days, I suggest you share with a select group of close friends, or maybe 1-2 other people, or just do the plan privately. Choose a Bible translation that makes sense for you and for a year-long reading program. Many of you will be using a translation like the ESV for taking to church. My own church uses that translation. But it is not very well suited to a year-long reading program, especially if this is your first time reading the whole Bible. I strongly recommend the NLT or the GNT for following the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan. Please take my advice as a Bible translator: Using a translation like the NLT or GNT is even more important if you will be Listening to the Bible readings while doing something like driving to work. See more information about Bible translations under the READ heading in the How-To’s. How to listen to podcasts: Please see the Listening How-To’s by clicking the How-To’s link at DDeeper.today. I recommend you use a podcast aggregator app that makes it easy to see the episode notes, that remembers your place and will automatically queue up your next episode, and that lets you speed up my reading to 1.20% speed. If you use smart speakers to play the DDeeper.today podcasts, please help me improve the instructions found in the How-To’s. My favorite way for you to contact me is via the contact button at the top of all my websites. If you are using an Alexa device, I recommend controlling the playback with the Amazon Music app. The three older domain names for my two Bible-reading websites will still take you to the same pages. The main old website is dailybiblereading.info. Also: dailyNLTbiblereading.info dailyGNTbiblereading.info For any long-time listeners, I believe that the change of the name of the podcast to DDeeper Daily and the new domain name will not change the way your podcast player is interacting with the podcasts. If you find otherwise, please let me know. When I chose the odd extension for the DDeeper site, not dot Com, or dot info, but ‘today’, I thought of two places where the word ‘today’ is highlighted in the New Testament. One is 2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT  For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. Hebrews 4:6-7 NLT  So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God.  So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” That last quote is one you will need to read in context to really understand. My point in sharing those two verses is to encourage you. Each day that you read the Bible with the goal of reading all of it, the Holy Spirit will be helping you experience the amazing spiritual transformation that God wants for you. Find salvation, and enter the place of rest and safety God has for you. Please Sign up for email by going to the How-to’s at DDeeper.today.
GN-Day001 Genesis 1-2; Job 1; Mark 1:1-28
Congratulations on starting TODAY on a life-transforming journey! The Digging Deeper Daily plan will help you be successful in your commitment to read the whole Bible in a year. The unique order of the readings— together with the brief devotional notes, will help you see the various threads that unify the message of the Old and the New Testaments. I hope these notes will help you remember what you have read the day before, and hint at the deep and incredibly rich treasures in God’s Word. But the most satisfying treasures that you find this year will be the ones you dig to discover for yourself! Check out the ‘Shovels’ page of dailybiblereading.info for tools to help you go deeper in your study. Please also check out our free dedicated listening apps for your smart device by searching for the DailyBibleReading podcast in the app store or play store. GENESIS 1-2:The first five books of the Bible are the Jewish Torah, and the Bible refers to them collectively as ‘the Law’. Many other books in the Bible attribute the authorship of these five books to Moses. Genesis is the foundational book of the whole Bible. When we were in our first Bible translation project among the Orya in Papua, Indonesia, I witnessed how getting a little detail of the foundation wrong (such as, how the first sin happened) can wreck the whole building that is being constructed. This book of Genesis tells us what God wants us to know about the beginning of our world, the beginning of sin, mankind’s rebellion against God, and who God and Satan are. JOB 1: The story of Job is set in the period of the patriarch Abraham, and it takes place in the land of the East. What I did not realize until recently is that signs indicate that this book was written at a later time and almost certainly by an Israelite. By the author writing that Job was “the richest man in the East”, it places the author in the West, in the land of Israel. The author frequently uses the name of ‘Yahweh’, which I think would not have been done in Abraham’s time— which was long before God’s name was revealed to Moses at the burning bush. The author was a highly educated man. All of the book— except the first two chapters, are in exquisite poetry. The author displays an in-depth knowledge of mythology, the constellations, and the current wisdom concerning the world— including the underworld and traits of exotic animals. I might as well say it: The philosophy of this book is worthy of Solomon. Whoever he is, the author displays incredible wisdom. One would expect an ancient book that is didactic in nature to end with a neat answer that sums up the author’s opinion. Or one would expect an ancient author to create a debate where the hero is totally right and the other speakers are clearly wrong. Instead, all the human speakers in the book of Job mix truth and error. It is a mark of inspired wisdom that in the end, the book of Job leaves us still pondering and searching for some answers. MARK 1a:Due to the 400 word limit for the YouVersion Devotional Content pages, the introduction to Mark is given on Day 2. GNT Translation notes:1 This is the Good News about [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ], the Son of God. [The order in Greek here is ‘Jesus Christ’, and sometimes the Greek puts the order the other way around. I will consistently read ‘Christ Jesus’. Here is the reason I do this: Although it has become natural for us to say ‘Jesus Christ’, it is actually against English grammar. ‘Christ’ is a title. And in English, titles (such as president, doctor, or ambassador) always come first. The reason why I point this out is this: I have found people who think that ‘Christ’ is Jesus’ last name. The title ‘Christ’ (from Greek) means exactly the same thing as Messiah (from Hebrew). Both mean ‘anointed one’. You will notice that I read many Bible names in a strange way. I read them with a more phonetic pronunciation— which in fact, is more like how the Indonesian language and many others read them. This allows me to be more consistent in my pronunciation, and it also happens to be more like the Hebrew and Greek pronunciations. English pronunciations for some names is quite far from the source language pronunciations. An example from today is the name Isaiah, which I pronounce as ‘Yesayah’.] 6 John wore clothes made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and his food [included//was] locusts and wild honey.
GN-Day002 Genesis 3-4; Job 2; Mark 1:29-45
For more information about the features of this reading plan, please see the ‘ReadMe’ PDF file linked in the header of http://dailygntbiblereading .info. You will note that I read most Bible names phonetically— rather than the using normal English pronunciation. This means that the letter A will have a consistent sound ‘ah’ and the letter I will be pronounced ‘ee’. This happens to match Indonesian pronunciations and that of many other languages. This also makes the pronunciation more like that of the source languages, Hebrew and Greek. GENESIS 3-4:In chapter 2 of Genesis, we saw that Eve was created and introduced to Adam. And the pair at the end of the chapter were “naked and not embarrassed/unashamed.” As I said in yesterday’s introduction, I have seen first-hand in my work in Indonesia that when a people group misunderstands and twists the story in Genesis 1-3, it will have far-reaching consequences for their lives. In the case of the Orya people, twisting the story of the fall caused much suffering and misery among families. JOB 2:At the close of chapter 1 of Job, Job had lost virtually everything he had, including his possessions, livestock, and children. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” MARK 1b:Mark does not specifically identify himself as the author, but the church fathers unanimously say that the John Mark mentioned several times in the New Testament was the author. Mark was a companion of Peter, so the eyewitness content in this book is that of Peter. I previously held a view based on internal evidence and made popular in the 20th century that Mark was the first Gospel to be written, with Matthew and Luke using Mark’s record as a resource. But now I think that the testimony of the church fathers is more likely to be true: Matthew and Luke were written before this Gospel, and Mark transcribed what Peter taught about the life of Jesus, either shortly before or after Peter’s martyrdom in Rome— which happened somewhere between 64-67 AD. If Mark wrote this account in Rome, that would help to explain why he gives background information to some Jewish customs that would have been unknown to his Roman readers, and why he doesn’t include teachings of Jesus which were based on the Jewish Scriptures and religion. Instead he tells us the plain story of Jesus and his miracles, so that the reader finds out who Jesus is. Yesterday in chapter 1 of Mark, Jesus was baptized by John, called his first disciples, and cast out an evil spirit from a man in a synagogue. GNT Translation note:Gen. 3:15 I will make you and the woman hate each other; her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head, and you will bite her offspring's heel.” [Verse 15 has several translational difficulties. When you find a place where you would like to understand why translation differ, I recommend looking at Lumina.bible.org and reading the notes to the NET.]
