One thing that generally comes with the New Year is a commitment to read through the Bible. Where is the best place to start? Old Testament? New Testament? What is the best translation? Can I do it? What are some things that will keep me accountable? Of what importance are all the genealogies? How do I stay motivated? Why can I never make it all the way to the end? Why do I get distracted with other things? All of these questions and a few others have been asked of me over the years.
Where to start? The easy way to do it is to start with Genesis and don’t stop until you get to Revelation. A good general rule of thumb to remember is that reading through four chapters a day will get you from beginning to end in a year’s time. Obviously by doubling to eight, you can make it through in six months or by reading sixteen chapters a day you can make it in a quarter.
Another way to add a twist to it is to take the Psalms and read five of them a day although when you get to Psalm 119 you will have to allocate a bit more time. Additionally read one chapter of the Proverbs every day. When the end of the year comes you will have read through the Bible completely once and have covered the Psalms five times and the Proverbs twelve times. Obviously with this pattern you will omit the reading of the Psalms and Proverbs when you come to them in a sequential manner.
Another plan to use actually helps you to read through the New Testament thirty-one times in a three year period. To get the idea for using this pattern, begin with Philippians which is a short book consisting of four chapters or 1st John which is five chapters. Read the epistle you have chosen every day for the month of January and then move on to another epistle in February. When you come to the larger books like the Gospels, Romans, and Hebrews break them up into seven or eight chapter increments and read them as you did with the shorter epistles. I can vouch for this method working as I have used it at various times in the past and you will find a great increase in the ability to cross-reference Scripture. Furthermore, you will find an ability to loosely memorize what you are reading. When I say loosely memorize; it may be that you won’t quote it exactly but you have a good head of steam in doing so.
What follows below are some links that you can download reading guides and print them out.
ESV Reading Plan.
Robert Murray McCheyne Reading Plan -- This works through the Bible in different areas.
Don Carson gives a helpful explanation for the McCheyne plan.
Don Whitney Reading Plan -- This downloads as a Word doc so you can cut it into an 8 ½ X 5 ½ sheet and slip into your Bible.
Professor Grant Horner’s Reading Plan -- Very interesting approach.
Read through the Bible for Shirkers and Slackers (I am not kidding).
A Two-Year Reading Plan.
The Discipleship Journal Reading Plan.
What follows below are some links to download MP3 readings of the Bible for your MP3 player:
KJV on Audiotreasure.
Faith Comes by Hearing offers multiple translations and even some dramatized editions.
Firefighters for Christ KJV downloads.
When people begin to read through the Bible, there is a component of spiritual growth that starts to develop in their life. Suddenly what God has to say is more important than all the advice that the world is feeding to us. Furthermore it will heighten your attention to the Word when a pastor is preaching.
More on translations tomorrow. . .
Thanks for reading. . .