UPDATE 9 YEARS LATER: I started this Bible project on May 3, 2012 and finished summarizing every page on March 25, 2015. There were no great speed records set, I mean it took me three years to read through the entire Bible! But I discovered that reading at a slow pace, and thinking about what I read was way more beneficial than zipping through an annual program and not remembering anything. At the time (with younger kids), it was a great project to keep me focused and it is still valuable to me today. The summarized notes at the top of each page make it super simple to find things I’m looking for throughout the Bible. I’m so thankful I did this!
I have been (slowly) reading through my Bible, cover to cover, for a year now! I’ve tried the read through the Bible in a year programs and got stressed out after I fell a few days behind, then weeks, then months. So I usually gave up in about April each year. But on May 3, 2012, I committed to reading just 3 pages through at a time.
Just 3 pages.
And when I would read those 3 pages, I committed to writing in my Bible. I used to be against writing or underlining in any of my books and especially not my Bible because it would ruin them. But for this, I forced myself to get over it. (And I actually LOVE flipping through old, “ruined” and falling apart Bibles, so why was I so stressed over making mine look like that?) So, I got over it. And started ‘ruining’ my Bible.
Through reading and labeling and adding post-it notes, I’ve learned more than I ever have before. (Even through Leviticus!)
I have absolutely LOVED each book of the Bible I’ve been through so far. As I’ve been going through the Bible I’ve been trying to read thoughtfully, more than my usual read-through-the-pages-trying-to-stay-awake-then-I’m-done sort of thing. While I read, I draw a line under the verse when the topic or idea or subject changes, then I summarize that section in the margin.
When I’m done reading through my three pages for the day, I write what I think the main topic was for that page. I don’t even use complete sentences, just a few words. There are no rules, so I don’t worry if it’s the “right” title. It’s just a tool for me to use to remember what is on that page.
If there’s ever something that I just do not understand, I’ll put a big question mark next to the passage or use a post it to mark that area. Shortly after I first did this, our pastor was preaching through those verses and he directly answered two question mark areas I had!
Another cool benefit is that when a passage is mentioned I can flip to that verse and read my notes on the page to understand at a glance the context it is used in! If you’re like me, I retain a lot more if I do the foot work myself. In an age of instant Google answers, doing it the old fashioned way has helped my retention and understanding so much!
Even when I got to the tricky parts in 2 Kings with all the kings of Judah and Israel and who was ruling who at what time… I was able to keep track for the most part.
Have you read through your Bible entirely? Is there anything that has helped you stay focused to the end? I’d love to hear what you do! Leave me a note in the comments below!