The Plan for 2011: Hebrews!
Last year’s Bible study was a pretty high-level project. I don’t know the day in which I read the most chapters, but there were plenty of times when I took in so much reading that I wasn’t able to focus on any of it. A good example of this is how I ended up treating the epistles the last couple of months; there’s far more to unpack there than can be covered in a one-off post.
I’ve decided to take a break from covering the whole Bible and to burrow down into a particular section (do a ‘deep dive’ as we say in my line of work) for a while. I think that sets up a good pattern of alternating back and forth between broad scope, contextual, narrative studies and inductive, focused, exegetical studies. However, there are some good whole-Bible reading plans if you’re inspired to go that way yourself this year.*
With that in mind, 2011 is going to be the year of studying Hebrews for me (and for you, lucky reader!). As I mentioned in my post last month on Hebrews, it’s been growing on me for a while. Hebrews 4:16 has been my favorite verse for a few years now. I also recently have come to see and appreciate the beauty that is Hebrews 11.** For a few months I’d been wrestling with what my Bible study plans would look like once I finished the chronological project and where I would go with this blog, and it wasn’t until this weekend that I found myself content with a choice.
I’ve purchased Peter O’Brien’s commentary, which comes highly recommended, and I’ve broken the book down thematically into 48 segments. Hebrews is a book that I’ve always heard should be read in concert with the Pentateuch in order to realize the connections that the author is making in order to prove the point that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament. So what I’m going to do is this:
- Mondays – I will study the Old Testament references for that week’s passage.
- Tuesdays – I will then look at the New Testament passages referenced (likely Gospel accounts).
- Thursdays – I will try to study and understand the Hebrews passage itself, having gained background information and context.
The posting here will follow this plan as closely as I can. With 48 sections, there are four weeks where the Hebrews-related posting (at least) will be on hiatus, this week being the first. I anticipate that Thanksgiving and the week between Christmas and New Years will be others, leaving a floating week for travels or catch up or what-have-you.
‘What, then, will you be writing about on Wednesdays and Fridays?’ you might be asking.
My longish post last week on Revelation was an initial foray into some longer-form writing that I’ve been meaning to do on topics from the blogosphere, themes from my small group discussions, events of the day, or other ideas that happen to be rolling about in my head. So I’m reserving Wednesdays for more of those. I can’t guarantee that there will be one every week, but I know I’ve got a few henids up there waiting to be fleshed out (including a take on the relationship between Derek Webb and ‘mainstream’ American evangelical culture).
Friday will be a bit of a lighter day. I’ll throw up some links and try to alternate between sharing a quote from Lewis and Chesterton (this site’s patron saints, it would seem) every other week.
So, to recap, the gameplan for the next 52 weeks:
Mon – OT references
Tue – NT references
Wed – Topical essay
Thu – Hebrews passage
Fri – Links and Lewis/Chesterton
* It’s not too late! It’s a little-known secret that I started my chronological reading plan about a week into 2010 and was able to catch up without too much trouble.
** We’ll get there…