One of the best habits we can resolve to cultivate this New Year of 2017 is reading the Bible every day. In past years I’ve encouraged others to read through the entire Bible in one calendar year. One year I used a translation different from the one I use for Bible study … and saw things in the text I had never seen before. Another year, I read the daily portions online … the novelty of this approach seemed to make the readings go more quickly.
If you’re not in the daily habit of reading Scripture, then check out these two links for multiple options, each of which may be read online, or from your favorite version:
Bible Gateway suggests multiple approaches:
- Chronological: Read the entire Bible in the chronological order in which the stories and events occurred.
- Reading the Gospels in 40 Days
- New Testament in a Year
Blue Letter Bible also offers multiple options:
- Canonical: Read straight through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
- Blended: Read books in a non-traditional sequence.
- Life Journal: Read through the O.T. once & N.T. twice in one calendar year.
QUALITY > quantity
A different approach to Bible reading for 2017 is to invest more time in select passages or books, slowly meditating on God’s Word, instead of trying to “race” through the reading of the entire Bible. The pastor/professor/author Eugene Peterson has written,
“Reading is a gift, but only if the words are taken into the soul – eaten, chewed, gnawed, received in unhurried delight.”
He has also observed that if we approach Scripture this way, it ends up “reading” us in the process.
One final suggestion I’ll make is to read whatever plan you choose via a fresh compilation of the biblical text … “The Books of the Bible” formats Scripture unlike anything I have previously read.
- Chapter & verse numbers have been removed from the text.
- Each book is presented according to their natural internal divisions.
- Single-column page formatting looks more natural.
- Footnotes, section headings, commentary, etc., have been removed from the pages of the sacred text.
By stripping away centuries of artificial formatting, what’s left is the pure Bible text. Poetry will look like poetry, without the intrusions of chapters and verses. Historical narrative will flow more naturally. Conversations between people in the various books of the Bible will read like real-time dialogue.
A wonderful benefit of this new resource is that you will find yourself reading larger portions of Scripture each time you sit down to read.
Read to grow! … grow as you read!
Grace & Peace!