The year that I turned 30, I read through the Bible for the first time. I began the year believing in my repeated sinner’s prayers to save me and I ended the year believing in Christ alone to save me. I was not attending any church and had very little interaction with any Christians before my conversion. All I did was read the Bible and was honest with God through my written responses to what I had read.
Fast forward a few years and I’d like to share a reading plan that has me excited. I’ve read the Bible over the course of 365 days and it’s a long haul. I tried to do it over a homemade, 5 minute a day, 3-year plan and it’s an even longer commitment. Swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction is what this plan offers. The intention is to finish the Bible in 90 days, which is actually not the fastest reading plan I’ve seen.
I have done it. I retained more of it than I expected. I noticed things in the reading that I had overlooked before. I began it the Monday following the Superbowl and completed the reading before the weather was consistently nice here in the Midwest.
Here are the guidelines:
- It’s Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This. The advice given to Link in the Legend of Zelda still holds true. Have someone who will ask you how you’re doing, even if they aren’t joining you in the project.
- It’s better to play the game with a lead. This is true in sports and it’s true in any reading project. My first time through I was writing a weekly newsletter so I was always at least a week in front of the posted schedule. Set your goal and then beat it. Like a drum.
- This is the real hard part. You will be making a time commitment that sounds larger than it truly is. In order to meet it, you need to identify the things in your life that waste the most time and resolve not to do them unless you are on schedule. Television and social media will likely be on your list. Family time is not time wasted, so that doesn’t count.
- Approach the project with grace. I have failed more reading projects than I have succeeded. You aren’t the worst person in the world if this doesn’t work out for you. This may not be the right plan for you in this current season of life. It’s hard to keep your enthusiasm for a long time, hence a 3-month plan. Here’s an idea. you could listen to the Bible rather than read it to yourself. And you can do that during your workday commute. Just an idea. Faith comes by hearing…
- Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. –Psalm 119:18 This is a spiritual event, not just a literary exercise. Pray before you begin each reading that God would show you something. Pray as you read. Thank God for His faithfulness as you finish.
Still have questions? Here’s a FAQ:
Q: How long does it take to read the entire Bible?
A: It takes about 70 hours to listen to the entire Bible, read by Max McLean at a performance pace, which is slower than the average personal reading pace. 70 hours divided by 90 days is… math. Call it about 45 minutes a day, give or take.
Q: But that’s still a heavy workload!
A: Yes it is. This is a plan for a season, not for perpetuity. It’s also a plan that encourages you to press on, rather than stop and contemplate a section of the Bible for a few days or weeks. Keep a journal and write down questions as you go along with the reference.
Q: So… the plan doesn’t have gospel transformation as the goal?
A: Who told you that? This is a plan intended to give you the entire counsel of God in a short time-span. As someone who has read, and who has attempted to read, the entire Bible, I can attest that the longer you span out a reading plan the more daunting the task is. And the word of God does not return void. You will benefit from this interaction with the word, and also from a reduction of your idle time.
Q: Hold on, Doug. You waited to read your Bible until after the NFL football season? What kind of gimmick is this? Is football your idol?
A: That’s a pretty bold accusation, don’t you think? Did I say that I did no Bible reading until that day? On what day do you begin your Bible reading plan? January 1? Isn’t that just an arbitrary day?
And here are the details. Download the plan, format it to your liking, print it and keep it in your Bible. Or bookmark this page and remember where you are. Ooh, you could use the ribbon bookmark in your Bible!
For a one year plan, I suggest the Blue Letter Bible 1Yr_HistoricalPlan
Here is a great resource for deeper digging: Open Bible