Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Reading the Bible in 90 Days

Having started on February 1, I am attempting to read the entire Bible in 90 days. It has been challenging, and I am already a little bit behind. But so far, it's been very good. I am still trying to find the optimal time of day to read, which varies from day to day, but the main goal is to read. I would not recommend this as the only method of Bible reading because it's not possible to do in-depth study at this pace. However, this is a great way to get the Bible's big picture. With less than a month under my belt, here are a few lessons I've learned so far.

The Bible has unity. It contains the overarching story of God's promise of redemption in Genesis 3:15 and His faithfulness to keep His word through the twists and turns of human history. Reading the historical narratives in 3-4 days has helped me maintain that storyline. For example, God is faithful in preserving Abraham's descendants in spite of the patriarchs failings, through their enslavement in Egypt, eventual release, and wilderness wanderings. The downward spiritual slide in Judges is contrasted with the hopeful message of Ruth and the reign of a man after God's own heart. While the patriarchs, judges, and kings foreshadow the coming Messiah, even the best of men are only men who stumble and fall. But God's plan is still moving forward step by step and will not be deterred.

Reading quickly has kept me from falling back into some bad hermeneutical habits. There isn't time to allegorize narrative because the pace forces me to read what is written as it is written. I don't get lost in the weeds and begin to wonder if there is a deeper, hidden significance to rock badgers (Lev. 11:5) There's also less temptation to read myself into the story because larger portions keep the context in the forefront. For example, the point of God's call to Abraham isn't about helping me step out of my comfort zone. God made a covenant with Abraham because He intended to preserve a people and a family line from whom Jesus would come. (Gen. 12; Matt. 1)

In the past, I have struggled with daily Bible reading. It may seem counterintuitive, but reading larger portions is helping my consistency. Getting the bigger picture makes the Bible that much more exciting. Rather than a compilation of nice and not-so-nice stories, verses, chapters, and books fit together to form God's unfolding plan of redemption. So if you haven't tried reading the Bible in 90 days, give it a try. It's a challenge, but a good one.

The logical conclusion to be drawn is that if the unity of the Bible has any meaning at all, the real context of any Bible text is the whole Bible. Any given text is more meaningful when related not only to its immediate context, but also to the entire plan of redemption revealed in the whole Bible.1

1. Gospel and Kingdom: The Goldsworthy Trilogy, Graeme Goldsworthy, Paternoster Press, 2000, pg. 31.

The Bible in 90 Days Reading Schedule: This is the plan I'm using, which is in book order.
Through the Bible in 90 Days: This plan intersperses the Psalms and goes back and forth between the Old and New Testaments.
There are probably many other plans available on the Internet.


  1. So glad to hear this! Reading the Bible in 90 days was what helped me to be more consistent with Bible reading also.

    1. I thought the bigger portions would be harder to tackle. It does take more time, but I'm less distracted. And thanks to you and your husband for starting this 90-day challenge, Debi. :)

    2. Amen! I am so glad I am doing this and I agree wholeheartedly with getting the bigger picture of the Bible. It is a challenge but one I am willing to do as it has really been a blessing.

  2. Reading the Bible through in 90 days sounds like a challenge I would enjoy.