Q & A: Catholic Bible 365 Challenge

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I have announced over the summer on various social media pages that starting September 30th, 2018, I will be challenge myself to read the Bible in 365 days. However, I wanted to open the challenge up to others. Today, I want to deliver a blog post that pertains to this challenge. Unlike other posts, I will do it in Q & A form for easy reference.

What is the Catholic Bible 365 Challenge? The Catholic Bible 365 Challenge is a program that will help Catholics worldwide read the Catholic Bible in 365 Days. It is a “challenge” spiritually. It is a call to be committed both to prayer and to reading the Bible.

Why should I participate in Catholic Bible 365 ChallengeThe Bible is a book that should be read in its entirety at least once in a Catholic’s lifetime. Have you ever read the Bible in its entirety yet? This is not a page skimming, but a sincere challenge for oneself to set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day everyday for a year to read the Word of God. In a world where we are so distracted by technology, we tend to make excuses for not fulfilling prayer time or reading scripture. However, “Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ,” said St. Jerome. To not set aside time reading scripture, we put Christ to the sidelines of our life.

Who are in invited to participate in Catholic Bible 365 ChallengeEveryone is invited to participate in this challenge, Catholic or non-Catholic, Christian or non-Christian.

Is there a sign up sheet or form? No, you may “like” the official Facebook page (@CatholicBible365), or you may let this challenge be one just between you and your friends and God. This is not a contest, but a challenge for that will benefit one’s spiritual life.

When does the Catholic Bible 365 Challenge start? The Catholic Bible 365 Challenge starts on September 30th, 2018, the memorial of St. Jerome. St. Jerome is the translator of the Vulgate Bible into Latin. He is a saint of scripture and had a deep love for the Word of God. The challenge will end on September 30th, 2019.

Which Bible will you use for the Catholic Bible 365 ChallengeThroughout the duration of the challenge, I will use two copies of the same translation, the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE). One is Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible Third Edition, which I reviewed back in 2016. I don’t want to skim through the Bible, but I want to read it thoroughly and read the footnotes at the bottom of the Bible. However, I will be on several trips and retreats this year and it is not feasible to bring along a thick Study Bible. Instead, on such occasions, I will be using Catholic Book Publishing’s St. Joseph Edition of the New American Bible Personal Size Gift Edition which I will review in the near future on The Catholic Man Reviews. I have always liked the NABRE because of its detailed footnotes and it brings me assurance that the this translation is an approved translation by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I do have the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Catholic Edition on my shelf, which is the official Lectionary translation in Canada. However, the lack of notes in that version steers me away from it. The NRSV though is a more ecumenical translation, used by a wider population of Christians in different denominations. It does not matter which Catholic translation. Just make sure it is a Catholic translation. Non-Catholic translations may not bear some books, the Apocrypha and its notes may be misleading for Catholics.

I don’t have a Catholic Study Bible. What other resources can I use? There are many Catholic Bible resources available online including:

How do I make time to read scripture? “What would happen if we turned back when we forget it, if we opened it more times a day, if we read the message of God contained in the Bible the way we read messages on our cellphones?” Pope Francis asked the people on a Sunday Angelus in March 2017. We constantly make excuses why we leave our bibles out to collect dust. We put aside out phone and/or social media when we want to do something we like, such as watching a movie or playing sports. When it comes to faith-related activities, we tend to procrastinate. Make God the centre of our lives. When we do that, we let the celebration of Mass, prayer, and scripture reading sink into souls and it is only then do we understand and love what we do as Catholics.

Is there a prize for completing the challengeNo, there is no material prize for completing this challenge. Rather, there is a spiritual prize: When one sets aside time to read scripture everyday, one gets to know God and His Church better. A lot of what we do in Catholicism derive from scripture. For example, reading Leviticus, one can see some parallels of the ancient rituals with today’s liturgical practices. Ultimately,  when we set prayer and scripture at the centre of our lives, we will see changes in the way we act, see and live among God’s people.

How do I know what passage to read each day? I found a chart online, which I reformatted to fit one page. This can be printed, folded in quarters and slipped into your Bible. Find the PDF here:

Feel free to print as many copies as you need, and share it with others so that others can join you in the challenge!

Please share the Catholic Bible 365 Challenge so that your friends and others can may want to join you!

Throughout the duration of the challenge, many aids and videos will be shared on the Official Facebook Page (@catholicbible365), or simply click here:

www.bit.ly/catholicbible365

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