Read The Bible 2013 – Two Suggested Methods

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At this time of year many people make new year’s resolutions or set goals to achieve. One goal that is certainly worthy of our limited time is the reading of the entire Bible from cover to cover.

This may seem like a daunting task; However, it is certainly an attainable goal for most people. While some read faster than others, the average amount of time it takes to read the English Bible is 75 hours. If you do the math this works out to be about 12½ minutes a day. So, if you can dedicate just 15 minutes a day you should have no problem reading the Bible from cover to cover in one year.

To keep you on track here are two methods to aid you along the way:


A Printed Bible Reading Plan


There are many excellent paper based reading plans available. My suggestion is to use a plan that is printed on a single page that can be folded and kept in your Bible… As you read simply check off each portion completed. What could possibly be easier than that?

Here are some free options to consider:


A Digital Bible Reading Plan


There are numerous advantages in using modern technology to aid you in your Bible reading endeavors. For example there are several free tools available that will track your reading progress, email you a reminder if you fall behind, and even read the Bible to you!

In this category my favorite choice is YouVersion. YouVersion is available online through their webpage… but they also offer native apps for both popular and not-so-popular mobile devices. No matter how many devices you use your reading progress is immediately updated through ‘the cloud’ to all of your devices.

I have personally used YouVersion for my systematic reading over the last two years on my Android phone, iPad, and desktop. There service has always performed flawlessly.

Did I mention their service is completely free? Check out their whole Bible reading plans here.

As a second choice I would recommend eBible. Their resources are accessed through the web or through a mobile app on an Android or iOS device. Unfortunately eBible does not offer nearly as many reading plans as YouVersion does. Also, where YouVersion is completely free; eBible follows a ‘freemium’ pricing model. This means that their basic features are free, but their more advanced features require a paid subscription.

Well, there you are. My two suggestions for how to go about reading the Bible in 2013. So, are you up to the challenge?


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  1. Great post! Not to be “that guy”, but if I can add a few tips from my own experience…

    My go-to Bible is Darby’s New Translation, but I don’t always use it as my reading Bible. It’s counter-intuitive, but not all Bible translations seem to read at the same speed. I found the ESV is remarkably easy to read, and it seems like I read it the fastest, YMMV. So if you’re looking to read through the Bible for the first time, you might want to try a couple different translations and see what reads easiest to you.

    Interestingly, I find the ESV isn’t a particularly good study Bible, but I really like it for reading.

    It can be helpful to read through the Bible like a novel; that is, rather than keeping a chapter count, just set aside an hour (or whatever) every day (or maybe every other day) and read as much as seems natural in that time. Keep a bookmark, and don’t worry too much about the pace. Some parts will be quicker than others, but that’s OK. Genesis will fly by, but Leviticus might seem a little slow. The point of this isn’t to master the contents of every chapter, it’s to read through it and try to get the plot.

    If you find yourself way off schedule, just pick up where you left off. If you’re really off schedule, just start at the beginning again. More than once I’ve had to just start again in Genesis, because I was so off track I couldn’t even remember where I was supposed to be. Should’ve used a bookmark.

    Don’t fall into legalism in Bible reading: Romans 7 is as real here as anywhere else.

    A few years ago, a friend told me the single most helpful thing to a Christian walk is to read through the Bible as frequently as possible: read Genesis to Revelation, then start again. I took him up on it, and I have to say it’s been one of the most helpful things I’ve ever done.

    • Thanks Mark for your helpful comment, and no worries you certainly are not “that guy” 🙂

      I agree with your comments regarding the ESV. I personally use it for general reading, though it is not my primary translation for deep study. When it comes to preaching I will typically use the ESV for both narrative and poetic passages, but I will generally use another translation for the Epistles and other teaching passages.

      I greatly appreciate JND’s New Translation. However, I use it as more of a reference tool as I like to see how Darby renders the passage in question. Though I have never preached from the New Translation I will often refer to how Darby translated a particular verse/phrase/word.

      A friend recently shared with me an article that suggests reading the Bible in “chunks.” By this the author means reading each of the 66 books of the Bible in one sitting at a time. Seems a bit overwhelming at first, however the author claims that 37 books can each be read in 30 minutes or less. Start with those and save the longer books for days when more time is available than normal. Interesting suggestion.

  2. I tried reading a book a day, I think I got through the Pentatuech.