Have you read through the entire Bible? If so, is this a habit of yours? I have read the whole Bible every year for about 22 years. It has enriched my soul and has rooted me in truth in times of blessing as well as times of trial. January is a great time to consider this great discipline of the Christian life. But how should one read through the Bible? Do you just start in Genesis and work your way to Revelation?
Second, what Bible reading plan you use less important as long as you have a system to get through the Bible.
So, here are some plans to consider.
I did this plan last year. I loved, loved, loved this one. Did I mention that I loved this one? The Bible Project takes you through the whole Bible in the year and the Psalms 2x. The idea is you make progress in Bible familiarity by reading through the Scripture, and you pray through and meditate on the Psalms. I found this refreshing and enriching. The Bible Project has accompanying videos to go with your readings. For example, they do a book overview of every book of the Bible that are amazingly well done and will enrich your actual reading of the text. The videos are both well done artistically, but more importantly, they have done their homework and give great book overviews. There are also thematic overviews. For example, when reading about Abraham, there is a theme video on Covenant. When reading through Leviticus, there is a theme video on Holiness etc. These help you grab onto the Bible’s big themes. There is also a Bible Project app. You can see more about the Bible Project here: https://thebibleproject.com
This plan is a great flexi plan. You read through 2-3 OT chapters and 1 NT chapter each day. You have 4 days a month as catch up days which can be helpful. Some days are just so busy that even the best of us don’t get our Bible reading in. This plan anticipates those days and allows some catch up. With this plan within 3 months you will have 1-2 OT books which you will read in one sitting. Some books you will actually plan a little extra time for to read in one sitting such as Job. If you’ve never read Job in one go, you’ve probably missed the rich flow of the book. Dianna and I are both doing this plan for this next year. http://www.trenthunter.net/?page_id=1420
Another option is to read the Bible through chronologically. Since the Bible isn’t laid out in chronological order, it can be hard to see where things fit in. A chronological reading can help you see where everything fits in. With such a plan you will read the gospels in parallel, as well as books like Kings and Chronicles and Genesis with Job. It will also match up prophetic writings with historical books. Here is a link to a chronological reading plan: http://static.esvmedia.org/assets/pdfs/rp.chronological.pdf
Robert Murray McCheyne was a Scottish preacher who had his own reading plan. He read from 4 sections of his Bible every day. In the morning he would read 1 OT and 1 NT chapter, and in the evening they would all gather as a family and read another OT and another NT chapter. Many people use this for their personal reading plan. This is great for those who feel bogged down always reading through the same book (i.e. Leviticus or 1 Chronicles). This way they are reading in different places so when one portion of Scripture is a bit tough (i.e. tabernacle measurements), you are also in another passage of Scripture. For me, this feels a bit too jumbled and it’s harder for me to grab the main threads, but some people love it. Here is a link to McCheyne’s reading plan: http://static.esvmedia.org/assets/pdfs/rp.one.year.tract.pdf
Kingdom Reading Plan
This one I have not yet done. This is similar to the McCheyne, but it breaks the OT books up into the way they were broken up in the Bible at Jesus’ time (Law, Prophets, Writings). There are 25 readings per month giving 5 flexi days to catch up or to drill down into deeper study of Scripture. http://cdn.desiringgod.org/pdf/blog/3325_FINAL.DeRouchie.pdf
Reading by Genre
Some people may like to read based on the genre of the book of the Bible, for example, reading all the historical books in sequence, or all the wisdom literature in sequence. If this scratches your itch, then try this one: http://static.esvmedia.org/assets/pdfs/rp.esv.study.bible.pdf
Reading by Genre each day
Here is another variation of the previous one. This one takes you through a different book genre each day of the week. As long as you can remember what is happening in a book you haven’t read for the last 6 days, this may be worth your energy: http://www.calvarysac.org/images/docs/reading_plans/52_weeks.pdf
This is a great way to get through the Bible. Each day, read 2 chapters from the OT and 2 chapters from the NT (i.e. Genesis 1-2; Matthew 1-2). I have read through the Bible several times this way. It’s simple and gets you through the OT 1x per year and the NT 2x per year. I don’t have a link to a reading plan for this one. I just kept a bookmark in the OT and one in the NT and read 2 chapters in each.
Go for it!
Just start at the front cover, and read four chapters a day until you hit the concordance at the back. I have often read through the Bible this way, and it is a classic.
Whichever plan you choose, I pray the Lord blesses you and strengthens you as you seek his face through his Word.