Tag Archive for 'Bible reading'

Reading James 20 Times

I just got through reading James 20 times. Here is a post about this method.

I picked James because I just got done spending a lot of time in Proverbs, and James has many similarities, which will be shown in a future post. It’s also a small book so it would be easy to read 20 times on my first time doing it. And I need to work on how I say and write things and not just say whatever comes to mind without thinking about how it might affect people.

I would love to read every book of the Bible 20 times but I don’t think that will happen. I will definitely do it with Colossians when I study it thoroughly. Doing this with the whole Bible would be pretty incredible.

I took the opportunity to read just about every translation that I have in book form and also put a few of them on my Nokia eReader.

Here are the translations used. REB is my primary translation.

1-GW
2-GW
3-REB
4-REB
5-REB
6-GNT
7-MSG*
8-NCV*
9-Amplified
10-CEV*
11-NLT
12-CEB
13-TNIV
14-NRSV
15-HCSB
16-ISV*
17-GW/NLT (some comparison)
18-Lattimore
19-ESV
20-REB

* These are the ones I don’t have in book form.

I was surprised at how much I like the CEV. The Amplified was the only one I really didn’t like at all. It has brackets for alternative renderings, paragraphs and italic text that drives me nuts. I will never read that one again. Edit: Brian said it’s the multiple choice Bible.

I can’t say I got anything special from it. I think it would be better to use one or maybe two translations, using your primary translations for the majority of the readings. It was interesting to read all of those translations, but I think using one or two would somehow bring more out of it than reading such a diverse mix. You would also better know where things are. Even after reading it 19 times, I couldn’t remember where a passage was in James during group Bible study. I think if I read the same translation I would be able to see in my mind where on the page it was.

I think this would be a great thing to do before studying a book of the Bible. Familiarity is what it’s supposed to bring about. Then you can study it after getting to know it so well.

Before studying Proverbs I read it about 6-7 times and that was at least as valuable as reading James 20 times. I would encourage you to try it, especially if you will be studying a smaller book of the Bible.

20x Bible Reading Method

After reading and writing about the 20x Bible reading method, I’ve decided–I think with a nudge from the Holy Spirit while reviewing memorized verses from it–to read James multiple times. I’m not going to commit to a certain number of times, but knowing me I’ll probably feel like a wimp if I don’t do 20. Plus I’ll probably miss out on God speaking more from it.

Since I’m studying Proverbs, I’ve been making parallels to James, the ‘wisdom book of the New Testament’. (I plan on posting that.) It makes a perfect book to read in this way because of the subject matter for me right now and its length.

I think I’d like to read it multiple times in my primary and secondary translations and then use all the Bibles I have for the last 6-7 times. Or is it 8-9? I’ve lost count. Maybe I’ll put the ISV on my eBook reader too. (David Black bait.) The Lattimore NT, with its lack of headings, verse and chapter numbers, might be good for this type of thing too.

Now that I’m writing about it, I’m really looking forward to it.

It will also make me feel superior and make God like me better. The real reason for writing this post is to see if anyone else has done this and to report back with anything I may have learned that might encourage others to try it, like so many older and wiser people who have gone before and encouraged me. God showing His love for what He did on the cross is what’s indicative, not how many times we read the Bible or anything we do.

Romans 9:16 HCSB
So then it does not depend on human will or effort, but on God who shows mercy.

2 Timothy 4:13
When you come, bring the cloak I left in Troas with Carpus, as well as the scrolls, especially the parchments.

Professor Horner’s Bible Reading Plan Redux

I wrote a post called Professor Horner’s Bible Reading Plan. Tim Challies just wrote an encouraging post titled Ten Chapters Per Day if you’re interested in reading more about it.

I was planning on starting this next year but I think I would like to start it when my Greek learning has slowed down and I’m mainly reading Greek along with something to help me through it and when I’m done concentrating on the OT for now. I’m thinking second half of next year to 2012.

Bible Reading Roundup

I started my first day of reading through the Old Testament using the NLT 24/7 Chronological Bible. I’m really looking forward to it.

I apologize for any repeats in these links.

Hold the presses! Be sure to see On Reading the Scriptures, Part I by Esteban Vázquez.

Nobody said you must read the entire Bible in exactly a year. You can read it in two months, which gives you a great overview if you’re able to do it. (I did it once and I’m not sure if I could do it again.) Or you can read it in two years. Justin Taylor points us to other plans in a post titled Bible Reading Plan for Shirkers and Slackers (also mentioned by Louis).