GN-Day003 Genesis 5-6; Job 3; Mark 2
GENESIS 5-6:In chapter 3 of Genesis, the Lord gave his judgment against the serpent. God talked about the woman’s offspring (which is a collective singular noun) when speaking to the serpent, and said, “her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head, and you will bite her offspring's[c] heel.” This is the very first prophecy looking forward to a Messiah and Redeemer who will crush Satan’s head. Just before that, there is another picture worth noting: God provided clothes for the man and woman made from animal skins. This is the first hint of the sacrificial system that prefigures Christ. JOB 3:Today we read Job’s first speech. In the Bible— and especially in Job and the Psalms, we find out that God thoroughly understands and takes into account the fact that humans suffer. This is shown in the fact that such deep expressions of suffering are found in God’s Word— right from the earliest writings. MARK 2:Yesterday in the second half of Mark 1, we read of Jesus miraculously healing people in Capernaum, and his refusing to stay only there. He preached and cast out demons all over the region of Galilee. The healing of the man with leprosy is notable because of the exchange between Jesus and that man, and also the results of the man’s not following Jesus’ instructions. ——————— How can you get more out of your Bible reading this year? My top advice is to SLOW DOWN! The readings in this plan take around 20 minutes if read aloud. If you read silently, you might finish in only 10 minutes. But if you skim through like that, you won’t retain very much! I suggest these two ways to slow down: Read out loud to yourself. Read expressively. When you find that your first attempt didn’t quite have the right intonation, go back and read the sentence again. Take time to think about— and pray about, what you have just read. Read along while listening to the Daily Bible Reading Podcast. This will definitely slow you down. And one extra advantage is that each podcast ends with a short prayer that is aimed at helping you apply what you have just read. The landing page at http://dailybiblereading.info gives various ways to conveniently listen to the podcasts using any kind of smart device. GNT Translation notes:Job 3:19 Everyone is there (in the world of the dead), the famous and the unknown, and slaves at last are free. ==== Mrk. 2:5 Seeing how much [they believed in him (or, that Jesus could heal the man)//faith they had], Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” [I will make this modification frequently and will explain it soon in the translation notes.] 15 Later on Jesus was having a meal in Levi's house.[a] [Many tax collectors and other outcasts were//A large number of tax collectors and other outcasts was] following Jesus, and many of them joined him and his disciples at the table. 18 On one occasion the followers of John the Baptist and the Pharisees were fasting. … [This makes it sound like they were friends and doing this together. So in Indonesia we translated like this: 18 On one occasion the followers of John the Baptist were fasting, and the Pharisees were fasting also.] [In most languages of the world— and really even in English, it is ungrammatical to talk of oneself in the third person using ‘he/his or a title. I will consistently modify most places like this one to show that Jesus was talking about himself. I do this partly because many second-language speakers of English listen to these podcasts, and it also makes the meaning clearer even for native English speakers.] 28 So [I— as the Son of Man, am// the Son of Man is] Lord even of the Sabbath.”
GN-Day004 Genesis 7-8; Job 4; Mark 3
GENESIS 7-8:In Genesis 5, we heard the overview of the descendants of Adam and Eve up to Noah. In chapter 6, Noah was further introduced. Also the reason for the flood was explained. JOB 4:In chapter 3 Job cursed the day he was born and expressed his deep misery. Remember that in the speeches of Job’s three friends we will see a mixture of truth and error. In particular, we should not follow Eliphaz’s example in today’s chapter. The Bible tells us repeatedly that we are not to trust or listen to communication from spirits. We will read the second chapter of Eliphaz’ response tomorrow. MARK 3:In Mark 2, Jesus shocked his listeners by first forgiving a paralyzed man’s sins before actually healing the man’s body. And in three other events in chapter 2 we can see the beginnings of the conflict between Jesus and the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees. ——————— Be curious! When you find something in the Bible that brings up a question, there usually are good answers. Check out the Shovels page at http://dailybiblereading.info. I invite you to share the treasures you find, and your questions with the Digging Deeper Daily online community. See the Sharing Together page at dailybiblereading.info. GNT Translation notes: Job 4:17 “Can anyone be righteous in the sight of God or be pure before his Creator? [Of course not!] 19 Do you think he will trust a creature of clay [like you], a thing of dust that can be crushed like a moth? ==== Mrk. 3:19 and Judas [the man from Cariot//Iscariot], who betrayed Jesus. 22 Some teachers of the Law who had come from Jerusalem were saying, “He has Beelzebul in him! It is the chief of the demons who gives him the power to drive [demons//them] out.” 27 “No one can break into a strong man's house [like Satan’s dominion] and take away his belongings unless he first ties up the strong man; then he can plunder his house. [Many times the rhetorical questions of Jesus can be misunderstood, and in many languages it is better to translate them as statements, as I have done here:] 33 Jesus answered, “[I’ll tell you who my mother is. And I will show you who my brothers are!//Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?]”
