Yesterday, I proposed reading the Bible for Lent.  Here are a few suggestions for long-term Scripture reading and study:

A weekly, five-day reading plan

The McCheyne Bible Reading Schedule

Don’t worry about the fact that these begin in January.  It doesn’t really matter when you start reading Holy Scripture.  And, you can read it online, thanks to Bible Gateway, which has many versions in a myriad of languages.  Catholics may wish to refer to the Douay-Rheims version.  You’ll find both links in the Resources section  (left-hand column of the blog).

However, you will need a reliable commentary to accompany your reading if you are studying the Bible alone.  For Catholics, there is the Haydock Commentary and Protestants have a variety of resources available at Bible Commenter

Both commentary sources and the Bible study schedules are also in my Resources section. 

The last of the Calvinist Princeton Theologians, B B Warfield, established the doctrine of biblical inerrancy in his fight against Modernism. Paul Helm of Helm’s Deep has a good post, ‘Warfield’s Path’, which examines this doctrine.  For those who are unsure whether the Bible is relevant today, Helm walks us through Warfield’s logic.  It’s well worth reading.  Here is a brief excerpt, with a quote from Warfield on the matter followed by Helm’s explanation (emphases mine):

We do not adopt the doctrine of the plenary inspiration of Scripture on sentimental grounds, not even, as we have already had occasion to remark, on a priori or general grounds of whatever kind. We adopt it specifically because it is taught us as truth by Christ and His apostles, in the Scriptural record of their teaching, and the evidence for its truth is, therefore, as we have also already pointed out, precisely that evidence in weight and amount, which vindicates for us the trustworthiness of Christ and His apostles as teachers of doctrine.

First there is probable evidence, based upon the historical reliability of Scripture, that it teaches certain doctrines about God, Christ and mankind, and so on. Using the same procedure we also recognise that it teaches the doctrine that the Scriptures themselves are divinely inspired. This then enables us to draw the inference that the Scriptural account of God, Christ and man is not only probably true, but inspired, inerrant, because the account of such things is given in a book which is inspired and inerrant. This is ‘the last and crowning fact’ about Scripture, transforming a merely reliable record into an inspired record. Warfield goes on to say that strictly speaking such evidence is, from a logical point of view, probable evidence, incapable of producing demonstrative certainty, nevertheless it has so great a probability that ‘the strength of conviction is practically equal to that produced by demonstration itself’…

So, in a manner that is distinct from the general concursus of divine providence, deeper and more mysterious, while nevertheless being a part of providence, God inspires fallible human authors, limited in knowledge and children of their time. While the words are their words, they are also, through the inspiring agency of God the Holy Spirit, God’s words as well. As such, when properly interpreted, the affirmations of Scripture are without error.

As you read Bible commentaries, you will see where Jesus and His Apostles refer to Old Testament verses.  This affirms that we are to pay attention to the Old Testament as well as the New.  We can learn, as the early Christians did, of prophecies coming to fulfilment through Christ’s death and resurrection. 

It is much easier to read the Bible with an enquiring mind, asking oneself, ‘What does this passage teach me?  What will I learn?’  Avoid the arrogance of doubtful questioning;  you’ll only be opening up the Devil’s box of tricks. He wants you to doubt, to falter, to trust your own impressions instead of the truth. Instead, imagine that the prophets, Jesus and the apostles are with you as you read.  Imagine that they are saying those verses to you in person.  Read and absorb those lessons and build on them through faith.  

I am not nor will I ever be a Bible scholar, not by a long stretch, but, at the same time, I can assure you that you won’t regret your journey through Scripture.