Scripture Portion Process

by James C. Stephens


For a number of years, Elizabeth and I profitably used the One Year Bible for our daily readings, and yet sensed something missing. Over the past couple of years, we’ve structured a reading program for those who are desirious of following God in a context that holds more closely to the Hebrew calendar,but still live in a culture which uses the Gregorian dating system based upon a solar calendar.

An example of the new structure Daily Reading: http://wp.me/p4zwsG-2X

While the Jewish community reads a daily portion from the Torah, aka the Pentateuch, or first five books of the Scriptures, their readings skip much of the Tanakh, or the Old Testament writings, although they read many Psalms each day. We were surprised to see that entire chapters were skipped over, e.g., Isaiah 53.

Even within the Christian community, the Hebrew roots movement uses the New Testament writings simply as proof texts for the daily Torah portion or feasts such as Pesach, or Passover and skips over a systematic reading of the Scriptures. While we commend their attempt to return to the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith and have profited from their perspective, it seems to neglect the whole counsel of God as does the Jewish Orthodox community. http://hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/scripture.html

So what we’ve done, and it is still a work in progress mind you, is we’ve taken the Daily Torah readings that commence in One Year Bible on January 1 and started them on Roshashanah, or the Jewish New Year. In this way, we read the same Word as the Jewish community and yet take it deeper by also reading through the Prophets and Writings in a systematic manner. You’ll read the Psalms twice in a year and the Daily Psalm each day. You’ll also read meditatively through the Proverbs in one year.

Jesus reading the Torah PortionWe’ve also attempted not to break up a chapter into pieces whenever possible in order that one grasp that chapter’s entire meaning. However, we’ve not broken with the weekly Torah portion reading that has been handed down since the time of Jesus who read the Torah portion out of Isaiah 61:1,2 on Shabbat (Sabbath)  in Luke 4:16-21 (KJV).

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

An interesting blog: http://readingacts.com/2012/09/21/luke-416-21-reading-isaiah-in-nazareth/

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