Join us in reading through the whole Good News Bible (GNT) in 365 24-minute-long podcasts!
Daily GNT Bible Reading Podcast Phil Fields
- Religion & Spirituality
Join us in reading through the whole Good News Bible (GNT) in 365 24-minute-long podcasts!
Genesis 1-2; Job 1; Mark 1:1-28
Congratulations on starting TODAY on a life-transforming journey! The Digging Deeper Daily plan will help you be successful in your commitment to read the whole Bible in a year. The unique order of the readings— together with the brief devotional notes, will help you see the various threads that unify the message of the Old and the New Testaments. I hope these notes will help you remember what you have read the day before, and hint at the deep and incredibly rich treasures in God’s Word. But the most satisfying treasures that you find this year will be the ones you dig to discover for yourself! Check out the ‘Shovels’ page of dailybiblereading.info for tools to help you go deeper in your study. Please also check out our free dedicated listening apps for your smart device by searching for the DailyBibleReading podcast in the app store or play store.
The first five books of the Bible are the Jewish Torah, and the Bible refers to them collectively as ‘the Law’. Many other books in the Bible attribute the authorship of these five books to Moses. Genesis is the foundational book of the whole Bible. When we were in our first Bible translation project among the Orya in Papua, Indonesia, I witnessed how getting a little detail of the foundation wrong (such as, how the first sin happened) can wreck the whole building that is being constructed. This book of Genesis tells us what God wants us to know about the beginning of our world, the beginning of sin, mankind’s rebellion against God, and who God and Satan are.
The story of Job is set in the period of the patriarch Abraham, and it takes place in the land of the East. What I did not realize until recently is that signs indicate that this book was written at a later time and almost certainly by an Israelite. By the author writing that Job was “the richest man in the East”, it places the author in the West, in the land of Israel. The author frequently uses the name of ‘Yahweh’, which I think would not have been done in Abraham’s time— which was long before God’s name was revealed to Moses at the burning bush. The author was a highly educated man. All of the book— except the first two chapters, are in exquisite poetry. The author displays an in-depth knowledge of mythology, the constellations, and the current wisdom concerning the world— including the underworld and traits of exotic animals. I might as well say it: The philosophy of this book is worthy of Solomon.
Whoever he is, the author displays incredible wisdom. One would expect an ancient book that is didactic in nature to end with a neat answer that sums up the author’s opinion. Or one would expect an ancient author to create a debate where the hero is totally right and the other speakers are clearly wrong. Instead, all the human speakers in the book of Job mix truth and error. It is a mark of inspired wisdom that in the end, the book of Job leaves us still pondering and searching for some answers.
Due to the 400 word limit for the YouVersion Devotional Content pages, the introduction to Mark is given on Day 2.
GNT Translation notes:
1 This is the Good News about [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ], the Son of God.
[The order in Greek here is ‘Jesus Christ’, and sometimes the Greek puts the order the other way around. I will consistently read ‘Christ Jesus’. Here is the reason I do this: Although it has become natural for us to say ‘Jesus Christ’, it is actually against English grammar. ‘Christ’ is a title. And in English, titles (such as president, doctor, or ambassador) always come first. The reason why I point this out is this: I have found people who think that ‘Christ’ is Jesus’ last name. The title ‘Christ’ (from Greek) means exactly the same thing as Messiah (from Hebrew). Both mean ‘anointed one’.
You will notice that I read many Bible names in a strange way. I read them with a more phonetic pronunciation— which in fact, is mo
Numbers 14; Psalm 34; Luke 22:1-38
Yesterday in Numbers, we again found out what the Lord thinks when we grumble against him! Let's remember Miriam. Then the Lord commanded to send out the spies, but after taking stock of the land of Canaan, they brought an evil, unbelieving report— forgetting all the miracles the Lord had done to bring them out of Egypt.
Today we read Psalm 34, which is another acrostic psalm. I cannot write a better introduction than the one already written by the ancient Rabbis.
Yesterday in chapter 21, we heard Jesus' prophecy about what will happen in judgment upon Jerusalem before his return.
