Not What I Expected

bibleFirst, let me put in a good word for Bible Gateway. They rolled out a major site redesign earlier this year and added a ton of interactive features. You will notice the Bible Gateway Verse of the Day on the left-hand side bar and a Bible Gateway Blogger Grid badge on the right. Scripture references in my posts are linked to the Bible Gateway site, in ESV, but there are many other English versions and other languages available. I use the site every day and will continue to, don’t get the wrong idea.

I also get a plethora of email from Bible Gateway and recently decided to participate in a scripture memorization type of Bible Study. Memorization as Devotion by Steve Cook is an 6 week study available for sale; subscribing to the daily email series takes you through the first 3 weeks with the hopes you will buy the book. The goal is not just to memorize the scripture passages used in the lessons but to develop memorization skills and recognize the value of memorization to the Bible student. So I signed up to receive the emails. I am familiar with many different passages of scripture but when it comes to quoting full passages and citing them correctly I could use some sharpening up. (Google, Bible Gateway and other online tools have made me sloppy at this. On the one hand, teach a man to fish. On the other hand, we need to hide the Word of God in our hearts.)

The first lesson offered a passage from Isaiah, then focused on two verses for that particular day. There was no mention in the offer about which version of scripture would be used, and no version cited with the passage reference in the lesson. Take a look at Isaiah 55:8-9 and see what it looks like to you:

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts.

Each verse is set off in a new line, which looks very King James at first glance. It’s not. Nor is it ESV, NIV or NKJV. I sent an email to Bible Gateway and asked them if they knew. The scripture version Cook used in his scripture memorization course is the 1599 version of the Geneva Bible. They further clarified that the version Steve Cook cites is not exactly the same as the one offered online from Bible Gateway. So I appreciate the fully disclosure, even if it was after the fact.

I decided there was no value in memorizing a version of scripture that few people have read and most have never heard of. To be fair, the mnemonic devices would work with any version and the purpose of the study is stress the importance and recognize the value of memorization. Devotion as Memorization may be something you wish to look into but I would have liked all the pertinent details going in.  Geneva 1599 is certainly not the Bible of every man.

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