welcome to our two year trek through the bible
You can find the complete generic reading list by clicking here.
According to recent surveys 80% of Americans believe that the Bible is either the Word of God or is divinely inspired. Unfortunately only a small percentage of those same people actually know what is in the Bible. Because of this Joel Baden, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Yale University, asks, "What use is the Bible?" (see his video here) His answer is that the Bible has become no more than a prop for particular religious and political positions, rather than a text with a larger story to tell.
My hope is that this website and the weekly reflections and readings it contains will help anyone who desires to "de-prop" the scriptures and allow its amazing, scary, encouraging and sometimes contradictory story to come through. In so doing I will not engage in the usual debates about controversial Biblical issues. Instead I will allow you, the reader, to draw your own conclusions from our trek, while I, as a guide, help you see interesting and important features along the way.
As we prepare to undertake this two year journey, we need to understand that the Bible itself is a journey. It is a journey through time and territory. It takes us from the Garden of Eden and back again. This journey is filled with fascinating characters and miraculous events. It introduces us to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, not to mention Abraham, Moses, David and a cast of characters which would make any soap-opera proud.
In order to help us know where we are on our journey we will use two maps.
The first map is that of the great movements of the journeys that are taken by the people of God. These great movements can be seen in the headings to the left. They offer a framework for the all of the disparate books, people and events in the scripture. In a sense they can help readers to know "where there are" as they progress through the Bible.
The second map through which we will view the story is that of the Five Part Story. The Five Part story is a meta-narrative of the entire Biblical story. It is a structure into which all of the individuals journeys can be placed. You can read more about it on the Five Part Story page.
One last note about the organization of the readings. They are not in perfect Biblical order. Instead, with the help of several on-line resources I attempted to organize the readings, as best as I could, in historical order. By so doing I hope that it will help readers see the connections between portions of the scripture which are currently separated by the order in which they are presented in most Bibles. You can see a list of the Bible books and their approximate dates of composition by clicking on the links below.
This journey will take several hours hours per week over the next two years to complete. Step one is to watch the video of each book. Step two is to read the article which covers each week's reading. Step three is to open the Bible and read the weekly chapters. Step four is to use the weekly reflection questions as a way of personalizing what we have read.
A Little Bit About Me:
My name is John Judson and I am the senior pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, MI. I have been preaching and teaching from the scriptures for more than 30 years and believe that they have the power to change our lives, because they changed mine. It was in reading the New Testament for the first time while serving in the Peace Corps, that I began to discover a Jesus I had never known before. My hope is that by reading through the Bible, you will be changed as well.
I am personally indebted to Roger Krieger for checking and editing all of these entries. Thanks Roger!
I also want to thank the University of Nottingham for their Bibledex series of videos on every book of the Bible...check them out here.