In 2010, Chris Juby began tweeting summaries of every chapter in the Bible. We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with him to retweet his entire Bible Summary project at @biblegateway, and to share some of his insights on the experience here at the Bible Gateway blog. This guest post by Chris is the first such essay.
The first time I read the Bible cover-to-cover I was amazed by what I found. I was also amazed by what I thought I would find but didn’t.
The experience had such a big impact on me that I made reading cover-to-cover my regular habit. At one chapter per day it takes three years and three months to read the whole Bible. That’s a pretty major undertaking, but it’s absolutely worth it!
When I started for the fourth time in August 2010, I took on an extra challenge to help keep me focused. I decided to write summaries of each chapter and post them to Twitter.
The @biblesummary account proved to be quite a hit. I was interviewed about it for newspapers, radio and television, and by the time I finished in November 2013 I had 30,000 followers. I’m now partnering with Bible Gateway to retweet the whole project.
I’ll be sharing some of the experiences I had and the lessons I learned over the years here at the Bible Gateway blog. But as the journey begins again, let me encourage you with probably the main benefit of reading the whole Bible:
You see the big picture.
Everyone has their favourite verses and passages, but there’s an overall story that’s more important than any of the individual parts. All the narratives and prophecies and promises and wisdom of Scripture come together in an incredible vision of God’s eternal purpose in Christ. (Read Ephesians 1 for more of a glimpse!)
That’s what made such a huge impact on my faith. And the Bible itself gives some clues as to why that might be:
When Jesus teaches the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, he says, “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (Luke 24:44) So every part of Scripture helps us to know and understand Christ.
Later, Paul tells Timothy, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:17-17) So every part of Scripture helps us to live effectively as followers of Christ.
This sounds good! But how can we make it practical?
No one could read the whole Bible in one sitting. It’s pretty hard to even read individual books like Genesis or Isaiah in one go. A regular, disciplined approach is the way forward. And my hope is that the Bible Summary tweets can help you with that.
Why not follow @biblegateway and commit to reading a chapter each day when you see the summary? Even the longest chapters take less than five minutes.
Or why not use the summaries to help you with your own schedule? You can see them all at the Bible Summary website. It takes less than five minutes to get an overview of a book that way.
However you engage with Scripture, you can also use the Bible Summary archive to help you find specific passages or give wider context to your reading.
But why not take this opportunity to get started with the whole Bible? The big picture will increase your understanding of Scripture, and also grow your faith in the God who inspired it.
Chris Juby is director of worship at King’s Church in Durham, England, where he lives with his wife and two young sons. For three-and-a-half years between 2010 and 2013 he summarized a chapter of the Bible each day on Twitter. You can find out more at the Bible Summary website.