GN-Day005 Genesis 9-10; Job 5; Mark 4:1-25
In the YouVersion devotional notes for this episode and at the bottom of these program notes in the listening app, you can read about the difference between literal and meaning-based translations. So I think it is a good time, at the beginning of this podcast to say a few words about the two translations I have used in the podcasts. First of all, I agree with what the translators of the NIV said in the Preface to the NIV. They said, “There is no such thing as a perfect translation.” That includes the GNT as well as even the more famous and popular NIV. The whole purpose of these podcasts is to promote the reading, understanding, and fully believing of God’s Word. Literal translations will include passages that are impossible for modern listeners to assimilate in audio form. So I want to read a version that my listeners can understand even if they are driving to work, or even if they are children like my grandkids. The GNT is a wonderful translation of God’s Word, and I think every English speaking believer should read it at least once in their lives. If you have heard people say bad things about it, that is likely because it caused controversy when it was first introduced and when people were not used to using more than one Bible. If the GNT were released today, there would be no controversy. The NLT is my favorite Bible translation. Its predecessor was the Living Bible, which it cannot be called a faithful translation, but is a paraphrase. The NLT was created with a big team of scholars and is a very reliable meaning-based translation. Because of my Bible translation experience, there are things that I want to tweak in any translation. Listeners to the podcasts from 2014-16 have not accused me so far of making controversial changes or of being doctrinally biased. The little tweaks I make to the GNT/NLT are intended to help listeners understand the meaning contained in the Biblical source languages, and they are documented at the bottom of the episode notes. GENESIS 9-10:In chapter 8 the flood receded. After everyone came out of the boat, Noah made a sacrifice. JOB 5:In chapter 4 Eliphaz implied that Job’s guilt was the reason he was being punished:“Stop and think! Do the innocent die?When have the upright been destroyed?8 NLT My experience shows that those who plant troubleand cultivate evil will harvest the same. MARK 4a:In chapter 3 we have seen that opposition to Jesus was mounting from the Jewish religious leaders. They were already plotting to kill him and saying he performed miracles by the power of Satan. I want to comment briefly about the sin of blaspheming or reviling the Holy Spirit that we heard about at the end of chapter 3. Some people worry about whether they have done this and committed the unforgivable sin. Note the context here. The experts in the Law were saying the Jesus was working by the power of _Satan_. But Jesus was working by the power of the _Holy Spirit_. A person in a frame of mind like those Law experts will never repent. So Jesus was warning the Pharisees because they were mighty close to blaspheming the Holy Spirit by what they were saying about Jesus. I want you to know this: If you worry about whether in some past time you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit, then you haven’t! If you are the kind of person who feels sorrow for sins already committed and are ready to repent of sin, then you have never blasphemed the Holy Spirit, nor are you likely to ever do so. ——————— Choose a good Bible version for your reading this year! I recommend that you choose a good _meaning-based_ translation for your Bible reading this year, not one of the _literal_ versions. I recommend that you use a literal version whenever you have time for in-depth study, but not for your daily devotional reading. Here’s the difference: The advantage of a literal translation is that it gives you a word-for-word view into the _form_ of the original. The disadvantage of literal translations is that they cannot give you the _meaning_ in clear and natural English. The advantage of a meaning-based translation is that it gives you the _meaning_ of the text in clear, natural English. The disadvantage of the meaning-based translation is that they cannot show you the word-for-word _form_ of the original text. We need both kinds of translations! Use both kinds when you are doing an in-depth study. But for devotional reading, my top choices are the New Living Translation and the Good News Bible. These meaning-based translations will help you be successful in reading the Bible in a year because the text is so much easier to understand. Both have good scholarly backing and are reliable. I don’t recommend using a paraphrase like The Message. The popular NIV is halfway between literal and meaning-based. (This means that you cannot immediately know if a verse is translated literally or more freely based on meaning.) One of the most popular literal translations these days is the English Standard Version. My advice is to NOT use the ESV for your devotional reading unless you have time for reading the notes in your study Bible. GNT Translation notes: Genesis 10:2 [These were the sons of Japheth: //The sons of Japheth—] Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras[. The people groups who were their descendants bear their names.//— were the ancestors of the peoples who bear their names.] [And similar changes were made to aid my reading in the rest of the chapter. I found I just couldn’t read the text clearly the way it was.] 5 they were the ancestors of the people who live along the coast and on the islands. [They//These] are the descendants of Japheth, living in their different tribes and countries, each group speaking its own language.====Mark 4:8 But some seeds fell in good soil, and the plants sprouted, grew, and bore grain: some [stalks] had thirty grains, others sixty, and others one hundred.” 12 so that [— just as God said through Isaiah], ‘They may look and look, yet not see; … 24 [Jesus/He] also said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear! …
GN-Day006 Genesis 11-12; Job 6; Mark 4:21-41
GENESIS 11-12:Yesterday in Genesis 9-10, we heard the story of Noah's drunkenness and his curse on Canaan because of it (which really wasn't very fair since it was his father Ham who actually caused the offense to Noah while he was drunk, and because Ham also had other sons). After that, however, we heard about Noah's descendants. JOB 6:In chapter 5 of Job, Eliphaz continued to imply that Job had sinned: Job 5:6 NLT Evil does not grow in the soil, nor does trouble grow out of the ground.7 No indeed! We bring trouble on ourselves, as surely as sparks fly up from a fire. Eliphaz’ main point in that chapter was that Job would be forgiven and blessed if he repented, as he said in v. 17-18: 17 Happy is the person whom God corrects! Do not resent it when he rebukes you.18 God bandages the wounds he makes; his hand hurts you, and his hand heals. There is truth in what Eliphaz says, and a similar statement to verse17 is found in James 1. MARK 4b: Chapter 4 is the parable chapter of Mark, and today we read the second half. The Parable about the Different Kinds of Soil is in all three synoptic Gospels— which are Matthew, Mark, and Luke. That parable holds deep meaning that one never really grows out of. Each time you hear it, new facets come to light, and every believer should meditate on what kind of soil they are most like at the present time. This is a good place to note this: Rhetorical questions were often used by Jesus to start a new topic in his teaching, and at the end of chapter 4, he used two rhetorical questions to give a mild rebuke to the disciples. In many of the world’s languages, people don’t use rhetorical questions for starting a new topic, but most languages seem to use questions for rebuking.
Day 7 2023 EveryWord --- Mark 16
This year I have promised and planned to publish a supplemental episode of one kind or another on the 7th of each month. So welcome to this January 7th extra podcast! Today I will do my best to convince you that the last 12 verses of Mark 16 shouldn’t have brackets around them or footnotes that cast doubt on their authenticity. I believe that they are authentic Scripture inspired by God. Now, I try to stay away from saying anything controversial in the Daily Bible Reading Podcast series, and it kind of bothers me that here in this first Day 7 extra podcast of the year, I will say things that quite a few people with seminary training will consider leaning too much to the conservative side of the scale. But I feel constrained to be controversial now so I will come right out and say it: I believe what Moses (Deut. 8:3) and Jesus (Luk. 4:4) said: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word of God.” If we are to live by ‘every word’, then it makes sense to me to believe that God would preserve every word for us. Please remember that all Bible translations were made by humans. This means that there is no such thing as a perfect Bible translation, as almost all good versions state in their prefaces. Even the KJV translators admitted this in their Preface. So I ask for your patient understanding as I set out a weakness in the NLT. The NLT has this at Mark 16:8: 8 The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.[c] c The most reliable early manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark end at verse 8. Other manuscripts include various endings to the Gospel. A few include both the “shorter ending” and the “longer ending.” The majority of manuscripts include the “longer ending” immediately after verse 8. Then with a sub-heading in bold and italic font: [The most ancient manuscripts of Mark conclude with verse 16:8. Later manuscripts add one or both of the following endings.] [Shorter Ending of Mark] Then they briefly reported all this to Peter and his companions. Afterward Jesus himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life. Amen. [Longer Ending of Mark] verses 9-20 … When you get to Day 26 you will note that I didn't read the shorter ending for the podcast. That ending has extremely thin support in ancient manuscripts, and where the words occur, the manuscripts often also have the longer ending, verses 9-20. Some experts today think that Mark intended to end his Gospel with the words, “they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.” But this defies imagination! I don’t think authors started using the type of endings where you leave-the-audience-hanging until centuries later, like perhaps just two centuries ago. Remember that Mark starts with the words, “This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.” Mark shows a pattern of telling the outcome for every miracle. He is not about to leave the main thesis of his story without its fulfillment. The fulfillment of the starting thesis is found in the next to last verse (16:19), which says, “19 When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” That verse is also an important doctrinal statement, since no other Gospel includes those words as part of the story of Jesus’ resurrection. And the same verse very appropriately links Mark’s Gospel with Peter’s teaching in 1Peter 3:22. I believe that God has preserved His Word for us. Therefore it is unacceptable to me to say that the Holy Spirit would leave a whole book of the NT without a clear ending. We have two choices for the ending: One says the ladies didn’t tell anyone because they were afraid. The other ends with Jesus at the right hand of God. Which one seems to be the proper ending to you?! The NLT has words in bold italics before Mark 16 verses 9-20 which say, “[The most ancient manuscripts of Mark conclude with verse 16:8. Later manuscripts add one or both of the following endings.]” Well, how many manuscripts are we actually talking about with the words ‘The most ancient manuscripts’? Then the footnote says ‘later manuscripts add’ the last 12 verses. What are the real numbers? Two of the very oldest manuscripts plus one other do not have the last 12 verses of Mark. But the manuscripts that include the last 12 verses number more than 1,650! 