TXAB: The Christ Almighty Blog

08 February 2016

Read the bible over Lent.

Got a spare 40 days? Do your bible.

Lent is the 40 days before Easter, during which time some of us Christians do a little fasting or other forms of self-deprivation, and meditate about what Jesus suffered on our behalf. And of course others of us contemplate nothing, but fast anyway ’cause it’s tradition. And of course still others (namely the Evangelicals I know) contemplate nothing, fast nothing, and feel smug because our religious customs don’t obligate us to do a thing.

True, Lent is voluntary. It comes from Christian tradition, not the bible. Same as every church activity, you can opt in, or opt out. You can deprive yourself of a lot of things, or just a few things. You can adopt lots of religious practices during this time, or not.

But if you’re gonna adopt a practice, why not read the bible? The whole bible? ’Cause you can. You can do it within a month, so there’s certainly no reason it can’t be done in a time-period with 10 extra days.

So if you’re giving something up for Lent, like television, there y’go: You can easily take the time you’d spend watching the boob tube, and read the scriptures. And have time left over. Easy-peasy.

And if you’re giving up nothing for Lent, ’cause self-deprivation isn’t your thing—like so many Americans, gluttony is—you can still carve out a bit of time each day to read some bible, and make up for the fact you didn’t read the whole thing back in January. Or that you started, but dropped the ball. Or that you’re doing the six-month or year-long bible track, and dropped the ball on that. Either way, it’s catchup time.

So there’s your Lenten challenge: Read your bible. You know you oughta.

One possible schedule.

If you’re gonna tackle the bible over Lent, here’s one possible schedule you can follow. Gets you through the Old Testament (in roughly the order it was composed), then the New (generally bunching authors together).

Ash Wed.
Genesis 1-35
Day 2
Genesis 36-50, Psalms 1-41
Day 3
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Joshua, Psalms 42-72
Day 9
Judges, Psalms 73-106
Day 10
1 Samuel
Day 12
2 Samuel
Day 13
1-2 Kings
Day 14
Day 15
Day 16
Day 17
Hosea through Malachi
Day 19
Proverbs, Psalms 107-150
Day 20
Day 21
Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther
Day 22
Day 23
Ezra, Nehemiah
Day 24
1-2 Chronicles
Day 26
Day 27
Day 28
Day 29
Day 30
Day 31
Romans, 1 Corinthians
Day 33
2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians
Day 34
Philippians through 2 Thessalonians
Day 35
1 Timothy through Philemon
Day 36
Day 37
James through Jude
Day 38

Lent has six Saturdays, so that’s lots of catch-up time in case you miss a day or two. Or six.

As I’ve said elsewhere, other reading programs carve the bible into equal portions for the day. If you wanna do that, you can: Get one of those yearly bible-reading programs, and read nine to 10 days’ worth of material each day. That’ll get you finished in 40 days. But ideally I like to read a book all the way through, so I didn’t slice and dice the books when I could avoid it. (Psalms technically consists of five individual books of psalms, so I actually didn’t divide those books when I spread ’em out on the schedule.)

Of course, you don’t have to follow this program. You can use TXAB’s bible-reading plan and read it in whatever order, at whatever speed, and get ’er done in 30 or even 20 days. (Or if you’re just crazy enough, 10 days.) Whatever works for you.

Ready to take the challenge? Let’s get to it.