Bible in a year: February

Tom Newbold is attempting to read the whole Bible in 2017. He follows a plan of daily readings from the Old Testament, New Testament and either Psalms or Proverbs. We caught up with him to find out how it's going six weeks in. 

Where are you up in your plan?

I’ve recently started reading Exodus. Today I’ve read about the first ever Passover in Egypt and how the blood of a lamb spread on the door frames protected the people from death and judgement. I've been really aware of how this foreshadows Jesus later becoming our own Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5.7), a perfect, permanent sacrifice and saviour. Amazing. 

I’m also being reminded which bits of the story are actually from the Bible and which bits I’ve just picked up from The Prince of Egypt. The plan has readings from Matthew and Psalms too. 

Have you fallen behind?

I’ve occassionally fallen behind for one or two days, but I try not get any further behind than that as it becomes hard to catch up. I'll often listen to an audio Bible in the car on the way to work if I can't get the reading in. When the Bluetooth connectivity plays up halfway down the M4 it can really mess things up!

How do you manage to catch up?

It requires taking time out, which isn’t especially easily. I usually just accept being behind for a few days (and try not to get any further behind) then when I've got a quiet evening I'll read the extra passages.

What have you learned so far?

There have actually been loads of things that have stood out to me in new or fresh ways, but so far my top three are that:

  • Jacob was a pretty shocking human being a lot of the time! I think of him as this good guy in the line of Abraham, father of Joseph, named 'Israel' and all that. But actually, before truly encountering God, he did some pretty awful things. I’d never really realised. Good guy image tarnished. But it's amazing that God redeems it and still uses him. 
  • ​There wasn’t time for the Israelites to bake bread and wait for it to rise during their Exodus from Egypt – that’s why they ate unleavened bread at Passover. I never knew that before!
  • The Psalms are really intimate and amazing. I think sometimes we miss that because they’re often so short and can get so easily taken out of context.

Any advice to share for others doing the plan? 

Make sure you don’t forget the non-routine days. I find it easy to complete the plan when I go to work and listen in the car, but at the weekend I’m more easily susceptible to falling behind. Find strategies to help you fit it in on the days your routine is different, like tying it in with a leisurely breakfast. 

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. 

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