You may have even made it all the way through, moving on to Exodus. Moses, the plagues, the Red Sea, the Ten Commandments. All interesting stuff.
|Jona Park (CC)|
But then you hit Leviticus. You start reading about guilt offerings, grain offerings, sin offerings, and offering offerings. (Okay I may have made that last one up.) Then you start nodding off. Your mind starts wandering to important things like how much toilet paper is left in the bathroom or who won the 2014 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
So you close up the Bible. The next day you flip to Matthew with a possible pitstop in Psalms and Proverbs. You’ll try the Old Testament next year.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s had this problem.
True, the Old Testament can be dry, confusing, and downright boring in places. But skipping over it doesn’t seem like a good plan. Ignoring two-thirds of the Bible leaves you with an incomplete, distorted view of God. A working knowledge of the Old Testament is absolutely vital to provide the context for Jesus’ incarnation, death, and resurrection. It may be grueling to engage in centuries old biblical literature, but neglecting to do so leaves you ignorant of the truth God wants to speak into your life.
John 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Old Testament, as weird as it can seem, is the very revelation of our Father. Ignoring it would be foolish.
So what’s the answer? Just suck it up and power through? You’ve tried that before and become discouraged.
Break it up by interspersing the passages with New Testament chapters? I don’t know about you, but this approach always leaves me more confused; I don’t have any context for what I’m reading. It’s like watching Gone with the Wind for a half hour then pausing it and firing up The Avengers for a few minutes.
What if I told you there was a way you could get a more complete picture of God, gain the biblical confidence you’ve always wanted, and, as a result, draw nearer to God? All by reading through the Old Testament. Finally no more getting lost in sermons, trying to figure out which character begot who. No more intimidation when you see the words Isaiah, Jeremiah, and yes, Leviticus. Is that even possible?
I’ve had many of these same struggles, suffering through confusion, boredom and discouragement. Those thirty-nine books can seem so overwhelming.
But after reading through the Old Testament several times and gaining an immense appreciation for the historical, theological, literary, and practical aspects, I wanted other Christians with the same struggles to have a way to experience the blessings the whole Bible offers. A way to show them what they’re missing.
So I’ve put together a guide called, How to Read Through the Old Testament Without Getting Lost or Dozing Off: a 90-day Reading Guide with Notes.
Now, I already know what you’re thinking: I don’t have time to read the Bible. I barely have time to shower or shave. Not a problem at all. This guide only requires you to spend ten minutes per day reading. Can’t even spare that? The guide is granular, and can be scaled down.
So how does it work?
How to Read Through the Old Testament is a guide I’ve spent the past six months piecing together. While I should have been promoting my new book, Under the Sun, I felt God calling me to work on this instead. I’ve combed through the first thirty-nine books of the Bible to select what I believe are the 270 most important chapters in those books. Read three chapters per day, and you can make it from Genesis 1 to Daniel 12 in just three months. (Why Daniel instead of Malachi? The guide is arranged chronologically, and apocalyptic prophesies bring up the rear.)
Two hundred seventy chapters may seem like a lot, but consider there are 929 total in the Old Testament, and you can see I had my work cut out for me.
This by no means replaces the act of reading every word of the Bible. I still encourage you to do that. But this guide is meant to assist you if you struggle with reading the older stanza of the Bible. To complement the guide, I’ve also added notes where necessary to explain either the chronology or significance of a particular passage.
That's nice and all, but how much does it cost? That’s the best part. The 90-day reading guide will cost you zero dollars and zero cents. It’s free!
All you have to do is tell me where to send it below:
My number one desire is that you’ll walk away fluent in Old Testamentese without needing to quit your job and enroll in seminary. Give it a shot, and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.