I encourage you to read the New Testament in 2010. You can do it less than 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Seriously.
Have you ever read the whole New Testament? If you are a Christian then you should have, in addition to reading the Old Testament. It isn’t what saves you, of course, but it seems to be a pretty logical step for someone claiming to be a follower of Christ. And wouldn’t it be a little embarrassing for a seeker to find out that you hadn’t read it?
But let’s focus on the positive: This is the word of God – the God who created the universe and everything in it and who saved your eternal soul (if you are a Christian). This is his primary form of communication to you. He uses it to transform us. It is living and active. He makes many, many promises about his word and its power and He fulfills those promises.
Even if you have read the Bible you should read it again and again. Jesus called it our daily bread for a reason.
If you aren’t a Christian, read it and believe! Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. Or just read it to be a well informed person. Regardless of your views on it, the New Testament is foundational to Western culture and has influenced culture, art and literature far more than most people realize.
How hard is it to read the New Testament? Not very. Let’s break it down:
- 260 chapters
- Less than 200 pages in a typical non-study Bible
- Each chapter is usually a page or less.
- You can read a chapter in 5-10 minutes and that includes the footnotes if you have a study Bible. That’s less time than you spend reading the newspaper, blogs or just surfing.
- Less than one chapter per day
- Several books are just one chapter, and many are just a few chapters.
- Use a study Bible if you like, but that isn’t required.
- Get a friend involved and hold each other accountable and share what you’ve learned.
- Join a Bible study group
- Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything. I put a couple suggestions at the bottom of the post and here are some more Bible study tips.
Try this: Read a chapter at breakfast. If you are too busy, then keep a Bible by your bed and commit not to go to sleep before reading at least one chapter. Even if you miss now and then and only read five per week you’ll still accomplish the goal.
You don’t have to read it straight through. Read a Gospel, then a letter or two, then another Gospel, then Acts, then a letter or two, etc.
If you have an iPhone, check out the free Logos Bible iPhone App. I have used this the last couple months. I work through a book of the Bible, reading the same chapter 2-3 times throughout the course of the day.
If reading isn’t your thing, then listen to it. Redeem your commute. You can listen to the whole New Testament in under 20 hours. Get free MP3 files of the New Testament here and put it on your iPod. It is a high quality rendition.
Forget the excuses and give it a try. You can do it, and you’ll be really glad that you did.
P.S. Yes, we should read the Old Testament as well. But let’s start with the New Testament. And if you already had more robust Bible study plans for the year then just pretend you never read this.
A suggested reading pattern from James MacDonald. Just read a chapter or so, then:
- Question it – What portion stands out to me? Why? (Don’t just focus on what you don’t understand, consider what you do understand)
- Is there an example for me to follow?
- Is there an error for me to avoid?
- Is there a duty for me to perform?
- Is there a promise for me to claim?
- Is there a sin for me to confess?
- Plan it – make a plan for how you will use it
- Pray it – pray scripture back to God
- Share it – helps others, and helps us to remember it