An introductory selection of
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Read the Bible?
We live in an incredibly confused world. During the twentieth
century there have been unbelievable advances in technology which are designed to make our
lives easier and happier. Communication between one part of the world and another is
literally at the fingertip. It takes no longer than 10 seconds to talk with people 20,000
kilometres away and only 24 hours to visit them. We have equipment in our homes that
involves us in much less physical work, and the increasing prevalence of computers make
mental work less exhausting. We can put people on the moon and into space for long periods
of time, and the advances in medical technology enable astonishing achievements calculated
to lengthen lives in general, and minimise pain and suffering in particular.
Yet with all of these advantages we seem to have less and less
regard for life and seem to shed our responsibilities to others too readily. Violence is
unquestionably increasing. Moral laxity is resulting in the disintegration of family life
and a breakdown of social relationships, and wars and terrorism in so many parts of the
world indicate that society is becoming increasingly chaotic, unpredictable, and, for many
It is inconceivable that countries having increasing difficulty
in providing sufficient food for their people are spending vast amounts of money on
armaments. It is against this background that Bible reading, the consistent meditation on
the Word of God, assumes vital importance. It is not by co-incidence that the Bible is the
book that has survived and thrived over sixteen centuries with, of course, many of its
books surviving a far longer time.
The Bible has
The Bible has the answer to the problems that face the world if
only more people would read it consistently and pray for God's guidance in the
understanding of it.
There was a time when most people would accept the teaching of
the Bible if only on a superficial, moral basis. They would accept the moral teachings of
Jesus - that one should be kind to one's neighbour, that stealing, killing and immoral
behaviour were not socially acceptable. However, modern society does not accept even some
of these teachings, particularly as far as marriage is concerned. Marriage is now less
respected, and for those who do marry, divorce regarded as something that ought to be
easily obtained. There is less encouragement to work at building relationships and
The general consequence of this free approach to society is the
breakdown we are all witnessing. The Bible's answer to these difficulties is on two
levels. The first and most immediate is that a commitment to reading the whole Bible and
to living the principles contained in it will give an immediate guide to everyday living,
a living that, if placed in God's hands, will help us to cope with the many difficulties
we all inevitably face. A life in Christ will not mean an absence of life's problems but
it will provide a way of coming to terms with them.
The more long-term answer is found in the Bible's insistence on
a time when the earth will be filled with God's glory (Numbers 14:21; Habakkuk 2:14). So
many passages tell of a world wide kingdom on earth over which Jesus Christ will be King
and during which time peace will be established.
The truth of the Bible is unquestionable. Prophecies have been
fulfilled and its historical authenticity vindicated. If it is so certain that the Bible
contains God's answer to our life's many questions, it is of vital importance that we seek
This Web site has been written to encourage Bible reading. It is
something that must be done as often as possible and preferably each day. The readings
included are intended to enable families and individuals to regularly read the scriptures
and cover a wide variety of readings.
The reward that can be gained through this consistent meditation
is immeasurable for every day living and for eternal salvation.
version should I read?
Probably the oldest version of the Bible is the King James or
"Authorised" version. Many people still use this because of its reverent
language. Many people feel that they are honouring God by reading in a lofty language
style. While this view can be easily respected, one of the drawbacks of the King James
version is that the meaning can often be obscured by the less modern language.
A rule of thumb that might be used for determining an
appropriate version is to choose a translation rather than a paraphrase. At the same time,
an appropriate translation is one made by scholars and linguists coming from a variety of
religious backgrounds. Frequently, translations by sects contain the doctrinal biases of
those sects. Paraphrases attempt to make the Bible so readable they become too 'familiar'
and can distort the concept of God and His purpose.
What version, then? You might try the following: King James or
Authorised; the New King James; the Revised Standard Version; The New English Bible; the
New International Bible.
The following provides a useful plan that covers many parts of
the Bible. ALL of the Bible is important. God reveals His purpose from Genesis to
Revelation. Try to read one passage every day. Think about what you read. Ask questions of
yourself about it. Above all, PRAY about it. Always ask God's guidance when you are
reading because He alone can give you the understanding that is needed. The plan is
centred mostly around important Bible people because God has chosen to show Himself
through these people. Many of the readings concern Jesus - it is through Jesus that God
enables salvation. Other readings cover Creation, Letters to first century believers,
Psalms and also the Revelation of Jesus Christ. There are 166 readings altogether which
means that you can read all passages twice in a year if you read every day. If you miss
occasionally then there is still a few days to spare! Try not to get side-tracked!
