Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Thru the Bible in a year...

and The Bible in 90 days and ...

Why are we as American Christians so overwhelmed with a desire to read through the Bible in a certain amount of time?

Is it ...
so we can say "I've read through the whole Bible"
so we can look smart and "holy"
so we can get a better understanding of the whole scope of Scripture
a fad
to avoid really digging in
a way to study along with more indepth study

I have never felt a strong desire to strive to read through the whole Bible in a year. Then when I saw the "not so" new Bible in 90 days, my immediate reaction was that is not for me. I'm not against people reading the Bible from cover to cover. It is good to have that knowledge. My fear is that those who pursue this path will get a lot of knowledge about Scripture without really ever applying any of it. It is a lot like Bible Bowl (to me). I did a few years of Bible Bowl in high school and gained a lot of knowledge (some of which is rather helpful when I'm looking for a certain passage). But I never put any of it to practice. I never tried to apply any of the Scripture. It was not until years later that I started "using" (other than for points on tests and in games) the Scripture.

What do you think? Have you ever read through the Bible in a year? Any positive or negative experience with this type of reading plan?

Then as a minister, I have another set of questions. Is it something that would be useful to encourage a student to try? Does it just promote head knowledge and not enough life change? Does it promote being "smarter" than someone else in Sunday School? Will it benefit my students? Will it just be one more thing to do between homework, dinner and practice?


  1. I think you answered your own question in a way. You said it wasn't until you got older that you were really able to apply what you learned in Bible Bowl. I think the same can apply for your kids...they may not get a lot out of it right away...but as they get older they will have an easier time finding the passage and they'll be able to apply the knowledge that they learned. If reading through the Bible in a year is the only way we can motivate ourselves to read, then I say it doesn't matter what are intentions sure beats the alternative..."my motivations are I won't read through it in a year" But what if that wrong motivation leads to something positive. Sorry for the long reply, but I've been thinking about the same thing.

  2. Yeah, I see the plus to studying now, even though you may not understand it all. But, don't we always get something new out of Scripture every time we open it up? At least, I feel like I do.

    I guess in my mind the difference between reading through the Bible in a given amount of time (whether it be 90 days or a year or two) and Bible Bowl is that in Bible Bowl I studied the same text for a year. That is why I believe I can return to that part of Scripture, because I went over it again and again and tried to memorize it. But with the reading program; there is no memorizing, no reading over the same passage again and again.

    I don't know. I know its not bad to read through the Bible in a year. But is it the best way to study? Maybe it stems from the overview you get, the ability to see the big picutre.

    I agree that not doing it because of wrong motivations would be equally as bad. But what about the feeling of failure you get if you don't accomplish "your goal"?