In January of 2011 St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church started a ministry called The Bible Challenge. We simply invited members and friends outside our church to read the entire Bible in one year’s time. We expected 15 persons to accept our challenge, but were astonished to have 178 members and 83 friends join The Bible Challenge. Reading the Bible each day is transforming their lives.
We believe that there is no one set way that participants or churches must read the Bible. Therefore we encourage various options.
- We encourage participants to read The New Oxford Annotated Version of the Bible, but the New International Version and other versions of the Bible are encouraged as well.
- We recommend reading three chapters of the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament each day, one psalm and one chapter of the New Testament. Some choose a different way of reading, but we caution that those who wish to read the Bible from cover to cover beginning with Genesis and ending with The Book of Revelation often do not succeed in their task.
- We encourage participants to read the Bible in printed form or on an iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Nook and on Bible websites or to listen to the Bible on CDs.
- We recommend being part of a support group of others who are reading the Bible as well.
As a priest I have found that reading the Bible every day has had a major impact on my life, my family, my relationship with God and my outlook on life. Now many of our church members are discovering that daily Bible reading can transform their lives.
The Bible Challenge is so exciting that we have now created The Center for Biblical Studies (CBS) to introduce The Bible Challenge to people around the world. We believe that The Bible Challenge can transform and spiritually re-energize countless churches and millions of lives. We hope to create opportunities for people around the world to read the Bible together and to be in conversation with others as they read God’s Word.
Rector of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church. Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
Founder and Executive Director of The Bible Challenge and The Center for Biblical Studies