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I was probably in my late 30's when I heard from somewhere (I can't remember where this came from) that a good Sunday School teacher needs a good filing system. That's when Istarted filing away everything I had worked on. I acquired loose-leaf notebooks and filed according to Scripture passage, from Genesis to Revelation. I had another notebook for anything that didn't fit right, and filed that according to subject.Years later, armed with these notebooks, I embarked on my most ambitious Sunday School teaching endeavor. I decided to take my class of adults through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, inone year's time. We would not read the whole Bible. But I did select the main parts of the Biblical narrative. Each Sunday, I introduced my class to the part of the Bible we were reading that week and gave them the assigned daily readings.Overall it was a wonderful year. Of course there were some Saturday nights when I wondered how I ever let myself get into such a commitment. But the picture I held in my mind of my "students" (who were really my teachers) kept me going. I prayed a lot and God provided the strength and inspiration I needed to see the year through to the end. Now coming into the turn of the century, my circumstances have enabled me to type up my Bible Reading Guide. I am employed three seasons of the year--spring, summer and fall--which leaves winter free. Three winters ago I starting typing; now it is complete.That is how it happened that you can read the Bible in this form; not in its entirety, but an abbreviation of the New King James Version. I tried to omit repetitions, peripheral things, and all confusing parts and stay focused on the main narrative that can be clearly followed and understood. I have divided the Bible, in order from Genesis to Revelation, into 365 daily portions. With each passage is a page of guidance, comment or meditation that hopefully will spark your interest in reading the Bible.
I also want to acknowledge and thank God for the following persons who were necessary to me in the development of this Bible Reading Guide. To all of you listed here, I am supremely grateful and am indebted to you for your love.My parents, Ernest and Ruth Edris, read their Bibles every day. Their Bibles were centrally located in their home, always right there on the coffee table. The Word of God was the lamp that guided them through life and I thank God for their shining example of Bible reading.My husband, Russell Stahley, decided in his youth to work for the Lord and has served thirty-eight years in the United Methodist Church, pastoring local congregations. I enjoyed teaching Sunday School in those churches, usually adult or youth classes. To all of you in those classes, thank you for the opportunities to discover and delightfully dig around those wonderful treasures contained in our Bibles. Throughout this work are pages which end with ---rus. These were written by Russ, mostly for the worship service bulletins, and were very helpful to me in this project.
Our children, Becky and Jon, were born to us in the late 1960's and now live on the opposite side on the continent. Along with husband Fred and wife Mary, they provided the motivation for me to gather up the fragments from my years of Bible reading and study, and pass it along to the next generation. I thank God for equipping and enabling me to envision this project and see it through to its completion, for God's abidingpresence and inspiration through all the stages of the development of this guide.
As I typed these pages I thought not only of our own children, but of nieces and nephews, brothers and sister, friends near and far, and the many people we have known over the years who have impacted our lives. We are all somebody's child.
My prayer is that this Bible Reading Guide will honor God and bless you, the reader. I pray it will help you to strengthen your desire to read the Bible, or that you will discover for the first time the value of daily, intentional, maybe even joyful, Bible reading.
Kathleen S. Stahley Manheim, PA September, 2003
The Bible Condensed. From Genesis to Revelation (Old Testament and New Testament) in 365 daily readings plus commentary. This Bible reading plan will help you read the Bible from beginning end, as one continuous story.