I’ve always struggled reading the Old and New Testaments. Actually, “struggled” is an understatement.
“The Bible writers often used idioms and patterns of thought that are hard for us to follow today. Frequently the thought sequence is fast-moving, leaving gaps for the reader to understand and fill in, or the thought jumps ahead or backs up to something said before (as one would do in conversation) without clearly stating the antecedent reference… Then, too, the writers often have compressed enormous thoughts into single technical words that are full of meaning.” (Kenneth Taylor, Preface to Living Letters)
My grandmother bought me The Living Bible decades ago, which is a scholarly work that helps to explain the original use of Greek or Hebrew text when they may have had historical meanings different from modern-day usage. It has been helpful to me in reading the Bible in the sense that certain words are paraphrased and footnoted to explain historical meanings based on the common usage of the language of the original text in the exact period the text was written. A deeper understanding of the original text has been very beneficial to my faith.
The risk is that all interpretations of the original text into different languages, such as Greek to English or Hebrew to English, depend on the skill and expertise of the translator and their knowledge of language usage during different historical periods. However, I believe God knew that His word would be interpreted into many languages throughout the ages and He inspired the original writers accordingly.
When I read any translated version of the Bible I pray that God guides my understanding of it and that He leads me to His intended meaning. Reading the Bible, for me, is an experience of the heart. It is not shackled by the confines of time, but rather everlasting.
“The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God shall stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)