My name is Joshua. I stumbled on Timothy's blog a few months back as I was researching a product. I have been a pretty loyal reader ever since. I'm Protestant (Southern Baptist for the most part). In the almost 20 years I have walked with Jesus, I have used many versions ranging from the colloquialism of The Living Bible to the traditional language of the KJV and RSV-2CE. Out of all these, one is really special.
I became acquainted with the Good News Bible* (GNB) 20 years ago. This occurred while on a trip to see relatives in Tennessee. While I was there, I saw a box of Bibles. I asked if I could read one during my stay. Reading it helped me see that the Bible was a special book and not just another thing to read. Before this, the only Bibles I had were the aforementioned KJV and Living Bible as well as the New International Version (NIV). After this, I started going to a Baptist church and got saved, giving my life to Christ. That Christmas, I got my own copy.
You might be asking yourself: Is there a need for the GNB when we have other versions such as the NABRE or NIV? I say yes and here’s why. It’s easy to understand. (I'm not saying it’s the easiest to understand. That title would go to the International Children's Bible. This is a Protestant translation written at a 3rd grade reading level.) This understandability helps clarify passages that can be difficult at times. On the down side, this isn’t a version suited for liturgical use or study. The second reason I like the GNB is the illustrations by Swiss artist Annie Vallotton. They are engrossing, drawing you into the text. For example, I’m reading through Ecclesiastes. At Ecclesiastes 1:14 there is a drawing that shows Solomon showing regret. This helps me to better understand what’s being said. The last reason I like the GNB is that it’s a version for everyone. It is available with the Protestant canon and in a Catholic edition. If you desire to get a copy, I would look for the 1979 edition. A 1992 revision added gender-inclusive language.
In short the GNB has been a blessing to me! I want to thank Timothy for allowing me to share my story and thoughts.
*The Good News Bible is known as the Good News Translation (GNT) in the United States.
Thank you Joshua for sharing your story. I am always looking for additional entries in the monthly "Your Bible" Series, so please send an email to mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com if you are interested.