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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Through the Bible in a Year, No Schedule Reqiured

Today, J. Jackson of Christian parody band ApologetiX shared in the band's newsletter his strategy for reading through the whole Bible, something he has done many times over the years (I'm only halfway through my first trip... I've got some catching up to do!) He doesn't even use a schedule or written-out plan at all. Here's how he does it:
I should finish my annual trip through the Bible this Sunday. That means I should start my next trip on Monday. It usually takes me about 355 days. This year, I'm reading a Psalm a day, too, so I finished sooner. Wanna come along? Why wait till New Year's to start? Here's what works for me:

You can read through the Bible in less than a year if you just do three chapters a day, except Psalms. The Psalms are shorter and more plentiful, so do 10 of those a day when you get to them. (You might want to take a whole day for Psalm 119, though.) Or just read three chapters a day plus one Psalm, and you'll finish 15 days sooner, plus you'll read through Psalms at least twice.

I try to end each day's reading on a chapter number that's a multiple of three. If a book has one chapter more than a multiple of three, I'll read four chapters the final day. If it has two chapters more, I'll read only two chapters on that day. Genesis has 50 chapters, so I read 48 chapters in 16 days, and two chapters on the 17th day. Exodus has 40, so I read 36 in 12 days, and four on the 13th day.

What about books with fewer than three chapters? When I get to the last three chapters of Amos, I also read Obadiah (one chapter). When I read Titus (three chapters), I also read Philemon (one chapter). The other three one-chapter books all come in a row, so I read 2 John, 3 John, and Jude the same day. Haggai is the only two-chapter book in the Bible, so it gets a day all to itself.
If you've been following my progress since January, you already know that J's mentions in the ApologetiX newsletter were one of the reasons I started on this project this year. I've been amazed at what I've learned about the Bible this year... and I was no slouch when it comes to Bible knowledge already. Nothing beats reading the whole thing for yourself! With J's plan, all you need is a bookmark to keep your place. No chart to mark, no calendar to write on, no nothing. Just you, your bookmark, and the Word. And most Bibles have a ribbon bookmark built right in... how handy is that?

(An added bonus: by the end of the year you'll be a whiz at your three times tables!)

By the way: you should check out and give the band's parodies a listen. Concerned that they might not play your style of music? Well, if it's pop or rock or country of pretty much any era, they've got you covered. They even occasionally bust out with the occasional rap song! Take a look at this news item about their upcoming "Classics" series of CDs. We've heard them live, and they are incredible... and the song lyrics are so packed with Bible information that it's amazing. I was going to say it's "...not even funny" but that would be untrue... often the parodies are both highly Scriptural, and tears-in-your-eyes hysterical! The perfect soundtrack for your three-chapters-a-day reading the Bible through in only 355 days!

Here's a list of most of their CDs!

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