Most important: These readings will help you gain an
understanding of many vital principles of God's dealing with people. Here are some of
God is a God of love. He is merciful to those who try to serve Him, but serves justice on those who
God created a
magnificent world. Man spoilt it by being disobedient. It is God's
intention that the world will be restored to its former glory because of the righteousness
of His Son Jesus.
The future glory
will involve the establishment of His Kingdom on earth! (Yes, 'on earth' not in
Beside each set or readings is a brief description of the main
aspects of that set to help you find your way.
Happy reading! May God guide you
in your understanding.
1 Genesis 1:1 - 13
2 Genesis 1:14 - 31
3 Genesis 2:1 - 10, 15 - 25
4 Genesis 3:1 - 24
The record of Creation is a wonderful account
of God's greatness and power. These readings also show man's first error that resulted in
punishment - death. The remainder of the Bible shows the way God has provided for
overcoming sin and death.
5 Genesis 6:5 - 22
6 Genesis 7:1 - 24
7 Genesis 8:1 - 22
8 Genesis 9:1 - 17
Noah was a remarkable man whose faith in God
stood the test of considerable ridicule of his 'friends' and neighbours. His unwavering
faith resulted in him being saved from the flood.
9 Matthew 1:18 - 25; 2:1 - 15
10 Matthew 3:1 - 17
11 Matthew 4:17 - 25; 5:1 - 16
12 Matthew 5:33 - 48; 6:1 - 18
13 Matthew 6:19 - 34
14 Matthew 7:1 - 29
15 Matthew 8:1 - 27
16 Matthew 9:1 - 31
17 Matthew 9:32 - 38; 13:1 - 23
18 Matthew 13:24 - 32, 44 - 58
19 Matthew 14:13 - 26
20 Matthew 15:29 - 39; 16:21 - 28
The four accounts of Jesus' life and work
should be seen in total. Each writer recording the events (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
received inspiration from God (2 Timothy 3:16). Whilst some events were recorded by more
than one writer, there are many examples of single incidents being recorded by only one.
This diversity enables a more complete record of Jesus' mission and character. His many
activities include preaching - the spreading of the Gospel or good news of God's Kingdom,
the telling of parables - stories with important messages, and the performing of miracles.
All were designed to show the glory of God and the way of salvation.
21 Genesis 12:1 - 10; 13:1 - 4
22 Genesis 13:5 - 18
23 Genesis 17:1 - 8, 15 - 22; 18:1 - 16
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are important in
God's provision for the way to overcoming eternal death, the result of man's sin. The
promise of salvation was made to Abraham (Genesis 12:1 - 3, and 13:14 - 17).
24 Genesis 21:1 - 8; 22:1 - 19
25 Genesis 25:5 - 10, 19 - 34; 26:1 - 5
The promise was repeated to Isaac (Genesis
26:1 - 5) and to Jacob (Genesis 28:13 - 15).
26 Genesis 28:1 - 22
27 Genesis 35:1 - 29
Paul states that the seed or offspring
referred to in the promises was Jesus. Those who become disciples of Christ through
baptism are also able to receive the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Galatians
28 Matthew 18:1 - 22
29 Matthew 18:23 - 35; 19:13 - 26
30 Matthew 20:1 - 19
31 Matthew 21:1 - 22
32 Matthew 24:1 - 22
33 Matthew 25:1 - 13, 31 - 46
34 Matthew 26:1 - 16, 36 - 46
35 Matthew 26:47 - 75
36 Matthew 27:29 - 61
37 Matthew 27:29 - 61
38 Matthew 27:62 -66; 28:1 - 20
These readings record the events leading up to
and including Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. They show dramatically the opposition
of the Jews, who could not accept that Jesus was the promised Messiah. They regarded him
as a blasphemous impostor and had him put to death by the Romans. The proof that shows how
wrong the Jews were is in Jesus' resurrection. Jesus was raised by God because he did not
sin. He overcame all temptation, lived a perfect life and in this way put aside the sin of
Adam that was the cause of death. His resurrection showed God's power and righteousness.
