Monday, December 30, 2013

Reading the Bible Through in One Year -- or Two

Many Christians make a commitment to read the Bible through in a year.  My church has encouraged members to do that, and it is a laudable goal.  For various options for doing so, see Justin Taylor's post here (Hat Tip:  Denny Burk, who offers an plan that he developed, via The Aquila Report here)

I just finished reading through the Bible from front to back on a two year plan and have started anew in Genesis.  The idea for two years occurred to me when I downloaded a free version of the ESV on to my Kindle and realized that I would read the Bible completely in less than two years by doing 1% per week.  Being a bit of a numbers geek, that appealed to me. I then did so by reading one or two chapters per day (depending on the length), and then finishing out my percentage for each week on Sunday. 

That has worked for me.  For years, I struggled with one year plans:  miss a few days, and one can start feeling like he is so far behind that it becomes de-motivating. More postively, reading the smaller amounts daily in order to finish in two years allows more time for closer reflection on the text. While this may not be the right plan for everyone, it has made me a more consistent Bible reader than at any point previously in my life.

By the way, Amazon recently updated my version of the ESV, and the numbering system and large number of footnotes no longer support my 1% per year plan.  To compensate, I am now using a physical copy of the Bible to scope out my plan, and then I do my actual reading on my Kindle. Thus, my hard copy Bible has just under 1600 pages of Bible text, which means that by reading 16 pages/week, I will have read the Bible in less than two years -- one or two chapters per day, finishing each percent on Sunday.

Finally, I would note that some people would struggle reading consecutively through the entire Old Testament like that.  If so, you will need to find a plan that moves back and forth between the Old and New Testament.

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