In years past, my usual mode for reading the Bible through every year involved starting in Genesis and reading right through to Revelation. I estimated that about four chapters per day would get me through in under a year’s time. The method worked reasonably well, but it wasn’t without its problems. Sometimes I would miss a day (or days) and get behind, and I had no way to keep up with my progress. I needed a schedule so that I could keep myself accountable for finishing in a year.
In 2009, therefore, I did something I had never done before. I followed a Bible reading plan. I adopted Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Calendar for Daily Readings. It provided the schedule that I needed. It also outlined daily readings from different sections of the Bible. On any given day, I would be reading something from an Old Testament narrative, something from the prophets, and something from the New Testament. Although this plan provided the accountability that I needed, I found it difficult to be reading from three to four different biblical books every day. I know that not everyone is like me, but that approach lacked the focus that my brain requires. I missed reading the Bible in its canonical arrangement and focusing on one book at a time. I wished for a schedule that would go from Genesis to Revelation in canonical order.
So this year, I have created a plan that does just that, and I would like to share it with you. This plan calls for reading all the books of the Bible in canonical order in one year. Each day’s reading is about 3-4 chapters in length, with the exception of the Psalms (which are covered in 5 chapters per day). The idea is to read longer chapters in groups of three (e.g., Pentateuchal narratives, Gospels) and shorter chapters in groups of four. There are 7 “catch-up” days scattered throughout the calendar. You can download the calendar below.
WORD: 2010 Bible Reading Plan
Christians need the Bible like humans need water. The Bible is our life-blood. The Lord Jesus plans to perfect His people by means of His word. That is why He prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Since the Bible is the word of God written, our progress in sanctification relies on our contact with the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. Every Christian, therefore, should make it a priority to master this book.
I want to encourage you to commit to reading the entire Bible this year. It may seem a daunting task at first. But it really isn’t. If you will make a plan and stick to it, then you can do it. I am a pretty slow reader, and even I can do it. So I know that you can too.
If you find this plan helpful, I hope you’ll use it. In any case, I hope you will commit to reading the Bible all the way through this year. It will be a blessing to you if you do.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word.” -Psalm 119:9
“When you received from us the word of God’s message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.” -1 Thessalonians 2:13
P.S. My friend Mitch Maher has developed a plan for reading the New Testament through in a year. Read more about it here.
P.P.S. I posted my plan before I went to bed last night only to find that Justin Taylor has posted this morning several of the plans from Crossway here. There aren’t any that follow a strict canonical arrangement one book at a time. Nevertheless, there are some great resources here, and you should take a serious look at them.