Bible in a year: July

In this month's lowdown, we hear from Tom on runaway Jonah, Paul's argumentative style and sitting down for an ale with the characters in Acts. 

What have you read this month?

I’ve read:

  • Psalms 78-90
  • Proverbs 16, 17 and 18
  • The second half of Acts
  • The first half of Romans
  • Most of 2 Kings
  • Jonah, Amos and Hosea

Best/worst bits?

Acts 28.15 has undoubtedly been my favourite verse this month. 'The believers from there, when they heard of us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage.' I imagine the Three Taverns being a trio of cosy pubs where Paul met up with the brother and sisters holding their flagons of ale, sitting by the fire. No wonder ‘Paul thanked God’.

The worst bit this month was having to race through the book of Jonah all in one day. After the lengthy back and forth of good king, bad king in 2 Kings, it was a bit of light relief to move onto a story I knew well from my childhood. So it was a shame for it to be over in no time. There’s also so many themes running throughout the book of Jonah – disobedience, cowardice, judgement, repentance, mercy, compassion to name but a few – that it is hard to really take them all in in one go.

How will your reading rhythm fit around the disruption of the summer holidays?

Holiday time usually means more time for getting stuck into the Bible. It definitely disrupts any kind of normal daily routine. There’ll be plenty of days where I might end up missing the reading altogether. But on the whole it allows more time for catching up and for going deeper, which is great. It’s becomes more enjoyable that way too.

You’ve got through quite a bit of the Bible now. Has a favourite genre emerged?

My favourite genre so far has got to be the narratives in the Old Testament. Right across Genesis, Exodus, Judges, 1 Samuel and others there’s some brilliant stories – I’m amazed Hollywood haven’t made more out of them yet. ‘Powerhouse Paul’ is starting to rival that though. I haven’t got to most of his letters yet, but halfway through Romans I'm loving his passionate argumentative style – even if it does require a fair bit of concentration to follow!

Can you write us a haiku about what you’ve read this month?

Manasseh was worst

Josiah was really good

The kings were so mixed


Tom Newbold is our Digital Fundraising Officer. If you're at New Wine United Week 2, come and say hi to Tom on our stand in the marketplace.

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