My Absurd Comparison: The Bible and Netflix (and why you should read the whole Bible in 2021)

I’m what is known as a rewatcher. When I find a show I like, I watch it over and over. As I do that, my view of the show begins to change.

I decide which character I like the best and which season is my favorite. I begin to anticipate exciting or sad plot points when I watch the episodes that lead up to those moments.

As I watch episodes over and over, I can finish lines along with (or even before) the character and I find myself weaving quotes from the show into my everyday conversation.

Eventually I begin looking for “easter eggs,” the callbacks or small details that were hidden by the director. I’m not satisfied with short clips that fan sites share on social media. I want to watch full episodes! I find that with my favorite shows, the more I watch it – the more I love it.

Is there a good way transition that illustration to the point I’m trying to make? It seems a little absurd to compare Netflix binging to Bible reading – but it makes a lot of sense to me. Here we go.

My life has been radically transformed by the practice of reading the entire Bible each year.

I discover new characters that I come to love and certain books become my favorite. Last year I discovered how much I loved Jeremiah. This year, the book of Psalms took on new meaning and brought such hope to my heart. I saw Hebrews and Isaiah in a whole new light.

As I read the Old Testament chronologically, I begin to anticipate exciting or sad events. I can quote verses along with the speaker and I find myself weaving Scripture verses into my everyday conversation.

Eventually I begin looking for small details that were hidden by the author. I’m not satisfied with short verses that people share on social media. I want to read the verse in context and explore the full meaning! The more I read it – the more I love it.

“The Bible isn’t a series of stories. It isn’t a catalog of interesting characters. It isn’t a manual of theology. It isn’t a book of interesting wisdom principles. One story, with one hero, forms the cord that holds the whole Bible together. The Bible is essentially the story of redemption. This grand redemptive story with God’s essential explanatory notes, is the main content of the Word of God.” (from New Morning Mercies)

There might be heroes and long story lines in TV shows – but there’s nothing that compares to the grand narrative of the gospel. Reading the entire Bible each year and reading the Old Testament chronologically has given me an understanding of this which changes the way I read every single verse.

As I’ve mentioned before, my journey through the Bible each year also builds an amazing anticipation for Christmas. The story is so much deeper, so much richer than ever before.

If you’ve been a casual Bible reader, much like someone who flips channels and catches an episode of a show here and there, I’m extending an invitation to you! Please join me in reading through the Bible in 2021!

 Here are the things that have helped me accomplish this goal:

  • Using the YouVersion Bible In a Year Plan: This one walks through the OT chronologically (mostly), but gives you chapters from the Old and New Testaments each day, along with a chapter of Psalms or Proverbs.
  • Listening to each day’s reading when I’m getting ready in the morning – I retain it so much better this way!
  • Reading in the ESV or NLT versions – I highly recommend the NLT especially for the Old Testament. It makes the stories come alive!

If reading the whole Bible seems overwhelming to you, I recommend the F-260 plan. This is a two hundred and sixty day reading plan that highlights the foundational passages of Scripture. I did this plan in 2018 and really enjoyed it!

You can join me in reading through the Bible in 2021 on the Bible app here. I would love to know if you’re joining me in my challenge to read the Bible this year!

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18 thoughts on “My Absurd Comparison: The Bible and Netflix (and why you should read the whole Bible in 2021)

  1. I’ve heard you talk about this the last couple of years, and always thought there was no way I could do it. But I’ve been making my quiet time a lot more consistent this past year, so I decided to join you. Even if I can’t read every day, I like having a plan. Thanks for the invitation!


    1. I thought the same thing too, Emily. This plan makes it a little more manageable. If you get behind, you can always listen to the reading while you work on something else. It’s never a bad idea to have that playing in the background. So happy you’re joining! ❤


  2. The Bible Recap podcast has helped me SO MUCH over the past two years as I’ve read through chronologically! It’s a 5-10 minute review and explanation that helps fit the reading into the larger narrative, and I’m so grateful for it! (And I think the host is speaking at a women’s retreat at your church next year. 🙂 )


  3. Thank you for this!!! So very encouraging! I really want to do this! You do such wonderful things with your blog, it is a blessing and truly appreciated : )

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can really identify with this comparison! I’ve read through the Bible once chronologically and loved doing it that way. I’m on board for reading it through again in 2021. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for the suggestions and the encouragement. I am looking at the 260 plan. I recenter deleted the Netflix ap from my phone, and my hubby and I are talking about canceling our subscription. This is a much better use of our time!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a great analogy, Whitney. Isn’t it awesome that the Director, the Author and the Main Character in God’s Word lives in us to bring these truths to our hearts? It literally brings life to us.
    I think I’m going to do the chronological reading this year…I’ve never done that one! Thanks for the encouragement to do so!

    Liked by 1 person

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