1. It is manageable. If you want to read the entire Bible through in a year, that’s great. Kevin Edgecomb has a couple of really nice plans on his website that will fit the bill. My plan takes you through the New Testament once per year and the Psalms four times per year, but takes two years to get through the remainder of the Old Testament. That may not seem like much to some people, but it would be a genuine accomplishment for others. I think shorter readings allow time for reflection and internalizing the message of the text without feeling pressured to “finish the assignment.”
2. It is ecumenical. All of the books found in the King James Version’s table and kalender (Tobit, Judith, the Additions to Daniel, etc.) are found here (although not every chapter of every Apocryphal book is read). Even if you don’t accept these books as inspired, you need to be aware of them for what they tell us about the world of early Judaism and Christianity. Furthermore, those books in the Protestant canon shortchanged by the KJV table and kalender (1-2 Chronicles, Ezekiel, and Revelation) are given much fuller treatment.
3. It has optional/additional readings for major feast and fast days. My plan does not follow the liturgical calendar, but I have included readings appropriate for more than a dozen of the most significant Christian observances for those who would like to use them.
4. My mom would approve. My mom skips the “begats.” Do you? Genealogies and large bits of the ritual minutiae found in the Pentateuch are omitted from this plan. I love the genealogies, and the cultic regulations certainly have their place, but a plan designed for devotional Bible reading can afford to pass over both.
There is one glitch that I haven’t quite resolved. Since the readings are tied to the days of the week, and since 52 x 7 = 364, I need to find an elegant solution for what to read when December 31 falls on a Sunday. Should one read the previous week’s readings again? Use an alternate plan for the last few weeks of the year that spread the readings over more days? Read from other deuterocanonical books? Fortunately, I have until 2017 to figure this out.