2024 Bible Reading Plan: A Year with Paul
Apart from Jesus, the central figure of New Testament Christianity is the apostle Paul. His preaching turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6), but it is what he wrote - 13 of the books of the New Testament - that today accounts for his giant influence in Christianity. Those letters define the church’s key doctrines and our understanding of how disciples live and act.
Unfortunately, usually those letters are studied almost independently of Paul’s life situation. We dive into Ephesians or Corinthians without much thought of what Paul was going through, where he is in the Acts narrative, or what what was affecting all the churches he was working with at that time. That’s why this Year with the Apostle Paul reading plan promises to be a breakthrough. We will read Paul’s life story and Paul’s writing and consider them together. This kind of purposeful reading will grant us better insights into what Paul means as we consider who Paul was.
You will not find the daily readings very lengthy. That is intentional because an essential part of this year’s reading plan is that you ask and answer key questions (see the back of the Reading Schedule) every day. This will keep you on track with our purpose: seeing the New Testament through Paul’s eyes. You will need your Bible, a notebook, a pen, and a desire to meet Paul. It all means we have a special opportunity to spend a year with this amazing follower of Jesus Christ who wrote “You should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). Let’s get to know Paul and what he wrote for us!
Questions when Reading in Acts
- How does this show the continuation of Jesus’ work now going on in the church?
- How is the gospel, or Paul’s preaching, and/or Paul’s defense received? What does this tell us about human hearts?
- What is the Holy Spirit doing in this text?
- What in our reading shows how Paul handled adversity and difficulty?
Questions when Reading Epistles
- How is Paul feeling as he writes today’s passage? What is his emotional temperature and mood?
- What are the central themes in Paul’s preaching and teaching being emphasized, or how are the central themes in this epistle being emphasized in today’s reading?
- How does our reading show Paul’s people skills, and especially how he handles conflict? Do we see Paul’s concern and love for God’s people in our text today?
- What in this passage would change the lives of the believer(s) addressed? How does it make me a better disciple?
- How does this show the “good news” of the gospel? How can I share that with someone else? What are the central themes in Paul’s preaching and teaching being emphasized or how are the central themes in this epistle being emphasized in today’s reading?
Note: all dates given here are approximate and represent the best possible effort to work out the life of Paul consistent with what the Bible tells us about his work and travels.