How do I read the Bible through on my own?
One of the questions I commonly receive is:
How do I read through the Bible on my own?
And it’s a great question! If you’ve ever decided to read the Bible through on your own and you’ve started with the book of Genesis with the goal of reading the Bible straight through, it wouldn’t surprise me if you confessed to stopping somewhere around Leviticus. And you thought to yourself, “This is much tougher than I thought it would be.” If this is you, you’re not alone. I receive emails on a weekly basis from all sorts of folks who are in the same boat.
When you’ve tried Bible reading plans but never finished reading the Bible through…
Maybe you’ve tried a daily Bible reading plan. You set a goal at the beginning of a new year to read through the Bible. And the reading plan you chose was going to keep you exactly on course. You set aside twenty minutes to read each day and you determined that this was the year you could do it.
Perhaps you chose the M’Cheyne Bible reading plan, which is one of the ones I happen to love. And after a few days, you said to yourself, “I cannot follow what is happening in the books when I read one chapter a day in four different books. It’s just too much for my brain to process.”
I get it! Truly I do. I grew up reading the Bible in school and church and since I’ve been so blessed to be saturated in it for years, especially as a child, AND since I’ve read through the Bible multiple times, I enjoy reading the four chapters a day in four different books.
But the first time I read the Bible through, I did not use this type of plan. And if I would have, I’m not sure that I ever would have finished.
What I did the first time I read the Bible through in its entirety…
No, the first time I read the Bible in its entirety was years ago and I did it with one simple checklist. A list that didn’t dictate how many chapters I HAD to read each day. This checklist didn’t set a time frame of 5 years or 3 years or 1 year or 6 months. This checklist didn’t say “You must read for 30 minutes each day.” There were no time parameters on this checklist at all.
The checklist was simply a list of the books of the Bible with the number of chapters listed after each book. So Genesis was listed and then a list of numbers followed, 1-50, to represent each chapter in the book of Genesis. Every book in the Bible was listed the same way. I remembered hearing one of my pastors say to start reading the Bible in the Gospels. So I read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in that order. Then I didn’t know what to do, so I kept reading the New Testament in order. This was over the course of months, reading a chapter or two as I could. Some days I might have extra time riding on the bus, so I would read an entire book. I remember reading the book of Ruth in this manner because it is only four chapters. But I didn’t worry about the quantity or time frame at all. I just marked off the chapters and books as I read them.
When I finished the New Testament, I then read Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. I went back to Genesis and read the first five books of the Old Testament, then kept reading until I got to Psalms. I then started with Isaiah and read through the major prophets and minor prophets in the order in which they appear.
Do I recommend you follow what I did the first time I read the Bible through?
I explained above what I did the first time I read the Bible through. Do I think you should read the Bible through in this manner? Yes and no. I feel blessed that I was able to accomplish reading through the Bible that initial time because it encouraged me to know that it was not impossible and I could do it again.
The “no” part of the answer to this question is that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend reading in the same order that I did the first time I read the Bible through, but it worked!
The “yes” part of the answer is that the simple checklist of books and chapters, without any time parameters, was the tool I used to accomplish reading the Bible through the first time. If it worked for me, it can work for you!
You can read the Bible through on your own!
Today I’m sharing a NEW Bible reading plan printable with you and I’m excited because it is such a simple tool that will enable you to accomplish an incredible goal! This reading plan printable is very similar to that same simple checklist I used to read the Bible through the first time. The cool thing is that you don’t have to read in any particular order at all. If you want to follow a particular order, you certainly can. But you don’t have to. This way if you get interested in a particular book, you just keep going!
Download the FREE Printable Bible Reading Plan to read the Bible on your own.
Simple click HERE or on the graphic below.
This printable was made possible with special thanks to Nathan, who loves great sunday school lessons.
Have you ever read the Bible all the way through? If so, how did you accomplish it?
I’ll be announcing the 2015 Bible Reading Challenge details very soon. Before I give you the scoop for the challenge, I wanted you to be encouraged to know that you CAN read the Bible through on your own!
Have a marvelous Monday!