Category Archives: Bible in a Year

The Bible in a Year, Weak 4: John

This is the fourth weekly reading in the plan for reading your Bible in one year. The assignment for this week is the book of John. It should only take about 10 minutes a day, or about 3 chapters a day to complete the assignment.

Here are some comments to help you grow in knowledge and faith as you read John.

Background: From what we know, it seems as though John was the one disciple of Jesus who died of natural causes. He also seems to have lived the longest as he entered the glories of heaven around 100 A.D. Historical information also indicates that John was likely the bishop, or leader, of the church in Ephesus. We don’t know for sure about the timing, but the general consensus is that John wrote his gospel later on in life, perhaps between 85 and 90 A.D.

John is very clear with his message in this gospel. He shows the two true natures of Christ–his true humanity and his true divinity. From the very first verse John especially points to Jesus as true God, something that may have been under question already in this first century. A theme or purpose for the gospel could be taken from 20:31: John wrote these words so that we might believe in Jesus as our Savior from sin! Read the rest of this entry

The Bible in a Year, Week 3: Luke

This is the third weekly reading in the plan for reading your Bible in one year. The assignment for this week is the book of Luke. It should only take about 5-10 minutes a day, or about 4 chapters a day to complete the assignment.

Here are some comments to help you grow in knowledge and faith as you read Luke.

Background: The apostle Paul identifies Luke as a doctor in Colossians 4:14. Luke was also traveling companion that went to many places with Paul on his journeys. There are many sections of Acts in which Luke uses the word “we” (16:10-17; 20:5-15; 21:1-18; 27:1-28:16). One of the main reasons we know that Luke wrote both Acts and the gospel of Luke is that both are addressed to a man by the name of Theophilus. It seems that Luke wanted to give more instruction and information to him about Jesus Christ and the one true faith.

At the same time, Luke states another purpose in the introduction to his gospel. While Luke was not himself one of the 12 disciples, he took time to carefully investigate and interview those who were witnesses of Jesus. His intention was to write an orderly account of the things Jesus said and did–not just for Theophilus but for all the Gentiles (and especially the ones he had visited on his missionary journeys).

We are most thankful for the gospel of Luke. He includes many  famous and dearly loved stories of Scripture that others chose to leave out (the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, etc.). Also, as a doctor Luke wrote with great attention to detail.

Luke’s gospel account is just another reason to praise Jesus, who is revealed as the Savior of all–both Jew and Gentile! Read the rest of this entry

The Bible in a Year, Week 2: Mark

This is the second weekly reading in the plan for reading your Bible in one year. The assignment for this week is the book of Mark. It should only take about 5-10 minutes a day, or about 2-3 chapters a day to complete the assignment.

Here are some comments to help you grow in knowledge and faith as you read Mark

Background: Mark was written by Mark, who is also known as John. John Mark was not one of the 12 disciples. However, Mark was very active in the early Christian church. His mother’s house seemed to be a meeting place for Christian gatherings (Acts 12:12). He was the cousin of Barnabas and traveled with him on missionary journeys. Mark and Barnabas also went with Paul on his first missionary journey. However, for some reason Mark left in the middle of the trip–a great point of contention between Barnabas and Paul.

Later, Mark must have grown up and matured because Paul speaks of him favorably. It was also later on that Mark became very close to the apostle Peter. Peter speaks of him like a son (1 Peter 5:13) as they both send greetings from Rome. From this and other information, it seems like that Mark became somewhat of an interpreter or scribe for Peter. He may have gotten much of his information from Peter. He also may have written this gospel shortly after Peter died, around 64 A.D.

The Gospel of Mark is much different than the other three in style. Mark is not much for details. Rather, he relates actions and events at a rapid rate. It also seems quite clear that Mark had in mind a Gentile audience–perhaps even the Romans–as he quotes very little Old Testament Scripture and takes time to explain Hebrew or Aramaic customs and phrases.

Through reading this gospel, it becomes very clear that Mark is presenting to us exactly what he mentions in the first verse:  Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Read the rest of this entry

The Bible in a Year, Week 1: Matthew

This is the first weekly reading in the plan for reading your Bible in one year. The assignment for this week is the book of Matthew. It should only take about 10-15 minutes a day, or about four chapters a day to complete the assignment.

Here are some comments to help you grow in knowledge and faith as you read Matthew:

Background: The Gospel of Matthew was written by its namesake, Matthew the apostle. Matthew was one of the 12 disciples. The record of Jesus calling Matthew to follow him is in Matthew 9 and Mark 2. Matthew, also called Levi, was a tax collector by trade–a profession not looked highly upon at all. The tax collectors at this time were viewed as the scum of the earth because they often would cheat the people and steal money. Whether or not Matthew did this in his previous profession, we do not know.

Each gospel writer clearly wrote for a specific purpose. Mark wrote for a Gentile audience, revealing Jesus as the Savior of all. Luke the doctor wrote his gospel as a letter to his friend Theophilus and as a summary of all the information he carefully researched. John clearly reveals the true divinity of our Savior Jesus Christ. Matthew clearly wrote his gospel for a Hebrew audience. Over and over again he quotes Old Testament Scripture, making it very clear that Jesus is the promised Messiah, and making the perfect bridge between the Old Testament and the New Testament

We cannot be sure of the date of writing. It seems likely that it was written before 70 A.D. Jerusalem fell in this year, but that important event is not mentioned at all in Matthew. It also seems possible that Matthew may have been the first gospel that was written, perhaps as early as 50 A.D. Whatever the date, the message is clear: Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah and Savior! Read the rest of this entry

The Bible in a Year, Week 8: Joshua

This is the eighth weekly reading in the plan for reading your Bible in one year. The assignment for this week is the book of Joshua. It should only take about 10 minutes a day, or about four chapters a day to complete the assignment.

Here are some comments to help you grow in knowledge and faith as you read Joshua:

Background: Joshua was of the tribe of Ephraim, a son of Joseph. He was born in Egypt and was a young man when they left. He was appointed general of the army by Moses, was one of the 12 spies that went to Canaan, and was one of only two spies (Caleb the other) that gave a favorable report.  Joshua was later chosen by God as Moses’ successor.  His name was originally Hoshea which means salvation.  Joshua means The LORD is salvation and is a root of the name Jesus.

Whereas Moses took the people to the doorstep of the Promised Land of Canaan, Joshua led them into Canaan. The book can be divided well right down the middle into two parts: The conquest of Canaan (1-12) and The Distribution of the Land and Farewell of Joshua (13-24).  The timing for these events would be right around 1400 B.C. It may be that Joshua wrote some or most of the book, or that an elder or advisor finished writing it shortly after his death.

Finally, the book of Joshua is a reminder of how the LORD always keeps his promises. He promised to Abraham that he would give his descendants the land of Canaan.  He fulfilled that promise. In the same way, as he also promised to Abraham that he would send a Savior from his line, so this entering into the Promised Land was a reminder that he would fulfill that promise, too. As we know from the rest of Scripture, he did indeed keep that promise! Read the rest of this entry