99.99% of ancient manuscripts contain the longer ending of Mark. The NLT also has a footnote that starts with “The most reliable early manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark end at verse 8.” But this statement is, in my opinion, totally false. The two manuscripts they are talking about (Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) cannot be said to be ‘reliable’. They are, however, recognized as the very earliest, dated at 325 and 345. However, for Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus to be considered reliable, one would hope they would be reasonably consistent with one another. Instead they differ from one another in 3,036 places. I believe that early scribes recognized that they were defective, and this offers a plausible explanation for why there are no extant copies made from them. Many old-school ‘experts’ (by that I mean seminary teachers from the mid-20th century) will say that the two oldest manuscripts outweigh all of the 1,650 other ancient manuscripts. But an increasing number of today’s informed experts will not agree with the people I just called the ‘old-school experts’. Here are some points to consider: Both of the two oldest manuscripts I just mentioned have an odd blank space at the end of Mark, showing that the scribe realized the manuscript he was copying had something left out. This is called a ‘memorial space’. Such memorial spaces are found in various places in other ancient manuscripts. So even though the two manuscripts do not have the last 12 verses of Mark, the scribes telegraphed to us that they knew such an ending existed. Remember that Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are from the early 4th century. There are quotes of verses from Mark 16:9-20 by church fathers that predate those two manuscripts. Earlier support for the longer ending of Mark include “four second-century witnesses, and 99.9% of the [other ancient] Greek manuscripts, and 99.99% of the [ancient] Latin manuscripts, and 99.5% of the [ancient] Syriac manuscripts, and 40 Roman-era patristic writers.” (These statistics are quoted from Dr. James Snapp’s article: https://www.thetextofthegospels.com/2013/08/robert-stein-and-ending-of-mark.html) Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in 1844. This touched off a lot of excitement, and a revolutionary new text of the NT was published by Westscott and Hort in 1881. Please consider that there are multiple examples in history where excitement over new discoveries resulted in mistaken theories. For example, Darwin’s theory of evolution from the same time period is now discredited. Just like you have university teachers still bone-headedly holding on to the theory of evolution, so the theories of Westscott and Hort are no longer upheld by many of today’s experts but are still being repeated by seminary teachers. Westscott and Hort’s faulty decisions about what verses are not authentic are still seen in today’s Bibles. I’m sure that you will hear someone claim that the last 12 verses of Mark contain non-Markan vocabulary, but that assertion has been repeatedly disproved. Please see the resources for the podcast that I link at the end of today’s episode notes. According to one ancient writer, Mark wrote his Gospel in Rome. It is likely that Mark or one of his friends made several copies of the first manuscript. Let’s say that one stayed in Rome and was copied, and let’s say that four other copies were sent toward the north, south, east and west. Each copy was painstakingly copied by hand over and over again and sent to an ever-widening circle of locations until the Gospel arrived all over the ancient world. Each scribe worked independently to copy the text of an earlier manuscript. 1650 manuscripts could not have the last 12 verses of Mark if the verses had not come from the first papyrus copy written by Mark. The Greek text of the New Testament that is the direct descendant of the Westscott and Hort 1881 text is published now in various editions of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, and also published as the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament. There are, of course, slight changes in these editions coming down to the present day. But even today, the main text is still remarkably similar to the 1881 text by Westscott and Hort. These texts are referred to collectively as the Critical Text or the Eclectic Text. Most of our English Bible translations of the last century have been based on that text, including NASB, GNT, NLT, NIV, and ESV. It is for that reason that you will find faith-destroying footnotes in them. By ‘faith-destroying’, I mean that thinking readers ask, “If whole verses could disappear and marr the conclusion of Mark’s Gospel, how many other corruptions might there be in the New Testament?” Opponents of Christianity seize on such things to say that the Bible text is not reliable. Islamic people frequently repeat that criticism. It is for that reason that our New Testament translation into the Indonesian language is based on the Majority or Byzantine Text. The Majority Text is not the same as the text that was the basis of the KJV, but it is similar to it. I am so pleased that I can announce that at the end of 2022 Adam Boyd published his Text Critical English New Testament, which is an English translation of the Majority/Byzantine Text. (You can get this for free. I have included links to this and other resources at the end of the episode notes.) This is a real game changer because at last modern scholarship is able to give us accurate statistics about the percentage of manuscript support for variants in the Greek text. (The collating of manuscripts is still in process, and the percentages will continue to increase in accuracy.) Let me give you two short examples. It would help if you could open your Bible to Mark 1 and also open ebible.org/study/ on your computer and navigate to Mark 1. You will see two columns for Scripture. Put the TCENT in the first column and the NASB in the second column. You will see that both translations give the first verse as “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” But click the superscript footnote at the word ‘Christ’ in the TCENT. It shows that 98.2% of the manuscripts have the last words, “the Son of God.” No matter what translation you are holding, it is likely that verse 1 ends with “the Son of God. Move to verse 2. The NASB starts with, “As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,” whereas the TCENT begins with “As it is written in the prophets.” Which is right? The footnote in the TCENT shows us that 96.2% of ancient manuscripts say ‘in the prophets’. Only 1.3% of manuscripts say ‘Isaiah the prophet’. Well now look at the NASB and you will see a superscript cross reference symbol at the start of the quote. The quote in the last two lines of verse 2 is not from Isaiah, but from Malachi! (The quote in verse 3 is from Isaiah.) So the Majority Text is proved right. The NASB chose to follow the Critical Text. But at the time the NASB was translated, they would not have known that their translation was supported by only 1.3% of the manuscripts. I hope that finding a weakness in your printed Bible doesn’t upset your belief in God preserving his Word. He has preserved his Word, and we humans have a persistent habit of messing things up. If you follow the links at the end of today’s episode notes, you can find some good literal translations of the Majority/Byzantine Text. But unfortunately, we still do not have a good meaning-based translation of that text that rivals the NLT or GNT for understandability. We’ll keep on with the NLT and GNT podcasts for now. But please join me in prayer that an easy-to-utderstand translation of the Majority Text will soon be made! Wow, what a difficult topic this is! If you have listened to this point, I thank you! Normally my extra podcasts on the 7th day of each month will not deal with such complicated topics! Until next time, may the Lord bless you ‘real good’. Resources: Please consider supporting the work of James Snapp by buying and reading his 400-page book entitled Authentic: The Case for Mark 16:9-20: 2016 Edition. The Kindle book is only 99 cents. https://www.amazon.com/Authentic-Case-Mark-9-20-2016-ebook/dp/B01EU1OR9O Phil Fields, 2019, Playing ‘Follow the Leader’ in Bible Translation: https://map.bloomfire.com/posts/3446975-playing-follow-the-leader-in-bible-translation Phil Fields, 2020, EveryWord podcast 005: https://dailybiblereading.libsyn.com/website/everyword005-mark-16 Please follow that last link to find the supplemental PDF for that episode containing an essay on the ending of Mark by Dr. Wilbur Pickering, plus two other articles. (The last one deals with Markan vocabulary.) Adam Boyd, 2022, Text Critical Greek New Testament (TCGNG) and Text Critical English New Testament (TCENT): https://byzantinetext.com/study/translations/ https://ebible.org/bible/details.php?id=engtcent&all=1 https://ebible.org/bible/details.php?id=grctcgnt This page has a downloadable PDF of the Introduction to the TCGNT: https://alkitabkita.info/bahasa-sumber-alkitab/ (Scroll down the page until you see the PDF file displayed in a box.) You will need the information in the Introduction to understand the abbreviations in the TCENT/TCGNT footnotes. My favorite way to access the TCENT using this nifty online study app provided by ebible.org: https://ebible.org/study/ You can also easily access the Introduction at the top of the book menu. (Click on the zero.)
