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33rd annual National Bible Reading Marathon kicks off this weekend

DC Bible reading marathon
Organizers open this year's U.S. Capitol Bible Reading Marathon outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. on April 30, 2017. |

The 33rd annual National Bible Reading Marathon will kick off this weekend, where volunteers will read the entire Bible for nearly four days straight.

The 2022 National Bible Reading Marathon, a project of Seedline International, will kick off Saturday at  2 p.m. Eastern time. Beginning with the book of Genesis, volunteers will read every word of the Bible at the Faith and Liberty headquarters in Washington, D.C., located near the United States Supreme Court. The event will continue through Wednesday with the reading of Revelation.

In an interview with The Christian Post, Keith Davidson, the director of Seedline International, said the National Bible Reading Marathon is usually held at the West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol. However, amid the coronavirus pandemic and following concerns about safety after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, the National Bible Reading Marathon was forced to seek an alternate venue for the last two years. And this year, organizers said they were “not able to get the consecutive event letter from Congress” that is a prerequisite for holding such an event.

As with the previous two years, people will have the option to participate in the National Bible Reading Marathon virtually. The entire event will be streamed live on Seedline International’s YouTube channel. Davidson estimated that between 40% and 45% of the readers will participate virtually this year.

The event consists of 360 15-minute time slots. Davidson told CP that “one person may sign up for four spots or a church group may sign up for a couple of hours.” He added that some churches in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania had reserved two-hour time slots to read from scripture virtually. While most readers will have signed up ahead of time, those walking by the event will have the option to sign up as long as a time is available.

While the event will not take place at the Capitol, some people will “do some virtual reading around the Capitol,” where participants will read from scripture “with the Capitol in the background or down close to the White House, where that’s in the background.”

As in past years, members of Congress are slated to participate in the Bible Reading Marathon this year, but those names were not disclosed. 

Even though the COVID restrictions have been lifted, Davidson expects the same number of people to attend the Bible Reading Marathon as last year, as the venue has space available for between 25 to 50 people at a time. 

The goal of the Bible Reading Marathon, he added, is to help Americans realize the impact of “the words of the Bible in our history and the founding of our country, and [to] get them back to making it part of their lives and seeing how important it is.” He sees the event as an opportunity to “[express] openly our faith and our beliefs in what the Bible stands for.”

In addition to the Bible Reading Marathon in Washington, D.C., Davidson has already held similar events in state Capitols across the country and hopes to hold them at more in the future. 

“We are branching out to try to go to each Capitol in each state. We did Tennessee, Indiana, [and] Pennsylvania’s coming up toward the end of the month so we are interested in developing that if folks in those states are interested in participating or having one in their own state. And we like to go to the Capitol because it’s kind of the seat of the state,” Davidson added.

Like at the National Bible Reading Marathon, Davidson hopes the state Bible Reading Marathons will remind lawmakers that “the Bible’s part of our foundation” and “emphasize to our legislators and folks who are in leadership to consider its principles and consider the Bible in the decisions that they make.” In addition to viewing the Bible as a “solid foundation,” he also sees it as a source of strength in a turbulent world.

“There’s a lot of turmoil and uncertainty in our world today with all the things going on in Ukraine and other places but the Bible seems to be a foundation for us and we’re hoping folks return to that and kind of give them some stability in their lives,” he maintained. He expressed hope that the National Bible Reading Marathon will motivate people to get the Bible “back in their homes and their personal lives.” 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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