52 in 52 Week 46 : The Harmony of the Gospels: New American Standard Version
I finished this months ago, but I was comparing my list at LibraryThing to this Blog list for 52 in 52, and I had forgotten to include this in my list of reading.
From January to Easter I wrote a blog called The Gospel Harmony Book Club that takes a person chronologically through all four gospels. I coordinated it with the days of the Holy Week too (From Jesus' arrival in Bethany through His entry into Jerusalem to Resurrection Sunday). It was written in a "Beta" form with the intention of REALLY using it for an alternative way of reading the Bible in YEAR THREE of the BBC (Bible Book Club) next year, but it got almost 2300 page views in 88 posts! Go figure! I am not sure how people knew about it. I might have linked it to my Facebook page, but I cannot remember (By the way, if you want to friend me on Facebook, I am Carol Ann Weaver, just tell me that you know me from this blog since I don't know your name).
Anyway, the Harmony of the Gospels book is my "spine" with minor variations from it. It makes reading this way easier because you do not have to flip back and forth within your Bible to "harmonize" the four Gospels. For more of an explanation of reading the Gospels in "stereo" see my post HERE. I hope everyone can read through the Gospels this way at least once in their life. Also, I think reading through the Bible chronologically is a very worthwhile thing to do, and this is my preferred way of reading through it. The Bible Book Club does a semi-chronological approach in that I insert Psalms and Prophets according to where they fall in the Bible history, but I do it so that you read the whole prophetic book in one chunk since most don't want to buy a chronological Bible (although they are pretty cheap and good to have).
I had originally purchased this book in the New International Version because I thought that was the only way you could buy it, but I stumbled across this version somewhere along the way and snatched it up. New American Standard is my preferred version since it is a word-for-word translation whereas the New International Version is a thought-for-thought translation. It is much more convenient to have a word-for-word when doing in-depth study of Hebrew and Greek words, which I LOVE to do. :)
By the way, the Bible Book Club was born on Christmas Day 2007. My mom had died earlier that month, and I knew that I would have more freedom time-wise because of this and the fact that my kids were more independent in their homeschooling (7th and 9th grade).
I had always dreamed of helping people to read the Bible like they do books for their book club (I was in two at the time). Why can we read a 200-400 page book every month but not read the Bible that was only 1200 pages? Why don't we just get together and discuss it like it were 66 non-fiction books?
I also saw how the "Read the Bible in a Year" books and programs on the market were doing more to hinder Bible reading because people would feel defeated if they couldn't do it in a year. Who said we have to do it in one year? Why not do it slowly? (You can read "How the Bible Book Club Came to Be" to hear my funny story about my own struggle to read through the Bible at all, let alone in a year. :)
The Bible Book Club is a SLOW way to read through it in three years. It isn't in-depth study, but it isn't a daily sprint of reading like the a "one year" Bible either. I give a . . .
Background - I try to anticipate where people might not understand what is going on, but it isn't a comprehensive commentary.
Reflection - It is basically my devotional time journal for all the world to see.
Application - "The Scriptures were not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives" (D.L. Moody). Life with God is all about "Obedience-Based Discipleship" something I learned in The Navigators as a very young believer. How will your life change as a result of reading this passage? I just give how I am applying it that day, but you can apply it any way you want!
Prayer - To wrap it up and give it to God!
It comes out to be 1-2 chapters of reading each day with an even slower pace when we get to YEAR THREE New Testament. Then, we do a little deeper study since we have less pages to read that year.
I am on my second cycle through this, and it has been so good with people all over the world reading it (Over 115,000 page views not including people in closed countries who are sent it by email since they cannot access it on the internet). It has been so FUN and FULFILLING!
Anyone reading this is welcome to join for YEAR THREE or go back to Genesis with posts already on the blog!
The Bible is my FAVORITE book!!!!