More Plans

Mark’s Bible Reading Plan


I like to read from different parts of the Bible at the same time.

That way, if one section is boring or difficult, I don’t get stuck there entirely. This plan is a variation on the strategy of every day reading one chapter from the New Testament, one chapter from the Old Testament, and one chapter from the Psalms or Proverbs.

Every day, read one chapter from the New Testament.

I personally believe it is important to read much from the New Testament. If you don’t read from the New Testament often, by default you’ll be reading much from the Old Testament without having the New Testament perspective for balance. The whole Bible points us toward Christ, but the New Testament does this most clearly.

Every day, read one chapter from the Psalms or other Old Testament wisdom literature.

I was tempted to move some other Old Testament books to this track, in order to balance the three Old Testament tracks more evenly, but there are no other Old Testament books that I personally consider to be as important as Psalms or Proverbs.

The remainder of the Old Testament (other than wisdom literature) has 682 chapters.

So split it into roughly equal halves. I put all of the prophetic books into one track, then I added enough of some non-prophetic books to make that track have about half the total chapters: Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther.

The New Testament has gospels, history, epistles, and prophecy, so switch around between these sections.

Read one gospel, then about the same number of chapters from the epistles, then another gospel, then more epistles, etc. I split the New Tesament into two parts (Matthew through Acts, Romans through Revelation) and I switch back and forth between the two parts.

It is not necessary to follow the plan strictly.

For example, I find Genesis to be a fascinating book so I like to read it straight through. So if I finish Track 1 early I can double up on Track 2 later and finish everything more quickly. On the other hand, I find Leviticus to be slow going, so I take it easy and plan to make up some time on an easier book later. Don’t feel that you must hold back if you would like to read more, and don’t feel that you must read if you find a particular book very difficult. Skip it and come back to it later.

Plan Summary


Every day, read one chapter from each track. It will take 346 days (slightly less than one year) to read the longest track.

Track 1 Track 2 Track 3 Track 4
OT History OT Prophecy OT Wisdom New Testament
Genesis to 2 Kings 1 Chronicles to Esther
Isaiah to Malachi
Job to Song of Solomon Matthew to Revelation
Track 1 Track 2
OT History OT Prophecy
Genesis to 2 Kings 1 Chronicles to Esther
Isaiah to Malachi
Track 3 Track 4
OT Wisdom New Testament
Job to Song of Solomon Matthew to Revelation

Daily Schedule

DayTrack 1Track 2Track 3 Track 4All Tracks

Weekly Schedule

DayTrack 1Track 2Track 3 Track 4All Tracks

Fast Facts


There are 1189 chapters in the Bible. You can read it in a year if you read less than 4 chapters every day.

If you read just three chapters each day, you can finish the Bible in 400 days. If you read four chapters each day, you can finish the Bible in 300 days.

There are 260 chapters in the New Testament.

So you can read it in less than nine months if you read just one chapter every day.

There are 929 chapters in the Old Testament.

So you can read it in less than ten months if you read three chapters every day.

There are about 31,000 verses and 774,000 words in the Bible.

Some Bible-reading plans have you read about 80 verses per day, instead of splitting up the reading into chapters. This requires more detailed record-keeping than I am willing to do.

To read the Bible in one year should require only 15-20 minutes per day.

There are at least two different audio versions of the Bible that consist of 72 hours of speech. This implies that you could read the Bible in 72 hours (or three days) if you read it straight through. However, much of the Bible is difficult to read, because of boring lists of names, mysterious prophecies, or challenges to one’s lifestyle. Nevertheless, it is theoretically possible to read 16 chapters per hour; or said another way, it is possible to read one chapter in about 3½ minutes. This jives well with my own typical speed of about 5 minutes per chapter. At this speed, it would require only 20 minutes to read a daily dose of four chapters, and only 15 minutes to read three chapters.

93% of Americans own at least one Bible, and 80% claim to be Christians.

18% of born-again Christians say they read the Bible every day, while another 55% read it less often than daily but at least weekly; 23% do not read it at all. Americans in general are quite ignorant of the Bible, whether they claim to read it or not. Reading the Bible through in a year will not make you an expert, but it will clue you in to all the basic facts you need to know.

More Plans


Sabbath School Network

Alternates books between Old Testament and New Testament, and you read from Psalms every tenth day.

Read the Bible in One Year taking 30 minutes per day

This one also uses a nice three-track format. Two chapters from the Old Testament, one from the New, and one from the wisdom books. The minor prophets are folded in with the wisdom track to lengthen it. One interesting feature is that the Psalms are split up, so that even after reading a long difficult book like Job, there are more Psalms to read later.

Daily Bible Reading

This plan goes straight through the Bible, which I don’t recommend. If you start the plan in January, you don’t start reading the New Testament until October. You can read it onlin here.

52-Week Plan

This fascinating plan was recommended to us by our own Pastor Johnny Johnston. This plan has you reading between two and six chapters every day. Every week you’ll read from each of seven different sections of the Bible: Torah, history, Psalms, poetry, prophets, gospels, and epistles. It is different and reportedly quite effective.

Bible Reading.com 52-Week Plan

The same 52-week plan listed above. This is the original site. You can print the schedule as a PDF file.

ESV Bible RSS Feeds

Your chapter a day in an RSS feed instead of email.

Bible Schedule for the New Believer

John, some of Genesis, some of Exodus, a little piece of Leviticus, Romans, 1 John, then the entire New Testament straight through, then any program to read the entire Bible straight through. Reading a few key passages from the Old Testament is helpful before reading Paul’s epistles.

Chronological Bible Reading Schedule

Read 2-3 chapters from the Old Testament and one chapter from the New Testament in the order in which the events happened.

