Friday, July 8, 2011

Reading through the Bible Cover to Cover

I finished reading through the Chronological Bible on June 25th!  My goal was to do it in 6 months, and I was happy to finish it within that time.
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The reason?  I have fallen in love again with Scripture. 

 In April 2010, I was challenged by Keith Ferrin  to read through the Bible.  I hadn't done it for a long time, it was before I went to seminary, so I took the challenge and started to read it cover to cover.  It was an amazing experience.  The Lord met me over and over as I immersed myself in his Word.  I found myself in a place of peace and contentment that thrilled me; and each day was a new adventure as I read through each book.

I finished around the middle of December, and so I wondered what my next step should be.  I picked up a copy of the Chronological Bible:  it is arranged in a linear fashion, rather than how it is usually arranged by genre: Pentatauch, History books, wisdom, major prophets, minor prophets, Gospels, Acts, Letters of Paul, letters from other writers, Revelations.

One of the things that I liked about the Chronological Bible is that it read more like a novel than being so broken up by book, chapter and verse.  I think that we miss so much when we only read bits and pieces of the Bible.... we miss the overarching story of God which is the foundation of our faith. 

The Old Testament was fasinating.  Even though I have a seminary education, I was never completely clear which prophet went with which King or which century. The Chronological Bible intersperses the prophets with the kings and with even the Psalms and Proverbs.  I came away from reading the Old Testament feeling much more sure of how the whole story flows, but more importantly, I heard clearly the broken heart of God through it.  He wanted so much for his people to recognize his love and faithfulness to them, but they had awfully short memories.

The New Testament wasn't as different, but once again, I liked having the letters of Paul coming after Acts listed his missionary journies.  I liked how the Gospels had many of the same stories, but from the different viewpoints.

Last December, I sent my parents two chronological Bibles with a challenge to read them this year.  They are eagerly doing it and enjoying the process.

Today, I will make the same challenge to you with a money back guarantee. 

If you finish your Chronological Bible in one year, I will buy it from you!  Just let me know when you are starting and how much you paid for it, and if you come back to me within a year, I will buy it from you if you didn't feel like it was a worthwhile and fruitful experience.  If you did gain a lot from it; then you were given a gift that far outweighs the cost of the Bible!

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