Thursday, January 01, 2009

Reading through the Bible in a year... or more


 (Graphic is a freebie from Baptist Bible Hour -- a great source for gorgeous Scripture graphics)

It's January first, and I've just started again on my more-or-less annual trip through the Bible. I'm excited about the program I've chosen to read through the Bible this year. It's a method I've never tried before, and it's going to be interesting!

How about you? Have you ever read through the Bible -- all the way through? If you haven't, don't feel too badly -- you have plenty of company. It's unbelievable, but true: only about 5 percent of all Christians read through the entire Bible even once in their lives. So why not make this the year you begin the habit of reading through God's Word? It will make a wonderful difference in your life!

There are various ways to read through the Bible. One of my favorites is to use a one-year Bible. Mine is the KJV Daily Devotional Bible. Reading straight through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation may be done with the one-year Bible, where the readings are all planned out for you, or you may just use your regular Bible and read a number of chapters each day. The Reese Chronological Bible is a fascinating way to read through the Bible. I have read through this several times. If you do this, you may want to allow more than a year to get through the Bible. Another great approach is to read through a study Bible, taking time to read the notes and information about the different books and their authors along the way.

Or you can use any of a number of Bible-reading plans put out by various Christian organizations. One year I used a sort of topical plan where one reads from different categories of the Bible on the various days of the week. Sunday was Old Testament Poetry, Monday was the Pentateuch [the first five books of the Bible], Tuesday and Wednesday were Old Testament History, Thursday was Old Testament Prophets, Friday was New Testament History and Saturday, New Testament Epistles. I found this plan fascinating reading for most of the year, but it became unwieldy toward the end when many of the categories had been used up and I was slogging through the prophets for the longest time. Maybe there are other plans of this sort out there that are better organized. I hope so, because this method of reading the Bible is extremely interesting.

This year, I am trying something recommended by Nancy Leigh DeMoss in her book A Place of Quiet Rest. I'll quote from her book: "Some time ago, a dear, older servant of the Lord recommended an approach to Bible reading that I have found to be a great blessing. He suggested dividing the Bible into six major sections, beginning in Genesis, Joshua, Job, Isaiah, Matthew, and Romans. Each day, read one or more chapters consecutively in each of those sections. Mark where you end up in each section so you can pick up at that location the next day.

"This has been one of the most exciting ways I have discovered to read the Word. Though penned by many different authors over a period of fifteen hundred years, there is a unity and coherence in the Scripture that can only be supernatural. Invariably, I find that what I am reading in one portion dovetails precisely with what I am reading in another."

My own plan is to read just one chapter in each section every day. I began today and it was such a blessing.

In addition to reading through the Bible, I am also studying God's Word in greater depth. I'm several chapters into Cynthia Heald's Intimacy with God, a wonderful Bible study of the Psalms, and am getting so much out of that study. I'm also studying Elizabeth George's Finding God's Path Through Your Trials with my ladies' Sunday School class.

January 1st is a great day to begin your own Bible reading journey. Why not get started today?


  1. Hi Mrs. T~ I also like to start on Jan. 1st reading the Bible through the year, but have so many times failed, Have never heard of this plan but think I may try it. Thank you for posting it. Hope you and your family have a great New Year. Enjoy your Bible reading

  2. Hi Joann,

    Thanks so much for stopping by! I am finding this Bible reading plan to be a huge blessing already. I find that I am reading much more thoughtfully as I look to see how the passages compare with one another.

    I also highly recommend (if you choose not to try this plan) the Reese Chronological Bible. This is so interesting, because it has the books of the Bible in the order that the events happened. I believe that I used the chronological Bible the first time I ever read the Bible all the way through. It was just different enough to keep me reading.

    Whatever plan you try, I hope you succeed this year in reading your Bible all the way through. You will become part of the five percent of Christians who have done so!

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

    God bless,

  3. Thanks for sharing..I read all your blogs about your prayer journal. I have one too but now i will be adding some things to it that you have mentioned in your post.After reading The Purpose Driven Life, I was convicted to read the Bible through...then start again when you finish. I have read thru several times now using different translations...usually I start and end in the Fall. You are such an encouragement to me Mrs T. Blessings in the New Year.

  4. Hi Arlene,

    I'm so glad you were blessed by the posts about the prayer journal. I hesitated sharing them again... I have shared the same info before, but really felt the Lord would have me mention it again for the benefit of any new readers. I'm glad it was an encouragement to you.

    Starting/ending Bible reading in the fall is a great idea, too. To me, fall always seems a lot like a new beginning as well, probably because it's the start of a new school year.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving such an encouraging note! It's always so nice to see you here.

    God bless,


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