Students Immersed in Scripture

KNOXVILLE, TN (July 17, 2018)—Every student at CHIC received their own copy of Immerse: Messiah, a New Living Translation of the New Testament. The gifts were made possible thanks to a partnership between the Institute for Bible Reading (IFBR) and the ECC.

Covenanter Scott Bolinder, who is executive director of IFBR, says, “It just made good sense to support students and our partnership by reinforcing the Covenant’s commitment to better Bible reading. We agreed that it would provide a unique opportunity to welcome students with a fresh approach to reading the Bible.”

Immerse embodies this fresh approach. Modern additives like chapters, verses, cross-references, and footnotes have been removed so the Bible reads “less like a dictionary” and “more like a story,” explains Alex Goodwin, senior director of marketing and communications for IFBR. It’s the first installment of a six-volume set, which includes Beginnings, Kingdoms, Prophets, Poets, and Chronicles, to cover the whole Bible. Messiah begins with the story of Jesus’s life and ministry in Luke and then moves directly to the history of the early church in Acts.

Goodwin says, “Often younger people seem to be written off as non-readers, too preoccupied with their Instagram feeds to make time for any reading, let alone Bible reading. But we’ve now seen several cases where students are given the opportunity to participate in Immerse and they absolutely love it. The Bible really comes alive for them as they read and discuss in this new way.”

Ultimately the hope is that as students immerse themselves in activities and community at CHIC, they also immerse themselves in the richness of God’s word. Goodwin says the unique presentation and emphasis on community in Immerse “awakens curiosity and rekindles imaginations.” He hopes the Bible can be used to reignite a renewed love for engaging with the Scriptures and reinforce a good habit of Bible reading.

“I know these conferences can be kind of a whirlwind,” Goodwin says. “Yet we at IFBR hope that reading a Bible that looks different and feels different will help God’s word come alive for them like never before. And when they gather in groups to talk about the reading—not to search for ‘right answers,’ but simply to discuss their reactions to the text—we hope they are able to draw closer to God and to each other.”

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About the Author

Zachary Lee is a student at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he is studying English literature, creative writing, and Spanish. This summer he is thrilled to be working as an editorial intern for Covenant Communications. Born in Los Angeles, he grew up in Chicago, where you can find him performing poetry at open mics, analyzing summer blockbusters, reading Dostoevsky, and listening to the latest Christian hip-hop. His poetry can be found in the Great Lakes Review and 95th & King, and he is a journalist for the Cornell Daily Sun.

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1 Comment

  1. I especially appreciate final sentence of the article about reading, reacting to, and discussing the Bible in community. It is one of the key distinctive markers of the Covenant church and is essential to a vital and thriving church.

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