If you haven’t ever read the Bible you may want to start with one of the gospels, like the book of John. You can read three paragraphs a day if you’d like. Then maybe choose a plan that has an Old Testament and a New Testament reading each day. The important thing is to read it. One paragraph a day is infinitely better than nothing.

YouVersion has 20+ Bible Reading Plans

These are mainly for reading on a hand held type device but it could give you ideas for what’s out there in any case. You can access the plan through their web site, your mobile phone and using RSS.
Reading Plans

It case you’re wondering, as I’ve mentioned before I’ll be using the NLT 24/7 Chronological Bible for the OT next year and then for now plan to read using Professor Horner’s system in 2011.

Have you ever posted the same thing twice and didn’t realize it? In addition to the link above I also posted this on Horner’s reading plan back in August. My brain is pretty amazing.

Bible and Devotional Reading for 2010

Now is a time when people think about Bible reading and devotional reading for the next year.

Although I’ll be reading through the Old Testament using NLT’s 24/7, I’m extremely interested in Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System which Nathan W. Bingham wrote about. I’d like to use that system in 2011. There is a link on Nathan’s site to a Scribd document of the system. However I found him on Facebook and found this link to a PDF file which you can download. Nathan’s site has bookmark images in Photoshop format if you want to use those for any reason.

Does anyone use this system?

For devotionals, there are a lot of hokey ones out there that aren’t much worth reading, especially if you want to learn something specifically about Scripture each day. Tim Challies has a Daily Devotional Roundup which includes a lot of good ones.

Couldn’t the elders and angels in Revelation do something useful?

In Revelation we read over and over again about how those in heaven fall down and worship God. When I was reading Revelation I was sarcastically thinking, “Couldn’t they do something useful? (See the recent post on doing and serving.)

Doing and serving is important. TC talks about actions in a legitimate way. Knowing TC, he’s not talking about this as the main thing without putting the utmost importance on knowing God through Bible reading and prayer.

To know that God gave us the Bible and to say that doctrine and theology aren’t important is the height of arrogance.

I have a collection of quotes on the importance of doctrine, theology, Bible reading, prayer and the benefits of spending time with God. Some of them may be repeats.

The growth of ignorance in the Church is the logical and inevitable result of the false notion that Christianity is a life and not also a doctrine; if Christianity is not a doctrine then of course teaching is not necessary to Christianity.

–Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism

THIS BOOK contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveller’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword and the Christian’s charter. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand object, our good is its design and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened in the judgement, and will be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.

–Anonymous

It was only yesterday, after laying down the Bible, that I wondered what kind of mind I would have had if I had not the Book of God, the Book containing the astounding idea of ‘from everlasting to everlasting,’ the development of all that is worth knowing … One would think, that as I have critically and, I think, devoutly read and examined every verse, every word in the Bible, some a score of times over, I should not require to open the pages of that unspeakable blessed Book. Alas, for the human memory! I read the Bible today with the same feeling I ever did, like the hungry when seeking food, the thirsty when seeking drink, the bewildered when seeking counsel and the mourner when seeking comfort. Don’t you believe all this? For alas, I read it sometimes as a formal thing, though my heart condemns me afterwards … I am yet astonished at my own ignorance of the Bible!

–Robert Moffat

HT: Challies.com

There is something about the Bible that can instill confidence in God in a way that nothing else can. God speaks to our hearts through his Spirit, and we come into closer relation to him.

–G.K. Beale, 1-2 Thessalonians

We can accomplish more by time and strength put into prayer (and bible study) than we can by putting the same amount of time and strength into anything else.

–R.A. Torrey

Make up your mind that you will put some time every day into the study of the Word of God. That is an easy resolution to make, and not a very difficult one to keep; if the one who makes it is in earnest. It is one of the most fruitful resolutions that any Christian ever made. The forming of that resolution and the holding faithfully to it, has been the turning point in many a life. Many a life that has been barren and unsatisfactory has become rich and useful through the introduction into it of regular, persevering, daily study of the Bible. This study may not be very interesting at first, the results may not be very encouraging; but, if one will keep pegging away, it will soon begin to count as nothing else has ever counted in the development of character, and in the enrichment of the whole life. Nothing short of absolute physical inability should be allowed to interfere with this daily study.

–R. A. Torrey, introduction to the New Topical Textbook.

When I really enjoy God, I feel my desires of Him the more insatiable, and my thirstings after holiness the more unquenchable. And the Lord will not allow me to feel as though I were fully supplied and satisfied, but keeps me still reaching forward.