GN-Day007 Genesis 13-14; Job 7; Mark 5:1-20
As I hope you have discovered, if you click on a verse in this Bible app, you have six very useful options— including highlighting verses and writing comments. Have you tried making a verse-picture yet? The pictures are easy to make and provide an eye-catching way to share meaningfully with your friends on social media. The backgrounds provided within the app are quite nice, and now you can also upload background images from your own device’s picture gallery. Then you set the size, color, and location of the verse text. The results are often so artistic that your friends will re-share your creations. Please share your YouVersion verse-pictures with the Daily Bible Reading Podcast Facebook group! The link to this group is found at the top of our site: dailybiblereading.info. Our Facebook group is now replaced by our forum at http://biblereaders.info. As we turn to Genesis 13-14, let me remind you that in yesterday's reading we heard about God scattering people by confusing their languages. It’s important to remember that the city they were building is called Babylon. Then we traced the ancestry of Abram, who descended from Seth's line. Then we read about the call of Abram and what happened when they were staying in Egypt because of a famine. In that episode, Abram doesn’t sound like a model husband. JOB 7:Today in Job 7 we hear the second chapter of Job’s response to Eliphaz. In chapter 6 Job said, 10 GNT If I knew he [God] would [kill me], I would leap for joy, no matter how great my pain.I know that God is holy; I have never opposed what he commands. And he also complained: 14 In trouble like this I need loyal friends—whether I've forsaken God or not.15 But you, my friends, you deceive me like streamsthat go dry when no rain comes. And his three friends are only warming up to what they will say. In desperation Job says, 24 All right, teach me; tell me my faults. I will be quiet and listen to you.25 Honest words are convincing,but you are talking nonsense. MARK 5a:Yesterday we completed the one and only ‘parable chapter’ of Mark’s Gospel. Following the parable of the mustard seed, the disciples and Jesus took off to the other side of the lake. Jesus slept soundly in the boat while a storm was raging on the lake, and then he calmed the storm.
GN-Day008 Genesis 15-16; Job 8; Mark 5:21-43
Today we’ll start out reading GENESIS 15-16.Yesterday we heard the stories of Abram and Lot separating company, and of Abram rescuing Lot in time of war. Then we heard of the mysterious priest Melchizedek (who we will read about in the NT in Hebrews). Before we read JOB 8,recall that in the preceding two chapters, Job said some very despairing and angry words, telling God basically to go take a walk and leave him alone. Job again wished for his own death. He said to God, Job 7:19 GNT Won't you look away long enoughfor me to swallow my spit?20 Are you harmed by my sin, you jailer?Why use me for your target practice?Am I so great a burden to you?21 Can't you ever forgive my sin?Can't you pardon the wrong I do? MARK 5b:Today we read the second half of Mark 5. In the first part of the chapter, Jesus cast a host of demons out of a man named Mob or Legion.
GN-Day009 Genesis 17-18; Job 9; Mark 6:1-29
Before we read GENESIS 17-18,remember that in chapter 15 we heard of God's covenant with Abram and Abram's _fully believing_ God's promises. Then in chapter 16 we read of Abram and Sarai trying to help God fulfill his promises. Chapter 15 verse 6 is a famous verse that is quoted three times in the NT: GNT translates it this way: 6 Abram put his trust in the Lord, and because of this the Lord was pleased with him and accepted him. [The NT translates this verse a bit differently because it is quoted from the Septuagint (the LXX, the ancient translation of the Old Testament into Greek, made in the third and second centuries BC). ] JOB 9:In chapter 8 of Job, Bildad defended God as always acting with justice and insisted that this meant that there had to be some sin on Job's part or his children's. MARK 6a:Yesterday In the second half of Mark 5, we heard how Jesus did two amazing miracles— the second one causing a dead girl to live again.
GN-Day010 Genesis 19; Job 10; Mark 6:30-56
GENESIS 19:In yesterday's reading in Genesis, Abram and Sarai received new names and God confirmed and expanded his covenant with Abram (now called Abraham). Circumcision was added as a sign of following the covenant. Angels visited Abraham and Sarah and Abraham bargained with God about saving the few righteous people in Sodom— among whom I am sure Abraham was thinking of Lot. Today we read JOB 10,where Job continues his response to Bildad. At the end of chapter 9 Job showed mankind's need of a mediator: Job 9:32 NLT “God is not a mortal like me,so I cannot argue with him or take him to trial.33 If only there were a mediator between us,someone who could bring us together.34 The mediator could make God stop beating me,and I would no longer live in terror of his punishment.35 Then I could speak to him without fear,but I cannot do that in my own strength. Mankind has now received that mediator in the person of Jesus. MARK 6b:In the first part of Mark chapter 6, Jesus sent out the twelve disciples after giving them authority to cast out evil spirits. He also sent them to teach, and to heal. Then we learned about the death of John the Baptist.
GN-Day011 Genesis 20-21; Job 11; Mark 7
Greetings as a fellow recipient of God’s Kindness! GENESIS 20-21:In chapter 19 of Genesis we heard what happened to Lot and his daughters after being saved from Sodom. The sons of Lot’s daughters became the ancestors of the Moabite and Ammonite races who were always at war with God’s people. JOB 11:In Job chapter 10, Job accused God like this: Job 10:13 GNT But now I know that all that time [since birth]you were secretly planning to harm me.14 You were watching to see if I would sin,so that you could refuse to forgive me.15 As soon as I sin, I'm in trouble with you,but when I do right, I get no credit.I am miserable and covered with shame. MARK 7:Yesterday's reading in Mark 6 was of Jesus feeding 5,000+ and walking on water. I would like to challenge each of my listeners to dig deeper to find a spiritual gem behind Jesus’ seemingly harsh and impolite first answer to the Syro-Phoenician woman. I encourage you to ask what right anyone (and especially any Gentile) would have to come to Jesus and ask for a miracle. With that question in mind, I encourage you to read all of Ephesians chapter 2.
GN-Day012 Genesis 22-23; Job 12; Mark 8:1-21
May God richly bless you as we read God’s Word together! GENESIS 22-23:In yesterday's reading in Genesis, Abraham deceived Abimelech, Isaak was born, and Sarah demanded that Hagar and her son be sent away— which grieved Abraham. (But remember that story, because Paul uses it as a spiritual metaphor in Galatians 4.) Finally, Abimelech visited Abraham, and the two made several formally ratified promises. JOB 12:Yesterday in Job chapter 11, Zophar said to Job, Job 11:1-2 GNT Will no one answer all this nonsense?Does talking so much put you in the right?3 Job, do you think we can't answer you?That your mocking words will leave us speechless?4 You claim that what you say is true;you claim you are pure in the sight of God.5 How I wish God would answer you!6 He would tell you there are many sides to wisdom;there are things too deep for human knowledge.God is punishing you less than you deserve. Having accused Job of sin in that way, Zophar then goes on to give this lovely advice: 13 Put your heart right, Job. Reach out to God.14 Put away evil and wrong from your home.15 Then face the world again, firm and courageous.16 Then all your troubles will fade from your memory, MARK 8a:Yesterday in Mark chapter 7, Jesus gave this very significant teaching in verse 15: 15 GNT There is nothing that goes into you from the outside which can make you ritually unclean. Rather, it is what comes out of you that makes you unclean.” And we heard the way that Jesus gave a difficult test to the Gentile woman. And again I say, please don’t just assume that Jesus was unfeeling to that woman. There is treasure to find hidden there under the surface in that enigmatic test!
