Over the years, I’ve picked up small devotional booklets called “Our Daily Bread”. As a Pastor, I’ve handed them to folks to encourage daily quiet time. Each devotional is a quick read consisting of a single page of text, with a story, a Bible verse, and a prayer. A simple format that inspires. I’ve gotten great feedback, doing this. Occasionally I will read them, sometimes I consider what I think is a more fitting verse for the story, or story for the verse. They always stir reflection.
Likewise, I have handed new believers a New Living Translation Bible. It is an easy to read and follow translation. I occasionally read from it, but don’t study from it. Sometimes I reference the NLT when doing translation work, it is very smoothly rendered and worth considering. My Mother regularly read from the Living Bible (The Tyndale predecessor to the NLT). It had a green puffy cover and sounded very different from the King James Bible I often struggled to understand. I can remember sitting in our front room as a young man and seeing the Daily Bread sitting next to her living Bible. She consistently had a morning quiet time with these two old friends.
Fast forward thirty-five years.
I was delighted to receive the Our Daily Bread Devotional Bible for review. It is everything I had hoped it would be. The size is not overwhelming, as some devotional Bibles are. The publisher has not made the paper too thin or the text too small. It is warm, with clear black text and a refreshing green complimentary color on the edges. It does not overdo it. The Biblical text is clear and clean and the devotionals are simple and straightforward just as I would expect. There is a calming nature to its simplicity that aids in the devotional mindset.
There are 365 Daily Bread devotionals contained in the text. They are plainly set apart, and do not break up the Biblical text, if you desire to read the Bible. The individual books of the Bible start with a one page overview of each book, displaying, Author, Date, Purpose, Themes and Brief Outline along with a paragraph of general description to get the reader started. There are footnotes, although you may miss them at first. Rather than distract the reader by placing them at the center or bottom of every page, they are neatly placed at the bottom of the far-right column under the Biblical text. They are there if you want them, but easily ignored and not disruptive if you have become engrossed in the story.
I like these basic additions that hint to a devotional reader, there is more to Bible study. While these subtle enhancements may direct some folks to deeper study, they do not hinder a beginner from picking up this Bible just to read or do a devotional. There are both topical and scriptural indexes at the end of the book that may be helpful if you are giving this Bible to someone or looking for a specific need yourself. Also, there is an Introduction of the New Living Translation at the beginning. More information on the translation techniques and its reliability can be found here if you, or others, have any questions.
For me personally, this Devotional Bible provides a comforting link to my past Christian heritage. I’m delighted in its clarity and simplicity, while giving a slight nod to some deeper tools without distracting.
Is it everything? No, but it is fantastic for what it is. I highly recommend putting the Our Daily Bread Devotional Bible in your front room on a side table. Someone will pick it up and have a quiet time with it, trust me.
A copy of this book was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for this review.