So what is this?
Several years ago our church
using the lectionary, partly to keep our different language
congregations more unified. (I belong to the Church of the Nazarene,
which for various historical reasons, is neither liturgical nor
anti-liturgical. Most Nazarene congregations don't use the lectionary,
but some do.) I liked using the lectionary, but also wanted to
periodically read the whole Bible. There are lots of read-the-Bible in
a year plans, but it's too crazy to try to do that and follow the
lectionary too. Plus I was looking for a way to slow down and meditate
on scripture, which meant rereading the same passages enough times. So
I printed out the entire three-year cycle, and figured out that most
books of the Bible are gone through fairly systematically, so it seemed
to me that I could just read the bits in between the lectionary readings
and it would all work out...I made some strange charts only readable by
me, which I am still using a couple of three-year cycles later. Then
some of my family members wanted to use it too, so I made some other
strange charts readable by anyone that I explain them to who can read
my handwriting...but I got tired of making lots of copies of charts
every year in November, plus my family lives in different cities, and a
few people expressed interest who probably can't read my handwriting or
understand my charts, so I thought of putting it on a web page.
What are the advantages of this plan?
If you use the lectionary in your church, you can live with the
scriptures each week ahead of the service, which makes it more
meaningful. If you don't use the lectionary in your services, you can
still have your scripture readings correlate with the time of year you
are in, so Christmas and Easter and so on seem natural and prepared for.
You can read the whole Bible, but not so fast that you can't take time
to think about it. You can read from different sections of the Bible
and think about how they fit together. You can enjoy thinking about the many other Christians who are reading the same scriptures as
you this week. If you are really busy in your life, you can just read.
If you want to put more time in Bible study you can take long times to
meditate on each scripture, or get a Bible study on one of the books
you are going through, or keep a notebook.
Who picked out these scriptures?
! The Revised
Common Lectionary was put together by a committee representing all the
liturgical churches in North America. I usually consult the Vanderbilt
. This gives scriptures for Sundays and some other
major holy days. I'm responsible for "spreading" the scriptures over
the week and "expanding" the readings to cover the whole Bible. I
worked really hard to not have more than three chapters a day--sometimes
I even gave up on matching the extra readings as closely to the Sundays
as I would like. There are a couple of places where you have to read
four chapters. There used to be a few with five, but I edited them
Why are there scriptures on your list that don't appear in my
The main reason for this is that the Revised Common Lectionary includes
options. In particular there are two sets of Old Testament readings in
"Ordinary Time" (or "Pentecost" if you call it that)--one set which
covers the Old Testament history (usually called "semi-continuous") and
one set which correlates with the New Testament reading (usually called
"typological"). For a "whole Bible" plan you obviously need the first
set, but I like the second set too, because one of the advantages of
using the lectionary is thinking about how different scriptures fit
together. So I just use them all. There are also other options provided
by the RCL that I have tried to present as clearly as possible.
Also see the next question...
Why are there scriptures in my lectionary that don't appear in
If you don't live in North America you might be using a different
lectionary. If you are Catholic your lectionary will include the
Apocrypha, parts of the Bible which other denominations don't accept as
canonical. The Revised Common Lectionary does include options from the
Apocrypha, but it would be a lot more work to put them in too, and since
I don't use the Apocrypha I didn't. I intend to provide a "with
Apocrypha" list for Sundays and Feast Days only, but don't intend to
integrate them into the three year plan.
What's with the (PM see next Sunday)?
Most of the year there are four scriptures, so the idea is that you
read them all on Sunday, then focus on one each for Tuesday through
Friday, with an additional reading to cover the whole Bible. I like to
read some of the surrounding passage as well, since the scriptures in
the lectionary are often shortened for public reading. Mostly I have
just used the divisions in the New International Version of the Bible
(the version I usually read). Then on Saturday you can read all four
again in preparation for Sunday, or give yourself the day off, or use it
to catch up if you got behind. If there are five scriptures or a holy
day then Saturday gets its own scriptures. But starting at Pentecost,
there are six scriptures usually. I really like reading them all
together at the beginning, so I do it Sunday afternoon or evening, so
each day can still have its own scriptures. Some of you using this
never read the whole set anyway, so feel free to skip this if you want,
or do it some other time. In fact, feel free to do whatever--like skip
the readings in parentheses.