Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bible Review: NIV Ragamuffin Bible

The NIV Ragamuffin Bible uses the NIV translation and is full of inspirational devotions, reflections, and quotes by Brennan Manning, usually on every third or fourth page. Sometimes two are given side-by-side on pages beside each other. The devotions usually contain larger sections of Scripture to read and a longer commentary, usually three paragraphs long. The reflections highlight a section of Scripture to read and provide a paragraph of personal reflection. The quotes often teach about the character of God and Jesus, and provide ways that the reader might be spoken to directly from them in some cases because they contain words like “The Lord is saying…” or “Jesus is saying…”

I read the books of Jude and Obadiah when reviewing this Bible. I also read all the devotions, reflections, and quotes all the way from Genesis through Psalms. There seemed to be mixtures of Greek and Hebrew words and thoughts listed in them and their English meanings, although they seemed to be more Greek-focused/sounding to me. I am glad both Greek and Hebrew thoughts/ideas/words were given. There were sayings about Christmas in some places that explained how people should look to that holiday for deeper meanings. And there is one thought that shares about a song sung at Easter. I noticed that some of the reflections and/or quotes used in the Old Testament were about Jesus (Yeshua), which I liked because it gave me a reminder that we can find teachings and hints about him in the Old Testament also.

Some of the reflections and quotes listed throughout this Bible will probably make some people feel uncomfortable for good reasons if they are not at certain points in their walk with Jesus, such as “In faith there is movement and development. Each day something is new. To be Christian, faith has to be new, that is alive and growing. It cannot be static, finished, settled. When Scripture, prayer, worship and ministry become routine, they are dead.” (Page 1054)

Other reflections and quotes made me scratch my head a little, such as “The Sermon on the Mount is a portrait of the heart of Jesus Christ. The Beatitudes offer a deep insight into his preferences, prejudices, and total personality…Jesus said that these are the attitudes that will enable you to be like him.” (Page 268). Well, I don’t remember coming across any place in the Bible where Jesus came right out and said that but reading this sure did make me think about whether he did, or if he even hinted about it.  A lot of the reflections and quotes in this Bible I read that were about Jesus I remember thinking something like “That sounds right”.

I have no doubt that some, most, or all of the devotions, reflections, and quotes in this Bible will inspire people to look deeper into the character of God, Jesus. and themselves.

My rating = 4.5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://booksneeze®.com/> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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