Sunday, January 6, 2008

An Invitation to Join Me

In my last post, I mentioned my resolve to read through the One-Year Chronological Bible (New Living Translation from Tyndale) again this year. Yes, I got off to a late start, but I've caught up now, and I wanted to tell you about this treasure.

If you've never looked at a chronological Bible, here's how it works. The editors have tried, as best they can, to put all the writings of the Bible into the order in which the events happened. This means the books we're used to do get cut and pasted and parts shifted about, but I can't tell you how helpful the end result is. I never could get the events of the Old Testament, in particular, straight. I would read about the Israelites being exiled to Babylon or conquered and scattered, and I couldn't tell whether this was happening once, with several authors writing about it, or several times.

With this Bible, you can easily follow the history of the Jews. There may be a section of history which mentions the prophet Jeremiah, and then Jeremiah's own writings from that time will be inserted in the appropriate place. Sections of Chronicles or Kings that deal with David may be followed by one of David's psalms thought to have been written at that time. It's amazing how biblical characters come alive when their thoughts and fears are put into context with what's going on around them.

As I read through the Bible this year, I'm going to try to take particular note of subjects we talk about a lot: waiting on God, discovering his will, persevering toward our goals. I'd love it if some of you would like to pick up a copy and join in the discussion. I think you'd find it a rewarding experience.