“Bible Reading 2010” almost sounds like a title for a sci-fi thriller…at least to my “40-something” brain. Nonetheless, I thought I’d share my “high-tech” plan for Bible reading this year. My approach might be a little unorthodox and might even seem like overload to some personalities, but it works for me. I am a somewhat choleric (high-task) personality and I find that I work best with multiple goals, filters, and systems in my daily routine; it helps me focus and maintain a forward progress. Multiple layers (my filters) help to ensure that I stay on track with my daily reading too. If I miss one “filter” there are other layers to keep me connected to the daily word. My personal rule of life follows this structure and Bible reading is part of my rule of life, and so…
Bible Reading Plan 2010:
Revised Common Lectionary – Cycle C: I’m actually using two tools to follow the Lectionary. I’m using a book I enjoyed last year, Ancient Christian Devotional, as well as Living the Christian Year. Both of these books utilize the Lectionary which also tracks the cycle of the church calendar drawing from Old Testament, Psalms, Epistle, and Gospel readings through the week. The Ancient Christian Devotional also brings with it excerpts from the writings of the church fathers. These writings are among the classic Christian writings of church and Christian history. I am using the Lectionary readings as my lectio divina style of contemplative-meditative reading.
One Year Chronological Bible – NLT: This Bible seems to be one of our “family preferred” methods of reading the Bible. As part of our morning family devotions (Mon.-Fri.) we read chronologically. I love to read the Bible chronologically. It helps me (and us as a family) stay in the thick of the Biblical narrative…the story that is God and man; ultimately the story that is God and us. If you noticed, we join in family reading Monday thru Friday; we are responsible to “stay up with the story” reading the weekend texts individually.
The Wesley Study Bible – NSRV: I purchased this Bible last year with the plans to use it as my primary “reader” this year. I used the NLT (New Living Translation) Bible last year as my primary reader and prefer to change translation versions year-to-year in order to keep my brain confused (insert self-deprecating joke here). Personally, I think we can get used to a preferred version very quickly and our reading can become “lazy” or complacent. I don’t want this to happen to me, so I shake up my yearly reading with alternating translation versions. Another pleasant by-product of this approach is that it helps me with memorization. I remember where passages are by book, chapter, and verse because I am forced to by virtue of changing Bibles. When I was using one Bible as my primary tool, I got used to turning to a “certain page.” I’d look for a certain passage in a certain corner of a page or think, “it’s somewhere in this section…” Reading from multiple translations and Bibles helps me to overcome this deficiency. Another helpful aspect of this approach is that it keeps the language and interpretation fresh…which ultimately, helps me to be a better story-teller and communicator.
I continue to use a number of other tools for my reading and study, but these are my BIG THREE approach for this year. So, what plan or approach are you following? And, what versions or tools will you be using? Please feel free to share here in the comments section of my blog; I’d love to hear from you!