Friday, January 01, 2010

The New Testament in a Year

I'm going to start a new project here on the blog.  I hope to get through the entire New Testament in a year.  This project was inspired partially by a news article through the PC(USA) about a church that challenged its congregation to get through the entire New Testament in just 63 days, but I honestly see that as an unreasonable pace for most churchgoers.  Indeed, the article itself seems to acknowledge this, but says that "the challenge is not meant to make anyone feel pressured to keep up."  In fact, the pastor says, “If they fall a little bit behind, that’s OK. They can come to worship or a group and just pick up wherever we are....Our main goal is to get them involved.”

But the pastor's good (and apparently successful) intentions notwithstanding, the more I think that pace through, the more I am convinced that I don't want to do the same thing.  63 days is roughly two months.  So, about 8, maybe 9 Sundays?  That's actually a pretty short sermon series when one considers that we're talking about the entire New Testament (although the church was supporting this by many different means,  not just sermons).  I'm certainly not going to try to replicate that here.

So, if not 63 days, why a full year?  Trying to do the New Testament on a blog in a year is, in some sense, a bit arbitrary, but I thought about the fact that many Christians have attempted the entire Bible in a year, and I even have one of those "one year Bibles" on my shelf at work.  Still, I've found that to be too much for me, personally, let alone what I think is reasonable for the average, non-seminary-trained believer.  The New Testament is considerably shorter than the Old Testament, and indeed works out fairly well to 5 chapters a week.  I think I can manage that, and I think it's a challenge that most of my readers can manage, should they desire to do so.

So, that's the goal.  A "New Year's Resolution," if you like.  Starting on Monday, I'll post a link to roughly five chapters worth of the New Testament each week (I may add or subtract a chapter in a given week if I feel that context calls for it), including a brief run-through of my responses to each set, with the goal of finishing the entire New Testament by the end of 2010.

I'll be back on Monday with Matthew chapters 1-5.

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