My Personal Plan for Annual Review of the NT

My Personal Plan for Annual Review of the NT

 

1. Four Little Letters: 3rd John, 2rd John, Philemon, Jude               (  1,260 words,     7 min.)

2. Three Pastor Letters: 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus                                 (  3,488 words,    18min.)

3  Peter, James and John: 1 John,  1 & 2 Peter, James                   (10,154 words,   51 min.)

4. Two Churches in Greece: 1,2 Corinthians, 1,2 Thessalonians      (12,870 words,   65 min.) 

5. Four Prison Letters: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians(18,017 words,   90 min.)

6. Four Large Books: Acts, Romans, Hebrews, Revelation                (40,095 words, 200 min.)

7. Four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John                                   (64,767 words, 324 min.)

 

Purpose

This material is intended to help organize a comprehensive study of the NT, without using the normal topical structures.  I am not looking for a typical chronological approach. I assume that anyone using this page has already completed such a course, or is at least well aware of the general order of NT events. 

I am trying to find a way to maximize my comprehension of all of the important aspects of the NT, without spending a lot of time in any one section to the exclusion of all of the others. I noticed that it is too easy for someone to get focused on a particular subject or section and neglect the others for long periods of times, even years.  So, this approach starts with those NT texts which I assume are the most likely to be neglected.  From there the approach is simply from small to large.  My intent is to move quickly through sections 1-6, looking for the most unique and important teachings, and then set up a perpetual study in the Gospels.   

My goal is make sure that I maintain an awareness of all of the most important features of the NT, without neglecting the centrality of the Gospels.

The average American reader reads 200-300 words per minute, with a 60% comprehension rate. I am not concerned about the speed, but that comprehension rate is dismal. This is the Bible we are reading. We are supposed to comprehend and apply all of it, not just 60%. So, I assume that  a single reading is not adequate, even for review purposes. Reading times given are for 200 WPM.  At that speed , a person should be able to read the entire NT in 13 hours.

 

Overview

Section 1.  “Four Little Letters”   A single 90 minute session should be enough to become well aware of all of the important and unique features of the four smallest NT texts. The material I highlight in Jude should be reviewed at least twice a year by all the leaders of a local congregation.  So, perhaps 2 hours per year would be enough to prevent these four letters from ever being neglected again.

Section 2.  “Three Pastoral Letters” The three Pastoral letters of Paul are similar to each other, and do not present any complex theological challenges. However, they contain significant material about the function the Church and the Christian Family, much of which can easily lead to distraction and controversy.  I would suggest using the “good works” emphasis found in Titus as the main starting point, and not take a legalistic approach to any of Paul’s counsel to these two men. There is much here that has been neglected in contemporary evangelical Christianity, and not necessarily by accident.  Just becoming aware of the content of these letters may be all that is really needed. If no debate occurs, a single 90 minute session is all that is needed. This material should be reviewed each year, preferably in the context of leadership training, and at the same time as the material in section 1.

 

Section 3.  “Peter, James and John”    

Section 4.  “Two Churches in Greece”

Section 5.  “Four Prison Letters”

Section 6.  “Four Long Books”

Section 7.  “The Four Gospels”

 

 

As of 2015-10-27, only Section 1 is ready.  But several pages for Section 7 are also available.