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Water from the Rock: Genre Reading Selections

November 24, 2012 4 comments

From my recent readings in a genre style plan, the following passages came up together one day — a few interesting passages to think upon:

  •  John 7:37-39, when Jesus stood up, on the last day, the great day of the Feast, and proclaimed Himself the source of the river of living water
  • Next, Exodus 17:1-7, the story of that event so well remembered thousands of years later at the Feast in John 7: Moses striking the rock, and water coming out for the thirsty people in the desert
  • An unrelated event, one I wouldn’t have thought of except that it was also in the daily genre reading selection:  Judges 15:19, a time when Samson was given special grace, that a “hollow place” in the wilderness split open and provided him water, so that “his spirit returned, and he revived.”
  • Isaiah 48, a great chapter about the suffering servant, including a well-known Old Testament trinity verse (Isaiah 48:16), and in verse 21 another reference to the water from the rock:

They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
he made water flow for them from the rock;
he split the rock and the water gushed out.

In God’s word, water is often used as a picture of the Holy Spirit, that which refreshes our soul as physical water refreshes our thirst.  Many other Bible verses also speak of coming to the water, as for instance Isaiah 55:1 and again at the very end of the Bible, Revelation 22:17.  The rock is our God (the first mention in Deuteronomy 32:31), also Christ specifically (1 Corinthians 10:4).  Thus the scriptures also show the importance of the idea of water from the rock, through repetition and remembrance as in the above mentioned texts.

Another Horner Bible Reading Variation: 9 Lists Through the Bible in 109 days

June 16, 2012 Leave a comment

A follow-up from last month’s update concerning Bible genre reading. I recently switched over to the 8 list plan described there, and made slight modifications to make it a 9-list plan.  The main change this time is to have two separate New Testament lists of one chapter each, instead of two chapters going through all of Acts through Revelation.  One list reads through all the non-Paul NT books: Acts, Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1-2-3 John, Jude, and Revelation, one chapter per day.  The other list is the Pauline epistles: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon.  The lists for Psalms and Proverbs have slight changes too:  Psalms and Ecclesiastes together, two chapters per day, then five days of Lamentations at one chapter per day, for 86 days through that list.  The Proverbs list, minus Lamentations, is now 85 days.  In the actual plan a few days’ readings are adjusted to one or two chapters in some cases, for handling of shorter or longer chapters along with the “lowest common multiple” list-realignment factor.

I’ve also experimented with different list orders, applying the alternating pattern (between New and Old Testament readings) with the wisdom books in the middle.  The nine list plan, with an extra New Testament list, gives more flexibility in list sequence:  start with the gospels, and end with one of the New Testament lists, but insert the other New Testament list in the middle.  Sequence is of course only a matter of personal preference.  Many people who start the Horner or similar reading plan at first just want to read the lists in actual sequence from Genesis to the end.  But alternating between the different genres, including NT versus OT genres, helps with the overall daily reading flow.

The nine lists:

  • Gospels (1 chapter/day):  89 days
  • Pentateuch (1-2 chapters/day):  109 days
  • Pauline Epistles (1 chapter/day): 87 days
  • History (2 chapters/day):  98 days
  • Prophets (2 chapters/day): 94 days
  • Psalms/Lamentations/Eccles (2 chapters/day):  86 days
  • Proverbs/Job/Song/Ruth (1 chapter/day):  85 days
  • Esther-to-Chronicles (1 chapter/day): 106 days
  • Acts-to-Revelation (non-Paul) (1 chapter/day): 83 days

The PDF reading list

The Horner Bible Reading System: Another Variation

May 5, 2012 2 comments

I’ve often blogged about the Horner Bible Reading Plan and modifications to it. At the core is a genre-based reading system in which one reads one or two chapters from each of several lists each day.  Such a plan usually includes anywhere from 6 to 12 lists, and each list has a certain number of Bible books; each list represents a different genre, such as the Pentateuch, history, prophets, literature, gospel, NT epistles, and so forth.  In this way one is always reading a small portion from each of the different parts of the Bible.  The Horner Ten List plan is the most well-known one, announced a few years ago by Professor Grant Horner.  In such a plan, for the first day one reads the first one or two chapters from list 1, then one or two chapters from list 2, and so forth through all the lists. The next day, read the next chapters for each list, and so on until you reach the end of the list.

For most genre plans, the lists are of different lengths, so that one list will be finished while still reading through the other lists. When you finish the end of one list, you start back at the beginning of that same list. The result is an infinite possibility of different reading “combinations” each day, that you’re never reading the exact same set of Bible chapters from day to day.  Currently I follow an 8-list, 12-13 chapters genre plan, the result of various modifications made to the original Horner 10 List Plan, which I began in early 2009.

In early 2011 I created and read through a “90 day genre reading” plan to complete the Bible in 90 days: not the usual 90 day plan of going straight through from Genesis to Revelation, but a set of 9 lists for the different genres.

The genre plan is easy to follow and modify, and it’s fun to come up with different reading lists.  On the facebook genre Bible reading group, a few others are reading with the 90 day genre plan — and coming up with their own modifications to that, such as to have fewer lists (six total) and more chapters, in some cases three chapters at a time.

