Together – as a whole community – we are going to read the whole Bible, from cover to cover in 180 days.
We say repeatedly that Scripture is the place where we ground our faith – our understanding of God and of the world. Reading the whole Bible will open us up to new insights, and give us a chance to grow deeper in our relationship with God.
I have read the Bible a number of times, my last attempt at reading the entire Bible was in 90 days. I realized that was a lot of reading at one time, I thought that reading through the Bible in 180 days seems to be more manageable. One thing I do know is that every time I have read through the Bible my faith has been transformed by the experience. I know that yours will too.
We will begin reading together on Sunday August 4th, and will read until the end of January 2020. Throughout this time there will be opportunities to gather together and talk about what we are reading, as well as blog posts, and videos to help explain what is going on along the way.
Our goal is to have as many people in our community as possible be a part of this powerful experience.
Q: I don’t have time for that much reading!
The whole Bible seems like a lot. It is daunting. But the reality is we can do this – together – by giving just 30 minutes each day. We may have to change our routines a little bit– watch a little less TV, be intentional about how we schedule our time for reading. But we can all find 30 minutes a day.
Q: What about the holidays? I will not have time!!!
There is always something that gets in the way. We will all miss a week or two of our reading group because of family engagement or other vacations (I know I will, too). Every season has its challenges – school and activities in the Fall, holidays in the Winter, and Spring Break and sports in the Spring. Take your Bible with you: read it in the car, while your turkey is cooking or watching the holiday parade.
Q: What if I get behind?
Let’s be honest: it will happen at some point. We will miss a day, or two, and have to catch up. Try not to skip any pages – the point is to read the whole Bible. Instead, set aside some extra time to catch up. I find that Sunday afternoons are a great time to do some extra reading.
Q: Really, every word? What about the genealogies?
Yes, the goal is to read every single word. One thing we will discover is that some parts of the Bible are more exciting than others. But we are going to read it all – because it is all a gift from God.
Q: What if I don’t understand it all?
Spoiler alert: You won’t. There will be parts that all of us struggle with at different points. That’s ok. Try not to get bogged down in the places that you find it harder to understand. Keep reading. Mark the page or the passage, and come back to it after this 180 day read through to wrestle with it a little more. Bring the passage to your reading group – see if others also struggled with it, and maybe together you can shed some light on it.
Q: Ok, I’m in. What Bible should I use?
Any Bible will work! We will provide a list of each day’s readings, so you can follow along with the verse numbers in any Bible. I recommend using a Bible that does not have study notes – when our Bible has study notes, we tend to spend time reading them as we try and gain a deeper understanding of the text. If our goal is to read from cover to cover, any study notes will slow us down. In worship we use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), and there is some advantage to using the same translation we use in worship. But any translation will work, and it can actually be insightful in our reading groups to note how the different translations handle certain text.