bible

A Plan to Read through the Bible in 2018

In years past, my customary mode for reading through the Bible every year involved starting in Genesis and reading right through to Revelation. I estimated that about four chapters per day would get me through in under a year’s time. The method worked reasonably well, but it wasn’t without its problems. Sometimes I would miss a day (or days) and get behind, and I had no way to keep up with my progress. I needed a schedule so that I could keep myself accountable for finishing in a year.

In 2009, therefore, I did something I had never done before. I followed a Bible reading plan. I adopted Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Calendar for Daily Readings. It provided the schedule that I needed. It also outlined daily readings from different sections of the Bible. On any given day, I would be reading something from an Old Testament narrative, something from the prophets, and something from the New Testament. Although this plan provided the accountability that I needed, I found it difficult to be reading from three to four different biblical books every day. I know that not everyone is like me, but that approach lacked the focus that my brain requires. I missed reading the Bible in its canonical arrangement and focusing on one book at a time. I wished for a schedule that would go from Genesis to Revelation in canonical order.

So in 2009, I created a plan that calls for reading all the books of the Bible in canonical order in one year. I recently revised this plan to make the daily readings more evenly distributed. Previously, the daily reading covered 3-4 chapters without respect to how long each chapter was. That has changed. This new plan is based on the daily divisions in the “Beginning to End” plan in the Olive Tree Bible app (which I highly recommend). The readings are not identical, but they are pretty close to the ones in the app. The plan is in the same format as before. It can be printed on both sides and folded to fit neatly in your Bible.

WORD2018 Bible Reading Plan

PDF2018 Bible Reading Plan

APPOlive Tree Bible App

(Download the “Beginning to End” reading plan within the app.)

Christians need the Bible like humans need water. The Bible is our life-blood. The Lord Jesus plans to perfect His people by means of His word. That is why He prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Since the Bible is the word of God written, our progress in sanctification relies on our contact with the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. Every Christian, therefore, should make it a priority to master this book.

I want to encourage you to commit to reading the entire Bible this year. It may seem a daunting task at first. But it really isn’t. If you will make a plan and stick to it, then you can do it. I am a pretty slow reader, and even I can do it. So I know that you can too.

If you find this plan helpful, I hope you’ll use it. In any case, I hope you will commit to reading the Bible all the way through this year. It will be a blessing to you if you do.

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word.” –Psalm 119:9

“When you received from us the word of God’s message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.” –1 Thessalonians 2:13

Source: Denny Burk

Denny Burk, Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate school of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.