Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bible Reading: Annual, Recirculating

Not A Simple Task
Annual cover-to-cover reading of the Bible is a challenge for anyone. For me, it was either that I didn't have a Bible available at the moment, or I grabbed a Bible whose page numbering was different than the one I used the day before. In the past the schedules I made for myself were based on reading five pages per day and based on the numbering of the Bible I started with.

Using Online BiblesAdding further complexity to a daily Bible reading schedule, currently, it is possible to read the Bible online in any of vastly different translations and in them page numbers are no longer relevant. I needed a new system. It dawned on me, instead of using page numbers, use the Bible Books and chapters in those books to set a beginning and end for each day's reading. This is not a new idea. Currently Jehovah's Witnesses employ the idea for their weekly congregation assigned readings.

Designing A Daily Reading Schedule
I, however, wanted to build a daily reading schedule that would complete the whole Bible in one year and then automatically restart each subsequent year. At the pace I designed, the reading would be completed yearly by the middle of November. That seemed a bit aggressive so I incorporated rest periods, about 1 day per month, into the schedule. This would end the yearly reading by the end of November/beginning of December. 

Rest/Research Days: These rest days can be used either as a rest day or a day to research questions that came up in your mind during the reading for the past month. (Obviously this means you are actively making notes when you come across passages that you want to understand better. An excellent research tool can be found at Watchtower Online Library.)

EOY Auxiliary Material: Although not considered in this design, most Bibles, even those online, have front and back matter, introductory and reference material. You may not read all that material, but each year you can select one or two of those articles. So at the end of the year, if you desire, set a personal goal to read some of that material. (Note to Catholics: Having been raised a Catholic, I am aware that Catholic Bibles contain books collectively known by some as the Apocrypha. The reading schedule I propose here does not include them. You can use the schedule at the end of the year to get through those books if you so desire.)

Using The Schedule
Here is the link to the schedule: Bible Reading Schedule
After opening the link, bookmark it in your browser so you can open it each day. Note the highlighted start and end references for "Today" and then, using whichever Bible you want, turn to the section in your Bible and read the cited passages. Next to the start/end reading, is the time (exact & rounded-up/approximated) it take to listen to the audio recordings.

Other References
For people who have problems reading due to impacted health, I provide a link in the schedule to the online audio recordings of the scriptures from the 1984 edition of the New World Translation. Merely click the provided link to access the Bible. There are other websites that provide audio Bibles, but I don't like them because they add very moody, somber music in the background of the reader's voice. It is too distracting.

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