Years ago our church read through the Bible together in 90 days. The pastor preached the sermon on a passage from the week and our Sunday school class discussed the week’s readings. It was a great program and although not everyone finished, they read more of the Bible than they would have. I certainly didn’t finish in 90 days. I had small children at the time and I ended up finishing in about 690 days! But I did finish it!
This summer I decided to try again reading through the Bible in 90 days. I needed a plan for what Bible reading I would do in the summer when our Bible Study Fellowship group was on summer break. I hadn’t read through the whole Bible in while and I felt like I was missing out on the big picture since I had only done concentrated studies the last few years. I purchased a used copy of The Bible in 90 Days and braced myself for the face-paced ride.
The back flap of the Bible has the reading schedule mapped out. There is a printed marker on every 12th page to show where the reading stops and the next day’s starts. 12 pages a day is all it takes. I ended up finishing in 167 days, and I was disappointed that it took me so long, but, on the other hand, at least I finished!
You might be thinking that reading through the Bible in 90 days is impossible. Or that 12 pages a day is too fast of a pace to really take it all in.
What can be gained by reading the Bible at a breakneck speed?
You get to pay attention to the forest.
If we only ever read the Bible in small sections, we miss out on the big picture.
You get a solid picture of the timeline of the Bible.
This is especially true Genesis through Esther which tells the history of God’s people, Israel. To read through it quickly gives you a chance to remember that Abraham came before Moses and that David comes before Daniel, etc.
You can keep better track of people and places.
I found this to be extremely helpful in Kings and Samuel. There are so many commanders and armies and kings that to read it a little at a time, you forget who is who and who are the good guys and the bad guys. But to read it in bigger chunks, you can keep up with the people and sketch out their character.
You get a better sense of God’s patience.
If you study the prophets in small sections, you may think that God has a short fuse. You read what seems like a big punishment after one mess up. But when you read the prophets straight through, you see how patient God is warning the people over hundreds of years and giving them multiple chances to repent. By the time God does send the Israelites into exile or gives judgment to another nation you understand that the punishment was no surprise and they had lots of chances to change their ways.
You read the stories that get skipped in church or Bible study.
Reading the Bible straight through means you don’t miss a thing. There is a lot that doesn’t get taught in church like Lamentations or Jude or large portions of Judges.
You get ideas for future Bible reading and Bible study.
Ever want to read or study the Bible but you aren’t sure where to start? Reading the whole Bible first will give you an idea of what to study next. As I read, I jotted down in a notebook the passages that I didn’t understand. Now I have a notebook of verses and topics to study. For example, when I was thinking about what to write for Read the Hard Parts I went back to my notebook and saw that I noted that 1 Timothy 2:15 didn’t make any sense so I knew I needed to write about it for the blog.
You can compare style and emphasis of each of the gospel writers.
Each gospel writer has a distinct perspective and emphasis on their writings of Jesus’s life here on earth. When you read through them quickly you can pick that out. Like Mark who constantly uses the word “immediately” to show an intentional and busy Jesus. Or Matthew who frequently quotes the Old Testament in his effort to help the Jewish readers connect that Jesus is the Messiah they are waiting for.
You don’t get bogged down in the boring or hard sections.
Have you ever decided to read through the Bible in a year but you gave up in Leviticus when God gives the law? Or you lose motivation in Ezekiel or during a genealogy? If you read through the Bible at a quicker pace, it only takes a couple of days to read through the hard parts instead of weeks if you follow a yearly Bible reading plan. I was glad for that in the book of Job.
I’m going to hang on to my copy of The Bible in 90 Days in hopes that one day I will read it and actually finish it in 90 days. In the meantime, I have a notebook of passages to study with the big picture of Scripture fresh in my mind.
Have you ever used a particular reading program to guide you through reading the Bible? Have you ever tried reading the Bible in 90 days? Comment below and share what has worked or not worked for you!
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