Thursday, January 1, 2009

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Read Through the Bible in 2009!

A couple of months ago, I recommended some strategies for reading through the Bible in a year.  Just yesterday I had a conversation with a friend about this topic, so I thought today would be appropriate to recap my recommendations (I have added a One Year Bible widget along the right column of this page):  
1. Count the cost. Reading through Scripture is a great objective, but the time will come from somewhere. Be ready to commit.
2. 
Remember this is a Bible survey, not an in-depth study. The key is to keep moving. Feel free to skim the genealogies, for example.
3. 
Don't solve every theological conundrum. You're going to encounter lots of new material. Don't get bogged down every time you don't understand something, or you'll probably never finish. Just file it away as something you'd like to learn more about, and perhaps bring it to the group when you meet for discussion.
4. 
Link arms. The temptation to quit will be strong, especially if you fall behind. You'll need your group to stick together to keep everyone moving.
5. 
Don't overwhelm your group if they're not all on board. This is not for everyone nor every small group. There may be many reasons why people can't or won't commit to this. You'll need to either meet separately with those who choose to take the challenge, or be very creative with keeping the others involved without making them feel guilty.

You don't necessarily need to start in Genesis and plow through to Revelation. There are plenty of published plans available. 
Discipleship Journal has a number of good plans available for a fee, or there are some older ones available for free in the public domain (I've generally used this). The One Year Bible also has some free options.
Another friend reminded me of one more important point:  Use a readable version of the Bible!  I won't suggest a particular one, as this tends to be a point of personal preferance, but if you decide to read through the King James Version in a year, well, good luck with that ... ;)

Finally, if you're new to this idea and want to take smaller steps before committing to such a demanding endeavor, try reading through just the New Testament in 2009.

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