Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

19 July 2009

Reading the Bible - Plan B

I try to read right through the Bible each year and I have various reading plans (borrowed and invented) to organise my reading. Last year I embarked on different plan because I wanted to read the gospels more frequently (the reason for that is a post in itself…maybe for another time!) so I devised a plan (Plan A) that enabled me to read through the Old Testament once, the New Testament twice and each of the gospels ten times.

That plan roughly went - OT book, NT book, three Psalms, one gospel, next OT book, next NT book, next three Psalms, next gospel and so on.

I have decided to leave that plan with six months left. I have reached the Prophets…a bit of a biblical black hole for me…and I want to spend some time concentrating on that area.

So one of the things I did during the holidays was to revise my Bible reading plan to the end of 2009.

And here it is...Plan B.

July – finish Proverbs*, Ecclesiastes*, Isaiah, 4 lots of three Psalms & Romans**

August –Song of Songs*, Jeremiah, Lamentations, 4 lots of three Psalms & Romans

September – Ezekeil, Daniel, 4 lots of three Psalms & Romans

October – Hosea through to Micah, 4 lots of three Psalms & Romans

November – Nahum through to Malachi, 4 lots of three Psalms & Romans

December – all four gospels – one a week.

* These OT books aren't part of the writing of the Prophets, but I didn't get to them before the plan changed.
** And Romans is a book of the New Testament.

Plan B achieves the following things…
* Finish off the books I didn't cover from the Old Testament from Plan A so that I've read through the whole Bible over these last two years.
* Finish reading the Psalms – which I read three at a time for a day's reading.
* Spend time reading through all the Prophets – major and minor – at a slightly slower pace. I usually aim for four chapters of the Bible a day but the slower pace will leave some time for some basic reading of commentaries so that I can establish the basics of which prophet goes with which kingdom and king.
* Have five runs through Romans – another biblical black hole!
* December is left free to read through all four gospels in the lead up to Christmas.

Next year, at this stage, I hope to study the Prophets in greater depth again. Between now and 1st January 2010 I will be working out a plan that allows for this but doesn't neglect the rest of the Bible. I'm not sure how that is going to work as yet but I have six months to pray, think and plan that out. No doubt I will keep you posted.


Sharon said...

Wow! That is awesome! I studied Romans for a whole year with BSF a while ago and it was magnificent.

I have just been reading Martin Luther's TableTalk (thanks to Matt & Bec's library, which we are providing a home for), and this post reminds me of something I have read:

" Let us hold the Bible in precious esteem, and diligently read it. ... No greater mischief can happen to a Christian people, than to have God's word taken from them, or falsified, so that they no longer have it pure and clear."

If God's word is made very familiar to you through repeated reading, almost to the point of memorisation, it can never be taken from you.

~ Sharon

Meredith said...

Thanks Sharon. I always appreciate your enthusiasm!

Reading over Romans several times should be good actually. Romans has always been an enigma for me - and I guess I am not alone in that - and I added further baggage to it by trying to the Moore College PTC subject on Romans four times!! Four failed attempts (I never made it as far as an exam) were in part due to the difficulty of the subject matter and in part due to circumstances of the time, making the study next to impossible. So I always get to Romans with a degree of trepidation - be it real or imagined.

Last year I decided to just take good courage and read fast - not dwelling over the bits I didn't get - and I flew over it a couple of times and had a great time! So I am hoping that doing this one or more times per month (depending on how the month goes) will help bits of it seep in and then I'll be ready to do some more intensive study of it down the track.

As for the prophets, I think it is going to pan out that I scamper over the major prophets and dwell a bit more on the minor prophets this year. And then I will probably do the reverse next year.

Reading the Bible is such a wonder.