Summary: We can read through the Bible in one year, but what are we gaining other than to say that we did. Choose some important books of the Bible to read and study and apply the teachings to your life,
Reading Through The Bible In One Year
The apostle Paul wrote two letters to his friend and student Timothy. Paul was in prison when he wrote these letters and he wanted to pass his baton of ministry to Timothy, just before Paul was martyred for his faith. We read from his second letter, chapter 3 verses 16 and 17. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be adequate and equipped for every good work.”
If we take Paul’s words to heart, we should know our Scriptures. So this is the year I’m going to read the entire Bible! I’m going to read from the Old Testament starting in Genesis. I’m going to read a Proverb and a Psalm, and then I’ll begin reading from the New Testament starting in Matthew. I’m going to skim through all the names, most I cannot even pronounce, and then make sure I don’t fall behind. In my Bible there are 1,336 pages in the Old Testament and 635 pages in the New Testament totaling 1,996 pages. Think about it, almost 2,000 pages to read. Yet I know I can get it done, I know I can plow through. Only 6 pages each day. And if I skip a day, it’s only 12 to catch up, if I skip a week I only have to read another 40 or 50 pages. Not too bad. Victor Hugo’s book “Les Miserables” only has 1,780 pages and Leo Tolstoy’s novel “War and Peace” has only 1,400 pages. I can do this if I get to work!
Some of my friends have studied the Bible and have read all the books and I want to say I have done the same. And actually the Old Testament really doesn’t count, after all it’s ancient history. It’s really not important how the nation of Israel was formed, not very interesting to know who Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Joshua, and Esther were. Or when the temple in Jerusalem was built, destroyed, rebuilt and destroyed again. It doesn’t matter that I read the accounts of Ezra, Nehemiah, Isaiah, Daniel and the rest of the Major and Minor Prophets. So I can skip all that. I’m just going to concentrate on the New Testament, the stuff that really matters. And if I do, it’s only 2 pages a day and I’ll be done by the end of the year! Then I can say I’ve read the important parts of the Bible.
This year I’m going to do it. All I have to do is find my old Bible or I may buy a new one. We were talking to a friend last week who owns a Christian Bookstore. He told us that many of the people who come into the store to buy a Bible have no idea what they are buying. A Bible is a Bible, hard cover or soft, it doesn’t matter, they just want to buy a Bible. And don’t sell me one of those new fangled updated translations in today’s words. I want the original, you know, the English one.
OK stop. Just thinking about all of this makes me tired. Reading through the Bible is a great expectation for the New Year and there are many good books that will help you do this, but what will you really gain? A lot of words, a lot of pages, but perhaps not a lot of true understanding.
I heard about a Bible class where a young Christian was just kind of stumbling his way along. He said to the teacher, “I’m having some struggles with Genesis.” So the teacher immediately went off. He said, “You know the authorship of Genesis and the JEDP theory which stands for Jawist, Elohist, Deuteronomist, Priestly writer and higher criticism that has come over from the Wellhausen theory and on and on.” And the guy, when the teacher was finally finished said, “Well, I appreciate that, but I’m having trouble finding Genesis.”
I am one of those weird people who have read the Bible many times now, and not because it’s my job! In doing so, I have been enriched in studying it as I have read it. Not plowing through, instead savoring the words, stories and teachings. Do you know that we have had an all church Bible Study every Wednesday evening since November of 2002 when we read the first words of Genesis? Currently we are just about to finish the words of the Minor Prophet Hosea. By the way, the only difference between a Major and Minor Prophet are the number of words. In their books, the Major Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel have 183 chapters combined while the twelve Minor Prophets have a total of only 67 chapters.