Monday, June 22, 2009

Resource Review - Bible Gateway.com


BibleGateway.com

OVERALL - A searchable online Bible in over 100 versions and 50 languages. A great easy to use tool.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?I had completely forgotten about doing a review of this site simply because I use it all the time without thinking about what a great resource this has been. When I'm preparing for a class or a study of some sort I like to compare different translations of Scripture. Over the years I've found this to be a great way to dig a little deeper into the meaning of some passages or words. Languages do not translate cleaning from one to the next, no matter how much we want them to do so. Add in things like idiomatic phrases and, as one person once put it to me, "all translations are paraphrases". The problem has been having multiple version open on my desk while I'm trying to write, let alone having lots of different versions sitting close to hand when I need them. BibleGateway.com makes that much easier. You type in the section you're working on (you can also search by keyword or topic too if you're looking for a passage and don't know one off the top of your head). Then it's a quick process to look at it in any of the other versions they have. They have 22 versions in English from the KJV to NIV to Douay-Rheims to The Message and more. There's a button that will bring up some commentary for you, others to move you forward or back through that entire section of the Bible and a quick and easy way to print out what you need. The web page is easy to use and simple to find what you're looking for in either the Bible or web site functions.

RESERVATIONS There are two versions they DON'T have and it's a bit problematic for most Episcopal churches - the Revised Standard Version (RSV) and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), since these are the most commonly used versions in our churches.. It's annoying. I've found other online sources for the NRSV (here and here) and an online version of the RSV (here). I'm not sure why BibleGateway.com hasn't been able to get the rights to use these versions. It would be great to have them all in one place but in the end I just prop my RSV up on my desk while I scan the online versions.

RECOMMENDATION Again a basic tool that you'll use over and over and over again. It's not perfect as noted (not all useful versions and limited commentary options) but it's hard to beat. Bookmark this one and all of sudden you'll start impressing everyone with your knowledge of the Bible!

2 comments:

Ian Eastman said...

I wish the Bible Gateway featured the NRSV, too. I wonder if it is something about licensing? I can't find a NIV/NRSV parallel Bible either.

I find it handy that the Bible Gateway has the New International Readers Version, a simplified version of the NIV. It's intended for people with literacy issues, but I find it to be an easy enough translation for the kids I work with in middle school ministry.

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