Back in my January 14th post, I had 2 brief book reviews and shared my Bible reading plan using this Bible: The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order (NIV) by Harvest House Publishers.
My original “flexible” plan was to try reading through this Bible as quickly as possible – maybe 6 months. Well, at this point, I have kept closer to a read through the Bible in 1 year schedule. So, not as fast as I’d hoped, but still moving right along. I’m in 2 Samuel now.
I do highly recommend this chronological and narrated Bible to you. By chronological, it means the books and passages are not in the same order or structure as a regular Bible. Rather it has been arranged chronologically. And by narrated, it means that every few pages there is a section in red (to clearly distinguish it from the actual Scripture) where the author F. LaGard Smith summarizes/interprets what is happening in the biblical story. Mostly it is just summarizing (which is helpful as it prepares you for what you are about to read) but at times there is interpretation or explanation as well.
One reason (my excuse – ha ha) that I’ve not kept the pace I originally hoped for was that this Bible decided to put all of the laws together. All laws pertaining to a certain issue were placed together no matter from where in the Pentateuch. The author explains his reasons for this, which made sense, but it made for a really long section to get through. At least in a regular Bible, the laws are interspersed, at least somewhat, with narrative. So…my reading really slowed down in that section. Now that I’ve gotten through it, my pace has speed up. Except for the clumping together of the laws, I’m really enjoying both the chronological and narrative aspects of this Bible.
Regardless, I’ve not followed a check-off plan but just try to read what I can. There are days I read only a page or two, days I read many pages, and days I skip and read nothing. Hey, I’m honest. This works for me. Other people may need more structure or a specific check-off plan. But that discourages me. If I get behind and see un-checked boxes, it makes me feel a failure or that I’ll never catch up, so I just give up and quit. Not good. A more casual plan works better for me. I read what I can and keep plugging away.
Besides this Bible, I’ve also read through 7 New Testament books for a class at church (John, 1,2, and 3rd John, James, Jude, Revelation). And as for other books besides the Bible, I’ve read 19 books so far this year. 20th is in progress which is: The Cross of Christ by John Stott. Oh, and my spouse and I are reading through a book, out loud, together: The Reason for God by Timothy Keller. Both are exceptional and worthwhile. I’ve long wanted to read Stott’s classic work on the cross of Christ.
Feel free to share what you are reading or your Bible reading progress.