Jesus said about his prophecies in chapter 21:32-33, “I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” If we take away the part about Jesus coming again in a cloud, then many of the people there would have lived long enough to see the other things Jesus talked about in that chapter. But if we include His coming again in a cloud, then to define what Jesus meant by ‘this generation’, we have other Scriptures that imply to us that God defines a ‘generation’ as all the people in a historical epoch of perhaps thousands of years. Then the next verse says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Well, here we are, after more than 2000 years, still reading his words. Jesus said that at a time when it would have been highly unlikely for his words to be preserved. But his words and those of the apostles have been preserved in more manuscripts than the sayings or writings of any other historical figure before the invention of the printing press. When papyrus didn’t last, believers copied the books on leather. Not only will Jesus’ words outlast heaven and earth, but we should be amazed at the incredible quality of God’s Word. Other ancient books are not of this literary quality. And compared to something like the Islamic Al-Koran and Hadith, the whole Bible is remarkably free of things that modern generations feel the need to sweep under the table. There are prophecies in the Bible (such as those in Luke 21) that cause us to wonder how they could happen, but God has shown us in so many fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies, that He likes to surprise us by fulfilling his prophecies in ways humans could not predict.
Genesis 3-4; Job 2; Mark 1:29-45
For more information about the features of this reading plan, please see the ‘ReadMe’ PDF file linked in the header of http://dailygntbiblereading .info.
You will note that I read most Bible names phonetically— rather than the using normal English pronunciation. This means that the letter A will have a consistent sound ‘ah’ and the letter I will be pronounced ‘ee’. This happens to match Indonesian pronunciations and that of many other languages. This also makes the pronunciation more like that of the source languages, Hebrew and Greek.
In chapter 2 of Genesis, we saw that Eve was created and introduced to Adam. And the pair at the end of the chapter were “naked and not embarrassed/unashamed.” As I said in yesterday’s introduction, I have seen first-hand in my work in Indonesia that when a people group misunderstands and twists the story in Genesis 1-3, it will have far-reaching consequences for their lives. In the case of the Orya people, twisting the story of the fall caused much suffering and misery among families.
At the close of chapter 1 of Job, Job had lost virtually everything he had, including his possessions, livestock, and children. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!”
Mark does not specifically identify himself as the author, but the church fathers unanimously say that the John Mark mentioned several times in the New Testament was the author. Mark was a companion of Peter, so the eyewitness content in this book is that of Peter. It is also thought that Mark wrote this account before or shortly after Peter’s martyrdom in Rome— which happened somewhere between 64-67 AD. This is certainly the first written Gospel, and it could have been written earlier than the earliest of Paul’s letters. Tradition says that Mark wrote this Gospel in Rome. That would help to explain why Mark gives background information to some Jewish customs that would have been unknown to his Roman readers, and why he doesn’t include teachings of Jesus which were based on the Jewish Scriptures and religion. Instead he tells us the plain story of Jesus and his miracles, so that the reader finds out who Jesus is.
Yesterday in chapter 1 of Mark, Jesus was baptized by John, called his first disciples, and cast out an evil spirit from a man in a synagogue.
GNT Translation note:
Gen. 3:15 I will make you and the woman hate each other; her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head, and you will bite her offspring's heel.”
[Verse 15 has several translational difficulties. When you find a place where you would like to understand why translation differ, I recommend looking at Lumina.bible.org and reading the notes to the NET.]
2023 Beginning of the year: Clearing up confusion
Hey there! It seems like we are off to a good start this year in the Daily Bible Reading Podcast.
In this extra podcast, I am trying to give answers to frequent questions.
First I want to ask you to share the DBRP NOW with your friends. If you started listening to the podcasts just a few days ago, then perhaps it has occurred to you, “Hey, this podcast would be perfect for …” this or that friend. If so, please share with them right away. This first week of the yearly plan is a great time to start listening, and if your friend wants to, he/she can easily catch up with you. Then you can discuss the readings together.
