Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Again, the One Year Chronological Bible

Last year, I read the entire Bible. I did this with the help of The One Year Chronological Bible, (“OYCB) which, according to the cover, consists of the “entire New International Version in 365 daily readings arranged in the order the events actually occurred.”

It helped that I usually take MetroRail into work each business day, which gives me about 25 minutes to myself with no distractions. By the time I get half-way through the ride (about to the Earlington Heights Station), I am able to do an entire reading. I can do two readings on a complete ride, which I often must do on Monday and Tuesday to make up for sometimes missing the readings over the weekend. I was also assisted in this project by my friends at church who attended our Men’s Bible Study meetings. We had taken as a group project reading the Bible through and discussing at least once a week (and sometimes twice a week) what we found new or relevant or confusing (or all three).

Among the things that I learned is how much we miss of what the Bible says if we simply depend on the church’s formal program to educate us. I do not mean to be critical of formal programs (I include the sermons in this category), but we have to understand that what we get from them is someone else’s idea of what we should read or listen to, someone else’s agenda, as benign, well intentioned, and generally Spirit directed as it might be. Church programs are directed at a sort of common denominator, where each of us is uncommon. Reading the Bible directly, comprehensively, daily, where we have the rest of the day to allow the passage to wander around in our minds, in and out of the rooms of immediate and long-term memory, bumping into the furniture of our anxieties, values, expectations, and learned behaviors, is a different matter altogether. And it is enjoyable.

So I started all over again with the OYCB on Monday (I'm already behind!). This time I am going to try to keep a journal on what insights occur as I read through it.

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