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Bible Reading Plan

Here is a simple Bible reading plan I’ve been fiddling with. I described some of my rationale for such a plan here, but let me point out some of the features.

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.

technorati tags: bible, bible reading plan



  1. Anne says:

    Very nice. You’ve put a lot of thought into that.


  2. Dave Recher says:

    Well, Sir, you might consider plugging in the lessons of the Revised Common Lectionary for that Sunday. December 31 still falls within the Christian season of Christmas, and the lessons would appropriately reflect that. Christ is never an inappropriate focus.


  3. D. P. says:

    Great suggestion, Dave. Thanks!


  4. […] Dr. Platypus » Blog Archive » Bible Reading Plan – The good doctor is fiddling with a Bible reading plan. This may be worth your time if you are wanting to get into a daily routine that covers the Bible exhaustively. […]


  5. Pauline says:

    I’d really like to check out your Bible reading plan, because the points you make about it sound good (especially the “manageable” part). But every time I try to follow the link in the first sentence, I get a “This page cannot be found” error.


  6. Sorry, Pauline. It’s down for spring cleaning and should be up before too much longer.


  7. […] and enjoying Darrell Pursiful’s blog. I’m still waiting for him to fix the link to his Bible reading plan (you can read his post about it but not access the plan itself), which particularly interests […]


  8. Lee Whalen says:

    Looking forward to the link in the first line actually pointing to the reading plan. Any update on when that might be available? Thanks.


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