Since this may be a new concept for some readers, it is important to consider this a bit further. Was the garden the earth’s first temple? Was the garden a special dwelling place of God among men on the earth? The text of Genesis 2 and 3 does not use those words to describe the garden of Eden. But as we have already seen, it does utilize language used elsewhere in Scripture that describes God’s presence in Israel’s tabernacle. Does the Bible look back upon the garden of Eden and indicate that it was, in fact, a temple, a sanctuary, the first special dwelling place of God on earth among men? I think it does.
Consider Ezekiel 28:11-19, especially verses 13-14, 16, and 18…
Furthermore, I had the opportunity to interview the author about this book. You may listen to the first part of that interview here[part 2 here] or below (we get into Adam and the temple around the 27 minute mark):
Stephen Witmer explains the weaknesses of typical plans and offers some advice on reading the Bible together with others—as well as offering his own new two-year plan. (“In my opinion, it is better to read the whole Bible through carefully one time in two years than hastily in one year.”) His plan has you read through one book of the Bible at a time (along with a daily reading from the Psalms or Proverbs). At the end of two years you will have read through the Psalms and Proverbs four times and the rest of the Bible once.
The Gospel Coalition’s For the Love of God Blog (which you can subscribe to via email) takes you through the M’Cheyne reading plan, with a meditation each day by D. A. Carson related to one of the readings. M’Cheyne’s plan has you read shorter selections from four different places in the Bible each day.
For those who would benefit from a realistic “discipline + grace” approach, consider “The Bible Reading Plan for Shirkers and Slackers.” As Andy Perry explains, it takes away the pressure (and guilt) of “keeping up” with the entire Bible in one year. You get variety within the week by alternating genres by day, but also continuity by sticking with one genre each day. Here’s the basic idea:
Sundays: Poetry Mondays: Penteteuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy) Tuesdays: Old Testament history Wednesdays: Old Testament history Thursdays: Old Testament prophets Fridays: New Testament history Saturdays: New Testament epistles (letters)
You can also access each of these Reading Plans as podcasts:
Right-click (Ctrl-click on a Mac) the “RSS” link of the feed you want from the above list.
Choose “Copy Link Location” or “Copy Shortcut.”
Start iTunes. [Or your podcatcher]
Under File, choose “Subscribe to Podcast.”
Paste the URL into the box.
Resources for Bible Reading from Ligonier Ministries:
Many Christians take the beginning of a new year to evaluate their Bible reading habits, and then change or begin a Bible reading plan.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. — Psalm 119:105
For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of Bible reading plans for you to choose from. Maybe this year you will read more of the Bible each day. Perhaps you’ll slow down your reading and instead spend more time considering what you read. Whatever it is you’re looking for in a reading plan, you should find it below.
52 Week Bible Reading Plan
Read through the Bible in a year, with each day of the week dedicated to a different genre: Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy, and Gospels.
Reading ten chapters a day, in the course of a year you’ll read the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters four to five times, the Old Testament wisdom literature six times, the Psalms at least twice, Proverbs and Acts a dozen times, and the OT History and Prophetic books about one and a half times.
This plan does not have set readings for each day. Instead, it has set books for each month, and set number of Proverbs and Psalms to read each week. It aims to give you more flexibility, while grounding you in specific books of the Bible each month.
Rev. Richard D. Phillips explores the early chapters of the Gospel of John to discover principles you can use for Christian outreach that were modeled by witnesses for Jesus and by Jesus Himself. Phillips examines the ministry of John the Baptist and the calling of the first of Jesus’ disciples. This book also includes an appendix that looks at the relationship between God’s sovereignty and evangelism.
“Phillips’ study of John 1, 3, and 4 takes us beyond clever techniques to biblical faithfulness, and beyond entertaining communication to sound theology in evangelism. He does a masterful job of helping us learn from God’s Word principles for evangelism, the theology of the gospel, and Jesus’ own practice in evangelism.”
—Rev. Thabiti Anyabwile
“Evangelism is not an afterthought in the Christian life. It is how God has ordained to glorify Himself in the salvation of sinners. Rev. Phillips explains this by showing how Jesus is both the evangel and the Great Evangelist. In the process, he challenges both apathy and superficiality in the great work of making disciples. I highly recommend this book!”
—Dr. Thomas K. Ascol