15 December 2013

Bible Reading Plans 2013

One of the most important habits I have developed in my life is regular Bible study.  Every December, I try to put out a list of what seem to be good Bible reading plans.  I am putting it out a little early this year, so that you can think it through and choose one that works for you.

Here are the plans that I shared last year. At times, I have done the MacArthur approach, the Meditative plan, and the Horner plan. The Horner plan has been my go to reading plan for several years.  Below that, I have written several new suggestions.

LAST YEAR

The One Year Bible--This is a fine option. You know exactly what to read each day. You need a special Bible though and it isn't organized like a regular Bible, a distinctive drawback, as far as I am concerned.

M'Cheyne--You will be reading sections from 4 different places each day and if you follow it, you will go through the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice.

John MacArthur approach--From what I have heard, John MacArthur knows the Bible as well or better than any man I have ever heard. His method is to read through the Old Testament straight through, a few chapters a day, and then start over again when you reach the end.  The New Testament is handled a little differently. You break each book into sections of chapters (4-6) and read each section once a day for a whole month.  So, for example, you would read Romans 1-5 every day for a month. Then the next month you might read Romans 6-11 and finally, in the third month, you would read Romans 12-16.

Meditative plan--This is a great plan from my good friend Eric Johnson, a Christian psychologist and a professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which encourages meditating more deeply upon God's word. 

Grant Horner approach--This is my Bible plan. I have been doing it since September 2009. In that time, I have read each book at least 3 times.  Some sections I have read much more often.  For example, I have read Proverbs 28 times, Acts and Romans 20 times, and the New Testament epistles 14 times each.

Here are a few others that I think look promising. 

Horner Lite--I adjusted the Horner plan so that I am reading from five places per day. This allows me to meditate a bit more on what I am reading. The sections include: 1) History--Genesis through Esther, 2) Wisdom--Job through Song of Solomon, 3) Prophecy--Isaiah through Malachi, 4) Gospels + Acts, and 5) the Epistles--Romans through Revelation.  You would approach this in the same way you approached the Horner plan. When you finish a section, you start it over. It will take about a year and a half to get through the first section. You will get through the wisdom literature and prophetic literature about 1.5 times in the year. You will get through the gospels and acts just over 3 times. You would get through the epistles about 2.5 times.

How to master the English Bible--This is based on a book by James Gray (1851-1935). I read the book. I am amazed he got a whole book because the program boils down to pick a book of the Bible, read it through, repeat 20 times. 

Another plan I created--I still think this is a good plan, but I haven't followed through with it real well.  I may try it again.  Check it out and see how it combines a few other approaches.

A list of chapters--Go your own way.  Check off the chapters.

Tolle Lege--take up and read.  It will change your life.

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