Israelis on Wednesday for the first time participated in an annual Bible-reading marathon that began in 2018 in the US state of Iowa.
That year, local Iowa resident Dianne Bentley got fellow Christians from all of the state’s 99 counties to divide up and read together the 1,000-plus chapters that make up the Tanach (often wrongly called the “Old” Testament) and the New Testament. In this way, in just a matter of hours the entire Word of God is proclaimed over the whole of the state, as Bentley has previously described the event.
In 2019, Bentley took the initiative global. Last year, in 2020, some 57 nations participated. This year, an astonishing 72 nations are involved, including Israel.
Israeli participants were tasked with reading from the Book of Isaiah, many parts of which deal with the return of the Jewish people to this Land.
Israel’s involvement was the brainchild of Jonathan Feldstein, who runs an organization called the Genesis 123 Foundation that works to strengthen the bonds of faith between Jews and Christians.
In an op-ed for Israel365, Feldstein wrote:
“Reading the Bible (Tanach) is a no brainer. It’s the shared scripture that serves as a foundation of so many other relations between Jews and Christians. …That Jews and Christians are coming together in this most fundamental Biblical fellowship is precedent setting, and sets a model for young people to connect and reengage.”