Author: Jorah Benson
2020 is here. It is that time for renewed vigor in accomplishing goals. Many people set health goals, financial goals, family goals, and many more. Among the Church, many people like to renew their Bible reading goals. We know from Scripture the reason it is good to incorporate Scripture into our daily life.
Proverbs 16:20 says, “He who gives attention to the word will find good, And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord” (NAS). Psalm 119:9 says, “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word” (NKJV). Psalm 119:130-131 says, “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments” (ESV). The ever-popular Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (KJV). We need to keep Scripture fresh upon our minds, not letting much time go by without dwelling upon it again, studying all parts of Scripture – not just our favorite portions – if we are to “[give] attention to [His] word.” I encourage every saint with the ability to do so to be reading the totality of Scripture every year.
“The One Year Bible” is a popular Bible reading program out there that many do. I have done it in the past. I have also done the Dr. Grant Horner Bible Reading System, as well as the Robert Murray M'Cheyne Bible Reading Plan. There are many Bible reading plans out there. Over the years I have tried many. Yet, more recently (past 4 to 5 years) I have gravitated to making my own Bible reading system. I thought I would post it on our website. It has elements of others that I like, but it has differences as well. I have made it to fit my preferences.
It consists of four readings per day, with an average of five chapters per day. You can begin this plan on the New Year or anytime during the year. If following from the New Year, you can keep track using the date. If you begin using this plan in the middle of the year, start the plan at day one and keep track by day of year. If you start the Bible reading plan and fall behind, becoming inconsistent, no problem. Just keep going. I encourage you not to let your inconsistency make you stop reading altogether until the start of next year. Keep going. Missing some is better than missing most. This is the gist of it:
Old Testament Reading: Read 2 chapters per day with a periodic 3 chapters in one day. The periodic 3rd chapter is so you can finish the Old testament within a year. Apart for Psalms and Proverbs read the Old Testament in order. You will read the Old Testament once per year.
Psalms Reading: Read 1 chapter per day in order with the exception of Psalm 119. Divide Psalm 119 into letter sections and read 1 section per week. Due to the nature of Psalm 119, extolling the rest of Scripture, I try to read a portion of Psalm 119 every week. One thing I picked up from the missionary Jim Elliot is how he found himself forgetting God in the middle of his day. To combat this, he would read the Bible in the morning and read a Psalm over his lunch hour to get his mind back on God during the hustle and bustle of his day. I, too, like to incorporate this in my life. Read the Psalms twice per year.
Proverbs Reading: Read 1 chapter per day. Read Proverbs 12 times per year. On months with 30 days read chapters 30 and 31 in one day.
New Testament Reading: Read 1 chapter per day in the alternate order given. This order allows for a Gospel reading at various times of the year and not all at once. After completing the New Testament, re-read books of your choice for the remainder of the year. Do you want to do a study in Hebrews, Matthew, or Romans? This time allows for that. Read the New Testament 1.4 times per year.
Note: Not given in this reading program, I sometimes read the Gospels + Acts as one reading, making five readings per day – not four as given. I like to read Acts after Luke, so when I read the Gospels in a loop I order it in this order: Matthew, Mark, John, Luke and Acts or Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, and John – one chapter per day. If you prefer to complete a Gospel reading every day, feel free to add this fifth Gospel reading. I normally switch back and forth between the four and five daily readings every couple of years or so.
If you desire to follow this plan, download the attachment above and print it out. Once you complete the daily reading, place a mark next to the passage.
Example: May 1 / Day 122: __ 1 Sam 14-15; __ Ps 105; __ Pro 1; __ Matt 19
Old Testament (748 chapters w/o Ps & Prov) Read 2 chapters per day. At least 18 days per year need to be 3 chapters.
1 Samuel 31
2 Samuel 24
1 Kings 22
2 Kings 25
1 Chronicles 29
2 Chronicles 36
Song of Songs 8
Psalms (150 chapters; 171 readings w/ 119 divided) Read one chapter per day with one Psalm 119 section per week.
Proverbs (31 chapters) Read one chapter per day.
New Testament (260 chapters) Read one chapter per day.
1 Corinthians 16
2 Corinthians 13
1 Thessalonians 5
2 Thessalonians 3
1 Timothy 6
2 Timothy 4
1 Peter 5
2 Peter 3
1 John 5
2 John 1
3 John 1