I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holiday season! I would like to thank all of you for responding both in E-mails and to the “survey” I posted before Thanksgiving about how frequently new entries should appear on this website. With that feedback in mind, and in consideration of what would likely work out the best for me, I would like to publish a new post once a week, every Wednesday, starting January 2nd. On that day, Lord willing, I would like to resume our study in Romans, followed by the second half of Exodus once it is finished. After that, I hope to alternate between the Old and New Testaments by continuing to examine the Bible book-by-book and verse-by-verse.
For those who expressed that they would like to see more frequent but shorter entries, I am experimenting with breaking up the material into smaller paragraphs as well as using more paragraph headings for those who wish to read the posts in more than one sitting. I myself struggle with eye-strain after reading for more than a few minutes on the computer and know that reading long articles on a screen can be draining!
Professor Horner’s System
Now, I would like to share a great Bible reading plan that some of you may already be familiar with. It is called “Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System” and it is by far the most extraordinary approach to daily Bible reading I have ever come across. A lot of Christians resolve to read their Bible more as each new year begins and I cannot think of any better reading plan for Christians, both old and new, to use in order to become more familiar with the Word of God.
There is a complete article describing Professor Horner’s approach which I have found copied on many different web pages all over the Internet. Rather than simply re-copying it here, I would like to include the link to the complete description (Click Here) and just briefly mention a few tweaks that I have implemented in my own use of the system over the past month or two since I discovered it.
Virtual Or Physical Bible?
I first came across the system through an Android app from the website Youversion.com and read the first couple of weeks on my mobile phone. This was a very convenient method to use since my cell phone is usually with me. Time spent in lines at the store or waiting at the doctor’s office can easily be turned into Bible devotional time. However, one draw back to using a virtual Bible is that it does not lead to the familiarity with Scripture location the way that is described in the article about the system. Being able to quickly find a particular verse in your own personal Bible can be extremely valuable for study and evangelism purposes and the only way to become skilled at doing so is to spend time in that same paper copy of the Bible.
It is also recommended that the same Bible translation be used consistently to avoid difficulty in the future. Comparing translations during in-depth Bible study can be valuable but, for devotional reading, the same version (and preferably, the same copy) should be used every time. This is definitely the best way to internalize Scripture.
Another benefit of using a paper and ink Bible is that you can continue the readings forever, combining different chapters each day in endless combinations. The pre-programmed version for mobile devices simply starts over with Chapter 1 of each book on each list when the 8 months are over. By using a paper Bible you will “never read the same 10 chapters together again” (as the article mentions).
My Ten Lists
Another tweak I made to the program is that I slightly altered which Bible books went into the 10 lists (something that, according to a lot of the websites I visited about the program, seems to be common). That is the beauty of this system: it can be customized depending on which Bible books you wish to focus on at the time. For me, I wanted a balance between Old and New Testaments (the original program has 6 OT and 4 NT). I also felt that there were other areas I wanted to concentrate on in the coming year or two rather than reading through Proverbs and Acts every single month. So the 10 lists I am using are as follows:
List 1: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (Pentateuch)
List 2: Joshua through Esther (Historical books)
List 3: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon (Old Testament poetry)
List 4: Isaiah through Daniel (Major Prophets)
List 5: Hosea through Malachi (Minor prophets)
List 6: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John (Gospels)
List 7: Acts, Romans
List 8: 1 Corinthians through Colossians
List 9: 1 Thessalonians through Hebrews
List 10: James through Revelation
Again, this is the cool thing about the reading system: you can change which books fall into which lists however you want; the possibilities are limitless. I agree with Professor Horner’s opinion that the Book of Acts should be re-read often, but I also feel the same way about Romans. Consequently, my customized “list 7″ will have me reading through Acts and Romans about every month and a half. And while the books of Psalms and Proverbs are certainly worthy of having their own lists to themselves (as the original reading system has them laid out), I have chosen to focus more on Paul’s epistles by giving them two lists and the Old Testament minor prophets by separating them from the major prophets.
Other Benefits Of Using The System
Many traditional Bible reading plans, such as the “One-Year Bible Plan“, prescribe reading a chapter or two from the Old Testament, a chapter or two from the New, and usually one from Psalms and maybe a passage from Proverbs. But imagine reading a chapter from literally every portion of the Bible…every day! Some parts of Scripture definitely hold our attention better than others, and by using Professor Horner’s approach, we will spend time in those sections each and every time we read the Word. Knowing that we will be reading a chapter from the Gospels, or Paul’s epistles, or the Book of Acts every day can make the long genealogy chapters in First Chronicles a lot less tedious!
Keeping our interest sparked means that we will be much more consistent with making Bible reading a part of our daily routine. And while reading 10 whole Bible chapters a day might seem like a daunting commitment at first, it can literally be completed in about 30 minutes to an hour. What a worthwhile investment of our time!
It has amazed me time and time again how inter-related the books of the Bible really are. I have spent the last several months bouncing back and forth between Exodus and Romans in the posts I have written and it is astounding how even those two seemingly completely different books complement one another. By reading a chapter from 10 different books of the Bible each day, the inter-connectedness of all Scripture becomes more and more apparent every time you complete the day’s reading.
For anyone wishing to begin a new daily Bible-reading program as this new year begins, I highly recommend giving Professor Horner’s system (either the original or a modified version such as the one I am using) a try.
To God goes all glory. In service to Him,