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We're reading through the gospels in 2019 and would love to have you join us.

Starting with the Gospel of Matthew on Tuesday, January 1, 2019, we’ll be reading through the 4 Gospels in 2019 at Munger. (We’ll read Matthew from January 1-April 25.) Readings will only be M-F, and will be relatively short—5 minutes or less. Create the habit to read and spend time in silence and prayer every day, preferably first thing.

You have several options for your daily reading: take one of our Matthew booklets and read through that, marking it as you go. Or, take a bookmark with the reading schedule and read in your own Bible or on your phone.

Download Your Monthly Reading Bookmark
January

Our pastor Andrew Forrest will be preaching through the Gospels each Sunday, so bring your Bible to church, and be sure to check out his blog for daily commentary: www.andrewforrest.org.

We’ll also have Bible studies through the year: the first 3 week series kicks off on Wednesday, January 9.

Slide Thegospels Biblestudy
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How to read

Be consistent. The readings are Monday-Friday. On the weekends, catch up if you get behind or read a Psalm.

Forget what you already know. Read what’s actually in the text, approaching it with humility and with as few preconceptions as possible.

Read slowly and carefully. Each day’s reading is very short; savor it.

Mark up the text. Look for connections, contradictions, conundrums. What questions does it raise? Circle, underline, highlight, annotate.

Don’t be afraid of difficulty or mystery. God’s Word is sometimes built around surprising paradoxes. An important part of reading the Bible is noticing unexpected twists in the text and deeply pondering their meaning. God is a God of surprises.

Be prepared to be challenged. When believers approach Bible study they are encountering a living Word, not analyzing a dead fish. Students of God’s living Word need to be open to the fact that the Word challenges our cultural assumptions in surprising ways.

Don’t read alone. Share with friends, share online, attend a Bible study or small group, etc. The Bible is for community, not for individuals alone.

Questions for Daily Reflection

What was the passage about? Repeat it in your own words.

What do we learn about God and people from this passage?

Is the Holy Spirit nudging you to do or contemplate something in response to this passage?

Who do you know that needs to hear about what you just read? The questions below are like tools in a toolbox: some will be helpful on some days, some on others.

Here are a couple of suggestions of Bibles you might like:

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.