I had originally intended to put this as a post script at the end of the first welcome post but I’m afraid it will get lost down there so I have decided to put it here instead.
I have chosen to use the Net Bible as the linked to and quoted reference on this site. The reason is that it has a forward thinking copyright policy that allows it to be freely used in ministry on the internet. From their site…
Bible.org’s ministry objective is to be used by God to mature Christians worldwide. To accomplish this we needed to quote a modern Bible translation in the production of thousands of trustworthy Bible Study resources that could be offered on the Internet for free. We predicted in 1995 that the number of Bible verses quoted in these studies would soon surpass available legal permission limits. We tried for a year, but could not obtain the necessary permissions. Lack of a legal ability to quote the Bible online makes online Bible studies impossible and threatened bible.org’s “Ministry First” model. Quite simply the only way we could secure permission to quote a modern Bible was to sponsor a new translation – the NET Bible. We now want to ensure that other ministries and authors don’t experience the same roadblocks. The NET Bible is not just for bible.org, but for everyone. (source)
It saddens me greatly that there are versions of the Bible with copyright so strict that it would prevent ministry from taking place. In fact, when I did the album art for my friend Jolene for her new new project we had to put a huge copyright line on the inserts to clear usage of the NIV scripture she quoted. That really bothered me. Restricting scripture like that seems wrong. Bible.org seems to have a much more balanced methodology, allowing ministry to take place freely but restricting exclusively commercial uses. Quoting a Bible verse on a CD case shouldn’t be as big of a hassle as the NIV makes it.
Some of the cool things that I love about the Net Bible are…
- Daily Bible Reading
- iPhone / iPod Touch / Portable Version
- Massive amounts of reference materials
- Internal links to many other versions
I especially like the daily Bible reading page. I set it up as my first bookmark every day when I get to the office so I get the important stuff first. I find it truly helpful to be presented with the scripture first thing every morning.
As far as the reference materials, there is a study dictionary, study maps, word study and sermon illustrations. And so as not to discriminate, in its older incarnation it included the Apocrypha to provide functionality to our Catholic brothers and sisters.
If you ever thought that you start reading the Bible again (or for the first time) give The Net Bible a shot. The daily bible reading is still in the Old Testament book of Hosea so if you are new to the Bible you should probably think about starting in Luke and continuing in Acts. Both of those books in the New Testament were written by perhaps the most intelligent Apostle, the physician Luke. Both of these books are written as an eye witness account for his friend and young believer Theophilus, kind of like a history of the Church part 1 and part 2. There is no better place to start.
I hope this is an encouragement to you to take a look into the Bible. One thing, if you come to the Bible with a sincere heart, and give God permission to speak to you through it, He will.