By Andrew Hoffman
Here are some ideas for planning your Bible reading. Please post your thoughts and plans in the comment section below. As you consider which one is best for you at this time, remember the goal isn’t ultimately to finish the Bible or keep up with the reading plan. The goal is to allow the scripture to speak into your life, to shape your thinking, your desires, your values and your approach to challenges and opportunities. The goal is for you to know God more intimately through Jesus Christ and to live in partnership with him.
Reading plans help us because they remove the potentially debilitating question of what to read next. They can also motivate us by giving us a goal to achieve. However, since the ultimate goal is to know God it might be that in some seasons you’ll want to ditch the reading plan and just sit with scriptures that will most minister to the soul.
One more preliminary thought: some get bogged down in reading the Bible because they don’t have a clear understanding of its overall message, its different genres and how to read it for nourishment. If this is you, I highly recommend our Gospel Academy course entitled “Bible.” You also might find help on The Bible Project website listed below.
READING PLANS IDEAS:
M’Cheyne’s Bible Reading Calendar. This popular plan has you reading four chapters a day, two in “secret” and two for “family.” Read the Old Testament once in a year and the New Testament twice. Online calendar
D.A. Carson. A modified version of the M’Cheyne plan with brief commentary. Daily online version
One Year Bible. Various publishers offer a Bible reformatted according to days of the year with readings from various books of the Bible for each day. One Year Bibles remove the hassle of flipping back and forth between sections. Here’s one.
Bible Sections. The Bible is divided into Pentateuch, Historical Writings, Poetic Books, Prophets and New Testament. Each section is moderately similar in length. Read a chapter from each section every day (so five chapters a day). The variety is great but you’ll need to carefully manage five bookmarks. (I have used this plan multiple times and love it)
Alphabetical. Read through the Bible taking the books in alphabetical order at whatever pace you choose. 3.25 chapters a day gets you through the Bible in one year. This plan is great because it is simple to follow, it provides variety as you bounce back and forth through the Bible and you get to immerse yourself in one book at a time. This is my current plan.
Bible Apps. The Bible Project, YouVersion, Bible Gateway, ESV CrossWay, Olive Tree are all popular apps that have reading plan options. The Bible Project has numerous resources online to help you get into reading the Bible.
More Plans. If that is not enough, check out this list for more ideas!
Are there any reading plans you have found helpful? Comment below.