Earlier today, I was asked if I had ever read the entire Bible. I confessed that I had but that it was many years ago. In fact, I have not read the entire Bible since I was 19. As a teenager, I read the Bible incessantly. Twice I read it from cover to cover. Three additional times, during those years, I used a reading schedule that engaged various sections of the Bible each day–something from the Pentateuch, then a Psalm or two, then a chapter from the Prophets, the Gospels or Paul, for example. If followed closely, the schedule secured that one ended up reading the entire Bible in a year.
What stopped me from reading the Sacred Scriptures thus broadly, I must admit, was my becoming a biblical scholar. Most notably, learning Greek was detrimental to the discipline I had practiced as a teenager. “How could this be?” you might ask. Well, at a certain point in college, I began to feel guilty for reading in English. I felt that I should dedicate all the time I would have spent reading the Old Testament to really dissecting the New in its original language.
In many ways this has proven to be a good decision, and I have no regrets about taking this course. For, “he who reads must choose”. However, I’ve often longed for the days when the savory aroma of Noah’s burnt offerings filled my nostrils, or when I crossed the Jordan with Joshua and his men, or when I watched the seraph cleanse Isaiah’s lips with a coal from the heavenly altar.
Perhaps you, like me, are looking to recover a lost discipline in this coming new year. Maybe you are searching for something new and adventurous. Well if reading the Bible is on your agenda, I have something that might help you. Here is a one-year reading schedule of the ENTIRE Bible: One-Year-Bible.
And now I must confess, in truth, I have never read the entire Bible. There are a group of texts which were not included in ye old King James’ translation on which I cut my formerly-protestant teeth. The schedule linked above is designed for us Catholics and includes all of the Deuterocanonical books and, appropriately, has made provisions for covering the Gospels twice in the year. As you may notice, the first page begins with December 1, so do some reflecting and consider an early start to a New Year’s resolution.