Bible reading in 2023

Over the last 5 or so years, I’ve organised my daily bible reading a bunch of different ways:

  • The Bible in one year, suggested by Sam Chan, was good fun. You get to read multiple passages (or have them read by the author Nicky Gumbel) and you get a little commentary on them. I didn’t always agree with everything I heard in the commentary, but all in all it was fun and insightful. The only downside was the “Pippa adds” bits. She’s Nicky’s wife and sometimes she had some really helpful insights, but often her comments sounded a little trite. I remember my wife cringing at a number of them. The app was well done & it was achievable.
  • Youversion has a whole range of different reading plans. I’ve done two different plans with this app. The first was “For the Love of God”, which follows the McCheynne reading plan (you read the OT once, NT & Psalms twice in a year) with a page worth of commentary each day, based on one of the readings. Last year I did the “Bible Project” reading plan. This went through the bible from beginning to end, a couple of chapters a day, as well as a Psalm a day. It also included each of the Bible Project videos as the book or theme came up. I appreciated being able to spend more time in each individual book (good for my brain), but I have to admit that, as much as I love the BP videos, sometimes watching multiple a week became a bit much!

This year it was time to mix things up a little! I had been thinking that I would pick an individual book then spend between a week and a month just reading it slowly and repeatedly. I had been thinking about starting with Romans, but when I saw an “Illuminated Scripture Journal” for the book of Hebrews, I couldn’t help myself. I don’t always like to mark up my bibles, so this was a good compromise. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to make more marks each time I read it, jot down some notes & maybe even think about some poems or illustrations that really resonate with the passages.

The challenge for me is finding a way that ensures that my reading doesn’t become mechanical. It can be easy to feel like you have to “keep up the stats” when it comes to days missed and sometimes this has meant that I’ve found my eyes gazing over the words in some chapters, but not really engaging with the text. Finding creative ways to keep your mind engaged & really soak in the scriptures is super-helpful.

It’s good to spend time in God’s word.

It’s good to think about different ways that we can engage with the bible.

I’ll let you know whether this method proves good for me…


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