How to Read the Bible in a Year | Business with Purpose Podcast EP 226: Tara-Leigh Cobble, The Bible Recap
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Here we are, it’s the end of 2020, and this year has been bananas. There have been beautiful things but also a lot of really difficult things, and I wanted to end the year in kind of a unique way. I have shared openly on this show over the last few years about how my faith is the foundation of all that I am and how it has influenced my life and changed me in so many ways. In the last few years, I have read through the Bible in one year. In 2020, I finished my third reading of the bible in a year, cover to cover, chronologically. It’s been formative and life changing. If you’ve never read the Bible, please don’t click away. I’m sharing this episode from my heart about something I really believe is life changing. My guest this week is Tara-Leigh Cobble. She is the creator and host of the Bible Recap Podcast and the author of the book, The Bible Recap. She founded D-Group, an international network of weekly discipleship and accountability groups, and she hosts a daily radio show called The God Shot. She hails from Dallas, TX by way of Eastern TN, and I’ve had the privilege of hearing her voice every day as I read the Bible throughout the year. The Bible Recap has greatly impacted my life and I wanted to learn more about Tara and her the work behind The Bible Recap.
6:00 – The Tara-Leigh 101
- Tara-Leigh wasn’t always someone who read the Bible. She might have told you she loved it, but she hadn’t read it. She knew it was true, but she didn’t know what it said. Cleary, that has all changed and along with writing The Bible Recap and hosting Bible Recap Podcast, she also founded D-Group, which stands for Discipleship Group. it is a weekly Bible study and discipleship group that meets in homes and churches and online and does deep dives into books of the Bible and topics of theology.
- She started D-Group the same year she started reading through the Bible because she needed and wanted to talk to people about what she was reading. She started learning about so much she never knew growing up in the church and wanted to talk about it.
- Tara-Leigh was working in ministry and not even reading through the Bible yet. She spent her days talking to people about and singing about the God of the Bible but had not read all of his word. One day, a friend asked if she’s ready the whole Bible. She’d been a student of the word, but still hadn’t read the Bible in its entirety.
- Her friend recommended she read the whole thing (even the genealogies). She was told it would take 12 minutes a day to read it in a year. Surprisingly, the commitment was not the hard part. It was what she was seeing when she was reading it.
- She had not yet encountered a lot of these things about the Lord and realized she’d taken things out of context, was not understanding things rightly, and was reading it as if looking into a mirror looking back at herself instead of holding a lens to see the living God and who He is.
- Tara-Leigh’s friend encouraged her to stick with reading through the Bible and challenged her to look for God and His character. It was a huge awakening for her to read through the Bible chronologically the first time, but even more so the second time when she started looking for God instead of how he could make all her dreams come true.
15:38 – Through the Bible in a Year
- Tara-Leigh has read through the Bible 14 times now. Even on read 14, she’s learning new things and seeing some things for the first time. She recently recorded a podcast episode on God’s intervening in our lives. A few days later while she was praying, she felt like God was telling her, “I don’t intervene.” She measured it against scripture to see if it was really from the Lord.
- She looked through Hebrews to see if the word intervene shows up anywhere. It doesn’t. She looked through the Greek and Aramaic translations and the word “intervene” is nowhere in the Bible. She looked up the word in the dictionary. To intervene, you have to be outside of a situation and insert yourself into it, and God is not outside of any situation. Tara-Leigh had to go back and edit that podcast episode. 😉
- Some resources that have been the most impactful for Tara-Leigh in her study and The Bible Recap have been sermons by pastors who teach exegetically (line by line, word by word), and John Piper’s database with all scripture he’s taught. You can look up specific topics and verses. It’s especially great if you’re an auditory learner. It helped Tara learn how to study scripture and understand it ways she never had before. John Piper also has a tool called “Look at the Book” that Tara-Leigh recommends.
- Once she learned how to study the Bible, the Faith Life Study Bible (free online resource) and a Greek/Hebrew lexicon have been helpful tools as well.
23:25 – Living, Breathing Love Letter
- Tara-Leigh has been able to maintain her passion for reading the Bible even when working on The Bible Recap for work. As she began, she realized she wasn’t interested in separating what she was doing for work from her personal relationship with reading the Bible.
- She found so much joy in reading for her study and it turned into a heart of worship and arched her heart back to God. When you really start learning about God, the God in the scriptures, you want to share that with others.
- Learning about the God in the scriptures ignites a hunger in us to continue to seek the spirit of God. If you think reading the bible in a year is daunting, The Bible Recap breaks the process down in a way where the reading is a daily, comforting habit instead of an overwhelming obstacle.
30:31 – Chronologically
- The Bible is not actually laid out chronologically but more like a library. There’s a history section, a law section, poetry section, and so on. It is helpful for organization but not necessarily for getting to know a person. Our aim in reading the Bible, especially as Christians is getting to know God’s character and finding out who He is; the story of God rescuing His people.
- When we start at the beginning and go through the story of God rescuing His people, we can understand the entire story and fall in love with the lead character. There are parts of what God does that are not going to look good if we only see them out of context.
- When we treat out Bibles like a magic 8 ball, it doesn’t help us know God. We have the gift of diving into the Bible and going straight to God to see what He has to say. It might not always be the quickest and easiest route, but if we focus on getting to know God, the answers we are seeking will actually start to come to us from our knowledge of who God is.
- The Bible Recap partners with The Bible Project to provide even more resources on each book of the bible with the day’s reading, discussion, and The Bible Recap podcast to help support you and remove every obstacle in the way of people reading scripture with a clear path through. There’s something for each learning style!
- There also tools and weekly and daily discussions to help readers learn how to study the bible.
40:43 – The Bible Recap in 2021
- New features to The Bible Recap include a daily study guide with 5-6 questions a day and weekly discussion guide for groups of people to use together that are about 10 questions a week. There’s something for every style of learning between the individual guides, group guides, book, and podcast!
- There’s also another podcast resource called “The Bible Kneecap” which is a daily prayer podcast to respond to what you’re learning about in the Bible. It will help you practice prayer and grow in your prayer life.
Join The Bible Recap
48:10 – Getting to Know Our Guest
- Find out fun facts about Tara-Leigh like what her favorite book of the Bible is (it may change from time to time), what song she has to sing along with when she hears it, and one of her biggest goals in life which ties into what it means to her to run a business with purpose.
12:16 – “I was reading scripture backwards. I was reading it as if looking into a mirror like it was about me, and not a lens to see the living God and who He is. That was the hard part. That I thought, ‘Uh oh, God’s not who I thought he was, He’s not here to serve me.’ “
12:59 – “A lot of people will walk away from faith when they go through something hard, when they hit a trial…and they walk away from God because of the hardship in their life…but I was about to walk away from God because of what I saw in the Bible.”
19:25 “God is not outside of any situation. He is actively involved and engaged in every story…God shows up and he acts on behalf of his people.”
25:03 – “I was finding so much joy in what I was learning in my study that it turned into a heart of worship. It arched by heart back in praise to Him.”
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