I invite you to contact me if you hear mistakes in my podcasts or if you would like to send a comment. My favorite way for you to contact me is via the Contact button at dailybiblereading.info. It’s in the upper right hand corner of the screen. If you write about a problem in accessing a certain podcast, please tell me what device you are using and what podcast player.
But hey, before writing to me, please check out the Read This First pages linked in the banner bar at dailybiblereading.info. That’s the place to go for information about Bible apps, podcast apps, Bible sites useful for digging deeper. and also information about me (Phil) and Gale.[a]
After a break in listening to my own podcasts, in 2022 I came back to listen to them again in a concentrated way, looking for things to improve. I ended up making improvements to 154 out of the 365 episodes among the NLT podcasts, and I will continue making improvements to the GNT series in 2023. But now I am afraid that I may have introduced new errors in the NLT series. So for you listening to the NLT series in 2023, please let me know if you hear mistakes or if a certain episode has inferior recording quality compared to the others.
YouVersion now has an audio play button at the bottom of every page in the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan. Because that reading plan is sponsored by the Daily Bible Reading Podcast, some people will think that the play button is giving them the recordings for the podcasts. It does NOT. If you hit the play button, you get a Siri/Alexa-like voice that reads the devotional content page, and after that page, the app will play whatever voice is bundled with the translation you have selected.
If any of the people who have recently subscribed to the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan in the YouVersion app are confused like that, then they won’t get the message about their mistake, since they will never see the extra podcast that I release like this one. However, when the voice pronounces the name of Job as job, I hope that they will figure out that they are not listening to a podcast. Actually following the 3D reading plan that way is not too bad. I’m just sorry that those who do this will miss out on the extra information that I sometimes give in the podcasts, and also they will miss the prayers at the end of each podcast. For more information about my two full-Bible reading plans in the YouVersion app, please visit the Read This First pages linked at dailybiblereading.info, and look for the page that is about Listening to podcasts.
Now let me give you a selection of quick tips.
If you have any questions about why I have recorded the NLT and the GNT for the DBRP, please see the Read This First pages. Those two are the most understandable English translations for those consuming Scripture in audio form.
If you started listening to episode 1 podcast on January 1st, if you don’t want to install a podcast app, you can simply go to dailybiblereading.info or dailygntbiblereading.info. Your daily episode will be near the top. Using that website is also a great way to listen if you are using a computer instead of a smaller device.
If you are somewhere in the middle of the year or are irregular in your listening, a good podcast app will make it easy to select the next episode without having to remember the day number
Genesis 5-6; Job 3; Mark 2
Correction: Please note that we no longer have the online forum that is currently still mentioned at the beginning of this episode.
In chapter 3 of Genesis, the Lord gave his judgment against the serpent. God talked about the woman’s offspring (which is a collective singular noun) when speaking to the serpent, and said, “her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head, and you will bite her offspring's[c] heel.” This is the very first prophecy looking forward to a Messiah and Redeemer who will crush Satan’s head. Just before that, there is another picture worth noting: God provided clothes for the man and woman made from animal skins. This is the first hint of the sacrificial system that prefigures Christ.
Today we read Job’s first speech. In the Bible— and especially in Job and the Psalms, we find out that God thoroughly understands and takes into account the fact that humans suffer. This is shown in the fact that such deep expressions of suffering are found in God’s Word— right from the earliest writings.
Yesterday in the second half of Mark 1, we read of Jesus miraculously healing people in Capernaum, and his refusing to stay only there. He preached and cast out demons all over the region of Galilee. The healing of the man with leprosy is notable because of the exchange between Jesus and that man, and also the results of the man’s not following Jesus’ instructions.
How can you get more out of your Bible reading this year? My top advice is to SLOW DOWN! The readings in this plan take around 20 minutes if read aloud. If you read silently, you might finish in only 10 minutes. But if you skim through like that, you won’t retain very much! I suggest these two ways to slow down:
Read out loud to yourself. Read expressively. When you find that your first attempt didn’t quite have the right intonation, go back and read the sentence again. Take time to think about— and pray about, what you have just read. Read along while listening to the Daily Bible Reading Podcast. This will definitely slow you down. And one extra advantage is that each podcast ends with a short prayer that is aimed at helping you apply what you have just read. The landing page at http://dailybiblereading.info gives various ways to conveniently listen to the podcasts using any kind of smart device.
