Why the Recovery Version Is My Go-To Study Bible
With every book we explore, it helps to understand the underlying thought or purpose behind it. With study Bibles it’s no different. They all have their perspective.
The Recovery Version Bible is very focused. It has an underlying principle which points us to the living Christ revealed in the Scriptures for our experience of Him.
Simply put, the Recovery Version helps us to see that God wants to make Christ everything to us so that we may become the church, as His living Body for God’s corporate expression (Eph. 1:23, note 1).
If such a perspective intrigues you, you may want to keep reading…
The text in the Recovery Version is very accurate and readable.
The Recovery Version is exceptionally true to the original Greek text. I’ve checked the New Testament against my interlinear many times and have found it to be incredibly true to the Greek text. Where there are some important issues related to text, it will indicate it in a linguist note. It will point out if there are different Greek words being used that could confuse the reader.
The text is also very readable. I can read verse after verse, chapter after chapter, without being confused by an obscure wording. If there is a word or phrase that needs explanation, it will provide concise notes to make it clear so that you can easily continue your reading. I use it for both morning and evening reading and find it pleasant to follow along.
The notes in Recovery Version lead you to Christ.
For example , the first footnote in the New Testament, Matthew 1:1, note 1 says,
“The first name and the last name (Rev. 22:21) in the New Testament is Jesus, proving that Jesus Christ is the subject and content of the New Testament.
The Bible is a book of life, and this life is a living person, the wonderful and all-inclusive Christ. The Old Testament gives a portrait, in types and prophecies, of this wonderful person as the Coming One. Now, in the New Testament, this wonderful person has come…”
This is my testimony concerning the Recovery Version. It has caused me to see and appreciate the Lord Jesus as never before. I hope it will also cause you to love Him, seek Him, open to Him and be filled with Him.
From my experience, many of the footnotes by Witness Lee will simply make you want to turn your heart to the Lord Jesus and pray.
For example, in John 5:39-40, the Lord Jesus said,
“You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that testify concerning Me. Yet you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”
Note 1 on verse 39 says,
To “search the Scriptures” may be separated from “come to Me” (v. 40). The Jewish religionists searched the Scriptures but were not willing to come to the Lord. These two should go together; because the Scriptures testify concerning the Lord, they should not be separated from the Lord. We may contact the Scriptures, yet not contact the Lord. Only the Lord can give life.”
When I read a passage like this and reflect on the notes, I’m spontaneously turned to pray and might say,
“Lord since the Scriptures testify concerning You, remind me to come to You every time I come to Your Word.”
This also reminds me of my favorite hymn on coming to the Lord in the Word. You may also enjoy reading my post by that title and singing the hymn as well.
In addition, there are many more notes that zero in on the wonderful Lord Jesus revealed in the Scriptures. The following are a number of my favorites that I’ve really enjoyed over the years:
- Matt. 1:1, note 1 – presents 4 main aspects of Christ as revealed in the 4 gospels.
- Heb. 1:3, note 4 – points to various aspects of Christ revealed in nearly every book of the New Testament. Christ is really all-inclusive!
- 1 Cor. 1:9, note 2 – points out at least 20 items of the riches of Christ in the book of 1 Corinthians.
- Matt 15:26, note 1 – points out many items of Christ revealed in the book of Matthew.
The notes also focus us on our present experience of Christ.
Study Bibles have many kinds of notes. Some focus on external events (e.g. prophecy, history, etc.). And they may be very useful in that aspect. But the outstanding point to me in the notes in the Recovery Version is how they help me to concentrate on experiencing Christ.
For example, I like 1 Cor. 2:9 which says,
But as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not come up in man’s heart; things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Note 3 on this verse says,
To realize and participate in the deep and hidden things God has ordained and prepared for us requires us not only to believe in Him but also to love Him. To fear God, to worship God, and to believe in God (that is, to receive God) are all inadequate; to love Him is the indispensable requirement. To love God means to set our entire being—spirit, soul, and body, with the heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30)—absolutely on Him, that is, to let our entire being be occupied by Him and lost in Him, so that He becomes everything to us and we are one with Him practically in our daily life. In this way we have the closest and most intimate fellowship with God, and we are able to enter into His heart and apprehend all its secrets (Psa. 73:25; 25:14). Thus, we not only realize but also experience, enjoy, and fully participate in these deep and hidden things of God.
When I read such a verse and note I’m turned to pray,
“Lord Jesus, I don’t just believe in You. Lord I love You. As I come to Your Word, I set my entire being on You. Lord, I want to be occupied and lost in You so that You become everything to me in my daily life. Lord bring me into intimate fellowship with You so that I may enter into Your heart and apprehend all its secrets.”
If you’ve enjoyed reading this post on the Recovery Version Bible, I encourage you to share your interest or experience with it in a comment.
If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, I hope you’ll buy the Holy Bible Recovery Version from Living Stream Ministry or get a free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version from Bibles for America if you’re in the USA. For those in other countries you may want to check out www.rhemabooks.org. It is mainly for Christian books. Also for a free New Testament in the UK, go to: http://www.amanatrust.org.uk/bibles/
You can also read the New Testament Recovery Version with footnotes online.
About Tom Smith
Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!