“Big Picture” Summer Reading

There are many ways to read the Bible.  If your goal is to read the Bible in a year then read four chapters a day.  If you want to read the Bible devotionally you can meditate on a verse or a short passage.  Memorizing Scripture is another good way to internalize the Scriptures.  In the past several years I have discovered the importance of reading each book of the Bible in its entirety in a single sitting, or if the book is longer, over the course of a couple days.  I think it is important that we read the entirety of each book of the Bible over a short period of time in order to understand the big picture.  We will miss the “big picture” if we take long breaks in-between readings or jump around between books.

We all know that this method makes since in how we approach other literature.  When I pick up a book on World War II, I know that I am to read the book in its entirety if I want to accurately understand the background, occasion, purpose, people and events in the war.  Similarly, when I read a Harry Potter novel I know that I need to read it cover to cover to understand the storyline.  I would not get the entire story of WWII or Harry Potter if I only read bits and pieces of the book or took long breaks in between readings.  I think we need to remember that each book the New Testament was written to be read in its entirety by early Christians in worship.

Many of us make goals for summer reading.  Here’s a goal: Read the entire New Testament this summer by reading each book in one sitting, or in a couple of sittings.  If you do this you will gain a greater understanding of the “big picture” that was intended.

Here’s a proposed schedule for reading the New Testament during the summer months:

  • Week 1:               Matthew- 145 min
  • Week 2:               Mark- 90 min
  • Week 3:               Luke- 155 min
  • Week 4:               John- 121 min
  • Week 5:               Acts- 135 min
  • Week 6:               Romans- 62 min
  • Week 7:               1Corinthians- 57 min
  • Week 8:               2 Corinthians- 37 min; Galatians- 19 min
  • Week 9:               Ephesians- 19 min; Philippians- 14 min; Colossians- 13 min; Philemon- 3 min
  • Week 10:             1 & 2 Thessalonians- 18 min; 1 & 2 Timothy- 26 min; Titus- 7 min
  • Week 11:             Hebrews- 48 min; James- 16 min
  • Week 12:             1&2 Peter- 30 min; 1-3 John- 22 min; Jude- 5 min
  • Week 13:             Revelation- 82.5 min
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