Sunday, March 01, 2009

Bible reading progress report: March 1, 2009

The plan is going fine, thank God.

I see, though, that my division of the Bible into chapters and then dividing it by 365 had a fundamental flaw. It is the same flaw committed by the statistician who drowned, wading across a river with an average depth of four feet.

There are chapters, and there are chapters.

Strictly, I suppose I should have divided the number of verses by 365. But I really wasn't aiming at being scientific; just at coming up with a pace that would basically get me through the Bible in a year, while allowing me to read through books rather than keeping four plates spinning at a dizzying rate with no allowance for missed days.

I don't think I've had to miss a day so far. I've read the OT up through Joshua 9 in the ESV, and have read Matthew and Mark in Greek. I've also read through Proverbs twice, once in the ESV and once in the (brr-r-r-r-rr!) TNIV. Now I'm reading it in the NET.

Most frequent note from my TNIV read-through? "Again, TNIV pluralizes the singulars."

That happened so frequently that I literally would often start by copying that phrase to the clipboard at the start, just so I could paste it in when appropriate.

How are y'all doing with yours, if you care to share?


Aaron said...

My plan has already been derailed. It always does. I get sidetracked very easily. My Pastor will say something I wasn't aware of on Sunday, or somebody will raise an issue on a blog, or during my reading I'll go off on a tangent and then I'll spend hours researching that issue instead of proceeding on my reading plan. Right now, I'm obsessing over Hosea. And now at Sunday School they have us memorizing verses so that has thrown my own memorization plan off.

Honestly, I'm not all that upset about it.

JackW said...

I don't know ... sure sounds like you're spinning a lot more plates than I am.

My plan (MacArthur Daily Bible) is nicely on schedule. I'm loving the new imitation leather version as my paperback was held together with duct tape.

I'm able to separate my daily reading of the Bible and Spurgeon's Evening by Evening with Logos word and topical studies.

I also try to do something a little bit different every year. Last year it was to look up the meaning of names and their pronunciation.

This year I'm trying to remember to read Yahweh every time I see "the LORD" written. I must admit it almost seems Gnostic.

Nothing close to reading in an original language, but ...

rebecca said...

I only have four days left on last year's chronological reading through the Bible plan. Which means somewhere in last year's 365 days I missed 60 days or so.

I find I have a really hard time keeping to my regular reading schedule when I travel or have company.

But at least I'll be finishing.

Stan McCullars said...

My plan is going fine. I'm using the One Year Chronological Bible in the NLT. However, for the past couple of weeks I've been reading from the ESV.

I agree with JackW. You have a lot of plates spinning.

Mr Wizzard said...

I've been enjoying getting to know my ESV Study Bible this year with its reading plan, also taking time to read the study notes as well. It has made reading through the history much more informative than it has been in the past.

Just yesterday I got to read the ESV staff make an excuse for their use of LORD (see the study note on Ex 3:15).

Since I won my copy of Logos (thanks sic-et-non!) earlier this month, I've also been enjoying reading Spurgeon's Morning and Evening.

NoLongerBlind said...

I'm following the schedule in Ligonier's Table Talk mag; as of this week-end, I'm through Numbers 28 and Mark 9. As usual, it was challenging to keep plodding through Leviticus! So far, have fallen behind a day or two, but have been able to catch up.

In addition to the daily readings in TableTalk, I'm being richly blessed reading MacArthur's new "Daily Readings from the Life of Christ", along with O. Winslow's "Morning Thoughts", "Evening Thoughts", and CHS's Morning and Evening.

DJP said...

Oh boy. "We honor the practice that goes back to 3rd cent BC in ignoring the text that comes from 16th cent BC...." Weak.

So, in 2000 years, the new translation from Hebrew and Greek of that day will change singulars to plurals, and "son" to "child," and "brothers" to "dear friends," because the TNIV did it for political agenda-driven reasons.

Ay, yi yi.

DJP said...

(That last was to Mr. Wizzard.)

Mr Wizzard said...

DJP- You assume this will all still matter in 2000 years ;)
The rate things are going (and the direction) I'm not so convinced.

Rabbit said...

I'm on-track with M'Cheyne's plan. It feels a bit chunked-up as I leap from Moses to Job to Luke to the Corinthians, but I'll wait for you to get that verses-divided-by-365 plan worked up into an Excel document for next year, Dan. :)

DJP said...

Yeah, I'll get right on that.


CR said...

My plan is going well, and I've been pretty disciplined. Again, I love being able to read my new ESVSB and hearing the reading on my podcast.

JTW said...

DJP – “There are chapters, and there are chapters.”
Maybe you should try dividing the number of pages into 365? Maybe…

As for me, I’m not exactly on the plan as I intended. But overall, things are going well. I have my daily reading which will get me through the Bible in a year; that is going well.

Where I derailed? I was planning on really diving into Romans this year, but I have yet to really start. The way things are going, I probably won’t get to it this year.

