Overview of the “Rainbow” Bible Reading Guide Year
Life of Christ
Lives of Kings Saul, David, and Solomon
Break at Easter Week
Lives of Kings of Judah and Israel
Pentecost Through Final Judgment
Judgment Comes to the Kings
Creation Through the Book of Ruth
Calling of Disciples
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- Relevant: Read about Christmas at Christmas.
- Timely: Takes 10-15 minutes.
- Exciting: Start the year reading the miracles of Christ.
- Comparable: Read the same story out of each book together.
- Unexpected: Switch our reading at Easter and Pentecost.
- Chronological: Read prophecy books after the chapters when written.
- Perpetual: Start on any day of the year.
- Unique: Each year is different but covers all the chapters.
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How I Wrote the “Rainbow” Bible Reading Guide
I’ve read the Bible since I was 13 and used several guides. I desired to read about Christ’s birth on Christmas and The Passion at Easter.
I wanted to start the New Year by reading something exciting. I didn’t want to get bogged down in the book of Numbers in the winter.
I also wanted to read a similar amount of verses every day. I counted the words in each chapter. Then set the daily readings by the average number of words.
I started with the Christmas story, assigning Luke 1 to Christmas Eve. It tells of the events leading up to the birth of Christ. The story was in 3 books, and I went back and forth assigning the reading chronologically. We end the year reading of Christ calling the twelve disciples.
Using the New International Version Study Bible’s chart of the Parables of Christ, I put the chapters of the books of the gospels together.
I scheduled the chapters about the Crucifixion and Resurrection for Easter week. We will read about the “Triumphal Entry” on “Palm Sunday.” We read about “The Last Supper” on “Maundy Thursday.” “The Crucifixion” covers Friday and Saturday, and “The Resurrection” on “Easter Sunday.” The day after Easter we read about “The Ascension.”
On “Pentecost Sunday,” we switch to reading Acts. It was only natural to follow the events of the early church. You stop in different places in Acts and read the letters to the various churches.
That finished the chapters in the New Testament. I had no idea how to plan the Old Testament. The answer came during a Sunday school class taught by Joe Goudy…
“The first day of the Jewish New Year was the day God created the earth.”
I was so excited! The day varies each year, (in September or the beginning of October). I set October 1 as the date to start reading Genesis. It makes sense to study history in the Bible when our kids are in school.
1 Samuel tells the story of the first King of Israel. When we finish reading the gospels, Jesus has just ascended to heaven. He promised to return as King of Kings. It seemed natural to read the stories of the earthly kings.
When assigning chapters in 1 Samuel, I noted the same stories recorded in 1 Chronicles. I matched the chapters up so that we would read the accounts together.
While reading about King David, I remembered he wrote most of the Psalms. I thought…
“Wouldn’t it be nice to read the Psalms right after reading the events?”
I slowly went through the Psalms looking for clues about their subject and date. Sometimes the clues were in the title. Other times I had to scour the notes at the bottom of the page.
I assigned David’s, Solomon’s, and Moses’ Psalms next to the chapters of events. (I never realized Moses wrote a Psalm!) There were Psalms written before the exile and after the exile. I assigned them to the corresponding books and chapters.
When I reached the time of the prophets I hit another snag. I wanted to read the prophecies chronologically. Once again I scoured the footnotes and the notes at the front of each book. I recorded the dates and assigned the books chronologically. The chapters referring to a certain date, king, or event, are with them.
Easter is on a different day every year. It is during the time we are reading the history of the kings. It is simple to pause and read the Easter chapters. Then start on the next king after Easter week.
We pause again to start Acts on “Pentecost Sunday.” We read through Revelation which is about the earth’s judgment. Then we continue with the various kings’ judgments.
At the end of the Old Testament, the temple and the Jerusalem wall are rebuilt. We read the first chapters of 1 Chronicles. They list the names of Adam to those who moved back after the exile. We study those chapters in September when children return to school. The list of names is right before we read Genesis.
The beauty of the “Rainbow” Bible Reading Guide is there is no beginning or end. It is perpetual, with yearly adjustments for Easter and Pentecost Sunday. You can start at any time. It takes 10-15 minutes for each assigned reading.
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