An amazing year has begun. It started for us with a flourish at the new year’s day prophetic gathering where I shared what the Lord had laid on my heart for this year. We are going to be totally word focused this year. And it has already begun. Once again we will be reading through the Bible this year, this time though in chronological order.
Often in Bible study I ask questions about the context and place of events and find some ignorance of the timeline of events in Scripture; the whos are pretty clear, but not the whens and sometimes the whys. To properly enjoy and benefit from God’s Word, we need to grasp the sequence of events described. Since the canonical ordering of the books of the Hebrew Old Testament does not follow the order in which the events occurred, a chronological reading can be quite beneficial.
One cannot say that the chronological determination of historians and theologians is perfect, especially when it comes to ordering the epistles, (the historical books of the Old Testament are straightforward enough), however it is useful. So now we have just read through the first eleven chapters of Genesis and before moving on to Abraham, we are switching to Job. Remember Job, a book ensconced in the folds of the Old Testament? Well, it seems the events actually occurred very early in the chronology of Scripture. Also the story of the lives of the kings of Israel becomes clearer as we go through the same events together be they in Samuel, kings or chronicles with the psalms interspersed within etc, etc
The same goes for the New Testament where our chronological reading means that instead of reading the Gospels one at a time, we will be reading them event by event through the four Gospels at the same time. Of particular interest in the Gospels is the often ignored fact that the individual narratives themselves are not in chronological order and although it is not fundamental to faith, it will be helpful to see how the events of Jesus’s life evolved from birth to ascension. The other noteworthy point is how slight the differences are in expression and presentation of events even though we know that the four gospels were written to different audiences and that that difference influenced style and choice of words.
If you can, why not come along on this journey. It is estimated that it takes only fifteen minutes a day to read through the Bible in one year, more I believe if you take time to check things up and study, but the point is, it is perfectly feasible. So if you are shopping for a new year resolution, why not read through the Bible. Google ‘bible reading plan’ and dozens of websites will pop up to take you by the hand and help you through the year. You can also download our reading plan (in French) from www.oliviaoged.com.
Have a wonderful year in God’s Word.