GN-Day013 Genesis 24; Job 13; Mark 8:22-38
GENESIS 24:In Genesis 22, Isaac asked, 22:7b GNT “I see that you have the coals and the wood, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” 8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide one.”It is amazing to me that Moses adds the proverb, 14 “even today people say, “On the Lord's mountain he provides.” In our time, we easily see how this points to the provision of the Lamb of God on the mountain called Calvary. JOB 13:As we saw in Job chapter 12, by now he is pretty ticked off, starting off with, Job 12:1-2 GNT “Yes, you are the voice of the people.When you die, wisdom will die with you. Note the irony Job points out: 4 Even my friends laugh at me now;they laugh, although I am righteous and blameless;but there was a time when God answered my prayers.5 You have no troubles, and yet you make fun of me;you hit someone who is about to fall.6 But thieves and godless people live in peace,though their only god is their own strength. MARK 8b:In yesterday's reading in the first half of Mark chapter 8, Jesus fed the 4,000, and then the Pharisees demanded a miraculous sign ‘showing God’s approval’— literally a sign ‘from heaven’. The reading yesterday ended with the disciples not understanding what Jesus meant by Mark. 8:15 GNT “Take care and be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” In many passages of Mark and the other Gospels, there are places where Jesus talks of ‘the Son Man’. And He is talking about himself, but using the pronoun ‘he’ for the Son of Man. Here is an example from verse 31: 8:31 GNT Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “The Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. He will be put to death, but three days later he will rise to life.” This form of speech— speaking of oneself in the third person, is quite unusual in any language. For modern readers, the term ‘son of man’ is also very strange sounding. The standard meaning for the Hebrew idiom ‘son of man’ was ‘ordinary flesh and blood human being’. Jesus was both concealing his identity to some, and revealing it to those who were able to remember the prophecy about a special Son of Man in Daniel 7.
GN-Day014 Genesis 25-26; Job 14; Mark 9:1-29
I encourage you to Dig Deeper in your Bible study this year. I have linked several powerful on-line Bible study tools in the Shovels blog post at http://dailybiblereading.info. The same information can be found in the Read This First pages under the menu entry Links and Shovels. And when you find an especially precious insight or a question, please share it with us via our Facebook group. Our Facebook group and other ways to stay connected with other Bible readers will change each year. Please see the links in the site header of http://dailybiblereading.info. GENESIS 25-26:Yesterday in Genesis 24 we read the charming story of how Rebecca became Isaac's wife. JOB 14:In Job chapter 13, Job challenged Zophar and his other two friends with these words, 6 GNT Listen while I state my case.7 Why are you lying?Do you think your lies will benefit God?8 Are you trying to defend him?Are you going to argue his case in court?9 If God looks at you closely, will he find anything good?Do you think you can fool God the way you fool others? …14 I am ready to risk my life.15 I've lost all hope, so what if God kills me?I am going to state my case to him.16 It may even be that my boldness will save me,since no wicked person would dare to face God. Job said in 13:15 that he would present his case to God, and that is exactly what he does, starting in verse 19 (in the GNT) or 20 (in the NLT). And Job continues to speak to God through all of chapter 14. MARK 9:Yesterday at the end of Mark 8, Jesus gave this requirement for all his followers: “Everyone who wants to follow Me must leave his own self-interests, and follow Me continually with this resolve, ‘No matter if I die— even if that be by crucifixion, I will keep following the Lord!’” [That translation sounds different because it is from what I call the Plain English Translation. That is an English translation of our Plain Indonesian Translation (TSI).] The rest of Mark chapter 8 has other important verses including this one: If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.
GN-Day015 Genesis 27; Job 15; Mark 9:30-50
GENESIS 27:In yesterday's reading we read the history of Isaac and Rebecca's family before the narrative focuses on their dissimilar twin sons— and especially Jacob. JOB 15:God has revealed so much more to us in our day than what Job could know in his day. One thing was shown yesterday. Job asked, 15:14 GNT If a man dies, can he come back to life? … MARK 9b:After coming down the mountain with three of his disciples, Jesus met his other disciples who were having two difficulties simultaneously with people arguing with them and with failing to heal a man’s son— who was possessed by an evil spirit or a demon. Repeating a little of what I said in an earlier podcast: In Greek, ‘demon’ is daimonia, and the other term, ‘evil spirit’, is more literally ‘unclean spirit’. As someone who has worked in another culture and seen what has happened over my lifetime in the USA, I hope it will be helpful to some readers if I share about this topic. Some of you— particularly those of the older generation in the USA, will say, “What people called demons in Jesus’ day were just what we call mental illness.” While, paradoxically, it is the younger generation in the USA who more readily believe that demons actually exist. I think the younger generation have it right this time. Demons do exist. Here’s what I have observed: Where demons are not believed in, they are happy to stay in the background— where they are very adept at promoting falsehood and sin. Where demons are feared, worshipped, where people listen to satanic music and take part in occult rituals, demons come out more openly— to increase people’s fear of them and to manipulate people. As believers in Jesus, remember that Jesus has complete power over Satan and all demons. We who belong to Jesus should not fear them. Nor should we seek communication with such beings. Remember two things from yesterday’s story: The father wisely cried out, “Help my unbelief!” So the first thing to remember is to fully believe in Christ Jesus. The second is the answer Jesus gave to the disciples question: Prayer is of vital importance in this area of spiritual warfare. Share your questions and comments at the Digging Deeper Facebook page. GNT Translation notes:Job 15:25 That is the fate of thosewho shake their fists at Godand defy the Almighty [— like you].====Mrk. 9:42“If anyone should cause one of these little ones [who believe in me to fall away//to lose faith in me], it would be better for that person to have a large millstone tied around the neck and be thrown into the sea.43 So if your hand makes you [fall away from me//lose your faith], cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a hand than to keep both hands and go off to hell, to the fire that never goes out.45 And if your foot makes you [fall away from me//lose your faith], cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a foot than to keep both feet and be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye makes you [fall away from me//lose your faith], take it out! It is better for you to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to keep both eyes and be thrown into hell. 48 There ‘the worms that eat them never die, and the fire that burns them is never put out.’[Jesus also taught using these sayings:]49 “Everyone will be purified by fire as a sacrifice is purified by salt.
JoySightings 001 The dog and the limited, and Moving pictures
See more at joysightings.info.
GN-Day016 Genesis 28-29; Job 16; Mark 10:1-31
GENESIS 28-29:After what Jacob did to Esau in Genesis 27— with Esau holding a big grudge, it was time for Jacob to get out of town. JOB 16:In Job 15, Eliphaz said that Job was showing no reverence for God, and that his own words condemned him. His rhetorical questions all imply that Job is being proud and guilty of sin. Eliphaz maintained that no mortal can be pure (and that much is true). MARK 10a:AND, in yesterday's reading, Jesus predicted his death, spoke about who is greatest in God's kingdom, and talked about the seriousness of sin. In 9:37 Jesus took a little child in his arms and said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.” And we can be sure that means that our welcoming of a child on Christ’s behalf will be rewarded. Jesus goes on to say in verse 41, “If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person will surely be rewarded.” I can hear someone say, “That’s too good to be true!” But this is consistent with other Scripture. I think that in heaven we will be amazed at how closely and lovingly we have been watched, and how amazingly appropriate our rewards will be from our generous Father.
