Saturday, August 17, 2013

Taking an Entire Church Through the Entire Bible

In preparation for my licensure examination to be licensed to preach I started over verses in the Bible about the Bible.  Basically I was looking at what does the Bible say about itself.  One of the passages that Wayne Grudem mentioned was in Deuteronomy about reading the Bible in public every seven years. 

And Moses commanded them, "At the end of every seven years, at the set time in the year of release, at the Feast of Booths, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing.  Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess."
 (Deu 31:10-13 ESV)

It made me wonder if a church could read the entire Bible in seven years.  According to Deaf Missions there are 1189 chapters in the Bible.   There are 52 full weeks in a year.  So to make it through the Bible in seven years the congregation would just have to read 3 and a quarter chapters a week.  This seems like something of that sort could be achieved with a Sunday Morning and Sunday Night Worship.  Add in a Wednesday Night Worship and it is even more achievable.  The hard part would be sustaining it for seven years, but the weekly reading goal seems attainable as a moderate goal. 

I would foresee a problem in keeping good records which show what was read and what still needed to be read.  I also would see the genealogy, land division, and tabernacle building instructions as difficult to read in public.  

I'm not suggesting that this passage demands we do this, but having the goal of public reading of the whole Bible in seven years might be a way of giving some Scriptural depth to worship services.  In college my friend Don Braem was a student pastor at a church near Union City, TN.  I attended his church.  He passed along to me a high regard for public reading of the Scriptures during worship.  We read a chapter  a week besides what was in the sermon text.  This way the congregation experienced together the Scriptures.  If I remember correctly we read most of the Epistles in the New Testament. 
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