Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Spreading out the gospels

I've written about a few bible reading schemes I've, albeit unsuccessfully, attempted to undertake the last few years (here and here).

Anyone who has attempted to read the bible cover-to-cover, which I have successfully done a few times, will be aware of the stumbling block that hits as you near the end of the Pentateuch.

As you draw away from the patriarchs in Genesis and the thrills of the Exodus, you delve into the Law. Followed by more Law. And then... A restating of the Law in Deuteronomy.

In truth, it feels a tad repetitive.

But, a similar thing can happen in the New Testament if you read from the beginning.

By the time you encounter the third of the synoptic gospels, it can feel a bit familiar.

I know it might seem a near blasphemous, but the accounts of Jesus can feel a little repeated, opening up the danger of skimming over the segments you've encountered previously.

But there might be a wise way around this. 

What if you dispersed the gospels thoughtout your reading plan for the remainder of the New Testament?

What if you started with Matthew, then read Acts-Romans, followed by Mark, then the rest of the Pauline Epistles, then Luke, then Hebrews-Jude, finalised by the gospel of John and Revelation.

I like this structure since it, freshly, brings you back to the life and ministry of Jesus, seeing how this affected the embryonic church and the struggles it faced and avoiding the chronological trap of gospel complacency. 

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