Some days when I read my Bible, it’s like white noise instead of a beautiful melody. I’m sure you can relate. There are times that it just doesn’t penetrate.
When this happens, I love to do something I learned to do in Bible college when I had the blessing of digging deep into the Word every day. I research the original language and study the individual words.
This kind of search always leads me to a wonderful spiritual nugget that I hadn’t discovered before.
Back in the day, doing these mini word studies meant that I’d have to haul out the physical Strong’s concordance (alphabetical listing of every word in the bible with some basic definitions and where they are found) and my Greek and Hebrew lexicons (dictionaries).
But now, with Bible study apps, it’s easy as pie to dig deeper and be blessed! My favorite is Blue Letter Bible (BLB). By the way, I’m not affiliated with them in any way. I just love the Bible and I love their app and I want to share how easy it makes studying!
There are tools within the app to help you get the most from what you are reading. The one I use all the time is the Interlinear tool. It shows you the Hebrew or Greek word with the English translation and the Strong’s concordance reference number next to it.
Here’s how to use it and get more from your Bible reading!
- Open the Blue Letter Bible app.
- Search for the passage or word you want to study.
- Click on the verse and up pops the tools page.
- Click “Interlinear”.
- Click on the word in the verse you want to explore.
The concordance and lexicon information is then right at your fingertips. You’ll see how each word is used in the Bible and where, which English words are used to translate it, plus historical uses of that word, and much more.
Then, armed with all the word treasure uncovered, I take one verse or a passage and paraphrase it.
So, instead of a word-for-word translation, as the best Bibles are translated, I end up with an expression of the same meaning of a passage but using different words. That’s a paraphrase.
With a paraphrase, you have a fresh new way of seeing and experiencing the Bible! The Living Bible and The Message are examples of paraphrased Bibles and they are wildly popular for this reason.
Of course, the original wording of the Bible is a masterpiece and can never be improved upon. But I find that using a paraphrase freshens my understanding and opens up new thoughts and revelation about a passage, while keeping the intent of the original writer intact.
Try it out! I think you’ll be blessed.
Here is a paraphrase of Psalm 23 as an example. I pray you try creating your own paraphrase and enjoy!
The Lord is my caring companion, I have everything I need.
He gives me rest in young meadows.
He leads me to peaceful streams.
My heart is refreshed.
He guides to right paths for the honor of his name.
Even if my route leads me through a gorge of deep darkness,
I won’t be afraid of calamity.
Your protection and support put me at ease.
You set up an extravagant banquet in front of me even during my affliction.
You lavish me with acceptance. I am saturated with abundance.
Nothing but blessings and kindness will pursue me always.
And I will be at home in the family of the Lord to the end.
Let me know if you try it and what you find. I’d love to hear your comments.
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