BIBLE READING Plans
On a Sunday some years ago, a show of hands revealed how few Catholics have read the whole Catholic Bible. So we asked a question:
What if a critical mass of a parish were to read a Chapter-A-Day of the Bible?
What kinds of faith conversations might be made possible by common reading?
Is anyone interested?
Indeed, people were interested. So began
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One chapter a day (a page and a half in most editions) takes about 44 months, so four months shy of four years, like a high school diploma or a college degree. The four-year (48 months) schedule for people who wish to read it together begins on January 1 of each Leap Year, so an individual can plug into wherever a group or whole parish is at any point in the four-year cycle, and let his or her 48 months roll on. St. Stephen Catholic Community in Old Hickory, Tennessee updates the schedule on their web site, with access to each day's reading and footnotes.
Coward that I am, I did not ask parishioners the Have You Read The Whole Bible question until after I had done so myself, coward that I am. Having tried the Genesis through Revelation method and having failed somewhere in Leviticus/Numbers, something from my CPA days hit. I wrote in my Bible's table of contents, next to each book title, the number of chapters in that book. For the books with only one chapter, I wrote the number of verses (i.e., 13 v.), found the shortest book (2nd John), and read it. Having finished a book of the Bible, I did my happy dance and moved on to the next shortest book, then the next shortest,... until completing the longest book (Isaiah). For a chart you can stick in your Bible, click
This is still the schedule I repeat, and it works well for one person on his or her own schedule.
Then there is always the fella who wants to do it in one year. If one chapter a day takes four years, then one year means about four chapters a day. For the disciplined disciple, this might be the ticket. The schedule I suggest over 52 weeks puts a different book on each day of the week, sort of like reading seven great books at one time:
Whichever way (or other way) that works for you, we can freely bounce from one kind of book to another because the Catholic who has not yet read the whole Bible does know the basic story. Still, it is the text of our faith, our story of salvation. If you do read the whole thing, I promise you will find passages that you will know you want to pray again.
All God's blessings,
Rev. Steve Wolf
updated March 25, 2012