Posts Tagged ‘Bible study’

Bible Readers Want Accuracy

Monday, October 3rd, 2011 by JEL

When we were drawing up plans for What He Said, there were a number of paths we could have taken. There are plenty of books out there that take Jesus’ quotes in the Bible and package them in a myriad of ways. We chose an alternate route: to present them unedited, word-for-word, and in context. We used design to improve the usability and readability, not editorial edict.

A new survey from LifeWay Research seems to confirm our approach. They asked 2,000 people who read the Bible by themselves (outside of church) or as part of a family activity a number of questions about the Bible.

When asked whether they prefer “word-for-word translations, where the original words are translated as exactly as possible” or “thought-for-thought translations, where the translators attempt to reproduce the intent of the original thought rather than translating the exact words,” 61 percent chose word-for-word.

Other findings:

  • 68 percent want language to be simpler to understand while 7 percent want it to be more difficult to understand.
  • 81 percent say it should be more enjoyable to read while 4 percent prefer it to be more of a chore to read.
  • 27 percent favor contemporary language while 46 percent want traditional language.
  • 36 percent want more modern language while 37 percent favor more old-fashioned language.
  • 19 percent feel understanding the language should require a higher level of education while 49 percent say it should not require a higher level of education.
  • 63 percent believe it should be simple for anyone to understand while 14 percent say the language should be meant more for people who have a lot of experience with the Bible.
  • 40 percent prefer more formal language while 26 percent say should be more informal.
  • 22 percent want language more for casual reading while 44 percent say it should be designed more for in-depth study.

Easy to read and word-for-word accurate: What He Said.


Life In Year One

Thursday, April 1st, 2010 by PJM

Religion scholar Scott Korb has written a history book detailing everyday life 2,000 years ago. It is entitled ‘Life In Year One’: The World As Jesus Found It and he is careful to point out that, while the book describes people in Jesus’ time, it is not a book about Jesus. Korb was interviewed yesterday on NPR’s Talk of the Nation. You can find out more, listen to the interview and read an excerpt here.

I thought his response to a question about the accuracy of the written record was interesting:

…where we find discrepancies from one Gospel to another, that doesn’t really tell us anything about Jesus. It tells us about the people who were writing about Jesus.

Reader Review

Thursday, February 11th, 2010 by JEL

When we were designing What He Said, we often thought it would be great for Bible study groups or religious education classes. For young people, or those diving deep into the Gospels, the new layout should make their efforts a little easier. Which is why it was so nice to see this new review which just appeared on our Amazon page:

“I bought this book for my husband for Christmas. This was exactly the book that he had been asking for. He had said over and over how he wanted a book that highlighted the words of Jesus, and What He Said does an excellent job of emphasizing the words of our Savior in context with the remainder of the Gospel. My husband is using the book to lead a small group class at our church.” – sval59, Greensboro, NC

Sorry to get all commercial on you, but I don’t think we’ve ever explicitly said that What He Said is only available at Amazon or in our e-Store. It might be available someday in your local bookstore, but not yet.

Reading the Bible in 90 Days

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 by JEL

A book club at Kirk in the Hills church in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan is setting out to read the Bible in 90 days. The story has some good quotes from participants that touch on our motivations for creating What He Said. For instance:

“As a Christian, I thought [reading the Bible] was a good thing to do. But it’s a little intimidating to just crack it open and go cover to cover on your own.”
— Amy Maple

The founder of the Bible in 90 days program, Ted Cooper, added this:

But even though “so many people start reading the Bible, hardly anyone finishes.”

We would love to start having some Bible study groups and book clubs make What He Said their next selection.

Interesting Numbers

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 by JEL

Recent research shows that 92% of American households own at least one Bible and that the average household owns three or four (depending on the study). Less than 20% read the Bible on a daily basis, 59% read it “occasionally,” and the rest, presumably, not at all. Only 14% are involved in some sort of Bible study.

All of these numbers are down from twenty years ago, yet the Bible continues to be the #1-selling book, year after year.