Through the Bible in 60 days

paperpilessmFebruary 1 – March 31. Those dates did not begin as my Bible reading schedule but as I finished up Revelation Monday morning I thanked God for the tremendous blessing of my first journey of reading through the entire Bible in 60 days.

Only God knew the unbelievably perfect timing for this venture. Only He knew the trials and fire which would fill those two months. When I began I was a newlywed planning a life as a military wife. When I ended, I was in the midst of a divorce and trying to recover from trauma.

I could not have planned to begin reading Job just minutes before the heart-breaking phone call when I found out my marriage was ending; I did not realize at the beginning I would get to read through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John during the celebration of His Resurrection. God blessed me. His provision and love are abundant and beautiful to me!

Originally my goal was 90 days. A couple weeks ago I began playing with the idea of pushing myself to finish by March 31. My goal of reading through all the Gospels by Easter gave me the extra impetus needed to harness my so often-distracted mind and focus.

Have you ever read through Romans, or 1 & 2 Corinthians in one sitting? Paul’s arguments are masterfully built. Reading his letters as a whole instead of in chapter or verse bits makes that clear. The opportunity for a broad overview of Scripture combined with the speed which was set gave me some deeper understanding of portions of the Prophets as well as the almost continuous OT allusions in the New Testament.

Instead of only knowing that a given verse was a quote from the Old Testament because of a footnote, I found myself remembering which book, even which chapter the quotation came from. Isaiah 54. Genesis 21. Daniel 11. Ezekiel 28. I saw the allusions because I had read the Old Testament only a few days ago!

Today I finished Revelation 21 and closed my new-three-months-ago but now-very-worn Bible with a mixture of wistfulness and triumph. Now I am free to dive into some serious study that has been put on hold. That part makes me glad. But I so enjoyed this that I know I am going to be doing it again at least once a year. Perhaps after a few months off I will start again and see if I can do another read-through in 2008. Believe me, it is addicting!

I wonder if we do not often intimidate ourselves too much over the thought of reading “the whole Bible.” Speaking as a voracious reader, it is not that long. Shorter than a Hugo or Tolstoy novel. Much more valuable for our spirits and minds. We’ve been given a precious treasure in God’s Word–let’s remember that and revel in it with every opportunity we are given.

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One thought on “Through the Bible in 60 days

  1. Archived Comments:

    simplysanctified
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 7:20 AM
    What an accomplishment!
    Congratulations Natalie!

    Alexis
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 9:36 AM
    I decided to read nothing but my Bible during 2008. I am almost done 1 Kings and am reaping many of the same benefits that you described. Once I have finished reading it from Genesis to Revelations I plan on doing in depth studies of each book. I can also devour a Tolstoy size novel rather quickly but find myself wanting to move slowly through the Bible and savour it. I am looking forward to looking back over 2008 and seeing what God has taught me.

    Ps.42:2
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 10:37 AM
    I’ve been reading about the NET Bible with much curiosity…I’ve compared some passages of it with my trusted old NASB, and it really flows nicely. I’d like to get one, but everything I’ve ever memorized has been NASB, so I’m hesitant to read anything else…
    What made you decide to make the change, Natalie?

    Elizabeth
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 12:13 PM
    Thanks for the inspiration! I agree, it’s so interesting to be able to recall the Old Testament prophecies while reading about their fulfillment in the NT. One year is challenging enough for me! Usually I like to go sloow and savour, but I will keep your idea in mind.

    Elizabeth
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 12:15 PM
    Totally awesome!! I’m looking at reading through the bible in 90 days sometime soon and your article definitely encouraged me to do it!

    Natalie Marie
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 12:39 PM
    Ps42 (wish I knew your name :)),

    It is not that I have “switched” from using just one version to using just another version. I have old and new NASB, ESV, the NET bible, and sometimes other translations that I all use regularly. They each have different choices in why they translated as they did. Though I do not always agree with the NET Bible’s rendering, what makes it so helpful and interesting are the extensive notes–literally tens of thousands of notes that you would not find in any other Bible. For someone like me who does not know much Hebrew or Greek, it is very helpful in study. I am glad I chose to do my read-through in the NET because it was a way to get a fresh look at the Scripture–in a translation I have not memorized or studied nearly as much as the NASB.

    Ps.42:2
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 4:37 PM
    Sorry, Natalie! My name is Stephanie. I should change it in Blogger. And I agree with you- it’s sometimes helpful to look at other translations for a fresh perspective. (Translations- not paraphrases!) Those thousands of study notes do sound pretty enticing! Do you often read all of the notes along with your reading, or do you just refer to them for further insight when something is unclear?

    Cheri
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 5:49 PM
    Wow, what I neat idea! I’d love to try this. Is there a schedule that I could go by or a website that you could direct me to?

    Anonymous
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 6:14 PM
    Wow! May God bless you for your diligence!

    I hope you are not finished with your wedding posts. Especially would like to know where you found such a beautiful, modest dress!

    Anonymous
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 10:26 PM
    That is an awesome, amazing accomplishment, Natalie. Congratulations!

    Thanks for all the encouragement you provide through YLCF!!!!
    Laura

    Anonymous
    Posted April 5, 2008 at 10:21 AM
    Beautiful post! Great accomplishment- it certainly inspires me to do the same!

    Anonymous
    Posted April 5, 2008 at 3:46 PM
    Please let us know when you’ll be doing another quest to read the Bible in 3 months! I hope to be able to join you then! Debbie

    Everly Pleasant
    Posted April 6, 2008 at 11:14 AM
    Yes Natalie, thank you dearly for the answer. No more questions…today.
    Everly

    Jane
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 11:44 AM
    Natalie i hope you don’t mind yet another question :))
    And i won’t make this post as long as usual lol
    but where can i find the NET bible?
    I’ve found a couple of web sites with the NET bible..but where can i get an actual copy?
    through amazon maybe?
    or in any store?
    do you have any ideas where i may get one?
    Because i really liked the commentary i read from NET bible on that web site i found it was great!

    Thank you again for all you do on this web site Natalie, you make it so personal and lovely on here
    thank you for that!

    Ok take care Natalie and everyone!
    Blessings & HUGS :))

    To God be all glory!
    PTL

    In Him, Jane.

    Natalie Marie
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 12:09 PM
    Jane
    You can order the Net Bible right on their website…I do not think you can get it elsewhere. It is very expensive if you get the version with all the notes, but I personally think it is a great investment. There is also a compact edition with the translation and a small amount of notes–and the size of that Bible is perfect for carrying around, putting in your purse, etc. It is what I used to do my 60 day read-through.
    They are here:
    First Edition (with 60,000 plus notes): http://store.bible.org/category.asp?CategoryID=7&ParentID=1
    Compact Edition:http://store.bible.org/category.asp?CategoryID=49&ParentID=1

    Anonymous
    Posted April 11, 2008 at 11:08 PM
    You are inspiring. Did you just divide the bible into sixty day segments? Or do you have a schedule? PLEASE TELL!

    Like

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