Monday, August 23, 2021

66 x 12 by 60

I have a confession to make, and since I'm not Catholic, and thus don't have a (earthly) priest to confess to, I guess I'll just leave it right here in print. 

Confession: I struggle to read the Bible.

Now, that might seem strange considering that as a pastor, I spend numerous hours each week in Bible study for sermon and lesson preparation. 

So, maybe I should restate my confession: There is the temptation for my sermon prep time to be the only time that I am in my Bible on a regular basis. Sometimes, it's difficult to separate my "work" reading from my personal reading.

But I'm going to do something about that.

Full disclosure: I do read my Bible daily. But I want to go deeper.

So, beginning this week, I am embarking on a journey that will hopefully, should God give me the breath and mind to do so, allow me to read through the Bible in 90 days. And not just a single time. My plan is to read through the Bible four times a year for the next three years.

That's the 66 x 12: 66 books of the Bible, read 12 times.

As for my reasoning for attempting this daunting (at least for me) task, first and foremost, I want this to be an opportunity to draw closer to God through His Word and not simply an accomplishment. However, there are a couple other factors. One has been weighing on me for quite some time, while the other is one that God hit me upside the head with like a two-by-four this past week.

First, the weighty reason. My start date for my reading is August 26, my 57th birthday. And while I know that it is completely irrational and illogical, the fact that my father died on the day after his 60th birthday has really caused me to do a lot of soul-searching. Over the next three years, I intend to have several life-changes in place by that milestone birthday. Deeper Bible reading is just one of them.

That's the 60: 66 books of the Bible, read 12 times, by the age of 60.

66 x 12 by 60.

The second reason stems from an article that I read quoting Dr. Rex Rogers, the North American President of the Middle East media ministry who, in describing the current conditions in Afghanistan for believers, said: "We're hearing from reliable sources that the Taliban demand people's phones, and if they find a downloaded Bible on your device, they will kill you immediately."

Unfortunately, that is nothing new. For centuries, people all over the world have lost their lives because of their faith in God and their desire to possess His Word.

But that's just not the case in the United States. The Barna Group, on behalf of the American Bible Society publishes an annual "State of the Bible" report. In 2012, almost ten years ago, they reported that 85% of American households own a Bible, while the average number of Bibles per household is 4.3.

To be honest, I have more than 4.3 Bibles. A lot more. I have more than 4.3 Bible apps! And never once have I ever had to worry about my safety, much less losing my life because of those Bibles.

And yet, I don't always read them... not like I should.

Again, I'm going to do something about that. 

66 x 12 by 60.

I plan to read multiple translations, using various reading plans. I've added several "premium" Bibles to my library specifically for this venture, many of which I will "gift" after reading. (If you're reading this and would like one, let me know. I intend to "gift" at least the copies of the CEB, NASB1995, NKJV, NRSV, and a six-volume ESV Reader's Bible. Email me at In addition, each day I would like to tweet, without commentary, a verse or two from that day's reading. Finally, I hope to chronicle the journey here on the blog, even if it's with just a single post per 90 days.

My first 90 days will be spent reading the English Standard Version (ESV) daily on Mondays through Saturday (so actually only 78 reading days). Reading approximately an hour a day, I should finish by Thanksgiving. I have chosen to begin with a different type of Bible than I normally use - a Reader's Bible, which just means that it doesn't have any chapter or verse numbers, cross references, or footnotes... only text.

So yeah, I've got plans. Lots of plans. Detailed plans. But none of them will matter if I don't follow through.

Feel free to keep me accountable. Ask me how the "90 Days Bible Reading" is going. If you are so inclined, follow my daily Bible tweets ( 

Even better, join me.

66 x 12 by 60.