Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Long-Term: The One Year Chronological Bible

How many different ways can you read or study the Bible? Well, there's the Revised Common Lectionary approach where you read the selected readings each week. After three years, you will have finished the whole Bible. If you want to go faster, you can figure out how many pages per day you'd have to read to finish in two years or whatever time period you choose. Several Christian organizations have Bible reading plans. The Lookout magazine offers a good one. On About.com, there's a list of five excellent Bible reading plans.

I'm lazy when it comes to leafing through the Bible to read multiple selections in different parts of the Bible each day, though. A couple of years ago, I acquired a chronological Bible published by Zondervan. My edition is the New International Version published in 1995. A new edition came out in 2007, and there are several editions using other translations. Visit Amazon for a list of what's available.

The chronological arrangement helps you see the Biblical timeline like no other method I've used. You don't read the Bible straight through in the customary order. For example, Job was written much earlier than other books of the Bible, even parts of Genesis. So...you'll be reading Job in January rather than later in the year as you would in a traditional year-long Bible reading plan. Some events in Samuel are also mentioned in Judges, so the two accounts are usually presented in the same day's readings.

I really like the fact that I don't have to continually look up the readings. There's a list of daily readings, a general timeline in table format, and a timeline graphic among other study helps. I highly recommend reading the Bible this way at least once. Sometimes you can find used or overstock copies at http://www.half.com/ or http://www.abebooks.com/.

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