- Biblical Theology is the focus of this Bible reading calendar. That is, every book of Scripture is give attention as an independent portion of God’s Word with its own context and contribution(s), and then synthesized with the whole of Scripture.
- Daily Devotionals are available for delivery to your inbox.
- This Bible reading calendar will take you through the entire Bible in one year. To follow the program you will need to devote at least 30 minutes/day for adequate reading and reflection. Make it a goal to do all of the private reading in one sitting, if possible.
- A unique feature of this reading plan is that the Psalms and Proverbs are not read individually, but (as much as possible) in accord with the situation that prompted their composition. Where we are unsure as to the original situation of a Psalm/chapter of Proverbs, it is placed thematically in the reading plan.
- Skim and Savor will be a helpful phrase in describing the method of reading, especially as applied to the intake of the Old and New Testaments. As the Old Testament is much longer, it may be helpful to consider these readings as opportunities to gather the broad point of the text through skimming.
Generally speaking, our readings in the New Testament will be shorter—but don’t sell yourself short by giving these shorter readings a shorter amount of time; rather savor the message of the text.
Expect to be humbled. Students are accepted into the PhD program not because of what we have done but because of our potential. We probably know less than we think we know. Your weak spots will be revealed, so admit up front.
So get ready to learn. You will be forced to read like you have never read before. Read How to Read a Book (Adler and VanDoren, 1972), The Craft of Research (Booth, Colomb, and Williams, 2008), and Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies (Evans, 2005). Go to a professional meeting in your first year (ETS/SBL). There you can get a perspective of the issues relevant to your interests. You cannot begin until you know where things stand.
Expect challenges in communication with supervisors and faculty. Though PhD students are important to the seminary, the faculty is busy and we must wait our turn. Expect the process to be as challenging as the academic work.
So work at communication. Every time you meet with faculty, follow-up with detailed e-mail and cc the doctoral studies secretary. Say what you have done, what you hope to do and the deadlines involved. Don't let anything catch anyone by surprise.
Expect your faith to be challenged. You will be pressured, you may feel put-down. You may have personal challenges along the way ($, family, ministry). You may have to take time off. God may call you to step away from the PhD. There is a whole spectrum of challenge awaiting PhD students.
Rest in the faithfulness of God. Whatever point you find yourself on this spectrum know that God is faithful. Never lose sight of the fact that your Christianity is not based upon your papers, comps or dissertation, but Jesus' death and resurrection. In some ways PhD studies are icing on the cake of Christianity. Enjoy Jesus and the fellowship of the Spirit.
Expect physical challenges. Lack of sleep, lots of sitting, too much caffeine can have long and short term affects on your body. Eye strain and neck pain will slip into your book bag and follow you home from the library.
So take care of your body. Read standing up. Get an exercise program. Be moderate with sweets and caffeine. Get an exercise program. Put ice on your neck at night. There is nothing godly about getting a PhD and 30 pounds in the process.
Expect tech challenges. In a day of instant back up and storage there is no excuse for losing research, but computers will crash and downloads will fail.
Today begin to equip yourself for tech success. Purchase a reliable laptop, word processor, and research software. I suggest a Mac, Word for Mac, and EndNote.
When Paul addresses the Corinthians he consistently urges them to think of what God has done in Christ, affirming their spirituality, but also challenges them to look at what is yet to come. In this way he both builds up and humbles. Paul’s treatment of spiritual gifts and love in 1 Corinthians 12-14 exemplifies his logic.
With most commentators, the Corinthians seem enamored with expressive, up-front kinds of spiritual gifts. These abilities are understood, in the church, to be gifts which help the body of believers to know God; they reveal Him in the sense of helping people to understand the message of Christ and life in Christ by the Spirit. Spiritual gifts help the body to see God. In the culture, however, these abilities were thought achievements and means to the end of self-promotion (cf. 1 Corinthians 2); these abilities help the talented to express themselves and gain favor.
Paul corrects Corinthian thinking by arguing that even the best expression of spiritual gifts only dimly reveal God (1 Cor. 13:12). In light of the fact that even the best and most foundational gifts (prophecy and those related to speaking the gospel, cf. 1 Cor. 12:31; 14:1) will be useless when Christ returns and all of His fullness is revealed, the Corinthians should be concerned to demonstrate that which endures forever, i.e., love. The best sermon by the best preacher, the most uplifting music by the most talented musician, the smoothest organization by the most structured administrator may each and together make a significant impact for the kingdom and display the reality of Jesus’ death and resurrection, but these only dimly represent the God who will one day reveal Himself as the God of love (cf. 1 Cor. 15:23-28). The only hope these gifted individuals have of displaying that greater reality is to employ their gifts in love.
The 2013 Calendar is now available for download. This can be useful to keep on hand or in your Bible to guide you on each day's Scripture reading. Just go to our downloads section or click below.
Old Testament Commentaries
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