Now for another 8 list plan idea, one I plan to switch over to in the next few weeks.  (Here is the link to the plan.) This one incorporates the Jewish Old Testament book sequence (this site shows the Jewish book sequence), which differs from the Christian canon, for a few different reading lists.  Note that the Pentateuch and gospel lists remain unchanged, and List 8, NT books, is the same as that list in the 90 day plan.  Like the 90 day plan, this one is more balanced between Old and New Testaments, for only three chapters per day (two lists) in the NT.  The Psalms list is similar to the one for the current 8 lists, except that I removed “Song of Solomon” and put it with List 6, per the Jewish OT book sequence.  As seen in the PDF, I tweaked the actual readings for a few days, to compensate for lengthier or shorter chapters within the lists, as well as to minimize the frequency of list realignment. (List realignment occurs when, after multiple times through the various lists, two of the lists are “synced” back to the same days as in the first time through.  This reading plan will have its first realignment — lists 2 and 5 — after almost 2 3/4 years of doing this plan.  Other lists would take over 7 years to realign to the original lists.)

List 1: Pentateuch — 1 or 2 chapters per day, 109 days
List 2: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Ezekiel (from “The Prophets”): 2 chapters per day, 98 days
List 3: Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Twelve (minor prophets; from “The Prophets” list): 2 chapters per day, 94 days
List 4: Psalms 2 chapters per day, Ecclesiastes 1 chapter per day: 87 days
List 5: Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, 1 chapter per day: 90 days
List 6: Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles, 1 chapter per day: 106 days
List 7: Gospels, 1 chapter per day: 89 days
List 8: NT Acts through Revelation, 2 chapters per day: 88 days

The PDF reading list

Bible Reading for 2012: 90 Day Modified Horner Bible Reading

December 16, 2011 6 comments

Following is a re-post from December of last year, when I mentioned my 90-Day Modified Horner Reading Plan.   Click here for the PDF for the full 90-day reading.  It was a good reading plan, 14 chapters a day and gradually reducing near the end of the 90 days, to complete and end the reading on March 31.  Since then I’ve been back to an 8-list genre reading plan which completes the Bible every 125 days.

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Update:  New Facebook discussion group for the Horner Bible Reading plan and modifications including this 90-day reading plan.

At the beginning of 2010 I described a 2010 Bible Reading Challenge with several variations on the Horner Bible Reading System, a genre-based reading through each of several different sections of the Bible.  With such plans you read one or two chapters from each list, for a total of 10 to 14 chapters per day, and read completely through the Bible several times per year.

For most of this year I’ve been doing an eight list plan that includes 12 to 14 chapters per day; the longest list is 125 days.  However, beginning January 1, just for the first three months, I’ll be following a 9-list 90 days plan.

List 1:  Gospels  (89 days) — one chapter per day
List 2:  Pentateuch (90 days) — two chapters per day
List 3:  New Testament (Acts through Revelation) — two chapters per day
List 4:  Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Ecclesiastes — one chapter per day
List 5:  Psalms, Song of Solomon — two chapters per day
List 6:  History Joshua thru 2 Kings (except Ruth), and Esther — two chapters per day
List 7:  History 1-2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah — one chapter per day
List 8:  Major Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel — two chapters per day
List 9:  Other Prophets–Lamentations, Daniel thru Malachi — one chapter per day

Since this is not an A-to-Z type plan that breaks the reading in the middle of chapters, the lists do not all end on the last day.  Actually, all the lists except List 1 end before March 31, and so the reading gradually tapers off toward the end.  List 9 ends on March 25, and the others end gradually after that.  I made additional adjustments for some especially long chapters, so that where I would normally read two chapters I only read one for those days.  A few examples of these include Psalm 119 split into two days, as well as 1 Kings 7 and 8, Jeremiah 49 through 52, and Ezekiel 39 and 40

You may notice that I put Ruth in List 4 after Proverbs.  I made this adjustment after learning that, at least at one time, the Jewish scriptures placed Ruth after Proverbs — flowing from the Proverbs 31 woman to the godly woman Ruth.

*** Added on 1/3/2011:   A good variation on the reading sequence — instead of reading the lists in the order above, read as follows:

List 2 (Pentateuch)
Lists 6-7 (History)
Lists 8-9 (Prophets)
Lists 4 and 5 (wisdom books)
List 1 (Gospels)
List 3 (New Testament)

Click here to see the actual day-by-day list, in PDF format for printing.

PDF of the 125-day 8 list plan.  (Note: with the eight list plan, after you complete a list you return to the beginning of that list.)

Daily Bible Reading Update

May 13, 2010 Leave a comment

My 8 list Bible reading continues, and here are my current readings:

John 13-14
Deuteronomy 5-6
Galatians 5-6
Job 38
Psalms 51-52
Ezra 7-8
Isaiah 21-22
Acts 13

Deuteronomy and Galatians have good reading, and a good contrast between the Mosaic covenant (law) and the New Covenant (grace).  Deuteronomy also has some great passages concerning God’s faithfulness, His greatness, and His concern for His people.

Here are a few really good passages from recent readings out of Deuteronomy, the Psalms, and Galatians:

Deuteronomy 4:32-39:
“For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of. 33 Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? 34 Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him. 36 Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. 37 And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power, 38 driving out before you nations greater and mightier than yourselves, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is this day, 39 know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.


Psalm 50:7-15:

“Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God.
8 Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9 I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.
12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High,
15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

Galatians 6:2-5:
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load.


In Isaiah I’ve been reading through the chapters dealing with judgments on the surrounding nations, including Babylon, Egypt, and others.  This ties in with a recent article I read, “Biblical Arguments for the Rebuilding of Babylon,” that discusses the question of Babylon’s future judgment, and describes the various judgments in Isaiah chapters 13 – 23.  Understanding more of the actual history of Babylon, and reading the actual words of the text, all the things associated with the destruction of Babylon,  helps to further appreciate the prophecy as one awaiting the Lord’s return.