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 Post subject: Reading Plan: Entire NT in Lent (2010)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:34 am 
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Highness
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This is almost identical to a Lenten suggestion I have posted on this board for several years. [I was unable to post in 2008 since I was recovering from some foot surgery and was not able physically to get to my computer.] I just updated some dates for 2010 -- Easter's not being a constant date in our regular every day calendar means that the dates must be updated (and manually, since I do not have an automatic "script" to do that). {If I just left the numbered day-of-Lent and the day-of-week within each Lenten week, I could get away without having to update it every year, but it might not be as convenient for users.}


Edward Pothier

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READING THE ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT FOR LENT
Edward Pothier ----- February 2010


The following is a proposal and plan for reading the entire New Testament (NT) during the Season of Lent. While many people have read parts of the NT, a lot fewer have ever read the entire NT for themselves. As part of a Lenten discipline (not as a punishment, but as a beneficial training!), the following plan to read it may help. [Note: I acknowledge the incompleteness of this proposal in that it does not include any of the Old Testament, which is still an important part of the whole Christian Bible and should not be ignored. Reading 4 psalms a day during Lent will allow you to do the complete Psalter.]

Participants will, using whichever translation they prefer, read all 27 books of the New Testament. The suggested “type” of reading will be a moderately quick one, not worrying about details and certainly not doing a careful “study”. If points of interest arise, they can be looked-at later. The method suggested here will necessitate reading several (actually about six!) chapters of the NT each day of Lent.

While there could be an almost infinite variety of reading plans devised to guide a reading pass through the NT, the one suggested here will be about the easiest imaginable -- requiring only a NT, a single bookmark, and occasional progress checks on a list of “pacing guideposts” [provided on the next page].

While the chapter and verse divisions of the NT are quite late auxiliary additions to the Bible, they serve a useful and conventional reference purpose. There are a total of 260 chapters (as traditionally divided) in the books of the NT. These serve only as an approximate guide to the amount of material -- some chapters are longer than others. [As an example, Luke's Gospel (which has only 24 chapters) is actually about 6% longer than Matthew's (which has 28 chapters)!] Nevertheless, for the “guidepost” purposes of this Lenten NT reading program, we can use the number of chapters read as a sufficient measure.]

Since we are interested in doing this reading during Lent, we will start on Ash Wednesday (February 17th this year of 2010) and try to finish on Holy Thursday. In the Roman Catholic calendar Lent actually finishes on the evening of Holy Thursday and the Easter Triduum starts then. This means we have 44 days (including Ash Wednesday, all the Sundays, and Holy Thursday). If you come close to finishing, you can use the Triduum to finish! [An older counting of Lent that started on Ash Wednesday and continued all the way through Holy Saturday would include 46 days (but the six Sundays were not counted as part of the old Lenten 40 days).]

Simple arithmetic would then show that to read the entire NT in Lent we must average (260 chapters)/(44 days) or about 5.9 chapters a day (thus almost six chapters each day). This might seem like a lot, but remember that we are not doing a slow, careful reading but just a quick, read-through, kind. Although it may still seem like a lot to read, such a complete reading will be well worth it; and you will have a feeling (and reality) of accomplishment if you finish.

Just start reading the books of the NT in the usual canonical order, i.e. as found in all Bibles, at the start of Lent. Try to average at least six chapters a day. The appended table shows the necessary “guideposts” which should be maintained if we want to succeed in our complete NT pass during Lent. You do not have to “religiously” follow the schedule of guideposts; the table just shows where you should be in your straight-through reading if you are keeping up the steady pace to finish on time by the end of Lent.

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Code:
GUIDEPOSTS FOR COMPLETING THE READING OF THE NT DURING LENT (2010)
                 Edward Pothier        February 2010
[In order to complete the reading of the NT during Lent at the needed steady average pace (of almost six chapters a day), one should at least be through the so-called Guidepost chapter on the date.]

