I was talking to a few of my students in class today about reading the Bible, which led me to think of sharing a tremendous plan for reading through the entirety of Scripture that I have found. The plan is Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System. If the plan is followed meticulously, it can be completed in 250 days, but it took me closer to a year (I finished my first read through in August and am well on my through my second time through).
The beauty of the system is the reading of ten chapters per day. At first, that might sound like a daunting task to read ten chapters in the Bible per day, but Horner’s system makes this much easier to accomplish by splitting the Scriptures up into ten groups: the Gospels, the Pentateuch, the first seven Pauline Epistles and Hebrews, the rest of the New Testament Epistles, the Poetic Books (except Psalms and Proverbs), the Psalms, the Proverbs, the Historical Books, the Prophets, and Acts. Of course, some of the groups are shorter than others (the only group that takes the entire 250 days is the Prophets, although the Historical Books take 249 days), but when one group is finished it is read again from the beginning. This means the reader moves through Acts and Proverbs about eight times, the gospels-almost three times, and rest of the New Testament and poetic books-around four times. This variety has other advantages, as well. First, reading only one chapter in every section per day prevents the stagnation that occurs in other reading plans when the Law or genealogies make up a large portion of a book (think Leviticus, Numbers, and the beginning of 2 Chronicles). Also, the variety brings Scripture to bear on Scripture, so that the reader begins to see how the different portions of Scripture are inter-related. I cannot speak highly enough of this reading plan and how much it has helped me through the past year-and-a-half. I feel more comfortable with Scripture as a whole; I feel I can more easily identify where things are found in Scripture, and I am growing in my Christian walk.
With the New Year around the corner (a time when people make resolutions and begin Bible reading plans), let me encourage you to consider strongly the Grant Horner Reading System. I believe it will change your quiet time.
Might I also offer one other resource that has greatly aided my completion of this system, youversion.com. I am sure most are familiar with this site and its app, but since youversion.com offers the ability to subscribe and track the progress of reading plans, it has been invaluable to my consistency of reading. I have done most of the reading on my phone (using the app) or kindle (using the mobile site). I still found the reading plan very useful for the probably four or five months before I started reading it electronically, but I have found the electronic tracking of youversion to be a indispensable.
Check it out; you won’t regret it!
next week: look for my “review” of The Joy of Music by Leonard Bernstein