Bible Reading Chart Divided Up In Daily OT and NT Readings

Split the Bible into three sections: Genesis through Job, Psalms through Malachi, Matthew through Revelation. The New Testament is broken similar to my plan. Read 1-2 chapters from each section each day.

14 Different Bible Reading Plans

New Testament in a month, words of Jesus, chronological, etc.

Ten-Minute Plan

Four tracks: OT, NT, Psalms, and Proverbs. Read 1-2 chapters in the OT, one chapter in the NT, and a few verses each in Psalms and Proverbs. This may be indended as an 80-verse-per-day plan.

Margie Reads the Bible: A Bible-Reading Plan for Slackers

A brilliant article about the problems you’ll encounter when trying to read through the Bible. Includes a link to a “Read Through the Bible Program for Shirkers and Slackers.” This is similar to the 52-week plan. The nice thing is that the passages are undated. Just choose a Monday passage, read it, and check it off. The program is a PDF file that you can print out.

Bible Translations


Which Bible should I read? This question concerns people more than it ought to. Almost any Bible you have can be suitable. What Bibles do you have available to read? What Bibles are you most used to? What Bible is used most often in your church? Do you intend to use this Bible for serious study or for reading straight through?

How do Bible translations differ? Some translations are more literal than others. Some are easier to read than others. Some use more modern language (which is not to say that they are necessarily eaiser to read). Some rely on different sets of Greek manuscripts than others. Some are more conservative or liberal theologically.

King James Version (KJV). The granddaddy of all English Bibles. A pretty literal translation. While its cadence is beautiful, it is hard for most people to understand and always has been so. This Bible is still used in many conservative churches. The Greek sources from which it was translated are not the best. It is not really a good choice for serious study, and it is definitely not a good choice for simply reading through.

Revised Standard Version (RSV). One of many revisions of the King James Version. Not quite as literal, and not quite as poetic. Much easier to understand. This Bible is popular in liberal churches. Translated from a better Greek text. It is not a bad choice for either study or reading, but other translations are better.

New American Standard Bible (NASB). Another revision of the King James Version. Very literal – probably the most literal of the modern popular translations. Still, not as poetic as the King James. Relatively easy to read, but feels somewhat stiff. Translated from a better Greek text. It is an excellent choice for study because it conforms so closely to the Greek. Not the best choice for simply reading, but not a poor choice either. (I recently started reading the NASB, after having finished reading through the NIV.)

New International Version (NIV). The most popular translation being sold today. Very easy to read. Not translated word-for-word, but thought-for-thought. An excellent choice for simply reading. Because of its popularity and readability, it is probably the best overall choice available today.

Good News Translation (GNT). (a.k.a. Good News Bible or Today’s English Version/TEV.) Very easy to read. Reads at a low grade level. Uses a limited vocabularly. An excellent choice for children or teenagers. Also a good choice for those who speak English as a second language. Reads like a novel. A thought-for-thought translation but tending toward paraphrase. An excellent choice for reading through quickly, especially if you have already read another more serious translation, or if you have tried to read a more serious translation but failed. It has been said that the first half of the Old Testament (Genesis through 2 Kings) reads just like a novel.

The Living Bible. Very easy to read. A paraphrase, not a translation. Originally intended for children, and succeeds well for that purpose. Definitely not a good choice for serious study, but a not a terrible choice for quick or light reading.

Amplified Bible. The English text is “amplified” by extra notes that aid in understanding the original Greek. Considered a pretty literal word-for-word translation, except for the extra amplifying notes. Hard to read because the notes interrupt you, and because the notes increase the overall length of all passages. Also, the notes become annoying after a while because the same notes are used every time the same Greek word is translated. Not a bad choice for serious study, but other choices are much better. Not really suitable for reading straight through.

The Message. I have not read this Bible. I have been warned away from it. It is definitely a paraphrase. But it is published by the Navigators, so it can’t be all bad, right?

New Living Translation (NLT). A revision of the Living Bible, the paraphrase that everyone loves to hate. However, the NLT is not a paraphrase but a thought-for-thought translation.

New King James Version (NKJV). “Modern English makes it easier to read than the King James, while retaining the familiarity of the 17th century sentence structure. Suitable for study, teaching, and devotions.”

English Standard Version (ESV). An update of the Revised Standard Version. Easy to read, but sometimes not as literal as other translations.



Ken Collins’ Web Site: Translations of the Bible Into English

A list of modern translations with a description of their major advantages and disadvantages.

English Bible Translations

Rated on a scale of 1 to 10 as to literalness

What Bible is Best for Me?

Compares the five or so major versions used today, and the uses appropriate for each.

Wikipedia: English Translations of the Bible

A good review of early modern English Bibles, but devotes less space to 20th-century translations. Does briefly cover some of the translation issues.

Bible Translations and Editions

A list of Bibles and tools that are available online.

Catholic Answers: Bible Translations Guide

Interesting comparison of an ultra-literal translation (the Concordant version) with an ultra-dynamic one (the Cotton Patch version), with an appeal to respect “translations that strike different balances between literal and dynamic equivalence.”

The Conspiracy Behind the New Bible Translations

Briefly examines the controversy over Greek texts.

Why So Many Versions?

The text, the papyrii, and the kinds of translation.

Online Bibles from International Bible Society

Bibles available online as searchable text, e-Book, wireless mobile content, audio, and RSS syndication.

Why So Many Bible Translations?

Brief discussion of Greek manuscripts, followed by brief reviews of the KJV, NASB, Living Bible, NIV, and NKJV.

Bible Resource Center: Brief Description of Popular Bible Translations

Brief descriptions of seven popular English translations plus a few others less popular.