I have the same problem Aaron has… I get sidetracked. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Rahab and the Twenty-Four Elders.

I’ve also become obsessed with the Heidelberg Catechism...
“What is your only comfort in life and in death?
That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death— to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ…”

I will spend a large portion of time in the Catechism this year. Not EXACTLY what I planned, but off on a tangent I go.

Stefan said...

My Bible-reading "plan" is along the lines of Aaron's and JTW's.

Our OT Panorama course, of its very nature, has not allowed time to read through the OT verse by verse, but rather to work through the overall redemptive history, summaries and contexts of the books, and concentrated reading of the highlights. The second-year courses will have us reading through verse by verse. (So I'm glad the Lord put me in a class a year and a half ago to actually read the Old and New Testaments straight through.)

Last term's course was an introduction to the Bible, covering authority, inerrancy, inspiration, sufficiency, genres, languages exegesis, etc., etc., etc. Next term's course is the NT Panorama, and that will have us reading through verse by verse. It starts in two weeks.

Apart from that, I do concentrated, topical reading. So far this year, that's involved texts pertaining to the Lord's Supper, and to the promise and fulfilment of the "everlasting covenant" of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, plus readings from Deuteronomy, the Psalms, Hebrews, and some other Epistles.

Jon said...

Started with my MacArthur Daily Bible, but changed to Grant Horner's system at the beginning to middle of February.

I didn't mind the MacArthur plan, but didn't like the restrictions that a dated system puts on your reading, which is why Horner's system is so amazing.

You can modify the system slightly to your own tastes. Either read the normal 10 outlined chapters a day or double it if you can handle the load. And if you miss a day, it's not a big deal, nothing to catch up on to get back on track, just pick up where you left off and get back to reading! Check it out!

Kaffinator said...

Still on mine (Cordiero + Life Journal). The pace is maintainable. I read fast so 30 minutes is usually enough to cover the text and spend some time in prayer/journaling. Some days I skip the journaling and usually regret it. If I miss a day entirely I’ve been able to make up for it. Just getting through Numbers. I honestly don’t know where the Hebrews found enough animals to keep the altar running!

In all seriousness, there is definitely benefit to doing this with other members in your local body. Even if you don’t study together, someone else who’s doing the reading can bring something up and you nod your head, when before you might not have seen the connection. Way cool.

The benefits of daily reading are so numerous. If anyone out there isn’t doing it, please don’t wait for next January to start. Because Satan won’t.

DJP said...

JTW....Rahab and the Twenty-Four Elders

Hm... I don't remember that story....

DJP said...

Good exhortation Kaffinator, and very good point.

If anyone's reading this with a sinking heart, thinking, "FAIL," because you either didn't start a plan, or started and wobbled: START NOW.

There isn't anything magical about January 1, or especially significant to God. A number of my excellent readers have suggested plans and given links. Or just do mine: start in Genesis, and read at least 3 chapters a day. Some days do more. Do that, and you should get through the Bible in a year.

Reading some is better than reading none. But do challenge yourself. If the day derails you, get up a little earlier. I've ALWAYS been that way. If I tried to do it in the evening, I don't know if I'd ever have read the Bible through. Has to be start of the day, or prospects are iffy.

Shinar Squirrel said...

This year I'm starting to work through the New Testament in a manner that I heard Dr. MacArthur recommend; that is, repeatedly reading the same book (if short enough) or section of a book (if longer) each day for a month. It's March, so I'm just starting Romans 1-8. Last month was 1 Thessalonians -- not doing 'em in any particular order -- think I'll work through one of the gospels after Romans.

The Squirrel

Shinar Squirrel said...

"Rahab and the Twenty-Four Elders"

Isn't that in 1 Hezekiah 4 or 5?

The Squirrel

Mike said...

My plan is going about as I expected. I aim to read one psalm and 3 sequential chapters (starting in Genesis) each day. I am *mostly* on track, but I miss days here and there or sometimes I just don't allow enough time to read longer chapters. I usually try to make up for lost time on Saturdays, only to lose ground again on busy Sunday mornings. I'm up to Psalm 69 and Deuteronomy 19.

Staci at Writing and Living said...

I'm doing the reading plan found both in the ESV Study Bible and the Literary Study Bible (same as Mr. Wizzard - I also read about their use of LORD the other day). I'm still on track, but I did have to read two days' worth this morning.

I don't know why, but I've tried almost every reading plan there is, and this is my favorite. And, I get to read Romans twice!

JTW said...

"Rahab and the Twenty-Four Elders"

Well, it made perfect sense when I said it in my head. Now, not so much.

I'm referring to Rahab the prostitute introduced to us in the book of Joshua and the Twenty-Four Elders in the book of Revelation... two separate subjects. Nevertheless, they are both incredible illustrations of God's grace and how He redeems sinners.

DJP said...

