TGN Frequently Asked Questions
“I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from The Savior of the world is communicated to us through this Book.” - Abraham Lincoln
"The Bible, in all its parts, is intended to communicate to humanity the realities of redemption. Over the centuries, the church has stumbled when it has forgotten this truth, and has thereby, ironically, damaged the authority of the book from which it has drawn its life. Often the error has run in the direction of making this book less than it is–less than the inspired Word of God, less than the supernatural report of God’s doings throughout the ages, less than the definitive rule for faith and practice among those who believe. But just as often, the error has run in the other direction–attempting to make the Bible more than it is. Too often in our zeal for the worldwide influence of this book, we forget that it was not intended as an exhaustive ancient world history, or a guide to the biology and paleontology of creation, or even a handbook on social reform. We forget that this book was cast upon the waters of history with one very specific, completely essential, and desperately necessary objective–to tell the epic tale of God’s ongoing quest to ransom his creation. And to, thereby, give each generation the opportunity to know his amazing grace. The Bible is the saga of Yahweh and Adam, the prodigal son and his ever-gracious heavenly father, humanity in their rebellion and God in his grace. This narrative begins with Eden and does not conclude until the New Jerusalem is firmly in place. It is all one story. And if you are a believer, it is all your story."
(The Epic of Eden by Sandra Richter, p.15)
What is ‘The Grand Narrative’?
‘The Grand Narrative’ (TGN) is, at its core, a ‘community read-through -the-Bible program’. The pace of TGN gives a high-altitude perspective of the Text and illuminates how the Bible tells one amazing story of God’s love for the men and women He made and the redemptive plan He devised and implemented to win them back after the fall in the Garden of Eden. Or to quote the tag line from the ‘Bible Project’, the Bible is ‘...a unified story that leads to Jesus’. We read approximately 10 chapters a day, six days a week (Sunday through Friday with Saturday off), completing the entire Bible in a total of 130 days (approx. 20 weeks). Weekly teaching and discussion on Sunday mornings accompany the readings, guiding you through the Text.
Who is this Bible study for?
TGN is for anyone and everyone who desires a greater understanding of the Biblical Text!! Invite your family, friends, and neighbors to participate!
What is the reason for reading the entire Bible in 20 weeks? Isn’t that hard to do?
The reason for reading through the Bible at ‘TGN pace’ is to give the reader an elevated perspective of the grand narrative not seen in longer ‘read through the Bible’ programs. The view of the Bible from 30,000 feet is an amazing one! While it takes personal discipline to read 10 chapters a day, 6 days a week, for 20 weeks, it is doable. Many have done it multiple times.If you read along with an audio version of your translation, it will take an average of about 50 – 60 minutes a day. While we all have full schedules, we usually find the time to do the things we really want to do. The keys to completing TGN are to: (1) make it a priority, and (2) not get too far behind on the reading schedule!
What makes TGN effective and different from other ‘read the Bible’ programs?
In one word, community. All participants read the same portion of the Text each day. It is encouraging and comforting to know that all other ‘TGN participants’ are reading the same chapters that you are. We are all in this together! Also, the Sunday morning meetings are an important part of TGN’s effectiveness. It is where we come together as a community to: (1) receive teaching on a portion of the Text from that week’s readings, and (2) discuss and ask questions. It is this last part where we ‘wrestle with the Text’ and learn much from each other as a result.
Is there a registration fee to participate in The Grand Narrative?
No. There is no monetary cost to participate.
Is there anything I can do to prepare for the 2022 edition of ‘The Grand Narrative’?
Yes, you should view the following 4 videos (links below) in the series from the ‘Bible Project’ on “How to Read the Bible”. Each video is approximately 5 minutes long. In addition, listen to the ‘Bible Project’ podcast entitled, ‘Who is the Bible About’?
Secondly, there is a ‘recommended’ reading assignment. A significant reason why many Christians struggle to read the entire Bible on their own is the Old Testament (OT). It can be, at times, confusing and difficult to understand. And since we spend 15 of the 20 weeks – 75% - reading this First Testament, it is important to have a solid foundational understanding of it beforehand. The recommended reading, the book 'The Epic of Eden - A Christian Entry into the Old Testament' by Sandra Richter, provides that foundation. It is an excellent book and well worth the read. It can be purchased at various online booksellers, including Amazon and Christianbooks.com.
How many participated in the last TGN and what did they have to say about their experience?
Knollwood had approximately 55 registrants for the 2019 edition of TGN! Many of them finished the reading program and had great things to say about their experience. See below for testimonials.
Can I attend the Sunday morning meetings if I don’t do the readings?
Yes. While we encourage all to read, the Sunday morning meetings are open to ‘one and all’.
Who can I contact for additional information about ‘The Grand Narrative’?
You can contact Brian Conaway at firstname.lastname@example.org
Selected TGN Testimonials
“I would just like to say thank you for the opportunity to attend the TGN class. I have always wanted to read the Bible from cover to cover and have attempted different reading plans over the years but have never accomplished the task. This time with the help of the TGN reading plan and weekly classes I have been successful. The program was wonderful, and I was able to meet other Christians with the same goal of working through the reading plan together. The daily reading was doable. The weekly classes were terrific, and I especially enjoyed the geography lessons and Bible lessons. I am looking forward to attending the TGN class again next year as there is so much to learn about God and His ultimate plan for us. You and Mark did a great job teaching the class, and I am very thankful for the experience. I am now happy to be in the 10% group of Christians that have read the Bible from cover to cover. I have drawn closer to God in my daily walk with Him. My relationship with God is stronger now than ever before. Thank you once again.”
It was over the following months after completion and processing what we had learned, that I realized that my faith had grown and that I most certainly had a promised place in the Lord's plan. I love the whole picture and putting in place all of the pieces or things I've learned over the years. Seeing the whole picture gives me the understanding of the assurance I have in Christ and what he has promised.
TGN is wonderful! Reading together with friends has positivity impacted my relationship with Jesus.
It is always helpful to go through a challenging experience like TGN with a large group for support, encouragement, learning from others, etc.
I had some doubts about participating in this study, but I'm so glad I didn't let them stop me. I loved spending daily time reading the Word. I loved the discipline it added to my morning routine. I looked forward to the Wednesday evening class and discussions. While I had read the entire Bible on my own before, I learned so much and have a much better understanding of the big picture. Everything makes so much more sense now that I've done this course!