Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Reading the Word of God


Read the Bible in 67 Days!

For a downloadable PDF version of this click here: ccmbooks.org

There are many Christians who read the Scriptures sporadically in time and place. In other words, they read the Scriptures “now and then” and “here and there.” They gravitate to their favorite chapters. If asked the last time they had read the New Testament through, they would not be sure they had ever read it through. Consequently there is an appalling ignorance of the God’s Word in the body of Christ, and a consequent lack of obedience. Listening to the best Bible teachers in the world will not make up for the personal ignorance of the individual.

There are several reasons why there is an unwillingness to read through the New Testament or the Bible: 1) “It is difficult to understand the “thees and thous.” 2) “I ran into the “begats.” 3) “When I don’t understand a verse, I stay with it, trying to understand it; so then I don’t progress.” 4) “It’s dull reading.” 5) “It’s too long; it would take forever.”

Here are a few suggestions to overcome these complaints.

First, obtain a Bible. Here are Bibles that are available, with reading levels by school grade.

Formal-equivalent translations of the Bible: The translators attempt a word-for-word translation and try to preserve word order and sentence structure.

King James Version/12th
New American Standard/11th
New American Bible/10th
Revised Standard Version/11th
New King James Version/9th

The Revised Standard, New American Standard and New King James are all revisions of the King James. The New King James used the same Greek text as the King James. The New American Bible is a Roman Catholic Bible; it is a revision of the Rheims-Douay Version which was translated from the Latin.

Paraphrase versions of the Bible: These are restatements of the message spoken in a style that is “easy listening” and using words that are contemporary.

Living Bible/8th
Message/8th

The Living Bible was written by Kenneth Taylor and was originally used for reading to his own children. The Message is also a paraphrase by an individual and contains very contemporary language.

Dynamic-equivalent versions of the Bible: The translators attempt to produce a translation which is closest in meaning and style: a thought-for-thought translation.

New International Version/7th
Today’s English Version/5th

The New International Version was a translation commissioned by the International Bible Society using many scholars from several English-speaking countries. It was the first translation of the Bible to outsell the King James Version. Today’s English Version was translated for people whose second language is English.

(The following translations have adopted gender-neutral nouns and pronouns, which is not honest translation and we do not recommend them: New Revised Standard/10th, New Living Translation/6th, New Century Version/3rd and Contemporary English Version/5th.)

Second, the genealogies in the New Testament take up less than two chapters total in Matthew and Luke. If they are a problem to you, skip them. Then go back over then separately; it will take only five minutes. They are important or they would not be there. However, they are not intended to stop you from reading the rest of the New Testament.

Third, when you read, do not stop for hard-to-understand passages; keep reading. They will make more sense because you kept reading. They will make even more sense the second time through.

Fourth, if you think the Bible is dull reading, start with exciting parts like Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.

Fifth, if you are a slow reader (150 words a minute), the whole Bible would take only 80 hours of reading. The reason it takes so long is the days, weeks, or months you do not read from it at all.

Sixth, a schedule may help some of you. If you read four chapters each day, only Matthew and Acts would take a week to read. All of the rest (25 books) would take less than a week, and of those, 17 have from one to six chapters each, so you would finish reading each in a maximum of one and a half days.

The object is to know God and obey Him more and more. The object is not to finish so you can say, “I finished.” You cannot say that you know what God wants from you without knowing all His revelation and knowing His revelation well.

Reading Schedule:

1 – Matthew 1-4
2 – Matthew 5-8
3 – Matthew 9-12
4 – Matthew 13-16
5 – Matthew 17-20
6 – Matthew 21-24
7 – Matthew 25-28
8 – Mark 1-4
9 – Mark 5-8
10 – Mark 9-12
11 – Mark 13-16
12 – Luke 1-4
13 – Luke 5-8
14 – Luke 9-12
15 – Luke 13-16
16 – Luke 17-20
17 – Luke 21-24
18 – John 1-4
19 – John 5-8
20 – John 9-12
21 – John 13-16
22 – John 17-21
23 – Acts 1-4
24 – Acts 5-8
25 – Acts 9-12
26 – Acts 13-16
27 – Acts 17-20
28 – Acts 21-24
29 – Acts 25-28
30 – Romans 1-4
31 – Romans 5-8
32 – Romans 9-12
33 – Romans 13-16
34 – 1 Corinthians 1-4
35 – 1 Corinthians 5-8
36 – 1 Corinthians 9-12
37 – 1 Corinthians 13-16
38 – 2 Corinthians 1-4
39 – 2 Corinthians 5-8
40 – 2 Corinthians 9-13
41 – Galatians 1-3
42 – Galatians 4-6
43 – Ephesians 1-3
44 – Ephesians 4-6
45 – Philippians 1-4
46 – Colossians 1-4
47 – 1 Thessalonians 1-5
48 – 2 Thessalonians 1-3
49 – 1 Timothy 1-3
50 – 1 Timothy 4-6
51 – 2 Timothy 1-3
52 – Titus 1-3 and Philemon
53 – Hebrews 1-4
54 – Hebrews 5-8
55 – Hebrews 9-13
56 – James 1-5
57 – 1 Peter 1-5
58 – 2 Peter 1-3
59 – 1 John 1-5
60 – 2 John
61 – 3 John
62 - Jude
63 – Revelation 1-4
64 – Revelation 5-8
65 – Revelation 9-12
66 – Revelation 13-16
67 – Revelation 17-20

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