  Day         DATE        GUIDEPOST
Ash Wednesday and following partial week
   1  Wed, 17-FEB-2010    Matt 6 
   2  Thu, 18-FEB-2010    Matt 12
   3  Fri, 19-FEB-2010    Matt 18
   4  Sat, 20-FEB-2010    Matt 24
First Week of Lent
   5  Sun, 21-FEB-2010    Mark 2 
   6  Mon, 22-FEB-2010    Mark 7 
   7  Tue, 23-FEB-2010    Mark 13
   8  Wed, 24-FEB-2010    Luke 3 
   9  Thu, 25-FEB-2010    Luke 9 
  10  Fri, 26-FEB-2010    Luke 15
  11  Sat, 27-FEB-2010    Luke 21
Second Week of Lent
  12  Sun, 28-FEB-2010    John 3 
  13  Mon, 01-MAR-2010    John 9 
  14  Tue, 02-MAR-2010    John 15
  15  Wed, 03-MAR-2010    John 21
  16  Thu, 04-MAR-2010    Acts 6 
  17  Fri, 05-MAR-2010    Acts 11
  18  Sat, 06-MAR-2010    Acts 17
Third Week of Lent
  19  Sun, 07-MAR-2010    Acts 23
  20  Mon, 08-MAR-2010    Rom 1   
  21  Tue, 09-MAR-2010    Rom 7   
  22  Wed, 10-MAR-2010    Rom 13 
  23  Thu, 11-MAR-2010    1 Cor 3
  24  Fri, 12-MAR-2010    1 Cor 9
  25  Sat, 13-MAR-2010    1 Cor 15
Fourth Week of Lent
  26  Sun, 14-MAR-2010    2 Cor 5
  27  Mon, 15-MAR-2010    2 Cor 11
  28  Tue, 16-MAR-2010    Gal 3   
  29  Wed, 17-MAR-2010    Eph 3   
  30  Thu, 18-MAR-2010    Phil 3 
  31  Fri, 19-MAR-2010    1 Thess 1
  32  Sat, 20-MAR-2010    2 Thess 2
Fifth Week of Lent
  33  Sun, 21-MAR-2010    1 Tim 5
  34  Mon, 22-MAR-2010    Titus 1
  35  Tue, 23-MAR-2010    Heb 3   
  36  Wed, 24-MAR-2010    Heb 9   
  37  Thu, 25-MAR-2010    James 2
  38  Fri, 26-MAR-2010    1 Pet 3
  39  Sat, 27-MAR-2010    2 Pet 3
Holy Week
  40  Sun, 28-MAR-2010    2 John 1
  41  Mon, 29-MAR-2010    Rev 4   
  42  Tue, 30-MAR-2010    Rev 10 
  43  Wed, 31-MAR-2010    Rev 16 
  44  Thu, 01-APR-2010    Rev 22 


Good Luck and Spiritual Benefit!


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 Post subject: Re: Reading Plan: Entire NT in Lent (2010)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:42 am 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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Cool! I read almost all of the NT in about two weeks during the summer, but there are bits and pieces I missed. I should go through it again, though, and I really need to read the OT.

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"Take it as a certain sign that your charity is not genuine if your words, no matter how true, are not charitable." --St Francis de Sales

"The thing is--to be ready to die: and is there one of us who would quite like to die, doing as little for God as we are doing now?" --Fr Faber


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 Post subject: Re: Reading Plan: Entire NT in Lent (2010)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:21 pm 
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Highness
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Just in case someone is thinking that my suggested plan seems too rigorous with six scriptural chapters of reading a day, remember that the reading is just that – reading, not detailed consideration or meditation.

I have distributed a similar list (actually the same but with the dates for a different year) to some folks in my parish and some of them told me when Lent was over that they found it surprisingly easy to maintain the pace. If on a given day you are not able to read all six chapters, it is not hard to catch up the next day(s).


Edward Pothier


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