I was raised on the King James Version of the Bible. Which is to say that my spiritual language was completely divorced from my everyday language. You just don't hear 8 year olds saying things like: "Whence goest thou?"
Nevertheless, I loved the KJV. Not because I understood it, mind you. It's just that the cadence, the flowery imagery, the precise prose carved it's mark on my psyche.
I confess, though, reading the Bible from cover to cover in the KJV has always daunted me. You get tired of translating every "wot" and "verily" and pretty soon you've completely lost the point of the passage.
When I was 18, I was given my first New American Standard Bible. I fell in love with it. Suddenly, the Scriptures actually meant something in language I understood. I still read my KJV, of course. But I carried my NASB around with me. I really learned the Bible using that translation. I marked it up, underlined, highlighted and claimed verses.
But still, I didn't read it cover to cover.
This year, our pastor encouraged everyone to read the Bible in a year. And to do so, he presented us with The Daily Walk Bible in the New Living Translation by Tyndale.
I think my pastor understands something: in order to succeed at reading the whole Bible, we need to read it in language we easily understand. Unlike the KJV, the prose of the NLT doesn't distract. It's simple, straightforward. The prose is servant to the message.
Yes, the NLT is a little on the juvenile side. But that's coming from an English major who wishes she spoke Shakespearean English in everyday situations. However, in order to attain my goal of reading the Bible cover to cover, I'm casting aside my elitist, KJV sensibilities.
The goal this year is not to stuff myself with high-falutin' KJV imagery. The goal is to read the whole Bible. Cover to cover. To this end, I will be posting regular updates as I travel through Scripture.
p.s. I started reading while on bedrest, so I'm a wee bit ahead. Very soon I'm sure I'll fall behind. Anyone wanna join me? Or just cheer me on? I fear I have bitten off more than I can chew!