In J.B. Phillips version of 1Timothy 4:13, the apostle Paul urges Timothy to “Concentrate until my arrival on your reading and on your preaching and teaching.” This verse was one of many in Paul’s letters to Timothy that caught my attention last week while preparing to teach a Saturday morning men’s Bible study.
In 2010 I want to pay attention to my reading because I find that careful reading and study lay a solid foundation for any teaching opportunity or assignment like the one I just had.
The Amplified Bible expands on the verse so it reads “Till I come, devote yourself to [public and private] reading; to exhortation [preaching and teaching and personal appeals] and to teaching and instilling doctrine.”
The New International Version underlines the public aspect of Paul’s challenge: “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.” While The Message summarizes: “Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching.”
In all the versions there is a strong link between reading and both preaching and teaching. For Christian communicators who want their message to be as effective as Paul’s letters to Timothy in motivating and challenging others to grow in faith—the year’s reading plan can be based on a plan to read through the whole Bible.
I personally like using the One Year Bible (Tyndale House, Wheaton 1986)which calendars daily readings that combine Old and New Testament readings with Psalms and Proverbs. This year I’m adding the One Year Chronological Bible (Tyndale House, Carol Stream, Illinois, 1995)to my daily Bible reading plan to get a better grasp of when key events occurred in relation to one another. I’m also resolving to more closely relate my general reading to specific teaching topics or assignments.
How about you: “What’s in your reading plan for 2010?” I’m interested in hearing about your reading resolutions, plans, or other comments about reading in the year ahead.