Posted by: Chris Avery | December 16, 2008

The New Testament Project

Some guys from the church I go to have decided that they want to start a group for reading through the New Testament. The idea was taken from John MacArthur. You can skip the first few paragraphs if you just want to hear the New Testament Plan.

“First, I begin with reading the Bible. That seems obvious, but quite frankly, it’s where many people fail. Too many Christians are content with a second-hand knowledge of Scripture. They read books about the Bible instead of studying the Bible for themselves. Books are good, but collateral reading can never replace the Bible itself.

 

There are many good Bible reading plans available, but here is one I’ve found most helpful. I read through the Old Testament at least once a year. As I read, I note in the margins any truths I particularly want to remember, and I write down separately anything I don’t immediately understand. Often I find that as I read, my questions are answered by the text itself. The questions to which I can’t find answers become the starting points for more in-depth study using commentaries or other reference tools.

 

I follow a different plan for reading the New Testament. I read one book at a time repetitiously for a month or more. I began doing this when I was in seminary, because I wanted to retain what was in the New Testament and not always have to depend on a concordance to find things.

 

If you want to try this, begin with a short book, such as 1 John, and read it through in one sitting every day for 30 days. At the end of that time, you will know what’s in that book. Write out on index cards the major theme of each chapter. By referring to the cards as you do your daily reading, you’ll begin to remember the content of each chapter. In fact, you’ll develop a visual perception of the book in your mind.

 

Divide longer books into short sections and read each section daily for thirty days. For example, the gospel of John contains 21 chapters. Divide it into 3 sections of 7 chapters. At the end of 90 days, you’ll finish John. For variety, alternate short and long books and in less than 3 years you will have finished the entire New Testament—and you’ll really know it!”

 

The group that has been made can be used to discuss things we’ve read, but it is also for the purpose of accountability. Hopefully we will find a lot of people to do this, and then we can all enjoy the fellowship of growing in knowledge of the truth.

The website is The New Testament Project.

Leave Gary a comment at An Earthly Sanctuary if you plan on doing this with us or if you have any questions.

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