Around the Word in 90 Days (a book review)

Thru the Bible in 90 Days by Chris Tiegreen

I am a big believer in studying biblical languages, exegesis, hermeneutics and  theology. I am grateful for my seminary education but for all it has taught me, the best advice I can give to those who wish to understand the Bible is this:  read it.  My New Testament professor once said that the Bible is full of treasures but that it does not reveal itself to occasional inquirers. In other words, if you want to understand what the Bible says about creation, what it means to be human, the problem of evil, God’s plan of redemption, the mystery of the Trinity and the coming kingdom then you have to immerse yourself in scripture, inhabit the story and learn its symbols and metaphors.

90 Days Thru the Bible is a devotional resource put out by Walk Thru the Bible which (cleverly) is based on a 90 day reading plan which takes readers through the entire Bible.  The plan laid out has you read through each of the books of the Bible. Most of the 66 books are each read in a day where some of the longer books are divided over two days or more(Genesis and Psalms are divided into five daily readings; and Exodus Isaiah are divided into three).  Chris Tiegreen wrote two-three page reflections based on each of the daily readings.

I am currently using this devotional for my daily Bible reading. No doubt many will find reading through the Bible in three months ambitious. However, from my experience reading through the Bible in a short time is easier than reading through the Bible in one year. One year reading plans often have you reading through chapters from both testaments (and maybe a Psalm and a Proverb). Often they break up literary and thought unit,s making it difficult to follow the overarching themes of a particular book of the Bible. While reading through the Bible in 90 days takes a longer daily commitment on some days (some books of the Bible are really short and this plan never has you do more than one book a day), it enables readers to read through a book or  section at one time.  This is much easier than spending a month in 1 Chronicles and wondering what the point is. Even if you take longer than the 90-day allotment you are still likely to read through the Bible in 120 days and you will have read the Bible in a more connected and less disjointed way.

Chris Tiegreen’s reflections do a nice job of summarizing the passage and pointing out major themes.  Each day also provides questions for reflection. Because the format of this devotional is dictated by the Biblical text, it seems more substantive than thematic devotions. That being said, this is a 90 day romp through the Bible  so therefore is opaque on some of the details. Tiegreen also can gloss some of the sections that people find difficult (conquest, geneologies, etc.) But this isn’t a book for in-depth study, it is a guide through a quick reading of the Bible. The format dictates that all the details do not receive the same attention. I know from experience that when you read the New Testament with the Old Testament still fresh in your mind, you are much more able to appreciate the nuances of the text.

For me, I need a simple plan for reading through the Bible or I find it hard to practice the discipline of daily Bible reading. This book is great for my purposes, with just the right amount of detail to keep me attentive to what the text might be saying to me. If you are looking for a daily devotional guide, this seems like a good choice to me.

Thank you to Tyndale House for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for this review.


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