by Rod D. Martin
March 6, 2022

I just read the entire Bible in 54 days. Some thoughts:

First, it was easy. Yes, easy. Anyone can read the entire Bible in a year in just 15 minutes a day (yes, you read that right). Ergo, anyone can read the entire Bible in 90 days in just an hour a day. I got a little carried away and read more.

Be honest: there’s something completely stupid you do every day for a lot more than an hour.

Second, reading quickly reinforced something I’ve long taught: if you believe the text of Scripture is inspired, you must also believe the order is inspired. And it is. God is the Bible’s author, and He ordered it in a particular, purposeful way, just as any author puts any book in a particular order.

You wouldn’t read “All the King’s Men”, or “The Godfather”, or “The Hobbit” like you read a dictionary: why do you read the Bible like one? And would you have the slightest idea of what was going on in any of those books if you only read parts of them, out of order? No.

The Bible is a literary masterpiece, filled with flashback and fast forward to make points you wouldn’t otherwise see. Nowhere is that clearer than in Jeremiah, which does this constantly. But Jeremiah is just a microcosm of the whole Old Testament in that regard.

God is an artist. Even if you’re reading the whole Bible (and few do), reading it out of order wrecks His artwork. You’re supposed to see and feel and let it wash over you AS HE ORDERED IT. Believe it or not, God knows better how He wants to teach you than you do.

Third, geography and timeline matter. This is true in other books too, and you take a few minutes to figure them out when reading those (infinitely lesser) books. Any decent Study Bible — or even just Wikipedia — can help with that today. You just have to care. Most people don’t, so they over-spiritualize things God intended you to actually understand in context.

That’s just foolishness. And if the Bible makes anything clear, it’s that God hates a fool.

Fourth, reading quickly from Genesis to Revelation reinforces another point. Jesus isn’t abolishing the norm by talking about the exceptions and extremes. Reading only or mostly the New Testament is like only going to grad school without the foundation of high school and college. It’s terribly warped. Every word of the New Testament rests on pages and pages of the Old, pages that the New Testament writers just assume you know cold. Because their original hearers DID know it cold.

So Jesus will correct some detail His then-current hearers were getting wrong, and we think that’s everything the Bible has to say on an entire broad topic.

It’s crazy. And it leads us into a lot of needless cul-de-sacs.

Fifth, some will object that “Oh, you’re missing all the nuance and detail.” No, not at all. I’m finally seeing it.

The way most people read the Bible is like “watching” a movie, but one frame at a time. And usually out of order. They have no idea what’s actually happening.

Going slowly actually obscures a lot of what’s happening, and all the more so if you ignore the geography and timeline. Turn on the projector and watch. You’ll be amazed at what you see.

Bottom line: if the church, America and the world are in a mess, it’s because even God’s own people don’t really read the Bible. And reading the Bible is easy. I just read the whole thing, Genesis to Revelation, in 54 days. I’ll do it again several times this year.

You can too. And you should. Start today.

And for those of you who have some pet Bible reading plan you personally love, feel free to keep doing that too. More Bible is better. But read it the way God intended it. He inspired the text. He also inspired the order. And He commanded all of us to saturate ourselves in it.

Reading the Entire Bible Through, 15 Minutes A Day originally appeared as a Facebook post by Rod D. Martin.