Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2020 Bible Reading and Other Spiritual Food

In a few days, I will complete Year Two / Volume II of a five-year Bible study: Thru the Bible by J. Vernon McGee. Volume II covers Joshua thru the Psalms.


J. Vernon McGee was an ordained Presbyterian minister, a non-denominational pastor, and
Doctor of Divinity – though I never heard him addressed as Doctor – I suspect he wouldn’t have it. He was also a radio Bible teacher. His Thru the Bible broadcast was a daily study of every chapter of the Bible that took five years to complete (and then, he’d just start again).


If you never heard J. Vernon, well friend, I’m sorry you missed something special. He had a fatherly, mmm…make it grandfatherly, kindly voice full of warmth, humor, and wisdom. Fortunately, audio files of the broadcasts are available for free download at the Thru the Bible website: https://www.ttb.org


I think listening to J. Vernon is the best way to experience Thru the Bible, but, I’m old school about reading, and like to – you know – read. So, I’m using the printed version to go through the Bible in five years – that’s reading the Bible, along with J. Vernon’s corresponding commentary. 


Year Two – Thru the Bible volume II, covers Joshua thru the Psalms, or all of the historical books: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, I & II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther; and the first two of the poetic books: Job and the Psalms.


I’ve been reading the Bible for over 40 years, but J. Vernon still manages to enlighten and inform. 2021 will cover the remainder of the Old Testament.


I also read My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers: a daily devotional, in which Chambers provides commentary on some portion of scripture. This was unintentionally, a very interesting contrast to J. Vernon McGee. McGee is very accessible, very down to earth, whereas Chambers writes some of the most spiritually exalted thoughts I’ve read – quite challenging, and to be honest sometimes beyond my own spiritual maturity. This is no criticism. The Bible is spiritual food. J. Vernon McGee prepares it like healthy soft vegetables and sweet fruit. Chambers prepares the tough pieces of meat. Both provide needful nourishment – one is simply harder to chew and digest. 





  1. Thanks for the explanation. My Utmost for His Highest is on my wishlist. I've only just learned of J. Vernon McGee recently. Having now read your contrast and comparison, I would read both. And I'd rather read a hard copy, too. Are all five volumes in one book or do you have to get them separately?

    1. I've never seen an all-in-one edition of Thru the Bible, nor even paperback editions...meaning the 5 volume set is not cheap. You could probably find them used. Regardless, it's worth the investment IMO. And do yourself a favor...listen to him at least once. He has a marvelous down-home southern voice, and once you've heard it...you will hear it even as you read his words.


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