Here's the deal...many of us grew up with special bibles given to us when we were children. We cherish them, but we don't know how to read them. It's so big! It's so hard to understand. It's weird and irrelevant.
So what if there were a way to get into this odd book we claim as our holy scripture? What if we play with it...think about it like a good TV show? What if we have a conversation with some of those characters from long ago? We might find out that they were a lot like us. We might find out how they struggled with some of the same things we struggle with today.
There is a really good book by Rob Bell. It's called What Is the Bible? It's so readable. It's funny! That's right, funny. And it gets you to know the bible in ways that help you get free from your fear of what the bible is all about...because seriously, the bible is about us. And it's called The Good Book for a reason.
And if you don't want to buy one of those fancy leather bound expensive bibles and lug it around with you (who does that?)...if you don't want to figure out which translation to get...if you want to try comparing translations and paraphrases and just...figure out which version speaks to you while still speaking the wisdom and truth and humor and grace of God...then get out your phone, open up your IPad and check out Biblegateway.com. You will find so many versions of the Bible...it will boggle your mind. So start with these: The New International Version (NIV) (according to scholars this translation is pretty readable and authoritative) New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), (also authoritative but starting to sound a little dated) Or try a good paraphrase...The Voice is excellent! The Message by Eugene Peterson is mighty good too.
Don't be afraid of bible study. Don't worry! There is no right or wrong way, just do it! And...have fun...because seriously, God wants us to rejoice and be glad...and have fun.
p.s. It's ok to follow along--reading the bible in worship---on your phone.