Reading the Bible in the New Year

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Medieval scholar studying in English office

The dissident right has all kinds of people in it: evangelicals, atheists, Greek Orthodox, pagans, Catholics, good ol' boys, and others.  Regardless of your identity, you might consider it a good idea to read the Bible this coming year.

Systematic Bible reading has been practiced, mostly by evangelicals, for generations. Many approaches and methods have been proposed. For instance, the New Testament has 261 chapters; there are 52 weeks in a year; reading five chapters per week will take you through the entire New Testament.

There are many, many plans to choose from if you want to read the entire Bible in one year; just search Duck Duck Go. If you're new to Bible reading, your best bet is to read only the New Testament; and even that can be approached in various ways.

Although you will encounter things which you do not understand, reading the Bible isn't difficult and the investment of time isn't burdensome. The hard part is simply making yourself sit down and do it. A regular pattern (a ritual) may help: always do it at the same time every day, probably in the same place.

There are countless translations of the Bible into English. For beauty and tradition, read the King James Version. For easier reading, choose the New King James Version or the English Standard Version. For a very easy version, but still quite reliable, get the New Living Translation. I make all of these recommendations as a PhD who reads Greek and Hebrew. There are other worthy translations, but these are enough.

If you are a Christian, begin each reading session with a prayer that God would open your mind and emotions so that you will benefit from the reading.