I’m not reading through the Bible in 2016. If you didn’t do it last year, or reading the Bible counts as work time for you, go ahead and do it. There are tons of plans out there to choose from. But as for me, reading through the Bible is something I only do every other year.
Why? It’s not that I have anything against it. Reading the Bible is a good thing. However, the pace of a thru-the-Bible-in-a-year plan doesn’t leave me with enough time for giving a passage the amount of attention I prefer for in-depth study. That’s why, every other year, I get to spend a couple weeks at a time working through a book or two rather than breezing through them—especially New Testament epistles—in a day or two.
I’m also working on improving my Greek and Hebrew this year. Today I covered about half of a chapter in Matthew and half of a chapter in 1 Samuel. The pace may be slow, but I’m benefitting from the time spent reading and translating each verse. In the midst of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount I was struck by his sudden calling out of the scribes and Pharisees in verse 20. By saying that his hearers ought to live more righteously than the scribes and the Pharisees if they want to enter the kingdom of heaven, Jesus was pointing out that they weren’t making it. A good reminder that self-righteousness isn’t righteousness in God’s eyes.
Being able to take whole books of the Bible one verse at a time without worrying about whether or not I’m on schedule to finish by December 31st is great for me. Next January I can get back on my Bible-in-a-year plan, but for now I’m going to take it slow.
How about you? Do you follow a Bible reading plan? How are you reading the Bible this year?