5 Ways to Read the Bible In a Year
What are some of your goals for the year 2016? Working out more? Eating better? These are excellent goals, but what about your spiritual diet? A survey from the American Bible Society showed that 60% of Americans want to read the Bible more. Just among teens, 62% say that they want to spend more time reading the Bible.
Where is a good place to start? I suggest making a plan to read the Bible in a year; this may sound daunting at first, but if you are able to set aside time each day, it is not difficult. Below, I will give overviews of five different plans to read the Bible in a year.
Chronological: This reading plan puts the events of the Bible in the order that they happened. For example, Job lived before Abraham, so you will read Genesis 1 - 11, then study the life of Job, and then return to Genesis to learn about Abraham. Reading the Bible chronologically can provide a new perspective on Biblical times, as many of us are not used to considering how the lives of the different people in the Bible intersected with each other.
Historical: This reading plan orders the books of the Bible based on the dates the books were written. For example, Isaiah was written after 2 Kings.Similarly, several of Paul’s epistles were written before the gospels. As you read the Bible in a year according to the historical order, you will be reminded of the lives of the authors of each book, even as you contemplate the verses.
Old and New Testament Together: This reading plan combines the Old and New Testament. Starting at the beginning of the Old Testament and New Testament, you will read each section from beginning to end at the same time. As you receive encouragement from the good news in the New Testament, you will also be reminded of the wisdom and historical background that are evident in every line of the Old Testament.
Beginning to End: This reading plan starts in Genesis and goes straight through the Bible to Revelation. Many Christians and churches read the Bible in this way. As you read your daily Bible passage, remember that you are joining together with thousands of other Christians in your study and worship.
Blended: This reading plan has the most variety. Each day, it blends passages from the Old and New Testament, but the order of the books varies. A blended order provides many opportunities to focus specifically on the themes of daily Bible passages. You will see how different sections of the Bible are connected to each other, as the God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow speaks through time.
Which reading plan sounds most interesting to you? If you enjoy digging deep into the historical context of the Bible, you may enjoy the first, second, or fourth plans. If you enjoy reading both the New and Old Testament simultaneously, you may like the third or fifth plans. Whatever you choose, stick with it and allow God to speak into your life through His Word. This year I look forward using the chronological plan to read the Bible in one year!
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” - Psalm 119:105