Monday, August 18, 2008

Daily Bible Reading Programs

Over the years I have used several types of daily Bible reading programs, those programs designed to help you read the entire Bible in a single year. One I have used on several occasions is the program developed by Robert Murray M'Cheyne and published by Banner of Truth. Each day you will read from at least 4 different books (both Old and New Testament) and will ultimately read through the Psalms and the New Testament twice. I enjoy this approach very much.

This past Christmas one of my daughters purchased for me a Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), a newer translation I did not own. Just before the new year began, I ran across a Bible reading program by John R. Kohlenberger III, "Read Through the Bible in a Year". His approach follows the Bible chronologically. Not having pursued that approach before, I committed to use Kohlenberger's plan and my new HCSB for my 2008 Bible reading.

Today is August 18th and my readings are in Ezekiel. I have reached that time in Israel when the Kingdom of Judah falls to the Babylonians and is taken into captivity. As one would suspect, my journey so far has been exclusively Old Testament based. I do not begin the New Testament until September 30, though I would argue that part of John 1 should have been read in early January.

As I read, I mark those passages which jump out at me in one way or another. So my HCSB presently provides somewhat of a map of where I have been (and not been!). When I complete this year, it will reflect those moments in 2008 when the Lord impressed me while I was reading His Word. Of course, I suspect I will continue underlining in this translation during the coming years as well.

To date, the HCSB has been an enjoyable translation to read. However, I find the reading program somewhat burdensome. Let's face it. Even those of us who like reading the history of Israel, long for some New Testament from time to time! Waiting almost 10 months to reach ANY New Testament seems a bit too much.

So, while I will continue to use my HCSB in the future, I do not expect to embark on another year's journey through the Bible using a chronological approach. Once is quite enough, thank you very much!

Maybe I can find a reading program which reads the Old Testament and New Testament chronologically but at the same time. In other words, each day you read a bit from each Testament but do so in chronological order. That would be more tolerable.

Perhaps if such a program does not exist, I could develop my own.

If you have a favorite Bible reading program, I would be interested in knowing what it is.

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