UNDERSTANDING NEW CHRISTIANS IN PRISON
the Daily Bread. It is easy to have one sent to your house so that you and your friend or loved one in prison can do the same devotion on the same day.
There are many good books that can help the new Christian get started as well. Two of the best are The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and God as He Longs for You to See Him by Chip Ingram. Some prisons are different than others on this issue. It would be helpful for you on the outside to have your friend or relative in prison find out how you can send Christian books and materials to him. By helping the new Christian inmate grow in Jesus Christ will in turn help others to grow. Prisons are a place where materials and books enter but do not come out. All the materials that are sent will eventually get passed around to others. Many who don't have any help from a loved one on the outside will be helped through your care and generosity.
The most important part of good Bible study is to have a good version of the Bible. Some are easier to study than others. It is important to know that there are many good versions that are accepted in the Christian community. Unfortunately, some Christians, even in prison, argue that the Authorized Version of the King James Bible is the only one to use. This belief stems from the fact that it is the first complete Bible in English. The King James Version was written in 1611 A.D when King James commissioned a group of scholars to assemble a complete Bible in English. Much of the KJV text is taken from previous translations. Only 39% of the KJV text originated in 1611; 4% is from the Wycliffe Bible translation of 1320; 18% is from the Tyndale translation of 1494; 13% is from the Coverdale translation of 1488; 19% is from the Geneva Bible of 1560; 4% is from the Bishop translation of 1568 and 3% from other preceding versions. Not only did the King James Bible pull over 60% of its text from already existing translations. Just two years later in 1613, there were 300 changes made. Likewise, several new revisions came out between 1611 and 1769 which is the current day King James Bible. The 1769 Oxford Standard version of the King James Bible which is the revision that is used today differs from the 1611 version in 75,000 details.
The point to all of this is to show that the King James is not the only Bible to study. Currently, scholars believe the New American Standard (1971) is the most accurately translated Bible available today. A true Bible translation is derived directly from established Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek scriptures. The NAS is a true and complete Bible translation, not a revision, because the scholars translated it directly from established Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek text as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls that were found in 1947. It was translated as closely word for word as possible into modern English for easy understanding and study.I have seen many inmates struggle with reading the King James Version just because their peers say that it is the only one to read. This way of thinking is based on an erroneous fear that none of the newer Bibles are as accurate. As we explained above, that simply is not true. Even common sense asks, 'What good is it to read a version of God's Word that you can't understand?' For a long time, I also read the KJV and prayed that God would give me some understanding of what I was reading. I never fully understood what I was reading until I picked up a different version that was easier to read. I felt much more relaxed and could comprehend it better. Most importantly, I could begin to apply it immediately! In the back of this book is a listing of different Christian versions
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