About 150 years ago, a boy of 14 (really a young man, as his actions demonstrate) developed, independently, his own reading plan to cover the whole of the Bible — the Old Testament once, and the New Testament twice — during the course of a year. That young man was Robert Roberts; he grew up to become the first editor of The Christadelphian magazine. Later, as an introduction to that reading plan, which came to be called “The Bible Companion”, he wrote the following:

“Salvation depends upon the assimilation of the mind to the divine ideas, principles, and affections exhibited in the Scriptures. This process commences with a belief of the gospel, but is by no means completed thereby; it takes a lifetime for its scope, and untiring diligence for its accomplishment. The mind is naturally alien from God and all His ideas (Rom 8:7; 1Co 2:14), and cannot be brought at once to the Divine likeness. This is a work of slow development, and can only be achieved by the industrious application of the individual to the means which God has given for this purpose, viz, the expression of His mind in the Scriptures of Truth; Spiritual-mindedness, or the state of mind in accordance with the mind of the Spirit as displayed in these writings can only grow within a man by daily intercourse with that mind, there unfolded.”

Daily Bible reading

The practice of reading the Bible from the chapters listed in the “Bible Companion” has been a feature of the Christadelphian community for many generations.

This practice is a good one to follow, and we should not be put off by the fear of its becoming a habit. There are, after all, good traditions to follow, as Paul often reminds his readers, and the daily reading of the Scriptures is one of these. Whether the tables of readings are followed or not, it is still true, as Robert Roberts said in his introduction to the Companion, that “salvation depends upon the assimilation of the mind to the divine ideas, principles, and affections exhibited in the Scriptures”.

This is therefore a plea to all of us, both young and old, not to neglect the reading of the Word of God, whatever system of reading we follow. May it long continue to be the practice in our homes to read our chapters as a natural part of each day, and when we meet in one another’s homes, let us get out our Bibles and “do the readings” together. There is no better way of promoting a good discussion of things worth talking about, and of leading us away from mere gossip and small talk.

A Bible Reading Comments site

You may want to visit Daily Bible Readings. This site contains extensive comments on each day’s readings, and allows you to contribute your own comments.