I have myself, for many years, made it a practice to read through the Bible once ever year.
~ John Quincy Adams, 4 July 1821
Ironically, one day after coming up with my own home-brewed plan, someone posts a link on Facebook to COGWA’s “Read the Bible in a Year”, which now has a 2013 Bible Reading Program. The 2012 program was interesting because it harmonized the four Gospels. Since some years I listen to an audio Bible rather than read through it, harmonizing them can be a bit of a challenge in lining up the audio tracks.
However, the 2013 plan seems a bit more straight-forward. I’m not sure why they changed it, but perhaps it has something to do with the new Foundations Institute classes online.
I am not so smart, so my own preference is to go through the Proverbs once a month (Pr 31 being read about every other month). I also like having one of the Psalms read at least five times a week. This year, I want to do something different in that I want to also toss in the books of the Apocrypha.
Why the Apocrypha? Well, certainly not because I believe them to be “Scripture”, let me assure you. Most of the arguments for “lost books” of the Bible are pretty much rubbish, anyhow. Not only that, but even if, for example, the Book of Enoch was a valid book, there is not guarantee that the Book of Enoch we have today is The Book of Enoch! There are reasons they are not in the canon.
No, but they do contain some information of historical value, or at least a few of them do. I’m not sure about the others. Tobit, though, was used by HWA in his reasoning of the three tithes. This past Hanukkah, I was struck about just how ignorant I was of the books of the Maccabees. In fact, I didn’t even realize that there were four of them. This may be a one time thing, though, depending upon the value of the others.
I am pondering whether or not to record the sessions for future use. I’m also pondering whether or not to put them up on YouTube. If I did that, would anyone be interested in it? It would be a lot of work to put it on YouTube if no one watches it.
Regardless, there are enough Bible reading plans in existence that almost anybody could find one that would suit their needs. For example, there are “5 Bible Reading Plans in Over 50 Translations”. There are aggressive 90 day plans. A couple of years ago, there even was one group that challenged people to read the Bible in 30 days. I’m not convinced how much you get from such aggressive readings, but even that would be better than not doing it at all!
I often study certain subjects, that is true. I may even be studying as a result of a booklet (or alongside the booklet), or perhaps something in a sermon spurred me to look something up. Yet, if that is all I do, there will be parts of the Bible never explored. How likely will I be to study something completely new if I am only gravitating to certain portions of Scripture?
I am an advocate to at least read the Bible (or listen if an audio Bible) once in a year. I suggest different versions to get a different flavor. Sometimes, just a new version will spur investigation (“I don’t remember it saying that. What was that verse again?”).
We are told to eat a balanced meal every day, not just once in a while. On a regular basis, we need to consume portions from every food group. If the Bible is our meal, shouldn’t we want to read from the entire plate containing every food group? However, without a balanced meal plan, a person is likely to gravitate towards the sugars and/or the fats, and too many of those and not enough of the other will affect your health. Your spiritual diet works in a similar manner.
I hereby challenge you, dear reader, to listen or read the entire Bible this year. Select a version and run with it. If you have never done it before, I suggest the KJV or the NKJV, as they have the least mistranslations. If you’ve never read through the entire Bible, I do not recommend the NIV. You’ll be surprised how much is missing, let alone any mistranslations! If you are a seasoned veteran, then you probably know the deal anyhow.