39 Genesis 37:1 - 28
40 Genesis 37:29 - 36; 39:1 - 6
41 Genesis 46:1 - 7, 28 - 34; 49:28 - 33
42 Genesis 47:11 - 31
43 Genesis 48:1 - 4, 15 - 16; 49:28 - 33; 50:1 - 9, 22 - 26
Joseph's life demonstrates the way God works
through men to achieve His purpose. In this instance Joseph underwent considerable
adversity through being sold as a slave, and being wrongfully put into prison. Yet he
still maintained his trust in God and was eventually put in a position where he was able,
with God's assistance, to help his family and the nation of Egypt.
44 Mark 1:1 - 22
45 Mark 2:1 - 28
46 Mark 4:1 - 20
47 Mark 4:21 - 41
48 Mark 5:21 - 43
49 Mark 6:30 - 56
50 Mark 7:31 - 37; 8:1 - 21
51 Mark 8:22 - 38
These passages deal with Jesus' early life and
ministry. John the Baptist, Jesus' cousin, prepared the way for Jesus' ministry by
preaching baptism of repentance and telling of Jesus' mission. Jesus spent thirty years
preparing himself and then preached and performed miracles for three and a half years
before his crucifixion.
52 Exodus 1:7 - 22
53 Exodus 2:1 - 25
54 Exodus 3:1 - 22
55 Exodus 4:1 - 23, 27 - 31
56 Exodus 5:1 - 23
57 Exodus 6:1 - 13, 28 - 30; 7:1 - 7
58 Exodus 7:8 - 25; 11:1 - 10
59 Exodus 12:1 - 17
60 Exodus 12:18 - 36
61 Exodus 13:1 - 22
62 Exodus 14:1 - 14
63 Exodus 14:15 - 31
64 Exodus 15:1 - 19
Moses was undoubtedly a great leader. He was
chosen by God to lead His people out of the slavery of Egypt. He was chosen to have the
memorial name of God revealed to him (Exodus 3:14). He had the strength, with God's
undoubted help, to stand up to Pharaoh. He led the Israelites through the desert even
though they were constantly complaining and turning their back on the God who freed them.
He had, after an initial period of ambivalence, unwavering faith in God. It is this faith
that will enable his reward in the Kingdom of God, spoken of in Hebrews 11:39.
65 Mark 10:13 - 34
66 Mark 11:1 - 26
67 Mark 14:1 - 26
68 Mark 14:27 - 52
69 Mark 14:53 - 72
70 Mark 15:1 - 25
71 Mark 15:26 - 47
72 Mark 16:1 - 20
These readings cover some of the
events in Jesus' ministry. He draws attention to the importance of children, particularly
their unaffectedness. Adults should be equally receptive about God's kingdom. His
triumphant entry into Jerusalem is described, a forerunner of his second, triumphant
advent to come. There are details of Peter's denial, leading to a great change in his
life, and there is the account of Jesus' agony at his crucifixion, and the triumph of his
resurrection. Finally, there are his words that cannot be ignored - that belief and
baptism are essential for salvation (16:16).
73 Joshua 1:1 - 18
74 Joshua 2:1 - 24
75 Joshua 3:1 - 17; 5:1, 10 - 15
76 Joshua 6:1 - 27
Joshua had the task of leading the Israelites
into the promised land after their time in the desert. It is was through his faith, and
that of others, that the walls of Jericho collapsed, a point also made in Hebrews 11 (30,
39 - 40). Joshua entered the promised land, but still hadn't received the greater
promises. Keywords for Joshua? God said "Be strong and very courageous" (1:7).
Wise words for everyone.
77 Ruth 1:1 - 22
78 Ruth 2:1 - 23
79 Ruth 3:1 - 18
80 Ruth 4:1 - 22
Ruth was a person of great warmth and love.
She showed unswerving loyalty to her mother-in-law, Naomi. Naomi was able to help Ruth
find a husband and happiness after an early life of hardship and tragedy. They both placed
trust and confidence in God. King David was a direct descendent of Ruth, and hence, Ruth
is part of the ancestry of Jesus.
