We’re reading through the Bible in 2018 and would love to have you join us.
There is nothing else you can do that will have greater effect on your life than spending the first 15 minutes of your day in scripture, silence, and prayer.
But, the First 15 is like going to the gym—to get the most out of it, you need a plan before you even show up.
So, we’re following the Read Scripture plan as a church all throughout 2018. 15-20 minutes a day will have us read the entire Bible in one year.
Whether you start in January or sometime later, imagine the feeling of accomplishment you’ll receive if you push through to the end!
How to Get Started
You can follow the Read Scripture plan either by using your own Bible or by using the free Read Scripture app.
(Don’t have a Bible? Any Bible will do, but see below for some suggestions.)
We’d recommend downloading the app even if you prefer the experience of reading in your own Bible, because the app will enable you to track your progress, set reminders, and includes links to the excellent and helpful videos put out by The Bible Project guys.
1. a. If you are using the app, click on “Welcome” and start there. Be sure to configure the settings to “Read every day” and Start Date “January 01, 2018” so you’ll be right on track with the rest of the church.
2. Start reading the assigned reading for the correct date. If you’re reading this in December 2017, plan on starting on Monday, January 1, 2018. If you are reading this later in the year, don’t try to catch up—just start with the assigned reading for whatever calendar day you begin. (For example, if you start on February 1, begin with the reading for that day.)
2.a. Don’t miss the Read Scripture videos. They are available on the app and online. The videos can help you make sense of what you’re reading. Remember, the Bible comes to us from a culture very different than ours—don’t be discouraged if you don’t understand all of it!
3. Follow along with our Sunday sermons and with our daily scripture blog.
Don’t give up! The practice of daily Bible reading is difficult but worth it!
Here are a couple of suggestions
NIV Study Bible (The Zondervan edition is a newer, different version than this) – This is the top-selling study Bible in America. It uses common language and includes helpful study notes, maps, and charts.
The NIV Study Bible also has an extensive concordance (the section that lists all the places you can find biblical words – i.e. salvation), which can be very helpful. In addition, it has extensive cross-referencing (when a Bible verse lists other related Bible verses with it).
The notes and language in the ESV are similar theologically to the NIV Bible. Some people feel the ESV is more reader-friendly.
Strengths of this Bible include extensive, helpful notes before each book of the Bible explaining what to expect, the purpose, author, etc., and, like in the NIV Study Bible, textual notes at the bottom are meant more for explanation rather than inspiration or application.
The NRSV is the official version of the United Methodist Church and claims to be the most accurate translation into English. The other thing we like about this version is that it is thinline (you can get thinline Bibles in other versions as well), which means it is much less bulky if you think you’ll be reading on the go a lot.
Thinline Bibles are still very readable, but be sure to look inside before you purchase, just in case.
If these don’t work for you, here are a few things we’d suggest you think about when choosing a Bible:
- Will you carry this Bible around with you? (Note the size and material it’s made out of.)
- Do you take a lot of notes in your Bible? (Is there space?)
- Are cross-references, concordances, study notes, etc. helpful to you? (Look in the Bible for what you like/need before you buy it.)
While we recommend study Bibles, here are a few things to think about:
- Study Bibles and Life Application Bibles are different. Life Application Bibles offer inspiration and explain how the passage should affect your day-to-day life. This is helpful for Christian living but not for understanding. Study Bibles are the opposite. They help with understanding why the temple needed to be this many cubits but won’t necessarily tell you how to live your faith because of those cubits.
- Study and Life Application notes should be used only after you have worked to understand the passage on your own. They should not be a substitute for thinking, praying, and examining a passage.