Resolve to Read Your Bible

Justin Taylor has posted an array of Bible reading plans to help you work through the entire Bible in 2009.  My advice: pick one and set your aim at working through it with a spouse/friend/sibling/someone.

Here are the plans (courtesy of JT):

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The ESV Bible Reading Plans can be accessed in multiple ways:

  • web (a new reading each day appears online at the same link)
  • RSS (subscribe to receive by RSS)
  • email (subscribe to receive by email)
  • iCal (download an iCalendar file)
  • mobile (view a new reading each day on your mobile device)
  • print (download a PDF of the whole plan)

There are about 10 plans available. Go to that link to access each plan in any of the options above.

Here are the three I would recommend:

ESV Study Bible (ESV Literary Study Bible contains the same plan)

With this plan there are four readings each day, divided into four main sections:

  • Psalms and Wisdom Literature;
  • Pentateuch and the History of Israel;
  • Chronicles and Prophets; and
  • Gospels and Epistles.

The introduction explains:

In order to make the readings come out evenly, four major books of the Bible are included twice in the schedule: the Psalms (the Bible’s hymnal), Isaiah (the grandest of the OT prophets), Luke (one of the four biblical Gospels), and Romans (the heart of the Bible’s theology of salvation).The list of readings from the Psalms and the Wisdom Literature begins and ends with special readings that are especially appropriate for the opening and closing of the year. The list of readings from the Pentateuch and the History of Israel proceeds canonically through the five books of Moses and then chronologically through the history of the OT, before closing the year with the sufferings of Job. The list of readings from the Chronicles and the Prophets begins with the Chronicler’s history of the people of God from Adam through the exile, followed by the Major and Minor Prophets, which are organized chronologically rather than canonically.

I plan to print out this PDF, which is designed to be cut into four bookmarks that can be placed at the appropriate place in your Bible reading.

Daily Reading Bible

With this plan you go through:

  • the NT twice,
  • the Psalms twice, and
  • the rest of the OT once.

If you like this plan, you may want to pick up a copy of the Daily Reading Bible (available in hardcover and paperback). It’s not in the style where the Bible itself is rearranged by readings. Rather, it is a normal Bible, except that there are marginal notations that indicate where you are to start and stop reading.

E.g., on January 1 you are to read Genesis 1-2, Psalm 1, Matthew 1-2. When you open to Genesis 1, you’ll see in the outer margin a notation that says in bold, JAN 1. That’s where you start reading, until you get to JAN 2 at Genesis 3.. At the bottom of the page of Genesis 1 there is a box that says, JAN 1: Ps 1; Matt 1-2–which indicates the other readings for that day. Hope that makes sense. (Here’s a sample from Matthew.)

M’Cheyne One-Year Reading Plan

With this plan you read through:

  • the NT twice,
  • the Psalms twice, and
  • the rest of the OT once.

The plan begins with the four great beginnings or “births” of Scripture: Genesis 1 (beginning of the world), Ezra 1 (rebirth of Israel after her return from Babylonian exile), Matthew 1 (birth of the Messiah), Acts 1 (birth of the body of Christ). John Stott says of this reading schedule: “Nothing has helped me more to gain an overview of the Bible, and so of God’s redemptive plan.”

If you go with this route, I’d recommend D.A. Carson’s For the Love of God (vol. 1 and vol. 2 are available–vols. 3 and 4 are forthcoming). Carson’s introduction and preface–which includes a layout of the calendar–are available for free online.

Since there are four readings each day, it’s easy to modify this one so that you read through the Bible once in two years, by reading just the first two readings each day for the first year and the second two readings each day for the second year.

And here are a couple of plans from NavPress:

The Discipleship Journal Reading Plan

With this plan you read through the entire Bible once.

The unique advantage of this plan is that there are “catch-up” days:

  • To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only 25 readings. Since you’ll have several “free days” each month, you could set aside Sunday to either not read at all or to catch up on any readings you may have missed in the past week.
  • If you finish the month’s readings by the twenty-fifth, you could use the final days of the month to study passages that challenged or intrigued you.

Bethlehem Baptist Church makes available the bookmark-method for this plan:

Book-at-a-Time Bible Reading Plan

This book-at-a-time approach takes you through the whole Bible once in a year. It has two readings each day:

  • the first reading alternatives between OT and NT books (about 3-4 chapters a day), with the Gospels spread throughout the year;
  • the second reading is about a chapter a day of the wisdom literature and Isaiah.

As with the Discipleship Journal Plan, there are only 25 readings a month, allowing for catch-up and/or reflection.

Happy reading!

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~ by toddbumgarner on December 31, 2008 5:58 am.

One Response to “Resolve to Read Your Bible”

  1. […] read your bible Posted on December 31, 2008 by bkingr this is the time of year when people make resolutions. like Todd Bumgarner says, Resolve to Read Your Bible. […]

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