I'm a bible collector. Not professionally and I don't really have any that are significantly monetarily valuable. But something I realized a long time ago, if the bible is in fact the inspired word of God for us to get to know who He is, His character, and His heart for His glory and our good, and I believe it is. I should know what it says. AW Tozer puts it like this "the Bible is the inevitable outcome of God's continuous speech. It is the infallible declaration of His mind for us put into our familiar human words."
If I claim that there is nothing that influences my life more than God, reading the Bible, knowing it, is of unparalleled importance.
The Bibles I collect have special significance to me, because many of them have marked steps of spiritual growth. I still have the Bible I got when I was baptized. When I started college. When God called me into full-time ministry. I have Bibles from my grandparents, both ones they gave me and ones they used. Since 2001, I have bought a Christmas present for myself each year, a new Bible. Initially, the Bibles were different translations or good study Bibles. Over the past several years they have shifted to one year reading bibles.
I have fully read the Bible, cover to cover, 5 times. I know this because I still have the one year bible I used each time. It's really cool to look back and see the different things that God taught me each time as I highlighted and made notes. As I have spent the better part of the last decade helping college students grow in their faith, I am convinced there is nothing better I can do to help them grow in their faith than to teach them the importance of reading the bible.
The Bible has 66 books. 1189 chapters. 31,240 verses. If you only read 1 chapter per day it will take more than 3 years to read it all. If you started in the Old Testament, it would take you almost 3 years to get to the first words of Jesus. By the time you get to Matthew how much of Genesis do you remember? The sad thing is I've met atheists who have read as much of the Bible as most church goers.
So here's the challenge: 365 days reading the Bible each day. I will be writing blog posts several times each week and encourage online interaction with each week's reading.
Chronological Bible. The Bible we read is organized by genre, that is why you read the history or David's flight from Saul multiple times, and the Psalms he wrote during his exile several books later. That's why you read Chronicles and go 'didn't I already read this.' because you did already read it in Kings. A chronological bible takes the books and orders them as the events occurred, so you get cause and effect, David's sin with Bathsheba is followed by his Psalm of repentance.
One Year. One year is a long time to commit to something, but it breaks down to about 15 minutes per day. 15 minutes per day and one year later you can say you have read the entire Bible.
Think about it. Will you join me in reading through the Bible in 2014 and see what God will teach you?