Bible in a Year Reading Plan

April 2020

There are times in my life when the bible is particularly dear to me, times
of uncertainty, times of worry, illness or fear. It is at these times that the
word of God seems to speak most deeply to me –maybe because it is at
these times I am really seeking God for answers and for comfort and
hope. As we continue our reading plan, my hope is that we will get a
deeper sense of God at work in our lives and our world – and the times
that we find the most unsettling are the times when he holds us closest to
his heart.
 
This month we are reading:
2 Chronicles
Author: Unknown, but possibly Ezra
Date written: 400 BC
Type of book: History/Narrative
Key characters: Saul & David
Major themes: A reminder of who the people of Israel were and still are
at this point in time
Where 1 Chronicles had painted a picture of David as the perfect king,
part 2 shows Solomon in this role. David had been likened to Moses, and
now, in part two, similar comparisons are drawn between Solomon and
his master builder Huram Abi on the one hand and Bezalel and Ohliab
who appear in Exodus 35 and 36 on the other. It was the view of the writ-
er that the people needed to be reminded of the past, so he points to a
time when God gave instructions for the building of the tabernacle and
then shows that he has now given instructions for building the Temple.
 
Ecclesiastes
Author: Koheleth (meaning Teacher), probably King Solomon
Date written: 950 BC or 400 BC depending on author
Type of book: Wisdom
Key characters: The King
Major themes: The whole of life is pointless unless you work with God
Solomon was wealthy, but he was also wise, and Ecclesiastes is a reality
check and response to the wealth he had gathered. One of Solomons
qualities was his God given wisdom, stemming from his desire to judge
his people well and to know good from evil (1 Kings 3:9) It was out of this
that the book of Ecclesiastes was born, as he realised the fickle desire of
humankind for wealth and saw the reality of life: to fear God and keep his
commands is the whole duty of humankind.
Song of Songs
Author: Solomon
Date written: Unknown, but around Solomons reign (950 BC)
Type of book: Erotic Poetry
Key characters: Beloved, lover, daughters of Jerusalem, and friends
Major themes: Love, sex and companionship
Song of Songs is a positive poem which focusses on human sexual love
and does not have theological or historical themes.
The text is so passionate in its portrayal of sexual intimacy that in Jewish
tradition the book was seen as too explicit for young Jewish boys, so they
werent allowed to read it until they were seen as men at the age of thir-
teen. The song contains many metaphors describing activities relating to
sexual arousal and includes various euphemisms and double entendres.
Fruit or apples were seen as a symbol of male genitals, the man is de-
scribed as a young stag or gazelle, terms which suggest sexual virility like
that of animals in the spring. Wine was a symbol of heaven crashing to
earth, supreme pleasure, while the garden refers to a womans vagina.
1 Corinthians
Author: Paul
Date written: AD 54
Type of book: Letter
Key characters: The church of Corinth, the apostles and Israel
Major themes: Our faith is ultimately about love
Many of the new converts in Corinth had come from the most degraded
paganism, and with complicated family and social backgrounds, they of-
ten struggled to live the Godly lifestyle Paul was calling them to. During
Pauls time in Ephesus he began to hear of the troubles within the church
community, and this letter is his response. These issues werent anything
new to Corinth: it was simply a matter of trying to live within the world in
which the believers found themselves. Paul writes that there is sexual
immorality among the believers that even the pagans (or worship-
pers of Aphrodite) dont indulge in. He calls on the Christians not to
associate with the lifestyle of Corinth, which he characterises as sex-
ual immorality, slander, greed, idolatry, drunkenness and swindling.
Many in the church at this time were behaving in the same way as
those in the culture around them, claiming to worship Jesus in the
community but living like a Corinthianin the world.
2 Corinthians
Author: Paul
Date written: AD 56
Type of book: Letter
Key characters: Paul
Major themes: Paul writes to convince the people that he really is
an apostle
The second letter to Corinth was a painful letter for Paul, as he re-
sponded to doubts about his apostleship. Paul starts 1 Corinthians
by simply saying that he is called to be an apostle, but in the second
letter he explicitly identifies himself as Paul, an apostle of Christ.
Paul felt he needed to stamp his authority clearly on the letter.
Paul uses many cultural images of the day to express aspects of the
Christian faith – for example the image of triumphal processions
which would have been regularly seen in Corinth. Paul takes this
image and uses it to say that it is Christ who leads us in triumphal
procession, not just after battle but every day, and that it is Christs
incense that spreads everywhere.
 
Date Day Old Testament New Testament Psalms/Proverbs
1st 213 1 Chronicles 11:112:22 Romans 14:19-15:13 Psalm 89:46-52
2nd 214 1 Chronicles 12:2314:17 Romans 15:14-33 Psalm 90:1-10
3rd 215 1 Chronicles 15:116:36 Romans 16:1-27 Psalm 90:11-17
4th 216 1 Chronicles 16:3718:17 1 Corinthians 1:1-17 Proverbs 19:3-12
5th 217 1 Chronicles 19:122:1 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5 Psalm 91:1-8
6th 218 1 Chronicles 22:223:32 1 Corinthians 2:616 Psalm 91:916
7th 219 1 Chronicles 24:126:19 1 Corinthians 3:123 Psalm 92:115
8th 220 1 Chronicles 26:2027:34 1 Corinthians 4:1-21
Proverbs 19:13
22
9th 221 1 Chronicles 28:129:30 1 Corinthians 5:113 Psalm 93:15
10th 222 2 Chronicles 1:117 1 Corinthians 6:120 Psalm 94:1-11
11th 223 Ecclesiastes 1:13:22 1 Corinthians 7:116 Psalm 94:1223
12th 224 Ecclesiastes 4:16:12 1 Corinthians 7:1735
Proverbs 19:23
20:4
13th 225 Ecclesiastes 7:19:12 1 Corinthians 7:368:13 Psalm 95:111
14th 226 Ecclesiastes 9:1312:14 1 Corinthians 9:118 Psalm 96:113
15th 227 2 Chronicles 2:15:1 1 Corinthians 9:1910:13 Psalm 97:112
16th 228 2 Chronicles 5:27:10 1 Corinthians 10:1411:1 Proverbs 20:5-14
17th 229 2 Chronicles 7:119:31 1 Corinthians 11:2-34 Psalm 98:1-9
18th 230 Songs of Songs 1:14:16 1 Corinthians 12:126 Psalm 99:19
19th 231 Songs of Songs 5:18:14 1 Corinthians 12:2713:13 Psalm 100:1-5
20th 232 2 Chronicles 10:112:16 1 Corinthians 14:1-19
Proverbs 20:15
24
21st 233 2 Chronicles 13:115:19 1 Corinthians 14:20-40 Psalm 101:1-8
22nd 234 2 Chronicles 16:118:27 1 Corinthians 15:1-34 Psalm 102:1-11
23rd 235 2 Chronicles 18:2821:3 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 Psalm 102:12-17
24th 236 2 Chronicles 21:423:21 1 Corinthians 15:50-16:4
Proverbs 20:25
21:4
25th 237 2 Chronicles 24:125:28 1 Corinthians 16:5-24 Psalm 102:18-28
26th 238 2 Chronicles 26:128:27 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 Psalm 103:1-12
27th 239 2 Chronicles 29:131:1 2 Corinthians 1:12-22 Psalm 103:13-22
28th 240 2 Chronicles 31:233:20 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11 Proverbs 21:5-16
29th 241 2 Chronicles 33:2135:19 2 Corinthians 2:12-3:6 Psalm 104:1-18
30th 242 2 Chronicles 35:2036:23 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 Psalm 104:19-30