81 Acts 1:1 - 12; 2:1 - 21
82 Acts 9:1 - 22
83 Acts 14:1 - 28
84 Acts 17:16 - 34
85 Acts 22:1 - 30
86 Acts 26:1 - 32
87 Acts 27:1 - 20
88 Acts 27:21 - 44
89 Acts 28:1 - 31
The book of Acts record the events of the
apostles' attempts to preach the gospel in the first thirty or forty years after Jesus'
ascension. The book tells of the triumphs and the difficulties that were faced. The
apostles were shipwrecked, stoned, thrown into jail, falsely accused, and taken before
Roman rulers. But still their faith did not diminish, rather was it strengthened. They
used the Holy Spirit, given to them on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1 - 21) to heal and to
speak in foreign languages, all to glorify God and to spread the message of the gospel.
90 1 Samuel 1:1 -23
91 1 Samuel 1:24 - 28; 2:1 -11
92 1 Samuel 3:1 - 21
93 1 Samuel 12:1 - 25
94 1 Samuel 16:1 - 23
The first readings relate to the birth of
Samuel. Of particular note is the quiet dedication to God of Samuel's parents, Elkanah and
Hanna. Samuel was an answer to Hanna's heart- rending prayer. Of even more importance is
Hanna's prayer of thanksgiving, likened to Mary's prayer of Luke 1:46 - 55. Something not
to be overlooked - prayer for help, and thanks when the help is given. The later readings
show the mature Samuel with wise words " ... fear the Lord and serve him faithfully
95 1 Samuel 17:1 - 27
96 1 Samuel 17:28 - 58
97 1 Samuel 18:1 - 16
98 1 Samuel 19:1 - 18
99 2 Samuel 1:1 - 12; 5:1 - 10
100 2 Samuel 7:1 - 17
101 2 Samuel 7:18 - 29; 1 Kings 2:1 - 12
David, the very human King, yet someone who is
described as someone after God's own heart because he did God's will (Acts 13:22). This
shows the willingness of God to overlook error provided there is a genuine attempt to be
more correct. Of great importance in the last two readings is the reiteration, in more
detail, of the promise made to Abraham, that David would have an offspring who would sit
on his throne. This was referred to in Luke 1 when the angels appeared to Mary. This is
another reinforcement of the thorough integration of Old and New Testaments.
102 Luke 1:5 - 25
103 Luke 1:26 - 56
104 Luke 1:57 - 80
105 Luke 2:1 - 32
106 Luke 2:33 - 52
107 Luke 6:20 - 49
108 Luke 7:1 - 23
109 Luke 8:1 - 25
110 Luke 8:37 - 56
Obviously, the first few chapters of Luke
focus on the birth of Jesus. But there are some wonderful thumbnail sketches here of
people like Zechariah and Elizabeth who were the parents of John the Baptist. A link to
the Old Testament is shown again through the angels citing O.T. verses. Jesus shows his
desire to do the will of his Father, even at the early age of 12 years. Included in this
set of readings is the Luke record of the Sermon on the Mount, and an account of some of
the miracles that he performed, showing compassion for the recipients, and also
demonstrating that he had the power of God.
111 1 Kings 17:1 - 24
112 1 Kings 18:17 - 40
113 1 Kings 19:1 - 21
114 2 Kings 2:1 - 22
115 2 Kings 4:1 - 17
116 2 Kings 4:18 - 37
117 2 Kings 5:1 - 27
Elijah showed his faith in God and dedication
to His service. These readings include two specific episodes concerning firstly, the
healing of the widow's son, showing Elijah's compassion and the power of God on an
individual basis. In the second, he showed God's power on a more national scale through
the destruction of the altar to Baal. One of Elisha's demonstrations of God's power was
similar to Elijah's - the healing of a boy. Another showed a great truth that continues to
be important. In the healing of Naaman's leprosy it was shown that God doesn't require
grand gestures of people, but obedience in the simple things.
118 Luke 10:25 - 42
119 Luke 12:22- 48
120 Luke 15:11 - 32
121 Luke 19:1 - 23
122 Luke 22:39 - 71
123 Luke 23:1 - 26
124 Luke 23:27 - 56
125 Luke 24:1 - 32
Jesus used parables, simple stories that could
be easily understood by the people of the day, to present great truths. For example, sheep
were part of Israel's primary industry. Lost sheep meant lost revenue. The shepherd would
go to no end of trouble to recover the loss. Men and women become lost through sin. God
went to no end of trouble to recover that loss, even to the death of His Son. Jesus is
also the shepherd who went to no end of trouble, the supreme sacrifice, death, for others.
