Book Beat – A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year

Last year, my church’s women’s Bible study program wanted to do a Through-the-Bible-in-a-Year study. We were unable to find any appropriate published study guides on the market and ended up writing our own material.

Our study had an immense impact on the women of our church. Few of the ladies had read the entire Bible and were delighted to find jewels of truth in neglected books. Also, the process of reading the Bible quickly, rather than digging narrow and deep, allowed us to see the grand themes of the Bible, the heart of God, and His sovereign hand. The unanimous consensus was to do the study again in a year or so.

When I heard about Diane Stortz’s new book, A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year, I leapt to review it. The guide is attractively laid out into 52 undated sessions, so it can be started any time in the calendar year.

Each week’s session includes a page of introductory material, a realistic reading plan (3-6 chapters a day, alternating between Old and New Testaments), and a handful of reflective questions. As a Bible study leader, I found the questions helpful but general. For a group that loves to talk, the questions would suffice, but a more reticent group would need more. I also would have liked to see a few questions tailored to each week’s reading.

Overall, this guide is extremely useful and attractive. For a large formal Bible study group, supplementary questions would be needed, but this guide would be wonderful for an informal small group (especially a chatty group), for friends to work through together, or for individual study. It’s so beneficial to read through the entire Bible, and I’m thankful Diane Stortz wrote this book.