Bible-Reading Coach

Bible-Reading Coach

The Bible-Reading Coach is a guide to help anyone read through the entire Bible in 52 weeks. Hosted by pastor and author Karl Vaters, it’s designed to help beginners and longtime Bible readers get more out of your journey through God’s Word by making your reading journey Simple, Understandable, and Rewarding. SIMPLE: A weekly introduction to readings from Genesis to Revelation that helps you know what to look for as you read. UNDERSTANDABLE: Helps you see how this ancient wisdom applies to the way we live, think, and believe today. REWARDING: We want to help you read all the way from Genesis to Revelation by showing you what to look for and how to apply it to your everyday life. Are you a follower of Jesus who’s tried and failed to read through the Bible before? Follow our plan. This time, you’ll finish. Are you new to the Bible and the Christian faith? We welcome you! This can be a helpful first step to 1) understand what the Bible says, 2) discover why this collection of ancient texts is essential to the life and faith of billions of people, and 3) inspire you to dig even deeper.

Episodes

May 27, 2022 21 min

What a week of reading this is! We’ll be in two very different books, from two very different situations, but God is honored in both.

First, we’ll read Esther. It’s a beautiful short story that takes place far away from Israel, in Babylon/Persia. It’s filled with enough palace intrigue, plots and subplots to keep anyone engaged and interested for days.

Then we’ll start to read Job, by being introduced to God and Satan, then Job and h...

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When God’s people follow God's will, we can overcome any enemy – even if we have to build with one hand while holding a sword in the other. But first, we have to overcome our own tendency toward selfishness.

In this week's reading of Ezra and Nehemiah, the 70 years of exile are over, the people start to return, and a whole lot of time passes in a short number of chapters. The reasons for that, and the problems created by it ...

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May 13, 2022 14 min

This week we’ll finish up the retelling of Israel’s history from its height to its collapse. As we start, Israel has been torn into two nations, Israel (North) and Judah (south).

Unlike how the story was told in 1 & 2 Kings, the Chronicles focus almost exclusively on Judah, their series of good and bad kings, and a few moments of hopefulness.

By the end, Israel and Judah have both lost their kingdoms, and the stage is set for the...

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In this week’s passage, we’ll read more about the story of Israel’s growth, height and fall. It starts with the reign of king David, his reestablishment of Israel’s glory, preparation for the temple, and handing the baton to his son, Solomon.

Then we see, both the wisdom and the eventual fall of Solomon and the splintering of the kingdom.

Mostly, we’ll get to appreciate the character of David, what it takes to let go of power, why it...

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The Bible retells a lot of its stories. For good reason.

This week we’ll cross a barrier that you may not notice, so in this podcast we’ll help you with it. Our readings will be the end of one story, and the start of its retelling. Karl will show you what the differences are.

As we move from 2 Kings to 1 Chronicles you'll notice this shift because 1 Chronicles goes back to Adam. Yes, Adam! Then, after some geneology, the story ki...

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April 22, 2022 12 min

This is a week filled with stories you might have a vague recollection of, even if you’re not especially familiar with the Bible (“Chariots of Fire” anyone?). But few of us can put them in context.

These stories may also feel familiar in another way. Like the book of Judges, we're in another time of darkness and uncertainty.

While Judges was a time of darkness and uncertainty *before* the high point of Saul, David and Solomon, th...

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April 15, 2022 13 min

If God said he would give you anything, what would you ask for? Just think about how bad it always goes in all those “Three Wishes” genie stories. In this week’s reading, that’s exactly what happens to Solomon. God offers him whatever he wants, and he gets it right!

We know a lot about Solomon. He's one of two great kings of Israel, he wrote some Psalms, most of the Proverbs, all of the Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes. But his ...

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April 8, 2022 10 min

For the next two weeks we head into the Glory Days of Israel’s history with David’s reign, followed by the reign of his son, Solomon.

But before those lofty heights, we'll see some serious challenges. As you read this week’s passages, note a few important characteristics:

  • The high price paid for the Glory Days
  • How truly wonderful they were
  • How very short they were

  • We’ll also see David’s horrible sin against Bathsheba and how he resp...

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    This week we’ll be reading the last half of 1 Samuel and the beginning of 2 Samuel.

    But it’s really the continuation of one long book since, as we saw last week, they were probably only split into two books because it was too big for one scroll.

