Tuesday, December 29, 2015

FAQ On Reading the Entire Bible In 2016

This time of the year I always promote reading the Bible through in the new year. Here are some ideas from Reading the Whole Bible in 2016: An FAQ by Justin Taylor at TGC
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO READ THROUGH THE ENTIRE BIBLE IN A YEAR?
Less than 10 minutes a day.
(There are about 775,000 words in the Bible. Divided by 365, that’s 2,123 words a day. The average person reads 200 to 250 words per minute. So 2,123 words/day divided by 225 words/minute equals 9.4 minutes a day.]
If you want to listen to a narrator read the Bible (which you can do so for free at ESVBible.org), they are usually about 75 hours long total, which means at 12 minutes a day you can listen to the whole Bible in a year.
(For those who like details, here’s a webpage devoted to how long it takes to read each book of the Bible. And if you want a simple but beautiful handout, where every Bible chapter has a box, go here.)
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DOES THE BIBLE EVER COMMAND US TO READ THE WHOLE BIBLE IN A YEAR?
No. What is commends is knowing the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) and meditating or storing or ruminating upon God’s self-disclosure to us in written form (Deut. 6:7; 32:46; Ps. 119:11, 15, 23, 93, 99; 143:5). It is compared to bread and water—not nice things to have when there is time but that which is essential for survival.
The point is not to check off a list or punch in your time but rather to meditate on the Word in such a way that your mind, heart, and actions are transformed in a godly, gospel-drawn way.
As Joel Beeke writes:

As oil lubricates an engine, so meditation facilitates the diligent use of means of grace(reading of Scripture, hearing sermons, prayer, and all other ordinances of Christ),deepens the marks of grace (repentance, faith, humility), and strengthens one’s relationships to others (love to God, to fellow Christians, to one’s neighbors at large).
Thomas Watson put it like this:

A Christian without meditation is like a solider without arms, or a workman without tools. Without meditation the truths of God will not stay with us; the heart is hard, and the memory is slippery, and without meditation all is lost.
So reading the Bible cover to cover is a great way to facilitate meditation upon the whole counsel of God.
DESPITE OUR GOOD INTENTIONS, WHY DON’T MORE CHRISTIANS READ THE BIBLE IN A YEAR?
Simple resolutions are often well-intentioned but insufficient. Most of us need a more proactive plan. As John Piper has written, “Nothing but the simplest impulses gets accomplished without some forethought which we call a plan.”