One of my goals for 2009 is to read through the Bible. In beginning a Ph.D. last semester, I did not consistently make time to “search the Scriptures.” This year, I intend to get back into the habit of spending time each day reading the Bible. I will read three chapters Monday through Saturday and five chapters on Sunday. According to my calculations, this would result in my finishing the Bible with a day or two to spare.
If you have gotten out of the habit of daily spending time reading the Bible, there is no time like the present! You can use my approach or check out these resources:
YouVersion is an online Bible resource that has added a plan for reading the Bible in One Year. You can view the readings for each day by clicking here.
There are also Bibles that are specifically organized into daily readings so that you don’t have to do any calculating or remember where you left off. You just have to turn to the right day and start reading. The One Year Bible Compact Edition NIV is a good example of this and at $10.39 from amazon.com, it is affordable too!
If you have already read all the way through the Bible, I would recommend purchasing a chronological Bible, which arranges the readings chronologically. (This is a bit controversial because it involves making decisions about when specific books were actually written, which scholars are not always in full agreement on.) The advantage of a chronological Bible is that it helps you to see how the Bible is one narrative of God’s work in the world. The One Year Chronological Bible [NIV]is a good example of a chronological Bible, that is again also reasonably priced at $13.59.
Are there strategies or approaches that you have used to help maintain the habit of daily Bible reading that I have not mentioned? Or is there a particular Bible for reading the Bible in a year that you have read and found particularly helpful?
Ben Simpson said:
Thanks for this listing of resources. Your goal encourages my own. I’m not reading 3 to 5 chapters a day–I read much better in chunks. I too am reading the Bible from cover to cover in 2009.
Keep it up my friend.
I understand how school can trample spiritual disciplines.
I’ve tried the “Bible in a year” thing and it just becomes frustrating for me. If you get behind a day, its a bear to catch up, and I feel like I’m trying to achieve a level of quantity rather than quality time with the text. I feel obligated to “The Year” goal.
I write a bible study for my congregation that loosely follows the content of the lectionary. This year we’ll read the OT writings, John, Mark, Acts, and a few of the Epistles. Last year was the Pentateuch, Matthew, Acts and a few other Epistles.
A chapter a day (sometimes two) is all I can handle. I’ve found with my congregation, the slower we go in the Bible study, the more people read it.
Don Trivits said:
I recommend the reading plan developed by Robert Murray McCheyne for his Scottish parishioners during the early 19th century. I have used it in the past, and I found it to be excellent. If you are interested, drop me an e-mail and I will forward the documents to you.
Kevin Watson said:
Ben – Thanks for the encouragement.
Kurt – Thanks for sharing your experiences with reading the Bible as a spiritual discipline. The bible study that you do with your congregation sounds wonderful, and I am continuing to think about your insight that the slower you go with your church, the more people actually read the Bible.
Don – I would definitely be interested in checking out McCheyne’s reading plan… I would love to be able to read the Bible with a Scottish accent.