Wednesday, January 1, 2014

All Around the Web - Read the Bible in a Year

Every year most of us set the goal of reading the entire Bible in a year. There are countless plans available in print and on the Internet. Below are a few helpful links that will help you reach that goal. My preferred approach is available at this link. I prefer this approach because instead of reading straight through from Genesis to Revelation, it allows you to sample each week the Torah, history, poetry, the prophets, the Gospels, and the epistles.

Bible Gateway - Reading Plans
Bible reading plans walk you through the entire Bible over the course of a year. Reading through the Bible is a rewarding experience, and these plans can help you do it!

To use a reading plan, just visit the daily reading page to see your daily reading. (You may want to bookmark that page in your web browser.) Your daily reading is also available via email (see below), RSS, and iCal. If you miss a day or want to read ahead, you can use the calendar in the top right to navigate forward or backward through the reading plan.

Most of the reading plans start on January 1, but you’re free to join in at any time! When each plan ends, it cycles back to the beginning so that you can start over or catch up on what you missed. So, choose a reading plan and get ready for the incredible journey of reading through the entire Bible, one day at a time!

Find more Reading Plans at the Bible Gateway Store.

Justin Taylor - How to Read the Whole Bible in 2014
Do you want to read the whole Bible?
The average person reads 200 to 250 words per minute; there are about 775,000 words in the Bible; therefore it takes less than 10 minutes a day to read the whole Bible in a year.

(For those who like details, there’s a webpage devoted to how long it takes to read each book of the Bible. And if you want a simple handout that has every Bible book with a place to put a check next to every chapter, go here.)

Audio Bibles are usually about 75 hours long, so you can listen to it in just over 12 minutes a day.
But the point is not merely to read the whole thing to say you’ve done it or to check it off a list. The Bible itself never commands that we read the Bible through in a year. What is commends is knowing the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) and meditating or storing or ruminating upon God’s self-disclosure to us in written form (Deut. 6:7; 32:46; Ps. 119:11, 15, 23, 93, 99; 143:5)

The Gospel Coalition - A Bible Reading Plan for Readers
With the new year approaching, prepare yourself for the onslaught of Bible reading advice. "Slow down." "Savor the Scripture." "Whatever your plan, stick to it for the whole year."

Such advice sounds good for those who prefer Peter Jackson to J. R. R. Tolkien or who would choose a locally anaesthetized lobotomy over any sort of reading assignment. Non-readers show courageous faith when they commit to regular patterns of Bible reading at predictable intervals, and I laud their desire to draw closer to the Lord.

But what about those of us who enjoy reading? Why limit ourselves to a few chapters (or a few verses) 10 minutes a day?

Perhaps you were one of the geniuses who devoured Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows within two weeks of its publication. Maybe a Kindle deal puts a spring in your step. You always have one or more books going, and you have to set boundaries so blogs don't take over your life.

Denny Burk - A plan to read through the Bible in 2014
In years past, my customary mode for reading the Bible through every year involved starting in Genesis and reading right through to Revelation. I estimated that about four chapters per day would get me through in under a year’s time. The method worked reasonably well, but it wasn’t without its problems. Sometimes I would miss a day (or days) and get behind, and I had no way to keep up with my progress. I needed a schedule so that I could keep myself accountable for finishing in a year.

In 2009, therefore, I did something I had never done before. I followed a Bible reading plan. I adopted Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Calendar for Daily Readings. It provided the schedule that I needed. It also outlined daily readings from different sections of the Bible. On any given day, I would be reading something from an Old Testament narrative, something from the prophets, and something from the New Testament. Although this plan provided the accountability that I needed, I found it difficult to be reading from three to four different biblical books every day. I know that not everyone is like me, but that approach lacked the focus that my brain requires. I missed reading the Bible in its canonical arrangement and focusing on one book at a time. I wished for a schedule that would go from Genesis to Revelation in canonical order.

So in 2009, I created a plan that does just that, and I would like to share it with you. This plan calls for reading all the books of the Bible in canonical order in one year. Each day’s reading is about 3-4 chapters in length, with the exception of the Psalms (which are covered in 5 chapters per day). The idea is to read longer chapters in groups of three (e.g., Pentateuchal narratives, Gospels) and shorter chapters in groups of four. There are 7 “catch-up” days scattered throughout the calendar. You can download the calendar below.

WORD: 2014 Bible Reading Plan

PDF: 2014 Bible Reading Plan

Denny Burk - A Plan To Read the Greek New Testament in One Year

Someone just asked me on Facebook if I knew of any plans to read the Greek New Testament in a year. Well as a matter of fact, I do. I created such a plan a couple of years ago. For the most part, it tracks pretty closely with Lee Irons’ excellent schedule for reading the Greek New Testament in a year. My plan, however, varies a little bit. Because John’s writing is simpler Greek, my schedule goes through John’s Gospel at a faster pace than Irons’. As a result, there are no readings scheduled at the end of the year from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve. These open dates at the end can be used as catch-up days. The schedule is given in two formats below.

DOC – Read the Greek NT in a Year
PDF – Read the Greek NT in a Year

Ordinary Pastor - (Bible) Reading for Joy vs. Reading for Information
Have you ever found yourself disinterested in the genealogies or lengthy records of people in the Bible? From time to time I find myself stepping on the devotional gas to speed past those names as if they are not important. I know better than this.

As Alan Jacobs observes in his book Reading in the Age of Distraction, too many of  us read for information rather than pleasure. We just can run through the words looking to pick out the meat and leave behind the bones (so to speak). What happens when we do this in a narrative like in Ezra 2? (This happened to me this morning.)

In this section the list of over 40,000 exiles are returning from captivity to Israel. If we just skip over it we miss the joy that the author is aiming to communicate. These people were living in a foreign land, displaced from their history and identity. They were removed from the hub of worship. They lived under the cloud of God’s evident displeasure. Not only could they not enjoy all of the blessings that God had provided them as his nation, they were made to see, breath, and even taste pagan culture in all of its dregs. Now, at this particular time, God was moving these people (listed in this chapter) back to the land to enjoy the blessings of God and restart the covenant community’s practice of worship.

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