Blogging the Bible: A Grace-Centered Reading Through the New Testament

   
Image by Lucy Loomis

Image by Lucy Loomis

There are few books that have the depth of impact on the human soul as does the Bible. Regardless of reading it over and over again, a freshness emerges in the text each time it’s read.

This year I have decided that I am going to blog through the New Testament. I do so mostly for me, as such an endeavor is not new. I will be trying to condense books, chapters and passages into a single thought, challenge, or concentration. Some I expect to be fairly easy to deal with, while others not so much.

But what is different for me this time around is my adamant view toward God’s saving grace—something for which I thought I believed in previous years but only until recently discovered that I did not. In fact, if anything, I was an ardent defender of religion and rejected the gospel at its most principle level. In light of this once held error, I will be reading the entirety of the the New Testament with grace and the gospel in mind.

Now a few words on the nature and order of things.

This is a serious commitment that I am undertaking, and one I do not take lightly. These writings will be my musings and should not, as I already hope is the case, be taken blindly. I will be reading the ESV this year, but will be consulting the HCSB and the Amplified, along with other translations and studies in the Greek where needed. I have no intent, on this note, to make this an ivory tower, academic thing but an attempt to bring theology to the “streets” as it were. I do not want to lose the personal meaning of the texts for the sake of Greek word studies and endless theological debate. These things have there place and can certainly be fun while educational, but the heart of the text is not in this minutia. Information for information’s sake is fruitless.

To that end, I will be reading through the New Testament in a chronological order rather than in an order we commonly see in our Bibles. There are many debates, but I have adopted the view of Pauline theology first. Paul wrote the earliest texts and from his writings, Christianity was formed. The gospels were written to support Paul’s gospel (Mark and Luke seem to have clearly been written by disciples of Paul), followed by the texts of the Jerusalem church. These latter texts must be read in light of the Gospel as revealed by Paul lest we stray into religion and abandon the true gospel.

Here is the order I will be following:

PAUL’S WRITING 

Galatians (49-52 CE)
1 Thessalonians (50-53 CE)
2 Thessalonians (50-54 CE)
1 Corinthians (56 CE)
2 Corinthians (57 CE)
Romans (58 CE)
Ephesians (62 CE)
Philippians (62 CE)
Colossians (62 CE)
1 Timothy (62 CE)
2 Timothy (63 CE)
Titus (62 CE)
Philemon (62 CE)
Hebrews (most likely Paul’s but unknown—62-66 CE)

THE GOSPELS OF PAUL’S DISCIPLES

Mark (50-70 CE)
Luke (61 CE)
Acts (61 CE)

JERUSALEM CHURCH’S TEXTS

Matthew (64/70 CE)
James (may be contemporaneous with Paul’s writings—58-63 CE)
1 Peter (63 CE)
2 Peter (64 CE)
Jude (66 CE)

HELLENIZED JEWISH

John (85/90 CE)
1 John (85/90 CE)
2 John (85/90 CE)
3 John (85/90 CE)
Revelations (96 CE)

Read the New Testament along with me or just check-in weekly to read some of the commentaries. There is nothing like hearing the gospel—the scandalous love story of how Jesus elevated us into unity with himself by the giving of his life in a beautiful exchange.

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