Monday, January 01, 2007

One-Year Bible Reading (and Listening) Plans

From the ESV Blog:
Sign up for any of our one-year Bible reading plans and get them delivered to your email each day starting January 1, 2007.

But you should think about signing up for our daily RSS feeds instead because technology has made daily email newsletters largely obsolete.

Let’s Talk RSS

RSS is a technology that lets you subscribe to lots of different sites and have the information you want delivered to you. You don’t need to worry about giving out your email address or making sure that the emails don’t get caught in spam filters somewhere: your subscriptions get delivered to you automatically whenever an update is available, and you can peruse them at your leisure. An updated post doesn’t cry out for attention the way a newly delivered email does.

The latest versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox have RSS reading built-in. So do the latest version of Outlook and many other email programs. Don’t want to use new software? No problem! Websites like Bloglines and Google Reader let you manage subscriptions from your current browser. It’s fast and easy.

Do you read this blog in your browser? We have an RSS feed that you can subscribe to, eliminating the need to visit this site to check for new posts. As always, all our reading plans are available as RSS feeds.

RSS hasn’t quite hit the mainstream yet, though its popularity in technical circles is undeniable. You’ll be surprised how many sites offer RSS feeds once you start looking for them. RSS makes it faster to get your daily dose of news (or whatever you’re interested in), especially if you visit a regular cadre of websites.

In short, RSS gives you all the advantages of email newsletters without the privacy implications or your having to jump through hoops to cancel your subscription. We encourage you to give it a try if you haven’t yet.

Not interested in trying something new? That’s fine, too. Feel free to subscribe to our new daily emails.

For what it's worth, I'll make a confession: I'm one of those people who has never successfully made it through a one-year Bible reading plan. This year I'm going to try to incorporate listening to the Bible as part of my daily reading.

For example, here is the Daily Reading Bible Plan entry for January 1. Note that there is an option to "listen" to each text. You may want to consider incorporating audio into your plans as well.

I listened this morning to Genesis 1-2, Psalm 1, and Matthew 1-2. One of the advantages to listening to the Word is that it works against the tyranny of distraction. It's easier to be distracted in reading something than it is when someone is talking to you! Second, it causes you to slow down and not race through or skim a reading. As an example, I am always tempted to fly through the genealogies--but listening and reading together forced me to slow down. Third, listening sometimes highlights repetition and allusion that might have been missed during a reading. Fourth, reading and listening--rather than reading alone--helps to aid comprehension and retention. Fifth, it's portable (e.g., you can listen to it on a commute). [Here's an interesting factoid: the entire Bible in audio is usually about 75 hours (or 4500 minutes). If you commute to work 5 days a week, that's about 260 days a year. If you listened to the Bible for 17 minutes each workday, you'd get through the Bible in a year.]

Happy reading--and listening!