“We are Forerunners. Guardians of all that exists. The roots of the Galaxy have grown deep under our careful tending. Where there is life, the wisdom of our countless generations has saturated the soil. Our strength is a luminous sun, towards which all intelligence blossoms… And the impervious shelter, beneath which it has prospered.”

The Bible in a year

by | Feb 7, 2024 | The Agoge | 4 comments

That particular translation of Hebrews 11:6 actually misses a bit of subtlety. Despite my strong preference for the English Standard Version of the Bible, I will readily admit there is no such thing as a perfect translation. In this case, the good old KJV translates “he exists” as “he IS” – and that is an important distinction, because it points directly back to the very name God gave Himself:


This literally translates as “I AM WHO I AM”, or, alternatively, “the one who is”. But you wouldn’t know that simply by looking at the verse on its own, without doing some thinking and reading.

And that is the point of this post – to remind you that reading the Bible is not only important, it is ESSENTIAL.

Too many “Christians” – I argue, MOST of them – do not actually READ THE FREAKIN’ MANUAL that defines our faith. I was stunned to discover, rather recently, that many Catholics, for example, do not make a habit out of actually reading the Bible itself:

This is astounding, if you think about it, because if you believe Jesus is exactly who He says He is, and that He died on the Cross and rose from the dead for the sake of your salvation, then surely, you would want to know why He would do something like that?

After all, we Christians keep talking about context when debating atheists, Jews, and Muslims. The last are absolutely notorious for being amazingly uneducated about their own scriptures – the average Muslim has absolutely no clue what the Sunnah actually says, and many of them are horrified when they discover just how perverted and disgusting their death-cult’s teachings really are.

Christians, by contrast, have the truth in our hands – quite literally. The context of that truth is critically important to understand and preach to others.

So, what, therefore, is the context of Jesus the Christ?

The answer to that has to come from the book that describes how He came to dwell among us.

On a personal note, I started my journey into the faith by picking up a copy of the King James Bible, back when I was still nominally an atheist, all the way back in 2013 or so, and trying to read through it – one labourious chapter and verse at a time. I didn’t even start immediately – I let the book just sort of sit there for a couple of years, before I finally picked it up.

I have to admit, the Bible didn’t make any real sense to me at the time. I did not understand the connections between the various verses and passages. The stories did not speak to me, at all. They just seemed like a dry set of histories, laws, and personalities. Certainly, there seemed to be a point and a purpose to the stories, but the God of the Old Testament seemed angry, arbitrary, capricious, and downright nasty at times.

I never managed to get to the New Testament. I think I stopped reading somewhere around the Book of Ecclesiastes – it all sort of went in one ear and out the other, as it were.

Then I bent the knee, and over time I started putting together a daily habit of reading Scripture.

There is, in fact, a substantial difference between reading the Bible before and after becoming a believer. Before, it comes across as tedious and tendentious. After, it becomes a living word, jumping off the page (except perhaps for the boring genealogies, but even those have a point) and telling you the history of the world, and of one particular bloodline, as if you were there to witness the events yourself.

The problem is, you have to have a starting point. Simply picking and choosing the bits and pieces of Scripture that you like is a very good way to lose sight of the whole picture, and to start taking things out of context to suit yourself – to satisfy your feeeeeeeeelings.

This is the road to damnation.

Scripture is a self-contained, self-sufficient whole. If you actually want to be a Christian, you have to go through it all, and really try to understand it. And if you believe in the inerrancy of Scripture – which, given His Hugeness certainly espoused that when He was on Earth, you probably do – then you have to look at it end-to-end.

So, I started doing what Dr. James Tour talks about when he discusses Scripture:

Dr. Tour starts at Genesis 1:1, and he reads all the way through Revelation 22:21. He reads the Bible and meditates on it for 15 minutes every day. He is in no hurry – he goes at his own pace, and when he reaches the very last verse, he starts all over again.

This is an excellent practice, and worthy of emulation. I adapted it somewhat, because I tend to read fast, but the basic idea is the same.

My print ESV Bible is 1,042 pages long. Divide that by 365, and you get 2.85 pages a day. That basically means you can read 3 pages a day of the Bible, and meditate on it, and still read the whole Bible in a year.

I like to do this while listening to Gregorian hymns or Crusader chants. There is something about listening to Greek or Latin hymns that focuses one’s mind and helps one enjoy the Word. This is perhaps my favourite:

Try it out. Start at the very first verse of the Bible, and challenge yourself to read through the whole thing, and do your best to understand it, as you read.

A word of caution here: this is NOT about simply reading the words. It is about understanding them – and that is a very different thing.

This is NOT a trivial task. There are entire passages in the Bible that seemingly make no sense in English – so you have to go to scholars who read and understand the Hebrew and the Greek to understand it.

For example, take Genesis 6:1-4, the infamous passages concerning the Nephilim. Even by itself, this little segment of the Bible is profound – it has things to say about the past that are unthinkable to modern minds. Yet, when you then start connecting that passage to others – most notably, Numbers 13 – it then starts making a very great deal of sense.

And then, when you start actually trying to understand the genealogies, and trace things through time all the way down to Jesus, you will see that Matthew and Luke show two different lines – but then, when you track back through time, you understand why. Jesus’s lineage, through both his human father and mother, made him an heir to the kingdom of David.

The key thing to understand about the Bible is that the entire book, from end to end, points to one man – to Jesus Himself. The whole book – all of it, every last sentence, every single verse – speaks to God’s quest to redeem His Creation, and is God’s way of reaching out to the honest truth-seeker.

Do not swat away His hand. Rather, revel in the word of God on the page, which points to the WORD who literally IS God, the Logos. The Bible sitting on your bookstand is there for a reason. It is your narrow door to the truth, and it tells the greatest story of all time.

So why aren’t you reading it?

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  1. JohnC911

    This is great article. It is very encouraging. 3 pages to read the whole bible in 1 year. Wow. Not that hard

  2. Bardelys the Magnificent

    We Catholics get a bad rap, but many of us do read the Good Book. At minimum, we are expected to pre-read the Mass readings in advance, either the day before or that morning. If you do this and don’t miss Mass, you will read the whole book in 3 years. Unfortunately, there are a lot of lukewarm Caths who don’t even do that, and they paint a negative picture on the rest.

    Below is the intro to a project Fr. Schmitz started a while back, where he walks you through the Bible in a year, with commentary. Videos are approx. 20 minutes apiece, so one could easily fit it in your brower-crash laden schedule.


  3. MK

    Made it a habit to read the days Mass readings for morning prayer. Problem is I always want to read the context and the commentaries to the verses, but then I have to go to work.

    In general, I can highly recommend reading the commentaries of the pre-Jerome church fathers, and all the councils that went into compiling the good book. Some of the apocrypha are also worth reading, but not without serious counsel. Some of those books got tossed from the canon for a good reason.

  4. Robert W

    “we don’t read the bible to finish, we read the bible to change” was a proverb dropped frequently at a youth camp. Sound counsel then and sound counsel now.


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