Nine years ago, I decided that I would read the Bible clear through. I thought I could do it in a year reading three or four chapters a day. Instead it has taken me about nine. If I had averaged one chapter a day I could have read the 1189 chapters in a little over three years so you can see I fell off the pace a little bit. I kept coming back to it though.
I skipped around quite a bit alternating the Old Testament with the New.
It was interesting. I read all the parts of the Bible that maybe are considered “filler” for one reason or another. All the dietary laws for instance. All the genealogy for another. I don’t have any big spiritual insights for reading it all. But the book does have great power. I can sense that. Somehow, it all hangs together and tells a story of a living God who acted in history to make great things happen.
My favorite books, Genesis in the Old Testament. The beginning and the subsequent stories are wonderful. Man keeps messing up and God keeps forgiving and blessing us. Sorry I am not a biblical literalist. The universe is several billion years old, and I believe in natural selection, and evolution and all the rest. The important thing is that God put us here and we are his people. Whether it took him a day or nine billion years matters not a whit to me. People who agitate otherwise are just pursuing, wittingly or unwittingly, the Wedge Strategy, designed to gather political power.
My favorite book of the New Testament is the Gospel of John. So mysterious. I love the questions more than answers. I have always distrusted people that had have all the answers. I want to hear good questions. That is where you learn things.
My favorite Bible Story, that is a no-brainer. Chapter 37 of Ezekiel, the Valley of Dry Bones story. Where Ezekiel in a dream like state has a vision of dry bones coming together and getting covered by tendons, flesh, and skin and coming alive. I love it. I see and hear all these bones snapping and crackling together and coming to life. It has been my favorite story most of my life.
Strange stories? The Bible has a bunch of them. Talking Donkeys, bears killing children for mocking a bald man, and check out Genesis 6:1-4 about the Sons of God marrying the “Daughters of Men.” Uhh, you ever hear a sermon on that?
Anyhow, I am glad that I did it, and although it took me quite a while to get it done, it did involve lots and lots of reading. I can’t say that I made any great spiritual insights. In my opinion, an important part of Bible Study is discussion and focus. Reading it the way I did, one loses a lot of context. So I doubt I will do it again. I think I will look around for Bible Studies or Bible reading programs where I can get some more background, discussion, and context on what I am reading.
But hey, if you want to give it try, you might want to sign up at Operation Read Bible