126 Psalm 1:1 - 6; 4:1 - 8
127 Psalm 9:1 - 20; Psalm 13:1 - 6;
128 Psalm 22:1 - 31
129 Psalm 23:1 - 6; 24:1 - 10
130 Psalm 46:1 - 11; 47:1 - 9
131 Psalm 61:1 - 8; 67:1 - 7; 93:1 - 5
132 Psalm 116:1 - 19; 117:1 - 2
133 Psalm 148:1 - 14; 149:1 - 9; 150:1 - 6
Where does one start in trying to introduce
Psalms? Firstly many (about 73) were written by David. Some were collected from the
sayings of Moses and others were written by Solomon. Two themes are prominent. The first
concerns the emotional and spiritual aspects of humanity. Most, if not all, life's
experiences are mentioned in the collection. The second relates to Jesus and the Kingdom
of God. Many Psalms are prophetic. One such is Psalm 22. You will notice in this that the
first words are those spoken by Jesus on the cross.
134 Romans 6:1 - 23
135 Romans 12:1 - 21
136 1 Corinthians 13:1 - 13
137 Philippians 4:1 - 23
138 2 Timothy 4:1 - 22
139 2 John 1 - 13; 3 John 1 - 14
Letters formed an important communication link
between the apostles and the believers in various parts of early Christendom. Some were
specifically pastoral (Timothy), some were aimed at expounding doctrine (Romans and
Galatians), and others were more personal, Philippians, even though it was addressed to a
group of Christians, and John. All letters in one way or another encouraged Christians to
hold tenaciously to the hope of Jesus' return in the face of considerable adversity.
140 John 2:1 - 17
141 John 3:1 - 21
142 John 5:1 - 23
143 John 6:1 - 24
144 John 10:1 - 18
145 John 11:1 - 29
146 John 11:30 - 46
147 John 18:1 - 18
148 John 18:28 - 40; 19:1 - 7
149 John 19:8 - 42
150 John 20:1 - 31
151 John 21:1 - 25
John, described as the disciple Jesus loved
(20:2) presents wonderful insights into the relationship between Jesus and his Father.
John revealed that Jesus categorically tried to do his Father's will at all times. Jesus
also ensured that he tried to manifest the loving characteristics of his Father while
still recognising that God was greater than he was - "My Father is greater than
I" (14:28). The last two readings draw attention to the immovable, and irrefutable
foundation of the Christian faith - Jesus' resurrection. If the resurrection is so real,
cannot Jesus' return be equally as real?
152 Isaiah 2:2 -5; 9:2 - 7; 11:1 - 9
153 Isaiah 35:1 - 10; 53:1 - 12
154 Daniel 2:24 - 45
155 Daniel 3:8 - 30
156 Daniel 6:4 - 38
157 Jonah 1:1 - 17; 2:1 - 10
158 Jonah 3:1 - 10; 4:1 - 11
Prophets had a vital role in Old Testament
times. Frequently, they were required to preach to the Israelites, trying to convince them
of the necessity to follow correct paths. Of the three sets of prophecies suggested for
reading, the Isaiah verses draw attention to the role of Jesus, specifically his
crucifixion (53). Daniel foretells the days of Christ's return, especially in 2:44, and
Jonah had two prophetic roles. The first was to try to convince the people of Nineveh that
they needed to change their ways and not try to destroy the Israelites, and the second was
his three days in the fish (Matthew 12:39 - 41). Jesus referred to this event in relation
to his death but also in relation to the need for repentance.
159 Revelation 1:1 - 19
160 Revelation 2:1 - 29
161 Revelation 3:1 - 22
162 Revelation 4:1 - 11; 5:1 - 14
163 Revelation 19:1 - 21
164 Revelation 20:1 - 15
165 Revelation 21:1 - 27
166 Revelation 22:1 - 21
There are three important keys to
understanding this book, frequently regarded as being too symbolic to worry about! The
book IS vitally important; it is Jesus' last words for nearly 2,000 years. The first key
is in 1:1 - everything in the book relates to events that would take place AFTER the time
the revelation was made. The second is to recognise the reality of the promised Kingdom of
God and that it will be on earth. The third key is accepting that Jesus will return! John,
who recorded the revelation said (22:20) " He who testifies to these things says
'Yes, I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."