I thought I might give this Bible-reading system a whirl. I was chatting with my wife the other day and talking about Bible knowledge, and I used J John’s illustration that I have heard him give at Soul Survivor several times. When you get to heaven, you will meet the different people who wrote the Bible. So Obadiah comes up to you and says: “Hey Ben, great to see you! How didya like my book?” And Zephaniah, and Titus.
Then I realised, as I was saying this to my wife, that I couldn’t think of a single verse from these books, so I went to them and read them through, and discovered I DID know a verse from Zephaniah, 3:17, which is wonderful, but indeed that I was quite unfamiliar with Obadiah. Titus I know a little better.
I was thinking about doing a 5 chapter a day read again, just to get into the Word. But what I like about the plan that I have found online is that you are dipping in and out of a lot of books, which appeals to someone like myself. One chapter a day for a large book like Isaiah can mean that you are restricted for a long time in a daily scheme in one book.
The other aspect of this plan that is appealing is that you are constantly reading a different combination of books; I have noticed already in my reading how one Old Testament book marvellously illuminates a New Testament book, for example reading any gospel with the closing chapters of Isaiah is wonderful, and also reading something like Leviticus with Hebrews is fabulous. I will give this a go and see what I’m getting in a month or so’s time.
For those who don’t want to click the link, the basic plan is below. You read ten chapters a day, from ten different lists. It is a more ambitious plan than a ‘read the Bible in a year’ scheme, which really isn’t enough if you’re wanting to get your blood to run bibline, like John Wesley.
THE TEN LISTS:
List 1 (89 days)
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
List 2 (187 days)
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
List 3 (78 days)
Romans, I&II Cor, Gal, Eph, Phil, Col, Hebrews
List 4 (65 days)
I&II Thess, I&II Tim, Titus, Philemon, James, I&II Peter, I,II&III John, Jude, Revelation
List 5 (62 days)
Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
List 6 (150 days)
List 7 (31 days)
List 8 (249 days)
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I&II Samuel, I&II Kings, I&II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther
List 9 (250 days) Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah,
Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
List 10 (28 days)
SECRETS TO SUCCESS WITH THIS SYTEM:
• Read one chapter from each list each day, in one sitting or two. At the end of a book, go to the next book. At the end of the list – start it again. Do it in the order given above.
• Read quickly (without “speedreading”) in order to get the overall sense. Read as fast as you comfortably can with moderate retention. You’re not studying deeply or memorizing; shoot for 5-6 minutes per chapter. At the end of a chapter, move immediately to the next list.
• GET THROUGH THE TEXT – no dawdling, back-reading, looking up cross-references!
• There are different ‘kinds’ of reading: super-quick skimming, careful moderate-paced, studying the text, deep meditation. You should be between the first and second kind.
• Most people decrease their time spent and increase their retention after just two-three weeks! I now read and retain the entire text of Matthew in 35 minutes, Romans in 20, Genesis in *one hour*!
• Don’t look up anything you ‘don’t get’ – real understanding will come through contextualizing by reading a LOT of scripture over time. Get through the text!
• If you miss a day or two – ok, get over it, then keep going. Don’t cover yourself in sackcloth and ashes and quit! Move the bookmarks along, to find your place(s) quickly next day.
Heb 4:12&5:11-14; Eph 5:26&6:17; Col 3:16; 2 Tim 3:16; Ps 119; Ezra 8; Prov 3: 1-2, 10:14; Dan 1
Each day you will read one chapter from each list, in order. THAT’S RIGHT — *TEN CHAPTERS PER DAY*!!! Use ten bookmarks or sticky notes with the individual lists on them to keep track of your locations. (LOOK BELOW at the Wall for several posts on Feb 1 2009 and you will find links to handy bookmarks made by users.) On day one, you read Matthew 1, Genesis 1, Romans 1, and so forth. On day 2, read Matthew 2, Genesis 2, etc. On day 29, you will have just finished Matthew, so go to Mark 1 on the Gospel list; you’ll also be almost to the end of 2nd Corinthians and Proverbs, you’ll be reading Psalm 29 and Genesis 29, and so forth. When you reach the last chapter of the last book in a list – start over again. Rotate all the way through all the Scriptures constantly. Since the lists vary in length, the readings begin interweaving in constantly changing ways. You will NEVER read the same set of ten chapters together again! Every year you’ll read through all the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters 4-5 times each, the OT wisdom literature six times, all the Psalms at least twice, all the Proverbs as well as Acts a dozen times, and all the way through the OT History and prophetic books about 1 ½ times. Since the interweaving is constantly changing, you will experience the Bible commenting *on itself* in constantly changing ways — the Reformer’s principle of ‘scriptura interpretans scripturam’ — ‘scripture interpreting scripture’ IN ACTION!