Rabbit trail Bible reading
When I was in college, one of my friends was in a church that was reading the entire Bible over a summer. It sounded really good, so I followed the plan along with the others.
The first week was really good. We read Genesis and Matthew at the same time. The “story” style of those books was an easy read.
After a couple of weeks, though, the reading became a drudgery. Long list of laws, genealogies and directives put a damper on the joy of reading. After a while, I quit. Others quit, too.
Part of the problem was the type of writing we were reading. The later books weren’t the narrative type we had encountered in the Gospels and Genesis/Exodus books.
The other part of the problem was a lack of a “big picture” to help guide the reading.
So, here I am to advocate a completely different form of reading. I call it Rabbit Trail Reading.
Let’s say you’re going to read Hebrews. Hebrews has four perspectives on Jesus as prophet, priest, King and sacrifice. What books in the Old Testament speak to sacrifices and priests? Think Leviticus and Deuteronomy. My suggestion is that one reads a good portion (say 8-10 chapters) of the O.T. book before venturing into the New Testament book. That way, you have some background knowledge before you are forced to use the reference notes in your study Bible.
Similarly, read Genesis before and during a read through John’s Gospel. Compare structure, words, phrases and ideas.
It may not be a systematic reading plan. Instead, it is a content-rich reading program which the individual can determine for himself/herself. Your interest determines the material. The material shapes your understanding and further interest in God’s Holy Word.