GN-Day017 Genesis 30; Job 17; Mark 10:28-52
GENESIS 30:In yesterday’s reading in Genesis 28-29, Jacob left home, and God appeared to him and promised to bless him as he blessed Isaac. Jacob worked for Laban, married both Leah and Rachel, and he had four sons through Leah. JOB 17:Yesterday was the first chapter of Job's response to Eliphaz. He complained that his three comforters were not very comforting, saying 1-2 GNT I have heard words like that before;the comfort you give is only torment.3 Are you going to keep on talking forever?Do you always have to have the last word? And he said, 6 But nothing I say helps,and being silent does not calm my pain. And 9 In anger God tears me limb from limb;he glares at me with hate. This last statement shows how easy it is for us humans to misunderstand God’s will or intentions concerning us. God did not hate Job! MARK 10b:Yesterday in the first half of chapter 10, Jesus gave God's true perspective on divorce, blessed some children, and said that is impossible for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God (in their own strength). By the way, there is a wrong teaching that is still often heard. People have heard that the ‘eye of the needle’ was a little door next to the big gate in Jerusalem, and that a camel could get through this gate but all the burden would have to be taken off. This is just plain wrong, but it is one of those things that just keeps being passed on. No such gate was made in New Testament days in Jerusalem. Such gates were made in castles in Europe in the middle ages. No, instead of holding out hope for rich people, Jesus’ meaning is just what he said: It is just as impossible for the rich to enter heaven as it is for a camel to go through the eye of a real sewing needle. The next statement of Jesus however shows the way the rich may enter heaven. Jesus gave a wonderful promise for missionaries at the end of the chapter. I bear witness to every part of that. 2,000 Orya people call me ‘Aya Bak’— which means ‘older brother’. The Lord has blessed me way more than 100 times.
GN-Day018 Genesis 31; Job 18; Mark 11
Yesterday we heard of the rivalry between Rachel and Leah, and about more sons for Jacob— whose names all have meanings appropriate to what Rachel or Leah were feeling at the time. JOB 18:Yesterday in chapter 17, Job again complained that he was surrounded by mockers, and once again despairingly said 17:15 GNT Where is there any hope for me?Who sees any?16 Hope will not go with mewhen I go down to the world of the dead. MARK 11:Jesus has by now prepared his disciples for his death by prophesying about it, and by teaching them about what it will be like to be a ‘leader’ in His kingdom. And he healed Bartimaeus, who called Jesus by his Messianic title: the Son of David. Listen to this quote from Constable’s notes for v.10:49: The two descriptions of Jesus in these verses reveal the faith of Bartimaeus. The crowds simply described Jesus as “the Nazarene.” Bartimaeus had obviously heard about Jesus and had concluded that He was the Messiah. “Son of David” is a messianic title (cf. 11:9-10; 12:35-37; 2 Sam. 7:8-16; Isa. 11:1, 10; Jer. 23:5-6; Ezek. 34:23-24). Even though Bartimaeus lacked physical sight he saw more clearly who Jesus was than the multitudes who could see. His cry for mercy from Jesus expressed the attitude of trust, humility, and dependence that Jesus had been teaching His disciples to maintain. Thomas Constable was a professor for many years at Dallas Theological Seminary. His notes are available to read using the Bible study site: lumina.bible.org.
GN-Day019 Genesis 32-33; Job 19; Mark 12:1-27
GENESIS 32-33:Yesterday in Genesis 31, we heard how Jacob and his big family got away from Laban and started the journey home. When Laban caught up with him, he and Jacob got into a quarrel and ended up making a covenant with one another. JOB 19:In Job chapter 18, Bildad once again gave a speech about what happens to wicked people, and by implication, he said, “You're just getting what you deserve.” Job’s response in today’s chapter includes amazing revelations. Verses 23-27 can be compared with the second half of 1Corinthians 15. MARK 12a:In Mark 11, Jesus was welcomed in triumph in Jerusalem, he cursed a fig tree and taught about prayer, and cleansed the temple of merchant activity. Then he answered and confuted the chief priests who challenged his authority to “do these things,”— in particular, taking their businesses out of the temple. About v. 26, in Lumina.Bible.org Constable quotes Lane: “If the death of the patriarchs is the last word of their history, there has been a breach of the promises of God guaranteed by the [Abrahamic] covenant, and of which the formula ‘the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob’ is the symbol. It is in fidelity to his covenant that God will resurrect the dead.”
GN-Day020 Genesis 34-35; Job 20; Mark 12:24-44
GENESIS 34-35:In Genesis 32 we heard about Jacob wrestling all night with a mysterious heavenly figure, and about Jacob's reunion with Esau. JOB 20:Today’s reading in Job is chapter 20— Zophar’s second response to Job. In chapter 19, Job responded to Bildad's second speech. Job expressed amazing belief that he would see his defender (often translated ‘redeemer’). He said, 19:25 GNT “But I know there is someone in heavenwho will come at last to my defense.26 Even after my skin is eaten by disease,while still in this body I will see God.27 I will see him with my own eyes,and he will not be a stranger.” MARK 12b:Yesterday in the first half of Mark 12, Jesus told a pointed parable against the Jewish religious leaders, then he went on to refute the Sadducees. We re-read several verses today.
GN-Day021 Genesis 36; Job 21; Mark 13
GENESIS 36:In yesterday’s reading in Genesis, Jacob's daughter Dinah was raped, and the perpetrator Shechem was killed together with all the males in his town. God then told Jacob to return to Bethel. At the end of yesterday’s reading, Rachel and Grampa Isaak died. JOB 21:In Zophar's angry speech yesterday in Job chapter 20, he did not directly say that Job was wicked, but he clearly implied it. MARK 13:Mark chapter 12— which gives an overview of the interactions with the enemies and critics of Jesus, marks the end of Jesus' public ministry as related by Mark. Today’s chapter represents the center of Jesus’ prophetic teaching. It includes the difficult part about ‘the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be’ (in other words, in God’s temple). This is a reference to verses found in Daniel. This is a prime example of a prophecy that is fulfilled multiple times. The first fulfillment happened some 167 years before Jesus was born, in the time of Antiochus IV. However in this chapter Jesus seems to be pointing to what happened in 70 AD when Rome desecrated the temple. But later this year we will see that this prophecy will be fulfilled again in the end times. God shows us repeated pictures of things that are important. And the important point of the whole chapter is ‘Be ready’!
GN-Day022 Genesis 37; Job 22; Mark 14:1-42
GENESIS 37:The focus of Genesis 36 was on the descendants of Esau, and the ethnic groups they spawned. JOB 22:Yesterday in Job chapter 21, Job— refuting what Zophar said, gave a very convincing argument that God does not always punish wicked people. Today Eliphaz begins the third set of exchanges between Job and his ‘friends’. The promises Elifaz gives at the end of his speech sound rather hollow to me. MARK 14a:Yesterday we read the prophecy chapter of Mark, chapter 13. The theme of that chapter is “Be ready” and Jesus says, “Keep watching for Me.” In Mrk. 13:14 Jesus says, “You will see ‘The Awful Horror’ standing in the place where he should not be.” Then there is a note that is often in parentheses, “Let the reader understand.” Following good exegetical experts, I translate that this way, “Hey, public reader, explain this!” At the time Mark wrote his gospel, only a small percentage of a congregation would be able to read. In Greek ‘the one reading’ (ho anaginoskon) probably means ‘the one reading out loud (to others)’. The word often translated ‘understand’ (noeito) would then take on the meaning ‘explain’ to the listeners. This would make three Greekwords (Ho anaginoskon noeito) to be Mark’s parenthetical comment, saying, “Hey public reader, explain this!” This makes sense because Jesus was speaking, and would more likely say, “If you have ears, listen.” Mark was the one writing, so it makes sense for him to address the reader. Following Marks advice, like the well-read reader of old, it behooves me to explain to you: In saying ‘the Awful Horror’ Jesus is referring to the Antichrist, which was first clearly prophesied in Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11. Here we see a prime example of the way God repeats the fulfillment of important prophecies. In the immediate context in Mark 13 of fleeing to the hills, we can clearly see that Jesus was talking about the destruction of Jerusalem that happened in AD 70— just 40 years after he gave this prophecy. But Paul in 2Thessalonians 2 teaches that ‘the man of lawlessness’ or alternately translated ‘Wicked One’ “will oppose every so-called god or object of worship and will put himself above them all. He will even go in and sit down in God’s temple and claim to be God.” While there have been many intermediate fulfillments of the Antichrist, the ultimate Antichrist still has not been revealed. We all must still keep watch.
