“Your Word is a Lamp to my feet and a Light to my path.”
This beautiful image gives you a visual overview of the Bible: the number of books in the Bible, the length of each book and the thousands of cross reference connections between the books. I want to encourage you to read through the Bible this year so you can have an overview of the content of the Bible, the Word of God.
Two different plans for reading through the Bible are explained in A New Year’s New Mind. If you’re not familiar with the Bible, then you might want to use M’Cheyne’s reading plan. Whichever plan you use, I recommend reading Geoffrey Thomas’ Reading the Bible and Don Carson’s Preface and Introduction (19 page PDF) to For the Love of God (links are also in A New Year’s New Mind). Keep them close at hand to encourage you.
Keep a notebook to jot down your thoughts as you read. Choose your translation with care—there are some politically correct translations out today that change the words in the original languages, while some paraphrases obliterate the text and meaning. The New American Standard Bible is a translation I have used for years.
As I read through the Bible using Michael Coley’s plan (one page PDF to print), I’ll be posting my own thoughts and reflections on what I read. Although I quote theologians and pastors of the past and the present, my posts aren’t comprehensive in covering the chapters; what I’d like to happen is for the posts to whet your appetite to read and study God’s Word for yourself.
I am giving a small amount of background material from various commentaries, but for detailed explanation of a passage after you’ve read it, I recommend talking with your own pastor or, if you have difficulty finding someone with whom to discuss a passage, look at John MacArthur’s sermon archive at his Grace to You ministry site. You can listen to or read his excellent expository preaching of the Bible. I keep a link to this site in the right sidebar under Resources.
May the Lord be with you and bless you in 2011, and may you grow in your love and knowledge of Him through the reading of His Word.
July 2021 UPDATE: That year was such a hard one for me and my family, you’ll see some posts without links. On those days my posts were simply reminders about the reading.
As I work through sorting out the formatting for posts in this new theme, I want to do some editing and fill in those gaps. I’ll be writing on other things, but my plan is to once a week point out some of those posts and let you know what I’ve been doing. I’ve added a new category, “Read the Bible in 2011 Redux,” to use along with the original one to let you know the posts are new.
Visualizing the Bible® Chris Harrison. Used by permission. Click the image to enlarge.
This image was named one of the best science images of 2008 in National Geographic News. An art print of the image can be purchase at Chris’s site here. He explains:
“The bar graph that runs along the bottom represents all of the chapters in the Bible. Books alternate in color between white and light gray. The length of each bar denotes the number of verses in the chapter. Each of the 63,779 cross references found in the Bible is depicted by a single arc – the color corresponds to the distance between the two chapters, creating a rainbow-like effect.”
Original content: Copyright ©2011–2021 Iwana Carpenter