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 Post subject: Reading the New Testament for Lent 2012
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 3:45 pm
Posts: 6691
Location: Boston (Roslindale), MA
Religion: Catholic
This is almost identical to a Lenten suggestion I have posted on this board for several years. I just update some dates for the current year -- 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.}

I am more than willing to make the modifications each year if it makes this practice easier for even one person.

ASH WEDNESDAY 2012 is February 22, 2012.

Edward Pothier

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Edward Pothier ----- February 2012

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 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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

                Edward Pothier        February 2012
[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, 22-FEB-2012    Matt 6 
   2  Thu, 23-FEB-2012    Matt 12
   3  Fri, 24-FEB-2012    Matt 18
   4  Sat, 25-FEB-2012    Matt 24
First Week of Lent
   5  Sun, 26-FEB-2012    Mark 2 
   6  Mon, 27-FEB-2012    Mark 7 
   7  Tue, 28-FEB-2012    Mark 13
   8  Wed, 29-FEB-2012    Luke 3 
   9  Thu, 01-MAR-2012    Luke 9 
  10  Fri, 02-MAR-2012    Luke 15
  11  Sat, 03-MAR-2012    Luke 21
Second Week of Lent
  12  Sun, 04-MAR-2012    John 3 
  13  Mon, 05-MAR-2012    John 9 
  14  Tue, 06-MAR-2012    John 15
  15  Wed, 07-MAR-2012    John 21
  16  Thu, 08-MAR-2012    Acts 6 
  17  Fri, 09-MAR-2012    Acts 11
  18  Sat, 10-MAR-2012    Acts 17
Third Week of Lent
  19  Sun, 11-MAR-2012    Acts 23
  20  Mon, 12-MAR-2012    Rom 1   
  21  Tue, 13-MAR-2012    Rom 7   
  22  Wed, 14-MAR-2012    Rom 13 
  23  Thu, 15-MAR-2012    1 Cor 3
  24  Fri, 16-MAR-2012    1 Cor 9
  25  Sat, 17-MAR-2012    1 Cor 15
Fourth Week of Lent
  26  Sun, 18-MAR-2012    2 Cor 5
  27  Mon, 19-MAR-2012    2 Cor 11
  28  Tue, 20-MAR-2012    Gal 3   
  29  Wed, 21-MAR-2012    Eph 3   
  30  Thu, 22-MAR-2012    Phil 3 
  31  Fri, 23-MAR-2012    1 Thess 1
  32  Sat, 24-MAR-2012    2 Thess 2
Fifth Week of Lent
  33  Sun, 25-MAR-2012    1 Tim 5
  34  Mon, 26-MAR-2012    Titus 1
  35  Tue, 27-MAR-2012    Heb 3   
  36  Wed, 28-MAR-2012    Heb 9   
  37  Thu, 29-MAR-2012    James 2
  38  Fri, 30-MAR-2012    1 Pet 3
  39  Sat, 31-MAR-2012    2 Pet 3
Holy Week
  40  Sun, 01-APR-2012    2 John 1
  41  Mon, 02-APR-2012    Rev 4   
  42  Tue, 03-APR-2012    Rev 10 
  43  Wed, 04-APR-2012    Rev 16 
  44  Thu, 05-APR-2012    Rev 22 

Good Luck and Spiritual Benefit!

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