If you want to read the Bible for yourself it can be very helpful to have a reading plan to help you. This will provide a structure for your reading and also give you a sense of progress. This page presents two reading plans: one which introduces you over a set of six steps to some of the key chapters of the Bible, and a second which enables you to read the whole Bible (including the New Testament twice) over a calendar year.
For some people, there’s no alternative to starting at the beginning and ploughing straight in – not stopping until the book of Revelation is reached, right at the end of the Bible. This is great, though it’s worth remembering that the ratio of people who start to read the Bible in this way compared to those that finish it is relatively small. Some people prefer an approach that takes certain key books and passages at a first pass to gain an overall familiarity, and then goes back with more stopping-points along the way so as to take a more thorough look. You’ll find a six-step reading planner that does this below.
Another approach is a reading planner known as the ‘Bible Companion’ which suggests 3 portions per day, and allows you to cover the entire Bible in a year – the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice. This is also included below. A version is also available as an iPhone app, and it has quickly become the most widely downloaded Bible-based software at the Apple AppStore.
You’ll be at turns entertained, surprised (‘why is this in the Bible?’!), amazed, puzzled (perhaps even confused), and occasionally even appalled by the visceral nature of some of the narratives and imagery. It’s not always easy going. But try to persist – give the Bible a fair hearing, and you will likely be surprised and impressed at what a remarkable book it is.