What, really? You’re a Christian who’s never read the Bible?

Yep. I know, I know. But I’m not the only one! According to LifeWay Research, 87% of American households have a Bible but only 20% of Americans have read it all the way through. I’m one of the 30% who’s read only ‘several’ parts of it – until now!

Which version are you reading?

Good question! I am reading the New International Version (NIV), and when I mention verses in this blog, that is the version from which they will be quoted. The verbiage is fairly easy-to-read and it does its best to balance literal translation with an emphasis on the meaning behind the words. It’s also known for its literary qualities, as historical books, stories and poems.

So how are you reading it? Any method to the madness?

I have read a few sources who suggest starting with the New Testament, that it’s somehow ‘easier to read’ than the Old Testament and you won’t give up amidst a sea of ‘begats.’

Full transparency here: I recently read the New Testament, using this methodology and I have to say that I wish I had read the Old Testament first. The New Testament has some great stuff (The life of Jesus! The acceptance of Gentile Christians! The acts of the apostles!) but there are SO MANY references and allusions to Old Testament stories and prophesies, it would have been helpful to have had that info to start with. So, I’m basically starting over. I’m going to start with Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, and then plow through to Revelation at the end.

What denomination are you? How does that affect your reading and understanding of the Bible?

I am a Methodist and currently attend a United Methodist Church. While the denomination describes itself as ‘mainline protestant,’ I myself am on the more progressive side. I am a firm believer in science, logic and historical research, and believe the Bible is divinely inspired but ultimately was written by fallible humans who had social and cultural agendas.

The Bible is really long. How long do you think this blogging project is going to take?

There are 1,189 chapters within the 73 books of the Bible. There are about 18 chapters on average per book although they do vary greatly in length.

My plan is to cover at least three chapters per blog post. If a chapter is particularly short (Psalm 117), it may be included with larger ones. Even at that rate, though, if I blog 50 weeks per year with two blog posts per week, this project would take nearly eight years. That indeed is a long time, but that time will pass anyways – why not blog while studying the Bible during that time?