Today is New Years Eve. 2017 is upon us. The idea of resolutions is to review your year before the new year and make goals and plans for the next year, before January 1st. However, I usually don’t even think about the new year until a few days before the new year. Typically the first week or so of January is when I really consider what I want to work on during the next twelve months.
One of my goals for this year is to read the Bible chronologically in the first ninety days of 2017.
I have read the Bible canonically (from Genesis to Revelation) and chronologically in the past. The Bible is not organized chronologically. Reading it canonically can get confusing at times when you are reading about kings or other occurrences that you feel like you’ve read before. Chronologically really illuminates the history of the Bible and helps you connect each book with the others. You read about David and what was going on in Israel and his life and then read some of the Psalms he wrote while those things were happening. It really gives you a well-rounded understanding of who these people were and what all was going on.
I do want to mention that we don’t know with 100% assurance the exact chronological order in which the Bible was written but we do have a fairly good idea. Some scholars have a few things in slightly different order but for the most part, all chronological reading plans are very similar.
I am a slow reader and every time I have read through the Bible, it has taken me several years to make it through. I have always been very daunted with the idea of trying to tackle the whole thing in ninety days. However, I have several friends who also admit to being slow readers who have completed it and have testified to it making a real difference in their understanding of the Bible. They say that seeing the whole Bible at once really opens your eyes to the connectivity and whole book that is the Bible.
I typically do not recommend limiting your Bible reading time to a time table. Like I said, I am a slow reader and when I am put on a time table, I do not feel like I can really absorb what I am reading, I get stressed out, and typically give up after getting behind. The Bible is a book we as believers should crave to read every day. There is no reason to put a limit on what you need to read each day. We are not reading to tick off some task on our sanctification checklist.
Well, one reason is because my friend Debi, from Solid Food Ministries, shared on Facebook that Knowable Word is hosting a ninety day Bible reading challenge. If you complete the ninety days of reading and email them, they will enter your name into a drawing to be held on April 1st for a beautifully bound ESV Readers Bible six volume set.
Another reason I have decided to try to read the Bible in ninety days is because of the testimonies of my friends who have said it was such a benefit in their walk with the Lord to get a quick, bird’s eye view of the entire Bible. While I still feel the way I do about putting time-tables on Bible reading, I also see great benefit in getting the whole view in a short period of time before diving in deeper. By getting that whole view, when you do start digging in deeper you will be able to recognize how the smaller events and details fit into the whole story.
“We should study asking not just what a particular portion of Scripture wants to tell us, but how that portion of Scripture is telling us the Big Story of the Bible as a whole…When we are fuzzy about the Big Story, we may have difficulty finding continuity between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. We may have trouble relating to the Old Testament at all. We may misinterpret the purpose or emphasis of a smaller story because we have considered it apart from its relationship to the Big Story.” ~ Jen Wilkin (“Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds“)
I am very apprehensive about sharing with the world that I am making this attempt. However, even if I do not make it all the way through in ninety days, I will complete it in a shorter time than I have in the past and still gain the benefit of getting the Big Story perspective.Free 90 day chronological #Bible reading plan! Click To Tweet
So, if you would like to join me, I have created a reading plan you can print off for yourself. I have created a US letter size and an A5 size. I organize my life in a bullet journal method so I printed off the A5 size and taped it in my journal. I may hang up another copy in our kitchen or bathroom for extra reminding and encouragement, as well.
If you would like to join me, I have created a Facebook accountability group you are welcome to join. It is a closed group so an administrator will need to approve your request.
Have a happy new year and I pray that 2017 will be a year we grow in our love of the Scripture and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.