GNT Translation notes:
Job 3:19 Everyone is there (in the world of the dead), the famous and the unknown, and slaves at last are free.
Mrk. 2:5 Seeing how much [they believed in him (or, that Jesus could heal the man)//faith they had], Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” [I will make this modification frequently and will explain it soon in the translation notes.]
15 Later on Jesus was having a meal in Levi's house.[a] [Many tax collectors and other outcasts were//A large number of tax collectors and other outcasts was] following Jesus, and many of them joined him and his disciples at the table.
18 On one occasion the followers of John the Baptist and the Pharisees were fasting. … [This makes it sound like they were friends and doing this together. So in Indonesia we translated like this: 18 On one occasion the followers of John the Baptist were fasting, and the Pharisees were fasting also.]
[In most languages of the world— and really even in English, it is ungrammatical to talk of oneself in the third person using ‘he/his or a title. I will consistently modify most places like this one to show that Jesus was talking about himself. I do this partly because many second-language speakers of English listen to these podcasts, and it also makes the meaning clearer even for native English speakers.]
28 So [I— as the Son of Man, am// the Son of Man is] Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Genesis 7-8; Job 4; Mark 3
Most people find out about the DBRP through the YouVersion Bible reading app on their smart device. If you are one who has found out about these podcasts through some other means (like via iTunes), then I want to make you aware that the Bible app created by YouVersion.com is wonderful. You can subscribe to the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan within the app, then reading along with these daily podcasts is very easy. Just start your episode using the DBRP app or your podcast player, then start the YouVersion Bible app and activate the Reading Plan. Also, if you are listening to the DBRP using any podcast app on your smart device that doesn’t allow you to see the episode notes, I suggest you install and try out our dedicated listening app.
In Genesis 5, we heard the overview of the descendants of Adam and Eve up to Noah. In chapter 6, Noah was further introduced. Also the reason for the flood was explained.
In chapter 3 Job cursed the day he was born and expressed his deep misery.
Remember that in the speeches of Job’s three friends we will see a mixture of truth and error. In particular, we should not follow Eliphaz’s example in today’s chapter. The Bible tells us repeatedly that we are not to trust or listen to communication from spirits. We will read the second chapter of Eliphaz’ response tomorrow.
In Mark 2, Jesus shocked his listeners by first forgiving a paralyzed man’s sins before actually healing the man’s body. And in three other events in chapter 2 we can see the beginnings of the conflict between Jesus and the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees.
Be curious! When you find something in the Bible that brings up a question, there usually are good answers. Check out the Shovels page at http://dailybiblereading.info.
I invite you to share the treasures you find, and your questions with the Digging Deeper Daily online community. See the Sharing Together page at dailybiblereading.info.
GNT Translation notes:
Job 4:17 “Can anyone be righteous in the sight of God
or be pure before his Creator? [Of course not!]
19 Do you think he will trust a creature of clay [like you],
a thing of dust that can be crushed like a moth?
Mrk. 3:19 and Judas [the man from Cariot//Iscariot], who betrayed Jesus.
22 Some teachers of the Law who had come from Jerusalem were saying, “He has Beelzebul in him! It is the chief of the demons who gives him the power to drive [demons//them] out.”
27 “No one can break into a strong man's house [like Satan’s dominion] and take away his belongings unless he first ties up the strong man; then he can plunder his house.
[Many times the rhetorical questions of Jesus can be misunderstood, and in many languages it is better to translate them as statements, as I have done here:]
33 Jesus answered, “[I’ll tell you who my mother is. And I will show you who my brothers are!//Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?]”
These daily readings of the three Bible selections from the Good News Translation, and the prayer that follows, are very well done; with clear pronunciation and reverence for God. Well done! And, thank you!