Read the Entire Bible for the First Time First Year Intro & 365 Day Plan
If you’re new to the Bible and haven’t completed our introductory reading plans, or if your an experienced reader, who has read thru the Bible before, we suggest you check out our main Reading Plans Page for alternate plans.
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Thru the Entire Bible for the First Time
We’ve developed this first time thru the Bible reading plan to avoid the common pitfall of getting bogged down in the details before obtaining a good basic overall understanding of the whole of scripture. With that in mind, we’ll read the books in a certain order (see listing below the reading links below). To begin, we suggest getting four bookmarks and placing them at the beginning of Genesis, Psalms, Proverbs, and Luke. We’ll then divide each day’s reading into two parts, consisting of a reading from the OT and the NT. Every other day, we’ll begin with a selection from either the Psalms or Proverbs, then continue to our Old and New Testament reading.
If you don’t finish a reading or miss a day (or two) and fall behind, just continue where you left off. Be cautious about trying to do too much to catch up. As I stated before, I’ve never finished at exactly one year. I think the one year plan helps with discipline and keeping us on course, but sometimes we miss and at other times, God may want to deal with us for two or three days on a single reading. I’ve sometimes repeated a reading several days in a row when felt led. The most important thing is to be consistent. Try to set aside a certain time and place for your readings. Before long, you’ll find yourself craving the Word.
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Two questions that we get quite often are "How much should I read each day?" and "How long does it take to read thru the entire Bible?". To answer the second question first, at a moderate rate, a person can read thru the entire Bible in 72-76 hours. I haven’t actually timed it, but most audio Bibles are in this range. This means that a person, reading at a moderate rate, can read thru the Bible in a year by reading less than 13 minutes a day! If you dedicate 30 minutes a day, even with reading book intros and a few study notes, you should be able to make it thru in about six months (or three months at one hour per day). The more important objective is not to see how fast you can complete the plan, but to increase your knowledge and faith, so don’t get into too big a hurry
Most folks attempting to read thru the Bible for the first time, get bogged down in the first five books, usually in Leviticus and Numbers. While an accurate interpretation of the New Testament depends on a proper understanding of these books, it’s difficult to appreciate the details without a general understanding of the entire Old Testament. To get around this problem, our first year plan allows for reading the OT books in the order listed below.
This same strategy is followed for the New Testament readings. By reading the books in the order listed, you will acquire a good basic overview of the entire NT first, then fill in the blanks with the remaining books.
Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) Reading order
|Psalms||Examples of Hebrew Wisdom and Poetry (We suggest reading concurrently with the rest of the books)|
|Proverbs||Examples of Hebrew Wisdom and Poetry (We suggest reading one chapter for each five chapters from the Psalms)|
|Genesis||History of Creation; Fall of Man; Covenants; Origin of Nation of Israel|
|Exodus||History of Liberation of God’s Chosen People (Nation of Israel)|
|Joshua||History of Conquest of the Promised Land by Israel|
|1 & 2Samuel||History of the Monarchy with Samuel, Saul and David|
|1 & 2Kings||History of Israel from Solomon to the Fall of Jerusalem (Includes Division of the Kingdom, the various Kings of Israel and Judah, and the Prophets of the Era)|
|Ezra||History of the Return of the Exiles|
|Nehemiah||History of the Rebuilding of Jerusalem|
|Micah||Example of Minor Prophets|
|Isaiah||Example of Major Prophet to Israel (Series of Visions)|
|Jeremiah||Example of Major Prophet to Judah|
|the other books||Read the other books of the OT in the order of the traditional or Rabbinic Canon|
New Testament Reading order
|Luke||Life and Teachings of Jesus|
|Acts||History of the Early Church|
|John||Divinity of Jesus|
|Ephesians||Compact Introduction to Paul’s Teachings|
|1Corinthians||Teachings in the Early Church|
|1Timothy||Example of Pastoral Epistle|
|Hebrews||Christology (Theology of Christ)|
|1John||Example of General Letter to the Church|
|James||Example of General Letter to the Church (Genuine Faith much be accompanied by a lifestyle consistent with that faith - Real faith produces good works)|
|the other books||Read the other books of the NT in the order they occur or per our plan|
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