No doubt. But my way tickles me more... like "Peter and the Wolf," or "Dr. Who and the Daleks," or "Snow White and the Three Stooges."

Andrew Faris said...


I've been working through the ESV Study Bible plan that JT linked awhile back, though not in the ESVSB- just the regular old ESV.

I'm still getting my groove going on it as this is the first time I've done a one year plan (embarrassing for a 25 year old life-long Christian with two degrees in the Bible!).

In any case, I'm just about up to date on it. I don't always love reading in 4 places at once, but here are my two favorite things about it of late.

1. Most importantly, I used to feel bad when I would study one passage or book over and over again for awhile because I wasn't drinking from the full counsel of God. Now I read my regular one year plan sections daily, then spend whatever other extended time I want in other passages. So as I get ready to preach in a few weeks the "doers not just hearers" section of James 1, I can spend each day in that passage leading up to it. And since I'm getting married in a month, I spend a lot of time in Eph. 5. No longer do I feel bad about it. I love that- it's really freeing to be disciplined!

2. I've been inspired over the last couple weeks by the "meditating day and night" aspect of Ps. 1 to start doing half of my daily reading in the mornings (which right now is Exodus and 2 Chronicles) then I save my daily Psalm and NT section for the rest of the day. This has been really great. The new man I've become in Christ is still stuck in this frail old man's body, so the stoniness of my heart tends to peek out from the flesh it is becoming if I don't constantly put the Word in front of it. So that's been great too.

Christians in Context

threegirldad said...

I'm also following the M'Cheyne plan -- and I'm actually ahead of schedule, mainly because it isn't so much a daily reading plan as a sometimes-daily-but-mostly-lots-of-
reading-on-weekends plan.

That seems to be the only way for me to keep from falling hopelessly behind. %-(

Julie said...


Admitting my ignorance here... what's the difference between NIV and TNIV?

We are continuing reading through the "Daily Bible", in NIV. It's a nice rhythm for our family - OT with breakfast, NT with lunch, and Psalms and Proverbs after dinner.

So far we're keeping up. At least, we haven't gotten more than a day behind... and caught up again.

I have to confess, though, that I've skimmed a bit in Leviticus...

We've read the genealogies, talked about the details involved in making the tabernacle and its contents, and soldiered through the specifics of dealing with infectious skin diseases, mildew in the home, and (of more interest to little boys) which insects are edible and which are detestable.

I'm not skimming just because things don't apply anymore (wearing mixed fibers, eating animals that don't chew the cud AND have a split hoof, etc.), it's the parts I'm just not ready to explain to little boys. Like Leviticus 15. And 18.

What would you do?

We've talked about how God wants His people to be pure.

What I love?

My littlest "little" (7 years old) begging to be the one to read the Psalm in the evening :0)


DJP said...

Julie, you can read previous writing I've done on the TNIV here and here.

It should never have been. Beyond its history, what I hate about it so far is that it's so driven by the feminist agenda that it changes singulars to plurals so as not to be politically correct. Read Psalm One in the ESV or NAS. Then read it in the TNIV. That change is not motivated by a desire to be more accurate.

When I first started my sons reading, there were some chapters we just skipped. Now each (ages 9 and 13) reads a chapter a day and sums it up to me. That allows me to see and catch any misunderstandings. Sometimes I really have to reach for the euphemisms and roundabout ways of saying things.

Julie said...

Thank you. Yikes.

Thanks also for the suggestion. We have varied our approach to reading, and previously did something similar. We read a chapter aloud and each boy wrote (or dictated) a one sentence summary, chose a verse that expressed the theme or was their favorite, and looked for a word they didn't understand and looked up the definition.

I'm spinning smaller plates than you, but trying to keep things simple and "doable".

It's funny. Just a couple days ago I was wondering if you were going to hold us all accountable again :0)

Shinar Squirrel said...

So, Dan, HSAT, what made you decide to read through the TNIV? Just cataloging errors?

The Squirrel

BTW, my verification word is "kinglibb" -- NOT!

DJP said...

As part of my ongoing studies of Proverbs, I'm reading it through monthly. Each month, I'm doing a different version.

The brilliant, maddening, towering OT scholar Bruce Waltke lavishes praise on the TNIV Proverbs. So, I figured, why not?

Julie said...


Reading about the TNIV got me wondering...

I'm not a Hebrew or Greek scholar. In the original languages of the Bible, in places like Psalm 1:1 "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked..."

Does the original language
a. Specifically mean an adult male
b. Use "he" generically, as the English language commonly did before a bunch of "womyn" got upset
c. Have a neutral gender term like "one" (Blessed is the one who...)

Or... d. other options?

DJP said...

In Hebrew it's 'ish, standard (though not only) word for "man." The certainest thing in the world that can be said about it is it isn't a plural, and plural translations are not motivated above all by commitment to textual fidelity and clarity.