January 23, 2018

Bible Reading Schedules

Don Johnson

Last week we ran an article called, “Reading the Bible Through in One Year.” I promised to provide links to Bible reading schedules today. You can probably find more by searching on the topic. Our church people use one or another of these schedules and are happy with them.

Three from the Discipleship Journal at the Navigators site, some plans that we like:

The 5x5x5: a plan for reading the New Testament in one year – if you aren’t in the habit of daily Bible reading, this gives you a good start.

Book At a Time: this plan alternates between one OT book and one NT book with additional one chapter a day readings from the Wisdom literature and Isaiah.

DJ Bible Reading Plan: this plan has you reading four different portions each day, giving you a well-rounded look at all the Biblical message from different perspectives.

Each of these plans includes at least one flex day in the week. These enable you to catch up if you fall behind. Alas, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!

My own Chronological Bible Reading Plan. This plan came from a time in our church when we preached chronologically through the Bible in a seventeen-month period. I keep tweaking this plan as I use it regularly, but no doubt some errors remain. The idea is to read the Bible chronologically, with the prophets in line with the history so, as I say, “you can see what the prophets were mad about.” I’ve also included a flex day in the latest edition of this plan.

The Murray McCheyne plan. Many disciples use this plan, it might be just what you like to use.

One last thing I’d like to mention is the ESV Reader Bible. As of this writing, it is on sale at Christian Book Distributors. It has no verse or chapter numbers, just text, with a few headers. Lately I’ve been reading this myself. It makes for quite a different Bible reading experience. In the narratives, you do tend to feel less constrained by chapter divisions. I’m planning to write up a review when I complete my first trip through it. With this Bible, you have to set page goals rather than chapters and books. You will also tend to follow the book order of the English Bible although I’m not sure the order is a matter of divine inspiration.

Whatever plan you choose, choose a plan! And make Bible reading a priority in your spiritual life. God will bless you, and you will grow spiritually.


Don Johnson is the pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.

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