I committed last year to reading through the entire Bible in 2009. I am pleased to report that I met my goal on Dec. 31.
I knew I needed some type of plan, so in December 2008 I started looking at various ways I could do this. I looked at a bookstore at some “One Year Bibles” and also researched a bit on the Internet. In the end I did not see the need to purchase a new Bible but, rather, I found a plan that prescribed daily readings from the Old and New Testaments, Psalms and Proverbs.
For the most part I stayed current, but I definitely had to catch up at times.
I did not use a commentary other than occasionally looking at some of the margin notes in the Bible I use, which is a New American Standard version, and at times looking up words in the dictionary. I was purposeful about not using commentary because I wanted to read it on my own and try as best I could to read it objectively.
Here are some of my observations:
-- I LOVE the story of the Bible, which I grasped more than ever. To my detriment, I had previously read the Bible in a more piece-meal fashion and missed the “plot.”
-- I have more questions than answers about the afterlife. There are indications that people “perish,” there are indications of a “lake of fire” and there are indications that it all just ends for some folks after life here on Earth. There are also numerous references to a life more beautiful than we could ever imagine after this one is done.
-- I am convinced that God created us all as equals, even though He has throughout history given favor to the children of Israel. There are references throughout the New Testament of God’s love for ALL.
-- God is extremely patient and kind but there are times in the Old Testament where He had to get firm with people.
-- The seeming contradictions in the Bible don’t bother me. I believe God wrote the Bible through humans who had different perspectives. Obviously I won’t understand it all in this life.
-- Nothing that I read gives me any reason to believe that there is not the possibility of life on other planets or in other galaxies. Ultimately, I won't be surprised either way.
-- I am more convinced than ever that Jesus is the absolute only begotten son of the Heavenly Father.
-- I see how people can use the Bible to support their political views on either side, but I still think it’s a dangerous proposition.
-- If I had to pick a favorite book of the Bible, it would be a four-way tie among Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.