‘The Blood Soaked Garden’

The Son of Man and God and Davis spent His last evening in a garden shaking with dread, knowing what would meet Him on Moriah in the morning. We must be clear: no one took His life. He laid it down. And, like any reasonable mind, He wasn’t seeking martyrdom. He didn’t delight in suffering. He wanted the joy set before Him on the other side of pain, trial, and testing. He didn’t want the cross. He wanted what He’d gain afterwards. Ultimately, He wanted to glorify the name of His Father. ( Stephanie Quick, To Trace A Rising Sun, p 87)

Books Read 2021: Holy Bible.

I have a ‘Books Read’ page accessible via a tab above. It currently records all of the books I read last year not including my Bible reading.

I start this year’s list with the Bible, because for the first time I read it as a book and not as THE HOLY BIBLE (imagine that being said in a resounding, booming voice, enhanced with a touch of reverb).

It’s NOT the first time I’ve read it1 – but I don’t normally start from Genesis and read straight through to Revelation. My usual practice is to read the books in related sections. For example, I start the NT with Luke (not Matthew) and then Acts followed by Paul’s letters, in the order they were written and not according to the traditional published order.

I also read the OT in a more chronological order instead of reading from Genesis and through to Malachi. It helps me to make better sense of the context of what I’m reading.

I started the year reading (mostly2) only the Bible taking up the #BibleBulldoze challenge issued by Stephanie Quick from FAI. The challenge was set to start on January 1st and run for 28 days, thereby reading the whole Bible in a month.

I did my reading with a CSB Reader’s Bible, printed more like a novel, with a single column of text, and chapter3 and verse numbers removed. It also doesn’t have the usual topic headings that are scattered throughout most Bibles.

That challenge is now completed! I read the last word of Revelation this afternoon: “Amen”.

I started on 30th December instead of waiting until 1 January, and it took 16 days, so I beat the scheduled 28 days by 12 days. I think I averaged a little under 4 hours of reading per day. Gloria finished yesterday, but she started a day before me.

I look forward to starting again tomorrow but this time at a much saner pace. And I’m pleased to be able resume my usual note taking as I read.

One thing that surprised me when I told people about what I was doing – is how many Christians confessed they had never really read the bible consistently, all of it; just bits of it here and there in a piecemeal fashion. So it’s not surprising that so many believers seem to have little idea of God’s overall agenda and how our individual salvation fits into His much larger, and glorious, eternal plan.

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Footnotes:

1 Last year I read the OT twice and the NT ten times.

2 I did read an occasional chapter of another book, which will probably end up listed as my second book of the year on my Books Read list. Ironically it was a book by Stephanie Quick that I’d started the day before she issued the #BibleBulldoze challenge

3 Chapter verses are given unobtrusively at the bottom of each page instead of interrupting the text itself

Head Start on Reading Challenge

Why wait until the new year to start the #BibleBulldoze Bible reading challenge?

Gloria started yesterday and has completed both Genesis and Exodus. She is listening to a recording, and reading along in her Bible.

I started it today and read Genesis ( two and a half hours) and Exodus (two hours). I also added Psalms 1-20 (35 minutes). I prefer to read the Psalms in sections rather than the whole book at one time, so will read several Psalms per day to spread the reading of them across the month.

Before I get too far into this project I’ll be changing the order of some of the books in the timetable to match my usual Bible reading order. For example, I’ll be moving 1 & 2 Chronicles to the end of the OT readings to match the Jewish order of books rather than the traditional Bible order.

Also I won’t be reading the gospels one after the other, but will follow my usual reading plan, starting with Luke-Acts, then Paul’s letters in the order they were written, then Matthew will be grouped with James and Hebrews, Mark with Peter’s letters and Jude, and finally John’s gospel followed by his letters and Revelation.

As daunting as it seems at first, I’m finding its not so hard to read so much when you get into the flow of a book. What is also helping is using a “reader’s bible” – one printed more like a normal book: single column, no paragraph headings, and not divided into chapters and verses. There are fewer distractions and less temptation to take breaks after a few chapters.

New Year Challenge

2020 was a very profitable year for my Bible reading.

Making the most of the combination of chemo and covid restrictions, I tried to use the ‘isolation’ time wisely. By the time the relative isolation was no longer necessary, I’d developed a valuable habit and was able to read through the NT ten times and the OT two and a half times within the twelve months.

The following, from Facebook, is a challenge (opportunity) to give 2021 a running start.

I’m going top give it a go…

Anyone else?

Full reading program here: Facebook