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Bible in a year: March

Tom Newbold is attempting to read the Bible in a year. We caught up with him in month three to find out how it's going so far.

Where are you up to in the plan?

Three months in, I’ve ticked off six books so far; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Job, Matthew and Mark. I’m currently stuck into Numbers, Luke and mixing it up between Psalms and Proverbs.

What have you learned so far?

Now I’m onto my third Gospel in a row, there have definitely been a few déjà vu moments. It’s actually been really interesting to think about why the different writers include different bits.

I’ve also found it interesting thinking about lots of the rules and regulations God gives his people in the first few books of the Bible. Many of them, though they might seem weird today, probably made lots of sense in terms of God looking after his people. I’d imagine the regulations about defiling skin diseases in Leviticus were a really useful way to keep the community healthy.

I also find it interesting thinking about which of the rules would only be specific to a previous era e.g. skin regulations, sacrifices, and which ones could still be applied quite readily today. We may no longer live under the law (Romans 6.14), but there are definitely a few ‘laws’ which are more than sensible.

I've never quite clocked that when the curtain in the temple was torn in two when Jesus died that it was torn top to bottom – only God could’ve done that, and it signifies he broke down that barrier between God and people.

Any boring bits? 

Yes – lots! It’s really hard to engage with some of the passages in Leviticus and Numbers when they seem detached from our lives today. I’ve found it really useful to have a Bible handbook or commentary to hand – it’s helped me to understand the passages better and find them a lot more interesting.

What's up next? 

After Numbers and Luke I move on to Deuteronomy and John. Psalms and Proverbs will continue all year long. I’m looking forward to those shorter New Testament books…

Tom Newbold is Bible Society's Digital Fundraising Officer. 

Following a Bible in a year reading plan? Let us know how you're getting on in the comments section below. 

Author: Helen Crawford, 29 March 2017 (Last updated: 8 September 2017)

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