Now is the Time to Pick Your Bible Reading Plan
January will be here soon, campers. And the number one rule of evangelicalism is that at the first of the year, we all dig out our Bibles and start reading again.
I have vivid flashbacks of my youth pastor handing me a “read the Bible in a year” plan every January. I’d faithfully churn through Genesis and Exodus, and then along came February and a book called…Leviticus. Nary a Bible reading plan survived February, and I was in my late 20s before I realized there was a New Testament in the Bible.
(Again. I kid.)
I now have quite a few years’ worth of Bible reading plans in my rear view mirror, but I know that for me at least, the key to success is picking a good reading plan and being ready to go when the calendar turns.
Here are a few suggestions:
The Gospel Coalition’s M’Cheyne Plan. This is my number one draft pick, as it’s what I’ve been going through this current year. TGC has put together a phenomenal list of resources including a Bible-in-a-year plan, a daily newsletter, an accompanying three minute daily podcast, and supporting articles. I’ve loved the all-encompassing approach that TGC’s plan provides, and can’t recommend it enough. Read more.
ESV Chronological Plan. I went through this a few years ago and really enjoyed it. It connected the grand story of scripture in a fresh way. Download.
The Bible in Six Months Plan. A friend and I tackled this together (twice!) a couple of years ago, and I really enjoyed it. Storylines made more sense and context was easier to come by. If you’re looking for a bigger challenge than “Bible-in-a-year,” try this. Download.
The Bible in 90 Days Plan. Feeling saucy? 30 minutes a day will get you through the Old and New Testaments by the end of March. Download.
Any plan. New translation. This is my plan for next year. I hope to make the switch from ESV to CSB for the next 12 months of reading, just to have a new take on key passages. My method of choice will be the He Reads Truth charcoal cloth over board Bible, as long as *clears throat* SOMEONE sees that on my Christmas list. (Can one of you let my wife know about this post? Thanks.)
Still looking? Here’s a list of lists:
People much smarter than me have assembled their favorites. Some of the lists below include links to the resources already mentioned.
Navigators (3 plans)
Trevin Wax (7 plans) Trevin also gives helpful counsel on how to choose the plan that’s right for you.
Create Disciples (11 plans)
Ligonier Ministries (17 plans)
Justin Taylor (19 plans)
You Version’s “Through the Bible” (I think You Version has more Bible reading plans than there are verses in the Bible, so don’t get lost in this rabbit hole.)
A final word:
It doesn’t matter as much how you read the Bible, but that you read the Bible. That said, how you read does matter. Let me leave you with a quote from this very helpful article by Jen Wilkin:
“A new year often means evaluating where we have gotten stuck in a rut. Sometimes a rut isn’t necessarily a bad practice, but a good practice followed to the exclusion of other good (or better) practices. I suggest you assess where the bulk of your time has been spent when you sit down with your Bible. Then seek to allocate it going forward in a manner that builds both breadth and depth of understanding.“