Sunday, November 20, 2011

Old Testament Reading Plan

One of the goals I set myself was to read the full set of scriptures before my current contract with AUN is up (so even if we renew, I still need to get it done by about May of 2014) and the Book of Mormon every year as usual. Doing it over a 3 year period means I can be flexible and give the Doctrine and Covenants 9 months and the Old Testament 15, for instance.

I have read the OT completely a few times, so I see the wisdom in the Church's seminary program, missionary recommendations, and Sunday School class of not requiring people to read the entire 1200 pages in one year when it's only 300-500 for the other books. While there is an important lesson in seeing the lists of names and in reading the fullness of the Mosaic law, there are other scriptures that I would likely profit by reading more often. At the same time, in whittling the material down to the point that people don't get bogged down, some good stuff gets cut or skimmed.

So today I have been working on expanding the seminary recommendations to create my own shortened-but-not-that-short version. I was surprised to learn that there are exactly as many chapters recommended for the OT in the seminary program as there are chapters in the NT. Pretty clear that was no accident. I've been reading through the chapter headings to identify some additional chapters that are interesting or important for me at this time in my life. I include more chapters on the temple, for instance, that wouldn't mean much to seminary students, some history chapters that I find particularly memorable that talk about how God wants His people to be governed, a lot of Isaiah, and a few random verses here or there that I just want to remember where they are.

I tried Google first to see if anyone had any comments on what is "missing" from the seminary program, but you can imagine that didn't turn up much I wanted to read. Maybe for my own future reference, and maybe for anyone out there who wants "Seminary plus 25%", here are my recommendations for expanding the set of OT chapters to read:

Note: I'm only writing the additions. The seminary program is written out at the link above on the right hand side where you can download it as a handy bookmark. I call it seminary +25% because the New Testament has about 8000 verses and this is 10,500 verses worth, not counting the Psalms.

Abraham 4-5
Exodus 39-40
Leviticus 8, 25
Numbers 17, 20, and 21 [Given that the Book of Mormon references Num 21 several times, I was rather surprised to realize that one isn't in the standard reading]
Deuteronomy 3, 11, and 34
Joshua 9 and 24 [another shocker - one of the scriptures all seminary students are supposed to memorize is Josh 24:15, but the chapter isn't in the reading. Same thing happens to Job 19. Weird.]
Judges 4
1st Samuel 4-6, 14, 18-20, 25
2nd Samuel 22
1st Kings 1-2, 7:23-26; 15
2nd Kings 1, 8, 13, 20, 25
1st Chronicles 5:1-2; 25:1-7
2nd Chronicles 14, 16
Ezra 1, 4
Nehemiah 2, 4, 13
Job 10-11, 13-14, 19, 32:6-9; 39
Psalms - All
Ecclesiastes 3
Isaiah 6-9, 18, 22, 25, 35-38, 42, 45, 51-52, 54, 56-57, 60-63, 66
Jeremiah 3, 17-18, 26, 32-34, 36-39, 42-43, 50-51
Ezekiel 1, 4, 8-9, 11, 16-17, 20, 22, 24, 28, 36, 38-39, 43-44, 46-47
Daniel 5, 7, 9-10, 12
Hosea 6, 12-14
Joel 3
Amos 6-9
Obadiah 1
Micah 4-5
Nahum 1
Habakkuk 2-3
Zephaniah 1
Haggai 2
Zechariah 1-3, 5-9, 11-13
Malachi 2