A favorite ‘bucket list’ item of spiritual seekers is reading the Bible through at least once in their life, and preferably within a set time frame such as a year. Yet for many who have tried this noble undertaking, Leviticus often stands as the dividing line between the sheep and goats – between those who launch forth at Genesis only to stumble and stop vs. those who forge on toward the finish line of Revelation.
Bible Reading Plans
Deciding to no longer trudge through chapter after chapter of Jewish ritualistic practices that seem to have little to do with busy, techno-plugged in lives of today, is of course, understandable.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! With over two billion Christians on the planet, many of them sharing this same goal, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn of Bible reading plans that address what could be labeled: ‘Overcoming the Leviticus slump’.
One of my favorites – because of its simplicity and effectiveness—is “Professor Horner’s Bible-Reading System”. Here’s a link on the BibleRoads website where we’ve posted it so you can get details. https://bibleroads.com/resources/bible-reading-plan/
I hope you’ll try it. It pulled me through the Scriptures within a year and became an activity I deeply looked forward to each morning instead of an onerous task done out of guilt or obligation.
A related question might be: ‘So what translation do I read as I’m coming to know the Scriptures more intimately?’ For those most familiar with the King James Bible, that may be the text you’ll choose because of its magnificent use of language—the rhythm, cadence and vividness that make it, with Shakespeare’s work, the pinnacle of English literature. For others, the Elizabethan English can be a stumbling block and for them, a more contemporary translation would be desired.
For the latter, there are two translations I would recommend: The Common English Bible (CEB) and The New Living Translation (NLT). Both have Study Bible versions which help the reader understand cultural, geographical and historic facets of the Scriptures, as well as provide maps, charts and illustrations. Attending the debut panel presentation of The Common English Bible in 2011 at The Society of Biblical Literature’s international meeting, I was pleased to hear the Editorial Board explain their alliance of twenty two faith traditions and one hundred and twenty Bible scholars to produce this newest translation of the Scriptures. This admirable collaboration over a period of years has resulted in a text that serves Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant, excelling in both accuracy and clarity, two of the editors’ stated goals. This is a link to Amazon for the CEB translations mentioned.
I discovered The New Living Translation a number of years ago while reading a parallel Bible with four columns of text. I noticed, while reading each subsequent translation, that my eye kept returning to the ‘third column’, the one featuring the New Living Translation text, published first in 2008. Using some forty scholars, this Study Bible has over 25,000 notes and is a treasure trove of discovery for the curious student. It has some of the linguistic beauty and vividness of the King James with the clarity of contemporary speech and has been one of my major study Bibles since. And this is a link to Amazon for the NLT translation discussed.
There are many powerful, moving translations, each serving different audiences and needs. The Bible continues to be adapted to each age in which it pastors the flock of the world with The Living Word. Our job is to quiet our lives enough to drink it in – deeply.
We’d love to hear your experience in reading the Scriptures through and hope you’ll share with other BibleRoads readers.