Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Some recommendations for Scripture reading

St. Dominic prayerfully reads the Sacred Page

The “Biblical Narrative” – these 14 books contain the basic story of the Bible
Genesis (50 chapters)
Exodus (40 chapters)
Numbers (36 chapters)
Joshua (24 chapters)
Judges (21 chapters)
1 Samuel (31 chapters)
2 Samuel (24 chapters)
1 Kings (22 chapters)
2 Kings (25 chapters)
Ezra (10 chapters)
Nehemiah (13 chapters)
1 Maccabees (16 chapters)
Luke (24 chapters)
Acts (28 chapters)
total: 364 chapters

Reading at a normal/relaxed speed, one can usually read about ten chapters per hour (though the number of verses per chapter does vary). Five to six minutes per chapter is a pretty healthy pace.
On average, one could read the “biblical narrative” or the “story of the Bible” in less than forty hours. If the goal is to read the story of the Bible in a year, that is significantly less than one hour per week!

In addition, some other books these could be read every year or so:
Deuteronomy (34 chapters)
Tobit (14 chapters)
Job, chapters 1-3 and 38-42 (8 chapters)
Ecclesiastes (12 chapters)
Song of Songs (8 chapters)
Isaiah (66 chapters) or Jeremiah (52 chapters) or Ezekiel (48 chapters)
Two or three of the twelve “minor prophets” – Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi (from 1 to 14 chapters, each)
Matthew (28 chapters)
Mark (16 chapters)
John (21 chapters)
Romans (16 chapters)
Three other letters of St. Paul (about 22 chapters, for 3 letters together)
Hebrews (13 chapters)
1 John (5 chapters)
Revelation (22 chapters)
total: 285 chapters

Thus, to read both the “story of the Bible” and also the additional books of special importance in a year would only take around 70 hours, for about 649 chapters. That is still less than an hour and a half per week!