Last December, I went on a hunt for a new Bible reading plan. I wanted to find one that was 5 days a week (instead of the usual seven) and I was hoping to find one that was psuedo-chronological (more on what I mean by that in a moment). After searching a variety of websites, I came across this Bible reading plan that is my new favorite. I think it will be one that I use time and time again.
Here’s a glimpse:
Here are the five reasons why I like it so much:
I like the 5-day format for a variety of reasons. It gives you a little more flexibility on how you read (it’s the same amount of weekly Bible reading, just apportioned in five days rather than seven). If you’re in a Bible study that has a day or two of homework, it gives you extra space in your week to prepare. It’s also nice if you get behind a couple of days because you can use the weekend to catch up. I typically use Saturday to read the New Testament sections and then have Sunday as a free day, to read and reflect upon whatever passage I choose. Overall, I really enjoy the flexibility that the 5-day format provides for my week.
A couple of years ago I used a One Year Chronological Bible. I appreciate this format because it weaves together the prophetic books with the historical books. I learned about the Old Testament just by following the plan. I also enjoyed reading the Psalms of David in conjunction with the historical narrative of his life (there really were bands of angry men attacking him).
However, the one downside of the chronological plan was that I didn’t get to the New Testament until October. I prefer a plan that allows me to read them side-by-side throughout the year. In this 5-day plan, the Old Testament is arranged chronologically, and there is a New Testament reading every day. I appreciated the way they grouped the New Testament readings. The gospels are not in chronological order, but spaced throughout the year, one for each season. And, they are done in such a way that you begin with Mark (the first gospel), and then read some of the early epistles of Paul. Then around March, you’ll be in Luke and read it alongside Acts (same author). I read John last month, along with his three letters and Revelation. Basically, I love how it’s all laid out. It gives you the benefit of the chronological ordering for the OT alongside an engaging plan for the New Testament. Truly, I haven’t read a plan that I like better.
Cost: You Can’t Beat It
Five Day Bible Reading puts out this plan in a PDF that you can download for free. It doesn’t get better than that.
You Read Your Own Bible
In past years, I’ve used Bibles that apportion the texts out for me. It makes it simple to just open and read without a lot of flipping between texts. However, I find this plan preferable because it allows me to read through the Bible in my own Bible. This fact also meant I can choose the translation. The One Year Bibles I owned were in the NIV, and this plan allowed me to read through the entire Bible in the ESV (For ESV options, see here and here). As I read through my own Bible, it also helped to have the study notes and introductions easily available.
Ease of Use
The plan is organized in a 52-week format. While you can begin it in January, you can also begin in March or June. It’s easy to print up multiple copies and have them in whatever Bibles you have around the house. Since it’s just piece of paper, it’s travel friendly for work trips and vacations.
After four weeks of this topic, I’ve covered (in an unplanned descending order):
8 benefits of Bible reading
7 Specific benefits of reading the Bible in a year
6 Possible objections
5 Reasons I like this particular plan
This plan is just one of many. We are blessed to have so many available options (Justin Taylor provides an excellent list here). My main hope is to encourage you to consider making this the year you read through the Bible in a year.
I’ll end with Psalm 34:8 as my prayer for us all:
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!