4 Different Bible Reading Plans and How to Finish Them

Dec 13, 2021
reading plans

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This post was originally published as Bible Study Made Simple podcast episode 20, 4 Different Bible Reading Plans and How to Finish Them. You can listen here.

For years, I tried reading through the Bible. I would start on January 1st, and wouldn’t even make it until February before I fell off the wagon. I would beat myself up for not ever finishing, and then I would say that I would try again next year. Does this sound familiar? Today, we are talking about different reading plans, but we are also going to address how to actually finish one. 

I am Eva Kubasiak, and this is Bible Study Made Simple. Have you ever felt intimidated or confused by the Bible? Or maybe you have started studying the Bible before but haven’t found a way to incorporate it into your regular routine. The Bible Study Made Simple podcast is here to help you move from intimidated and confused to confident and joyful in your approach to Scripture, and help you find a routine that sticks. The goal isn’t checking off a box perfectly, but instead, our goal is an intimate connection with the God of the Bible - plus having tons of fun along the way! 

Today’s episode is part 2 of a 4 part series on setting Spiritual Resolutions for the New Year. Last week, we talked about why you should read through the entire Bible (blog link), and this week I will give you a few different plans to do that. 

As we get started, I would like to remind you of reason number 2 for reading through the entire Bible from our last episode. When we read through the Bible, we are doing that to get to know God. We need to know our “why” before getting started, to help us frame our Bible reading habit. 

The first approach for reading through the Bible is cover to cover. This means you start at Genesis and read straight through the entire Bible. With this method, you know exactly what you are reading the next day. You simply pick up where you left off. 

This is how I read through the Bible for the first time. I picked it up in Genesis and just started reading. If I am being honest, I didn’t understand a single thing when I read through that time. I didn’t understand why some of the same things happened twice, I had no concept of the timelines of the Old Testament, and Psalms (a book that I thought would have been easy) was completely overwhelming! 

Remember in episode 9 (blog link), we talked about genre? The Bible is actually organized by genre and not in the order of the events. So reading through the Bible cover to cover can be confusing. If you are reading through the Bible for the first time, this is a great method, but it would really help you to find some book introductions to help you as you are reading. I will link to my favorite places to find book introductions in the show notes. 

This next plan isn’t a full Bible read-through, but if you are just getting started with Bible reading, it is a great place to start. And that is reading through the New Testament in a year. If you do one chapter at a time, it comes out to about 1 chapter 4 days a week. If you have never read through the New Testament, this is a great time to do it! 

Reading through the New Testament will help you get to know the life of Jesus, grasp the foundations of our faith, and help you to firmly plant yourself in God’s Word. 

The next plan mixes up the Old and New Testaments, and you read from each one daily. These plans are great because they help mix things up. If you are reading through a hard section in one Testament, you get a little bit of a break with the other Testament. However, as you are reading through the Bible with one of these plans, it is harder to see the overall concept of Scripture, and the story can sometimes get lost. If it is your second or third time reading through the Bible, this is a great option, but I don’t recommend it for your first time through the Bible. 

If it is your first time reading through the Bible, I recommend reading it chronologically. Remember how I said the Bible was organized by genre instead of the order that the events happened? Well, there are chronological plans that help you take in the Bible in the order of events, and it helps us to grasp the story of the Bible. 

When you read through the Bible chronologically, it can help you to see the bigger picture of the Bible and how each of the books (though separate) really work together to tell one story. This is how I have read through the Bible for the past few years, and it is how I am going to read through the Bible in 2022. If you would like to see how I am structuring my reading time in 2022, you can go to evakubasiak.com/2022, and

Now let’s jump back to the story I was telling at the beginning of the episode. For years, I attempted a Bible reading plan and never finished. In fact, I never even got past Leviticus. Maybe you are like me, and you have tried reading through the Bible but haven’t finished before. Can I invite you to give yourself some grace? 

The main point of reading through the Bible is to get to know God better. Any time reading through the Bible is better than no time, so when we approach a plan, we need to keep in mind that the words “failed” and “behind” don’t actually work when it comes to our Bible reading plans. When our goal is to get to know God, and we have spent even a little time in our Bible reading, then we can’t say we failed. When our goal is to get to know God, we know that there is no timeline for that, so the word behind doesn’t work either. Instead, our Bible reading plan just becomes a guide to gently draw us closer to the heart of the Father instead of a rigid rule that has to be followed to the letter. 

Over the last few years, I have read through the entire Bible each year. Do you have to read through the Bible in a year to draw closer to God? No. But will it completely transform your relationship with Him? Absolutely. 

As you are praying over what reading plan to use in 2022, I pray that you don’t focus on the dates, the resources, or the colored pens. But instead, you would focus on the heart of the Father, and how you can step closer and closer to Him each day. 

One of the Psalms that I have been praying through lately is Psalm 5. It says, “Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.”

It struck me that it is because of God’s unfailing love, not only can I come before Him and worship, but that same love is what draws me in to get to know Him better, and lets me study His Word. I am just so grateful. 

Here’s a prayer for you today based on Psalm 5. 

Father, I am grateful for your unfailing love. That unfailing love is what has carried me, even when I don’t see it. I want to thank You that I can come before You and get to know who You truly are. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your unfailing love. Amen. 

If you need help picking out a Bible reading plan for next year, I would love to talk with you! In my Facebook group we will be chatting about this until the end of the year, and I would love for you to join. I will be answering questions and helping the members pick out the best plan for them. You can join completely free, no strings attached right here, or find the group How to Study the Bible with Eva on Facebook. I can’t wait to see you there!