Happy New Year! As you consider the changes you will make in the New Year, make the Lord your first priority. Deuteronomy 8:3 tells us, “Man shall not live by bread alone; but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord…” Do you plan to eat every day this year? May I also suggest you also spend time in God’s Word every day?
Some choose to read the entire Bible through in a year; others may seek a different reading scheme for a specific purpose. I’ve included five intriguing options below. The final option lets you create your own plan if you like to stray off the beaten path.
The 5x5x5 Bible Reading Plan: In 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week, using 5 different study methods, you can read through the entire New Testament in a Year. This is a great plan for someone who isn’t accustomed to daily Bible reading who would like to take the plunge and grow deeper in the Word. Check it out at: http://www.navpress.com/uploadedFiles/5x5x5_BRP.pdf
The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan: The Discipleship Journal put out this excellent Bible reading plan that includes a reading from four different places in Scripture each day. The plan anticipates 25 days of reading each month, allowing you three to six days each month to catch up, reflect, or work ahead. By the end of a year, you will finish the entire Bible. It is really neat to read from different parts of the Scripture and see the harmony of God’s Word. I used this a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. Check it out at: http://www.navpress.com/uploadedFiles/15074%20BRP.dj.pdf
The Chronological Bible Reading Plan: God’s Word is organized thematically (the Law, Historical Books, Prophets, Gospels, Epistles, Revelation) in a loose chronological order. That means some passages overlap with other books of the Bible. The Chronological Bible Reading Plan is designed to allow you to read through the entire Bible, chronologically, in a year. This can be a fascinating and educational way to study Scripture. Check it out at: http://www.esv.org/assets/pdfs/rp.chronological.pdf
The Bible Eater: Read the entire Bible through in a year and the books of Romans and Hebrews twice. This study is designed in a quarterly format, with daily reading from both Old and New Testaments. Certain books are selected for one-sitting reads each quarter, which lightens the daily reading load and allows for four days off each month. Certain chapters of Scripture that focus on the redemptive work of God are highlighted in red on the plan to encourage you to pay special attention to how God worked throughout human history to bring salvation to mankind.
Check it out at: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/files/2012/12/BibleEaterTrentHunter-3.pdf
Create Your Own Plan: If you visit mybibleplans.com, you can choose specific books, a timeframe (month, week, year, etc…) and how you would like to read the Bible (web, email, RSS, Kindle, iCal or audio-link). This plan uses the English Standard Version (ESV).
Check it out at: http://www.mybibleplans.com
In conclusion, I encourage you to pray about this and realistically assess your goals and the level of commitment you will make. Choose a Bible version you are comfortable with or perhaps use this opportunity to check out another version you have been curious about. I always recommend the more literal translations for serious study (like the King James Version (KJV), New King James Version (NKJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), and English Standard Version (ESV)). Personally, I’m planning to use the Bible Eater plan this year with the ESV. I’ve intended to check out this version in more depth for some time.
May God bless you on your reading journey this year!