Bible reading plans for the new year

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

Take this new opportunity to begin the new year with a new rhythm of seeking God and hearing His voice. As Learners we take responsibility for our growth and the development of others. This means we get intentional about learning the Gospel and knowing God’s words. 

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of Bible reading plans for you to choose from. Maybe this year you will read more of the Bible each day. Perhaps you’ll slow down your reading and instead spend more time considering what you read. Whatever it is you’re looking for in a reading plan, you should find it below.

Note on technology: there are a few apps for smartphones and on the internet that can help. If you already use technology in this way, then consider trying YouVersion.com, and the accompanying smartphone and tablet apps. All of the Bible reading plans described below, and many others, can be tracked on YouVersion’s sites and mobile apps.

Otherwise, links below are to the PDF document for printing out and using alongside your printed Bible. Here are a ton of ideas for plans:

ESV Daily Bible Reading Plan

Four daily readings taken from four lists: Psalms and Wisdom Literature, Pentateuch and History of Israel, Chronicles and Prophets, and Gospels and Epistles. (This is the one your pastor follows.)

In my opinion, the best study Bible available today is the ESV Study Bible. The Doctrines section in the back exceptional and the notes are very helpful. There is also a reading plan in the back of the ESV Study Bible. You can subscribe to the RSS feed and have it delivered to your google reader everyday. This reading plan fits every other version of the Bible too, so no stressing if you don’t have a thick ESV Study Bible or even an English Standar Version (ESV). The New Living Translation (NLT) and New International Version (NIV) are also endorsed by your pastor.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

52 Week Bible Reading Plan

Read through the Bible in a year, with each day of the week dedicated to a different genre: Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy, and Gospels.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

5x5x5 Bible Reading Plan

Read through the New Testament in a year, reading Monday to Friday. Weekends are set aside for reflection and other reading. Especially beneficial if you’re new to a daily discipline of Bible reading.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

A Bible Reading Chart

Read through the Bible at your own pace. Use this minimalistic, yet beautifully designed, chart to track your reading over 2013.

Duration: Flexible | Download: PDF

Robert Murray M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan

Robert Murray M’Cheyne was a minister in the Church of Scotland from 1835-1843. He died at the age of 29 but left an amazing legacy. This is a plan he developed. The esv.org site explains this plan as “featuring four different readings for use in both family and personal devotions. Each day has two passages from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, and one from either the Psalms or the Gospels. In one year, you read the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice.” You can subscribe the RSS feed and have it delivered into your google reader every day. Or you can download a printable version here.

Duration: One or two years |Download: Website

Straight Through the Bible Reading Plan

Read straight through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Read through the Bible in the order the events occurred chronologically.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan

Four daily readings beginning in Genesis, Psalms, Matthew and Acts.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

Every Word in the Bible

Read through the Bible one chapter at a time. Readings alternate between the Old and New Testaments.

Duration: Three years | Download: PDF

Historical Bible Reading Plan

The Old Testament readings are similar to Israel’s Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament readings are an attempt to follow the order in which the books were authored.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System

Reading ten chapters a day, in the course of a year you’ll read the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters four to five times, the Old Testament wisdom literature six times, the Psalms at least twice, Proverbs and Acts a dozen times, and the OT History and Prophetic books about one and a half times.

Duration: Ongoing | Download: PDF

Tabletalk Bible Reading Plan

Two readings each day; one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.

Duration: One year | Download:PDF

The Legacy Reading Plan

This plan does not have set readings for each day. Instead, it has set books for each month, and set number of Proverbs and Psalms to read each week. It aims to give you more flexibility, while grounding you in specific books of the Bible each month.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

Two-Year Bible Reading Plan

Read the Old and New Testaments once, and Psalms & Proverbs four times.

Duration: Two years | Download:PDF

The Book of Common Prayer. For those from the free church (nondenominational) tradition, this seems a little foreign, but I have found the BCP daily office to be a great approach. (For the record, I grew up in the Episcopal/Anglican Church, which follows the BCP.) Every day the BCP gives you a morning and evening Psalm, an OT reading, a Gospel reading and an NT reading. The great thing about the BCP is that Christians all over the world are reading the same Scriptures everyday together. You are reading with the Church.  The BCP daily office is a two year cycle, each cycle beginning in the season of Advent. We just started Year One. You won’t read through the entire Bible in those two years, but you will get a wide and diverse diet of the Scripture. For more information on the BCP visit this site and click on the Daily Office Lectionary. You can also subscribe the RSS feed and have the readings delivered to your google reader everyday.

Reading the Bible from cover to cover. This is the most straight-forward approach, though it can take some endurance as your “diet” is mostly one genre or type of writing at a time. Consider mixing it up by doing three chapters in the OT and one in the NT. With that pace, and a few days off, you’ll get through the whole Bible in under a year.

Customize Your Own Reading Plan. If you want to customize your own reading plan so that your reading is heavier in one area than the other, you can use this website and have your customized plan emailed you to every day.

Choose Individual Books. Some prefer to stick in a book and go deep with it for a season. For instance, you might want to spend a month or two in the Gospel of John focusing on the glory of Christ. It is a good idea to alternate between OT and NT and different genres.

Again, which plan you choose is not the most important thing. Don’t stress over it. Just have a plan. You may start with one plan, then scrap it for another. Encounter Jesus in His Word this year!

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