Written by O. Palmer Robertson |
Tuesday, January 2, 2024
Many people find that first thing in the morning is their best time for reading God’s Word. But that doesn’t work for everyone, or for every season of life. The more important thing is not when you read but that you read. Use lunchtime, break time or bedtime depending on what works best for you. In any case, develop a consistent habit of reading God’s holy, inspired, infallible and inerrant Word, so that it becomes part of the rhythm of your life, for the rest of your life.
5 Days per week Bible Reading Program
Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2
Most Christians would agree that it would be a great blessing and very desirable to read the whole Bible through every year. But saying is easier than doing. How many of us have begun on January 1 full of good intentions, and by January 18 we have given up? There are many reasons why we fail, but we should not forget that we are all involved in high stakes spiritual warfare. Satan does not want believers to regularly be listening to, and being transformed by, the living word of the living God. The Bible reading plan that follows is offered to you as an encouragement not to give up, but to try again.
- 5 days per week
Unlike many Bible-in-a-year reading plans, this one schedules only five days per week rather than seven. So, although each day’s readings are a little longer, it provides a way of catching up for those who fall behind in their readings. Or if you get ahead, you can take time out for a deeper study of some part of scripture without getting behind.
- A Redemptive-historical approach.
Instead of reading the Old Testament from beginning to end in the order in which the books appear in our Bibles, these readings are arranged in such a way that the reader can follow the unfolding story of God’s redemption of his people.
- Chronological order
The readings are arranged as much as possible in chronological order. For example, parallel readings in Kings and Chronicles are read alongside one another. The prophets are slotted into the reading of the historical books according to the time in history when the prophet was ministering (as far as we can determine). Some of the chapters in Jeremiah and Daniel are read out of biblical order so that they follow a more chronological order.
- One Gospel each quarter
Instead of reading all four gospels one after the other, each quarter includes one of the gospels, in the order they were most likely written: Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.
- New Testament phases of revelation
The New Testament readings are arranged in the following order:
Quarter 1: Mark and early apostolic witnesses: Acts 1-12, James, Hebrews, 1 Peter, Acts 13-28. These books record the actions and writings of the apostles as the early church was first being established, initially with Jewish converts and then increasingly with believers from all the other nations. In coordination with Acts 1-12, James appears to have been written early in the life of the church, while Hebrews seems to have been written while the temple in Jerusalem was still standing (i.e. before AD 70 when the temple was destroyed). According to tradition, 1 Peter was written from Rome before his martyrdom in the AD 60s. Acts 13-28 provides the background for Paul’s early letters.