–David Brainerd

If you approach the Scriptures with all humility and with regulated caution, you will perceive that you have been breathed upon by the Holy Will. It will bring about a transformation which is impossible to describe. You will perceive the delights of the Blessed Bridegroom; you will see the riches of Solomon. The hidden treasures of eternal wisdom will be yours. Yet I would caution you. The entrance to this abode of wisdom is narrow. The doorway is low, and there is danger in not stooping when you enter.

–Erasmus, The Handbook of the Militant Christian

Going to church as a measure of genuine faith

I’ve often heard people say that they wish their friend or relative would go to church because then it would show that they are a Christian. I don’t see anything in the Bible about church/assembly attendance as a measuring rod aside from God wanting us to not stop meeting together (Hebrews 10:25). And I know it’s at church where they may hear the gospel.

I would guess that at least 90% of people who go to church aren’t really Christians.

Here are some quotes by J.C. Ryle. I would say the last two quotes are more important to ask than, “Do you go to church?”

Evidences of A Converted Heart

Sense of sin and deep hatred of it, faith in Christ and love to Him, delight in holiness and longing after more of it, love for God’s people and distaste for the things of the world, – these are the signs and evidences which always accompany conversion.

–J.C. Ryle

Do You Pray?

Never be surprised if you hear ministers of the gospel dwelling much on the importance of prayer. This is the point we want to bring you to; we want to know that you pray. Your views of doctrine may be correct. Your love of Protestantism may be warm and unmistakable. But still this may be nothing more than head knowledge and party spirit. We want to know whether you are actually acquainted with the throne of grace, and whether you can speak to God as well as speak about God.

Do you wish to find out whether you are a true Christian? Then rest assured that my question is of the very first importance – Do you pray?

–J.C. Ryle

(Colossians 4:2)

Do You Read Your Bible?

Ah! reader, it is a painful thought that there should be so much profession of love to the Bible among us, and so little proof that the Bible is read! I charge you, I entreat you, to give an honest answer to my question: ‘What art thou doing with the Bible?‘

–J.C. Ryle

Maybe You Shouldn’t Have a Quiet Time

I’ve read about and heard from so many people who seem to have a hard time having a ‘quiet time’ (I prefer devotional time) every morning.

Even though morning is a common time for prayer (Psalm 5:3), maybe this isn’t the best way to go about it for those who have difficulty. Some might not be morning people. Some may have to get up very early and deal with little munchkins running amok. Some may have a really hard time concentrating.

For those who have a difficult time with it, there is no rule that you must have a 30 minute quiet time in the morning. For some people, feeling a need to “get right with God” by having a quiet time may be bordering on legalism.

If morning isn’t a good time, maybe it would be good to pray some Scripture before even getting out of bed.

Then it might be good to do Bible reading during lunch if possible.

A more concentrated time of prayer could be done after work.

Bible study could be done certain nights during the week and on the weekends.

Some of these things may not be feasible but you get the idea.

I have an hourly chime on my watch and also on my computer for memorizing Scripture. I briefly go over whatever I’m working on at the time. (This method works better for me than repeating something ten times, once a day.) If I start to get so used to the sound on the computer that I don’t hear it, I change it. This also keeps Scripture going through my head much of the day.

Then it’s good to pray right before bed. It doesn’t need to be a lot. I like the idea of praying three times a day.

If you need some inspiration on Bible reading you can find some quotes here.

Obviously this isn’t for everyone but I wanted to post some thoughts based on experience.

Do you have unconventional ways of exercising spiritual disciplines?

Spending Time With God

There are so many web sites devoted to tips for almost anything you can think of–tips for using computers, getting stains out etc. Here is a blog post with tips for spending time with God. I know that sounds trite but I believe this is a very important message for the majority of of the people in the Church.

“I was basically getting spiritual crumbs from books, podcasts and my pastor. I was living vicariously through others’ relationships with God… While it’s good to learn from others, Jesus calls us to follow Him (not follow others who are following Him).”

Use S.O.A.P. – Simple tips for spending time with God.

Get More out of Your Bible

From The Blazing Center blog:
8 Ways to Get More out of Your Bible
and
Bible Boost Part II

Be sure to read the comments too.

Bible Reading

We have become so accustomed to hearing preachers or expositors, as important as that is, that many in the process have abandoned the grand privilege of personally hearing from God’s Word daily.

–Ravi Zacharias