Today is September 24th. In my one-year chronological Bible, this is the day I finally start reading the New Testament. Around one year ago, I decided that in 2019 I was going to use a chronological Bible to help my reading. This means that the Bible is assembled not in the traditional groupings, but in the order in which the events occurred. It has been a fantastic way to shed some new light on old passages. This journey takes about 15 minutes a day to read roughly four chapters.
I have worked through this Bible page by page for almost nine full months. Yesterday I finished what is thought to be the last words of the Old Testament written by the prophet Joel. Today I opened and saw the title “Luke 1” at the top of the page, and joy filled my heart. There are two thoughts that went through my mind this morning.
- The Old Testament is longer than you realize. It takes 266 days to read the Old Testament according to this plan. That is almost three-fourths of the year. You need to know that if you are reading the Bible in this format, it takes a long time to complete. The Old Testament is a massive collection of writings that require a commitment to complete.
- The New Testament is shorter than I remember. It will take only 99 days to complete it. That is only a little over three months. This is the reason I encourage people to read their New Testament before they try reading their whole Bible. Reading just four chapters a day for four months, and you will be finished.
I know that neither of the realizations is anything exciting. I have often had high school students open their Bibles to the first page of the New Testament and show them the mere number of pages of which the Old Testament is composed. Today, because this is a new way for me to read the Bible, it highlighted the difference in reading the Old versus the New.
The challenge for today is simple. Think of this as January first. If you start a reading of the New Testament today, you can be done by the New Year. Today is a great day to start reading or listening your way to deeper spiritual growth. I can think of no reason for you to delay another day.