Monday, December 31, 2012

A Chronological Bible Reading Plan by Nathan Brown

I'm excited to present Nathan's Chronological Bible Reading Plan to my FB friends and blog readers.  It can be found here under the Bible Reading tab at the top of the page.  You may notice that it only runs through May.  Well, each day he adds one more day, so no worries.  He's staying 5 months ahead of the rest of us.  The version used in this plan is the NET Bible, due to the fact that it doesn't have the copyright issues that the other excellent study versions have.  So two thoughts:  Why a chronological plan?  and Why this one?

Why read the Bible chronologically?
(Others have addressed the benefits of a systematic reading of the Bible.  See the link to Mark Minnick's sermon on the Bible Reading tab on Nathan's website for some excellent thoughts on the subject)
1.  It provides context.  The order of the Books of the Bible are not arranged in the order in which they occurred.  The modern reader easily assumes that Genesis is the first thing that happened, Job occurred right before Psalms, and Malachi was the last thing said before Christ was born.  How exciting to read the Bible in a "time context!"  (We've also found this to be especially helpful for new converts.)
2.   Many Christians camp out in one section of Scripture for years.  A little of the Gospels, and a Psalm and oh, yes, a Proverb, and off we go.  This, as a systematic approach, provides for a look at the whole revelation of God- crucial for balanced theology.

So, some features I love:
1.  The format is matched line for line when the account is repeated in other books of the Bible, showing at a glance any details added/omitted by the accounts.  For an example of this, look at page 2 of May 2nd.
2.  The prophets (which I admit to reading without any idea of what they're talking about half the time) are placed into their correct times with respect to Israel and Judah's kings.  David's psalms are interspersed through the story of his life.    Personally, I find this to be very helpful in reminding me of what is going on.
3.  I know the person who arranged this plan ;o)  He is super-thorough in his research and has included any pertinent info regarding the passage's chronology at the bottom of each day's reading.
4.  Each day has a well-supported date assigned to it.  (Of course, some assumptions MUST be made to be so specific in the dating.  He doesn't assume that all his dates are dead-on, but he does tell why he has picked the ones he has.)

And it's late, and I'm rambling on my diet coke and too much coffee from date night.  I hope this reading plan is a blessing to many.  Our church and family are being challenged to read it together and share with each other the thoughts we have about our reading.  Should be a great 2013!  Feel free to jump on board, and share with your friends, family, and church!


Kim M. said...

I printed off his discipleship course and am doing it with my children. Thank you so much! We are enjoying it!

Kathryn said...

Good for you, Kim! So glad you are enjoying it! Feel free to send me requests for new lessons- topics that you may need...

Sonja said...

Please let Nate know that I'm really enjoying his reading plan. I started it late because I was finishing something else, but I'm working to catch up. :) I enjoy the format and the thoughtful preparation that has obviously gone into it. Looking forward to the year!

Kathryn said...

I told Nathan, Sonja- he's very pleased that you're enjoying it. And you're right- a LOT of hard work on his part. But he's loving it- Enjoy!