Christians, by definition, are people of the book. Those who have tasted that the Lord is good and have been born again are those who long for God’s Word and desire to know it (1 Pet. 1:23-2:3; cf. Deut 8:3; Ps. 19:10; 119:103; Jer. 15:16; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). And the best way to grow in your knowledge of and love for Scripture is by reading it! In fact, God has appointed the simple, ordinary act of reading Scripture as the means by which we behold God’s supreme worth and beauty and are transformed into the image of his Son. Thus, one of the best things you can do to start the new year is to evaluate your Bible reading habits and consider starting a Bible reading plan.
Bible reading plans are invaluable tools to help build consistent, healthy, and strong Bible reading habits. While there are many helpful readings plans available today, it can be hard to know where to start. So, we have compiled a list of some of our favorites to help you. Each plan has a PDF available for downloading, printing, and sticking in your Bible. Take up and read!
Read Scripture Reading Plan
In this plan the Scriptures are divided up into sixteen “parts” and organized in semi-chronological order. You’ll read two or three chapters a day, and sometimes skim through larger portions that contain genealogies, census information, etc. One Psalm is listed each day for you to slowly pray through, making its words your own. By the end you’ll have prayed through the book of Psalms two and a half times.
5 Day Bible Reading Plan
This special Bible reading system allows you to read the entire Bible (or just the New Testament) in one year while only reading five times a week. Five readings a week gives room to catch up or take a day off to focus on other Bible readings. Additionally, this plan is chronological, which helps you understand the Bible’s story and timeline.
Creators: Bible Class Material | Duration: 1 Year | Download: PDF
The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan
This year-long plan from the Navigators includes readings from four different places in Scripture each day. One of my favorite features of this plan is that there are only 25 readings a month, giving you additional days to catch up or revisit a passage for more in-depth study and meditation.
The Book-At-A-Time Bible Reading Plan
This plan provides two readings for each day. The first reading alternates between Old and New Testament books. The second reading takes you through a chapter of the wisdom literature and Isaiah. Like the Discipleship Journal, there are 5-6 days each month off which allows time to catch up or for your own reading.
F260 Bible Reading Plan
The F-260 is a two hundred and sixty day reading plan that highlights the foundational passages of Scripture that every disciple should know. Read one or two chapters a day for 5 days each week. This plan also comes with weekly verses to memorize.
ESV Daily Bible Reading Plan
This is a unique and highly customizable plan. It is broken into 365 daily readings from four different literary sections:
- Psalms and Wisdom Literature
- Pentateuch and the History of Israel
- Chronicles and Prophets
- Gospels and Epistles.
In order to make the readings come out evenly, four major books of the Bible are included twice in the schedule: the Psalms, Isaiah, Luke, and Romans. The plan PDF is designed to be cut into four bookmarks that can be used to keep track of your reading. If you wanted to read at a slower pace, you could use any number of the four readings as your reading plan for the year.
M’Cheyne Reading Plans
The Robert Murray M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan is a highly used plan which takes you through the Old Testament once and the Psalms and New Testament twice over the course of a year. There are four readings a day from different sections of Scripture, which can help you see the unity of the Scriptures. While this is a critical aspect of Bible Study, some find it difficult to jump from chapter to chapter rather than reading through a book at a time. One helpful feature of this plan is that you can complete the plan over two years by reading the first 2 columns in year one and the second 2 columns in year two.
ESV Chronological Bible Reading Plan
This plan takes you through the entire Bible in a year but in chronological order. This means that, rather than reading straight through from cover to cover, the Psalms, prophets, and Israel’s history are woven together and placed in historical order. Likewise, the NT epistles are matched up with readings from the book of Acts.
Additional Digital Reading Plans
For those who want to use their phones and iPads for your daily Bible reading, there are several helpful sites that have dozens of reading plans.
Mitch Bedzyk serves as a teacher and worship leader at Elmira Christian Center. He received his Master of Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and works in IT for the NY Office of Mental Health. He and his wife, Sarah, have five children. In his spare time he enjoys reading, coffee, guitar, following the Bundesliga and MLS, and playing fantasy soccer. You can follow him @mitchbedzyk