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The Bible Again

Yesterday, I finished reading the Bible from cover to cover.  For the first time in my life.  And I’ve been in ministry for 5 years.  I am ashamed which is why I confess it – I have, by God’s grace, overcome at least a portion of my undisciplined life and I am grateful.  I followed the Bible in 90 Days plan but finished about four days early because I was so close to the end that I just kept reading. 

My wife said I should celebrate so I did.

By starting over 🙂

I tried to read quickly the first time to get a good overview and now I’m going to go a little more slowly and pick up some details that I missed the first time around which were legion.  This iteration will involve, at the minimum, my naming of the chapters (one of the first steps in the inductive method) and general observations of the Bible.  For instance, I just finished the first 16 chapters of Genesis and one of the things I noticed was some similarities between Noah and Abram.  Both were told to “Go” by God – Noah in Chp. 8 and Abram in Chp. 12.  They were told to “Go” from places not their home – the ark for Noah and Haran for Abram.  They both received promises from God – never to destroy the earth with a flood for Noah and land and offspring for Abram.  They both entered into covenant with God as a ratification of those promises and those covenants involved symbols – the rainbow for Noah and the pot and torch passing through the sacrificed animals for Abram (circumcision is on the horizon, too). 

Those observations may not add up to anything but I thought they were interesting nonetheless.  I doubt I’ll blog the next 90 days of Bible reading but I might bring out what I’ve found from time to time.

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  1. July 23, 2008 at 7:11 am

    Thanks for admitting this, you’ve given me encouragement. I feel like I’ve read all over the bible (which may be a style of reading perhaps, or maybe just an excuse), but I haven’t read it straight through. Maybe I’ll pick up one of these books.

  2. Matthew Johnson
    July 23, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I resonate with the “all over the Bible” comment. In seminary I had the Pentateuch, Jeremiah, the Minor Prophets, Matthew, Hebrews, and Revelation. That’s a pretty broad reading but I never read the whole thing for myself.

    You can go to the 90 Days website and, I think, find the reading schedule. It may actually be under the listening schedule. I usually “round up” and finish the chapter when they want to break a chapter into 2 days.

  3. July 27, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    I had Minor Prophets, Jeremiah, Mark, and the General Epistles! Asbury will definitely force you into the bible “in depth,” if not totally “in breadth!”

  4. Matthew Johnson
    July 29, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    I guess you had Stone for Jeremiah, eh? He was probably my favorite professor while I was there. Easily the most entertaining 🙂

  5. July 30, 2008 at 7:06 am

    For the past few years, I have used Ellsworth Kalas’ ‘The Grand Sweep’, which takes you through the whole Bible in a year and has some pretty good reflections for each day. It’s good, with the exception that sometimes some of the OT legal stuff and census listings in the Pentateuch seem like they will go on forever.

    In the 90 day approach, how much time are you spending per day reading? It must be considerable. In ‘The Grand Sweep’, if you keep up with the schedule, you only have to read 3 to 4 chapters each day.

  6. Matthew Johnson
    July 31, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Andrew, it’s kind of hard to tell. This time, for instance, I’m naming chapters and trying to note some structural observations in a notebook so I think it’s taking me about 45 minutes to read anywhere from 11-16 chapters at a time. In the Bible in 90 Days Bible, it’s an easy 12 pages every day. This time I’m reading it in my preaching Bible that has more pages and smaller print.

    I’m about to finish up Leviticus after I post this comment and I’ll admit it: I enjoy Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Actually, I enjoy pretty much the whole Bible except for Job 🙂

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