Martin Luther, Robert Murray McCheyne, the Puritans etc are some of the names that come up when searching for a bible reading plan – of which there seem to be hundreds!! In my own experience Rev. Ian Paisley was a great advocate of reading the bible at least once a year. A friend of mine in ministry also advocates the ‘at least once’ approach. But why?
Well, Luther – who read the whole thing through twice a year and famously translated it into German so that everyone could do likewise, said this –
“If you picture the Bible to be a mighty tree and every word a little branch, I have shaken every one of these branches because I wanted to know what it was and what it meant.” (Luther’s Works, vol. 54, 165.)
In order to see the leaves, we have first to see the tree. Reading the bible through from beginning to end, in which ever timeline suits you, is surely something all believers should be doing. In 2021 a group of ladies joined together over Zoom to read together, starting at Genesis we read four chapters each weekday until we reached Revelation 22 on December 31st. We thought we would share some of our thoughts about doing this together in the hope it will encourage others to do the same.
Reading the parts we would probably skip over on our own (the genealogies for example) or which are rarely preached (that would be the genealogies again!) was sometimes tricky (all those names) but easier in a group.
Being able to discuss, question and comment on what we have read, learning new and often surprising things.
Increasing confidence in prayer
Encouraging. Helped engage more with listening to and understanding of sermons etc.
Getting to know sisters more and enjoying precious fellowship together.
Being committed to this half hour each weekday has been really beneficial for my own study time.
Sometimes it has felt really difficult because there is so much to understand and so much that is new! But as a group we took on those challenges (and the names) with gusto and giggles. We encouraged one another and prayed for each other so never felt discouraged or like giving up. The group became quite tightly knit and the time spent together was always a joy. No judgement if days had to be missed because of other commitments, illness etc.
Highly recommend reading through the bible in a year like this – especially if you struggle to read on your own or are the only believer in the house.
Joy of anticipating the time together each day. Even the gory bits are easier to read with others.
Believers need both extensive and intensive reading of scripture. Building the habit of reading through the year together helped and encouraged me to spend time in study more deeply on my own.
Helped with self-discipline and time management; sharing of ideas and experiences prompted by the readings; great fellowship.
Do not replace this reading together with private bible study or church attendance, we need them all.
Every one of use recommends undertaking the challenge.
All of the ladies are coming together in 2022 to do it again, this time we are reading chronologically and have been greatly blessed by an increase in numbers