    But they split it in a purposeful place. 1 Samuel covers the ministry of Samuel and kingdom of Saul. 2 Samuel is the kingdom of David.

    David is one of the great people of the Bible. In this we...

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    March 25, 2022 14 min

     This week we’ll be reading the first 19 chapters of 1 Samuel.

    This is the start of a new, exciting era in Israel’s history – the time of the kings. We’ll see why the people want a king and how quickly it turns bad for them.

    Then we’ll be introduced to a young shepherd boy who will become one of the Bible’s most pivotal characters. David, the man who will eventually become their greatest king.


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    March 18, 2022 16 min

    This week we’ll be reading the Bible’s seventh and eight books – Judges and Ruth. Judges is a weird, fascinating time to read about, while Ruth is a tiny book that takes place during the time of Judges, but stands so beautifully apart from it.

     

    In the time of Judges we’ll read about a lot of people, but most of our attention will be drawn to three very important characters – Deborah, Gideon and Samson. Then, our week of reading will...

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    March 11, 2022 16 min

    In this introduction to Joshua (the sixth book of the Bible), we'll see a significant change of pace. The Hebrews have stopped wandering in the desert and now they start conquering the Promised Land.


    Joshua also includes one of the most well-known Bible stories – the fall of the walls of Jericho. And there are also a couple mind-bending miracles. The Jordan River dries up for them to walk across (sound familiar?) and the sun sto...

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    March 4, 2022 11 min

    This week we finish, not just the Bible’s 5th book (Deuteronomy 18-34) but we also finish what’s called the Torah, or the Books of Moses.

     

    We see, again, what the different types of Old Testament laws are, and why we, as Christians observe some, but not others. Then we’ll say a sad, but fond farewell to Moses.


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    February 25, 2022 12 min

    Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Bible.

    First, in this episode we’ll see why this book is called Deuteronomy.

    Second, in chapters 1-17 we’ll begin to walk with Moses through the speeches he gave to the people at the end of their 40 years of wandering, reminding them of their own story, of God’s provision and God’s promises.


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    February 18, 2022 11 min

    As we saw last week, because of their lack of faith God sentenced everyone but Joshua and Caleb to die in the desert for the next 40 years. But in the meantime, there’s a lot of work to do because even in the desert God does great things.

    Unfortunately, it starts with more rebellion and disobedience, this time from a group led by a man named Korah. After that, even Moses disobeys and loses out on the Promised Land because of it.

    Ther...

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    February 11, 2022 12 min

    This week we finish the Bible’s third book and start the fourth book as we go from Leviticus 21 through Numbers 15.

    As we read through this challenging section of scripture together, this podcast episode helps us to see that while the rules for priests and feasts don’t directly apply to us today, the underlying principles do. Note how the requirements to serve God are always about morality and holiness, not leadership skills or extr...

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    February 4, 2022 15 min

    Warning! The book of Leviticus is where the great falling away gets very serious.

    Most who start reading with great passion make it this far, but in the next week or two they start dropping like flies. That’s one big reason we’re doing this series – not just to make these passages bearable, but understandable, applicable and exciting.

    This is the first (but not the last) time we talk about why we, as Christians, follow some Old Testa...

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    January 28, 2022 11 min

    This week we'll read Exodus 20-40, which starts with the 10 Commandments and ends with the building the Tabernacle.

    As we’ll see, the 10 Commandments are the first writings to be in the library we call the Bible. But God gave many more laws than those – we’ll see 613 of them by the time the Old Testament is done.

    In this week’s passage, we’ll also see God reconfirming his covenant with his people and giving detailed instructions ...

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    January 21, 2022 12 min

    In this episode we leave the first book of the Bible (Genesis) to spend the next two weeks in Exodus, this week covering chapters 1-19 in which Moses delivers God’s people.

     

    This is one of the most cinematic passages of the Bible (literally). It starts with “Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” Then it moves to 400 years of slavery, the call of Moses, the plagues of Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, then taking the ...

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    January 14, 2022 12 min

    This week, we finish reading the first book of the Bible, as we go through Genesis 36-50 together. It starts with a couple chapters that wrap up the sibling rivalry story of Jacob & Esau. Then we’ll spend the rest of the week walking through a long story of one of the Bible’s most admired characters – Jacob’s son, Joseph.

    We’ll read about the coat of many colors (the significance of which is explained in this episode), and how J...

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