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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A man, a plan, a canal - Panama? 


Planning is important, especially when you have something to do. If you're going to claim to be a [insert faith/religion name here], then you need to know what [insert faith/religion name here] teaches.

Jennifer and four of her friends are using the Internet to solve this:


Chris, Julie, Doug, and I (along with Bill, a non-blogger) have been holding an online Bible study since January. I have been remiss in letting you know about it, but there were some nasty glitches that had to be worked out first. Anyway… we are now in the book of Hebrews.


The model that they're using for their study is the 5 x 5 x 5 Reading Plan. In a separate blog, Rick Marshall describes this and other Bible reading plans:


One of the programs I have participated in for the last 10 years is the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan....

I once read that the average Christian only reads 2 chapters of the Bible per year, so it is no wonder that we get chewed up and spit out by the world when we try to relate our faith to those living around us....

The main plans Discipleship Journal offers are:

1. The 5 x 5 x 5 Reading Plan located at: http://www.navpress.com/Assets/PDF/Magazines/DJ/5x5x5_BRP.pdf
This plan is a New Testament reading plan that only requires 5 minutes a day for 5 days per week. If you haven’t tried a Bible reading plan before or have never committed yourself to reading the Bible daily this is a good plan. It requires minimal amount of time to make it through the New Testament.

2. The Book At A Time Reading Plan located at: http://www.navpress.com/Assets/PDF/Magazines/DJ/Brp2.pdf
This plan takes you straight through from Genesis through Revelation in a year by reading 6 days per week, two readings per day. It requires a little more time and dedication (3-5 chapters per day), but still helps keep you on track. The plan is printed out on a paper and folded to insert into your Bible.

3. My favorite and the one I will do again next year is the Original Bible Reading Plan located here: http://www.navpress.com/Magazines/DJ/OriginalBibleReadingPlan.asp?opt=old
There are PDF and Word versions for you to download. The Original Plan gives you four readings per day; one each from Old Testament, Psalms, New Testament, and Gospels. The amount of reading is also between 3 and 5 chapters per day. The plan uses 25 reading days per month, so there is time to get caught up if you fall behind. I like this plan because it keeps me fresh from reading from four different places....



And for the rest of you, there are other reading plans. This translation of the Quran includes both a 30 day reading plan and a 7 day reading plan. The United Israel World Union is publishing a weekly Torah reading plan.

Incidentally, here's the Transparent English Bible translation of the verses in Genesis 14 regarding Melchizedek:


18 And Melchi-Zedek, king of Shalem, 8 made to go out c bread and wine, for he was priest to EL ELYON. 9 19 And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram to EL
ELYON, the one possessing 10 skies and land; 20 and blessed be EL ELYON, who has
delivered 11 your oppressors in your hand.” And he gave to him a tenth from all.

8 Hebrew is Shalem rather than the more usual Salem (see Psa 76:2).
9 The high or highest EL or God.
10 Or perhaps, “making.”
11 Lit “covered over,” like a shield, but in this form the idea is captured or enclosed.



More information on this translation is available at originalbible.com.

In a similar vein, Mormons believe that they derive blessings from reading the Book of Mormon. And so on and so forth.

Well, whatever your religious persuasion, you will probably find your religious text at the Internet Sacred Text Archive. Here's their list of categories:


African
Age of Reason
Alchemy
Americana
Ancient Near East
Asia
Atlantis
Australia
Basque
Baha'i
Bible
Book of Shadows
Buddhism
Celtic
Christianity
Classics
Confucianism
DNA
Earth Mysteries
Egyptian
England
Esoteric/Occult
Evil
Fortean
Freemasonry
Gothic
Grimoires
Hinduism
I Ching
Islam
Icelandic
Jainism
Journals
Judaism
Legends/Sagas
LGBT
Miscellaneous
Mormonism
Native American
Neopaganism/Wicca
Nostradamus
Oahspe
Pacific
Paleolithic
Philosophy
Piri Re'is Map
Prophecy
Roma
Sacred Books of the East
Sacred Sexuality
Shakespeare
Shamanism
Shinto
Sikhism
Sky Lore
Tantra
Taoism
Tarot
Thelema
Theosophy
Time
Tolkien
UFOs
Utopia
Women
Zoroastrianism



I had to wonder when I saw the Tolkien category. (Isn't his stuff copyrighted?) It turns out that the Tolkien category links to various sagas that influenced Tolkien.

But if you're going to use this source, don't abuse it. Here are some examples of IP addresses that have been banned:


c-67-169-237-102.hsd1.ca.comcast.net (67.169.237.102)
7/10/2004
Downloaded the Basque index page 9,539 times in one day.

66.128.171.225
9/8/2004
Hit Myths and Tales of the Southeast Indians, chapter 16 10,000 times in the course of one day

194.30.124.2
8/26/2004
Failed denial of service attack. Wasted 3.5 Gb bandwidth (about as much as legitimate users consume in one day), and hit the site 262,449 times in one day, including 12,620 hits on this page, and hundreds of hits on Psalm 119, one page in the Chilam Balam, and other files. This was unusual, since usually the hits in such an attack are distributed evenly over all of the files at the site.



By the way, Psalm 119 is the longest book in the Bible, which is probably why this book was chosen over most others.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

Comments:
Fascinating! I am going to check out the Internet Sacred Text Archive. I promise to be good. Oh, thanks for your input on our study blog, btw.
 
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