Thursday, March 21, 2013

Prophets in Chunks

Finishing up the Old Testament portion of Reading Through the Bible in Chunks, we deal with the Prophets. Following the time table in the first post in this series, we see that Isaiah should take about five sessions to read. So I suggest the following:
1-12 The Books of Judgment and Messiah
13-23 The Oracles Against the Nations
24-35 The Little Apocalypse and Hope for the Future
36-48 The Historical Section, and the Book of Comfort
49-66 The Servant Songs and Book of Judgment

For Jeremiah (six half-hour segments) the following, noting that it is not as easy to divide up Jeremiah topically as in  Isaiah:
1-9, 10-18, 19-27, 28-36, 37-45, 45-52.

Lamentations: All five chapters may be read in one sitting

For Ezekiel, again a topical division:
1-11 The first and second visions of Ezekiel
12-24 The Book of Judgment (this might take a bit more than half an hour, because some of the chapters are quite long).
25-36 Oracles Against the Nations and Comfort for Israel
37-48 Dry Bones, Gog & Magog, and the New Temple Vision (again, probably longer than half an hour)
Or,as an alternative:
1-11 as above
12-17 and 18-24
25-32 Oracles against the Nations
33-39 Comfort, Dry Bones, Gog & Magog)
40-48 The New Temple

Daniel: 1-6, 7-12 (or all at once, if you're feeling adventurous)

Each of the minor prophets may be read in one sitting.


James D said...

Your Isaiah split is very uneven (thanks to some chapters being very short, especially in the OAN):

Ch. 1-12: 252 verses
Ch. 13-23: 189 verses
Ch. 24-35: 235 verses
Ch. 36-48: 306 verses
Ch. 49-66: 310 verses

You can get similarly-sized portions for the first three-fifths rather easily using natural breaks:

Ch. 1-12: 252 verses
Ch. 13-27: 258 verses
Ch. 28-39: 256 verses

The rest is more problematic. Both 40-48/49-66 and 40-55/56-66 leave one large and one small:

Ch. 40-48: 216 verses (333 to 55)
(Ch. 49-55: 117 verses)
Ch. 56-66: 193 verses (310 from 49)

And this is sadly not a natural split:

Ch. 40-50: 253 verses
Ch. 51-66: 273 verses

As for Jeremiah, I agree the natural breaks aren't as strong, but following them inasmuch as they exist, I'd suggest:

1-6, 7-17, 18-25, 26-33, 34-45, 46-52.

Benjamin Shaw said...

James, you're right about the unevenness of the split. However, I'm not particularly trying to have the splits all that even, just to get them within the half-hour window. Again, my purpose here is not to tell people that they must read this section and then stop, but rather to read in large chunk. These are really suggestions rather than prescriptions, giving people some idea of what it looks like to read in chunks. It will vary by person, depending on reading speed, etc.