My Bible study goal for 2022 is to read through the entire Bible in chronological order. My small group at church is following the same reading plan, and so is my family! This is the first time since high school that I have committed to a year-long reading plan or Bible study alongside other believers. Accountability is not only vital for success but makes the study experience more enjoyable! We did not actually start the reading plan on January 1st, so it will most likely take longer than 2022 to finish. I am determined not focus on “catching up” with the dates on the plan, instead staying faithful to the study itself.
I have read the Bible cover to cover at least once in my life. The first time was in high school after joining a challenge issued by my youth pastor. It took me longer than a year, but I finished it. A closer knowledge of the Lord can be acquired any time Scripture is studied! However, looking back, I would not read cover to cover again, and would not recommend it to others. It gets difficult to understand event continuity (especially with the Old Testament.) Also, reading daily without discussion or referencing any commentaries/historical context can often lead to confusion or misinterpretation. My enthusiasm during Genesis and Exodus waned once I hit Leviticus. By the time I trudged through the book of Numbers, my eyes had crossed. While reading Kings and Chronicles, I suffered from déjà vu because they contain many of the same accounts and genealogies. I learned much from reading the prophets but was still confused without understanding the historical context for the messages they were delivering from God.
The 66 books of the Bible are organized by genre, not chronology. Reading through chronologically helps me understand the holistic story of God’s people. Genealogies and lists of Old Testament ceremonial laws are important, so finding the best way to study faithfully is helpful! No matter how many times I re-read the Bible, I always come away with something new. This is because Scripture is the living Word! Hebrews 4:12 says: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
I purchased a new ESV Bible at the beginning of the year in anticipation of this study! Not only is it beautiful but practical! It gives me plenty of room to take notes on each page. I use highlighters, colored pencils, mechanical pencils, and sometimes no-bleed pens.