GN-Day023 Genesis 38-39; Job 23; Mark 14:43-72
GENESIS 38-39:In yesterday's reading in Genesis 37, we heard of Joseph's dreams, his brothers' jealousy, and Joseph being sold into slavery in Egypt. JOB 23:Yesterday Eliphaz said: GNT 4 It is not because you stand in awe of Godthat he reprimands you and brings you to trial.5 No, it's because you have sinned so much;it's because of all the evil you do. And he also said, 21 Now, Job, make peace with Godand stop treating him like an enemy;if you do, then he will bless you.22 Accept the teaching he gives;keep his words in your heart.23 Yes, you must humbly return to Godand put an end to all the evilthat is done in your house.24 Throw away your gold;dump your finest gold in the dry stream bed.25 Let Almighty God be your gold,and let him be silver, piled high for you.28 You will succeed in all you do,and light will shine on your path. Beware that some teachers of prosperity in our age say things just like that, and quote such verses without understanding the message of this book. They also will be happy to assist you in knowing where to throw away your gold and silver. MARK 14b:Yesterday we heard the story of the Last Supper, the prophecy that Peter would deny Jesus three times, and the prayers at Gethsemane.
GN-Day024 Genesis 40; Job 24; Mark 15:1-32
GENESIS 40:Were you shocked by yesterday’s reading in Genesis?! We heard the less than auspicious beginnings of Judah's line— particularly involving Tamar, who was more righteous than Judah. Then we heard of Joseph working for Potiphar and then being thrown in jail. Even in jail, he rose to the top. JOB 24:In Job 24 today, Job continues his response to Eliphaz. MARK 15a:At the end of chapter 14, Jesus was arrested, was tried before the council, and Peter denied knowing Jesus. Mark. 15:2 GNT Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “[Phil’s translation: Yes, as you said.//GNT So you say.//NLT You have said it.]” Jesus literally says “You say” in Greek. I am told that this would normally be interpreted as an affirmative response. For English, I don't like the NLT here, because “You have said it” might mean an enthusiastic affirmative. On the other hand, if we say something like “Those are your words,” it implies that Jesus is disagreeing. I also am not happy with the GNT. When we say, ‘So you say,’ in English, we are implying that we are skeptical of the previous speaker’s statement. In this case, Pilate has asked a question, and the response ‘So you say’ seems inappropriate. Probably the best way to translate in the affirmative is to add a 'Yes' to make clear the meaning.
GN-Day025 Genesis 41; Job 25; Mark 15:33-47
GENESIS 41:In yesterday's reading in Genesis 40, Joseph interpreted two dreams. He said something quite significant: Interpreting dreams is God’s business. JOB 25:Yesterday in Job chapter 24, Job said, Job 24:1 GNT Why doesn't God set a time for judging, a day of justice for those who serve him? And speaking of the helpless and downtrodden he said, 12 “In the cities the wounded and dying cry out, but God ignores their prayers. Starting in 24:18 GNT follows a number of other translations in saying that Zophar chimed in, disagreeing that the wicked are indeed punished, contradicting what Job was saying. NLT doesn’t do that. When you find a place like that and want more information, it is always a good idea to see if the NET (New English Translation) has a footnote. The NET footnotes will often give information about alternative translations and their basis in the source text. If you are using the YouVersion Bible reader, and do not see the footnote marks in NET, click the Menu button, then choose Settings, and activate Show Notes. In chapter 25, Bildad only has time to speak a few lines when Job interrupts him. MARK 15b:In the first half of Mark chapter 15, Jesus was tried by Pilate and condemned when Pilate caved in to pressure orchestrated by the religious leaders. The soldiers beat and mocked Jesus, he was nailed to the cross, and then everyone mocked him. The two Marys observed the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed. They would have known that they were to come back after the Sabbath to move the body and perform the customary anointing of the body.
GN-Day026 Genesis 42-43; Job 26; Mark 16
GENESIS 42-43:Yesterday in Genesis chapter 41, we heard of Pharaoh's dream, and what happened to Joseph as a result of his correctly telling the interpretation. Note also that Joseph was careful to give the glory to God for that interpretation. JOB 26:In yesterday’s reading in Job chapter 25, Bildad only had a six verse response, because Job interrupted him with the speech we will read today. Bildad implied Job’s guilt in more than one way, including this most obvious rhetorical question: 25:4 GNT Can anyone be righteous or pure in God's sight? MARK 16:Yesterday we heard of the death and burial of Jesus. That chapter was full of fulfilled prophecies. Psalm 22 includes several of those prophecies and helps us remember what Jesus suffered. We will read the first 18 verses of that psalm before reading Mark 16. After the part of Psalm 22 which we read today, that psalm continues with 13 more verses, which prophetically give praise about our victorious Messiah and God. So also we find that something better is coming in Mark chapter 16.
GN-Day027 Genesis 44-45; Job 27; 1 Peter 1
GENESIS 44-45:Yesterday we heard of Joseph's brothers on their first and second trips to Egypt. At the end of chapter 43, Joseph’s giving wine without limit might be considered as the typical generosity of a wealthy host. The GNT and NET say that Joseph’s brothers became drunk. But under these circumstances, I very much doubt that his brothers would have allowed themselves to become drunk. I prefer NLT and NIV’s translation, saying that the brothers drank freely. We pick up the story, still in Joseph's palace on the second trip. JOB 27:When we turn to Job 27, if you are reading or listening to the NLT, this chapter is the 2nd chapter of Job’s six-chapter-long speech. But if you are reading in the GNT, Zophar interrupts starting at chapter 27 verse 13 and carries on through chapter 28. FIRST PETER 1:In the last chapter of Mark’s Gospel, we read about the resurrection of Jesus. Since Mark very likely wrote his gospel based on Peter's information, it seems fitting that we move to Peter's two letters now. Evidently, Peter spent the last decade of his life in Rome, where he was martyred around the year 64. Mark (whom Peter fondly refers to as ‘his son’ in chapter 5) was with him in Rome when this was written. Silas— whom we will hear of later in Acts, was the secretary for writing this letter. Scholars do not doubt that this letter is from Peter. For those who want to delve deeper in studying this short letter, I encourage you to search out and mark every occurrence of these repeated words: trials/suffering, hope, joy, grace, and glory. As we start this letter, I want to remind you that in Greek, the abstract noun ‘faith’ and verb ‘believe’ have the same root word. It would be better if our translations mirrored this, but instead they have used two dissimilar looking words, faith and belief. Using two dissimilar words damages the cohesion of the text. Unfortunately the NLT has further damaged the cohesion by using the word ‘trust’ in 1st Peter to translate ‘believe’. I encourage you to keep in mind that ‘faith’ and ‘trust’ means ‘fully believing’.